A proposal to reduce the number of traffic lanes — aka a “road diet” — on a stretch of Temple Street that runs through Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown has met with opposition from 1st District Councilman Gil Cedillo, reports the L.A. Times. In fact, Cedillo doesn’t even want the city to consider a so called “road diet” anywhere in his district unless it has his approval.
The L.A. Department of Transportation has proposed reducing the number of lanes for motor vehicles from 2 to 1 in each direction on Temple between Beaudry Avenue on the east and Beverly Boulevard on the west. While creating less room for cars and trucks, officials have proposed adding bike lanes, a center turn lane, speed feedback signs, crosswalks with flashing signals, protected left turns and other changes under the city’s Vision Zero program to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.
A spokesman for Cedillo told the L.A. Times that the councilman does not support the project.
Last week, Cedillo introduced a motion that calls on the city’s Department of Transportation to halt any effort to “stop all actions relating to the implementation of road diets, traffic lane removals, and/or lane reconfigurations within Council District 1 until such actions are approved I authorized by the Councilmember of the First District.”
Cedillo’s position on the Temple Street project was made as the city officials faced a backlash and potential lawsuits over a road diet on Vista del Mar near Dockweiler State Beach. Many transportation planners say reducing traffic lanes is an effective tool to slow down motorists and improve safety, but the same tactic can also delay motorists and divert traffic on to sides streets. In the case of Vista del Mar, transportation officials said they would undo the road diet.
“For the most part, these road diets appear to be disastrous with respect to what the public thinks of them,” Cedillo told the Times.
Cedillo’s district includes about one-third of this stretch of Temple that would be covered by the road diet; 13th District Councilman Mitch O’Farrell represents the remainder.
The Eastsider has contacted Council District 13 to find out if O’Farrell has taken a position on the Temple Street road diet.
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