If motorists find traffic on major streets like Sunset Boulevard, Cesar Chavez Avenue and Colorado Boulevard slow going, they won’t see much relief under the Los Angeles Mobility Plan. In fact, the plan, which will help guide transportation and development through 2035, might worsen congestion for cars and trucks, according to city-commissioned environmental reports cited by the L.A. Times. However, the same plan would likely benefit bus riders, cyclists and pedestrians.
The plan, now before the City Council, has identified certain streets to include bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes and more pedestrian safety features and amenities. But the streets won’t get any wider to accommodate the bus and protected lanes, so something will have to give. In many cases, that might mean less lanes for motor vehicles.
Sunset Boulevard through Echo Park and Silver Lake, for example, would have to make room for a protected bike lane as well as bus-only lane during peak travel hours, under the plan. Colorado Boulevard through Eagle Rock and Whittier Boulevard in Boyle Heights would include an all-day, exclusive bus lane.
In some cases, however, bike and bus traffic might be able to travel in the same lane, said city planner Claire Bowin. Also, it’s up to Metro, which operates and funds bus service, to determine whether the designated streets might have enough ridership to support increased service and warrant a bus-only lane.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the plan today.
* Update: A majority of the City Council voted in favor of the plan, reports the L.A. Times. First District Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose district includes all or part of Cypress Park, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights, was one of two votes against the plan.
Metro has designated the streets in the map above as part of a Transit Enhanced Network that “prioritize travel for transit riders:
- Moderate enhancements (yellow): Include bus stop enhancements and increased service, with transit vehicles continuing to operate in mixed traffic.
- Moderate Plus Transit (light orange): Includes an exclusive bus lane during the peak travel period only
- Comprehensive Transit: Include transit vehicles operating in an all-day exclusive bus lane.
Protected Bicycle Lanes (dark blue) would, according to the Mobility Plan, “offer an increased degree of separation between bicyclists and the adjacent travel lanes (e.g., an on-street parking buffer between the vehicular travel lanes and the cycle track). In addition, the installation of protected bicycle lanes would likely include signalization enhancements for bicycles along with turning-movement restrictions for motor vehicles.”
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