Monday, April 23, 2007

Olympic-Pico one-way?

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's April 15, 2007 "Olympic/Pico One-Way Pair Initial Feasibility Report" (4.7 MB pdf) by Allyn D. Rifkin P.E. describes a range of options. The Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion by Weiss, Greuel, and Rosendahl this Wednesday (4/25 at 2:00 p.m.):

In January 2007, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky hired a traffc consultant to analyze the feasibility of turning Olympic and Pico Boulevards into oneway streets from downtown Los Angeles to the City of Santa Monica. The traffc consultant has completed a preliminary analysis.

The potential impact to residential neighborhoods of any proposal to convert major thoroughfares into one-way streets necessitates a thorough analysis and consideration of all potential community impacts.

Such analysis must include a thorough assessment of the potential impacts to residential neighborhoods as well as a quantitative analysis of potential benefis in terms of reduced travel times and congestion relief. Analysis of this proposal must also include broad community input.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council direct the Department of Transportation to report back in 60 days with a review and analysis of Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavosky's consultant study on the feasibility of turning Olympic and Pico Boulevards into one-way streets from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. The report should address potential impacts to surrounding streets and neighborhoods. In addition, LADOT shall engage in comprehensive community outreach during the preparation of their report.

I'll also highlight Kent Strumpell's letter to the LA Times (4/21):

One-way streets prioritize moving cars rather than moving people, perpetuating the traffic problems we face. Instead, we need solutions that help people meet their needs without having to drive.

Unfortunately, one-way streets make our urban boulevards more like freeways, with hazardous speeds, noise and lack of landscaped medians. This works against the strategy of improving our boulevards as inviting public places conducive to walking, transit use, cycling and successful businesses. Creating vibrant, multimodal shopping streets near residential communities is a critical strategy for reducing automobile trips.

It is time that we stop sacrificing the important public space of our roads to the degrading domination of cars.

In a similar situation I served on the Lincoln Corridor Task Force Citizens' Advisory Committee in 2002-4. We faced the question of whether to attempt to move more cars on Lincoln Boulevard -- knowing it wouldn't solve traffic congestion and would further impact its neighbors -- or to focus on moving people. We recommended the latter, taking advantage of the curb parking lanes in Venice and Ocean Park to propose dedicated peak-hour bus lanes first, and potentially light rail later. See SCAG's LCTF webpage for detailed LCTF reports.


Anonymous said...

Council Transportation Committee just passed Option A, with possible removal of the Centinela to Barrington segment in the interim.

Also, thanks for doing this blog!


Anonymous said...

This cross-town one-way couplet idea seems antithetical to a sustainable future for L.A. But the push for it is a vivid reminder of how fearful politicians are of angry, congestion-bound motorists who are high-propensity voters.

If this happens, we'll regret it for many years to come turning Pico and Olympic into virtual freeways through the middle of dozens of neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Didn't we try this on Olympic Blvd. while the [10] was being put back together? And weren't we better off when it reverted to normal?