Councilman Cedillo wants to put the brakes on the Temple Street “road diet”

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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  1. I’m so glad Councilman Cedillo has the intelligence and bravery to stand up to the Bike Lobby. Vision Zero is an idiotic program that needs to be cancelled. The bike lane people make a lot of noise at neighborhood council meetings, but they don’t represent the majority of tax paying citizens.

    • Yeah, Cedillo is a real man of the people. Always present and listening.

    • I usually ride a bike to work but I also drive a car (and pay taxes!)–I’m not a bike nut or part of any special “lobby”. I know that some people have a negative perception of “road diets” but I think Cedillo’s approach here is wrongheaded. I’ve read reports about these types of changes and they typically add a small delay for car drivers while increasing safety tremendously for pedestrians and bikers. I have read about several horrible deaths on Temple street over the last few years. I just don’t get the attitude that making your commute one or two minutes shorts is literally worth ignoring people being killed or grievously injured. I’m just trying to get to and from work without dying, same as if I were in a car.

      • I don’t know what “reports” you’ve been reading, but if you want the facts, just go take a drive on Hyperion Avenue any afternoon rush hour. Then tell me the speed of zero to 5 mph is just a “small delay.” That’s what it is now, ever since they put in the road diet on Rowena Avenue, which is the ONLY route to the 5 freeway south from the Hyperion corridor and to the 5 North over the Hyperion bridge. The traffic now is backed up like a parking lot all the back to King Middle School — a fake and intentionally contrived, manufactured traffic jam.

        And yet, everyone sees that it is rare to see a bicyclist use any of the bike lanes (other than those taking a pleasure ride along the Los Angeles River), despite the loud bike lobbyists’ assertions to the contrary. Seeing is believing, and in all these years, it still is rare to see people using any of the bike lanes. All this havoc — for maybe one bicyclist when you go down the street.

        • Uh, the backup is not on Rowena at all. There’s no way that the Rowena road diet causes the Backup on Hyperion when Rowena is clear and Hyperion is the bottleneck where traffic backs up.

          • And yes, I live here and watch the traffic patterns daily on this stretch of Rowena. It is safer and kids can cross the street without dying, with no noticeable increase of congestion on the stretch. And it’s a nicer place to live for it.

          • You need to go to the optometrist and get some glasses. To say the traffic is NOT backed up on Rowena at rush hour — that isn’t even vision problems, that is a flat out lie. You are the ONLY one in the entire area to make that claim! At least others in favor of the road diet don’t like like that about it.

        • Mark, I hear you, and as someone who drives a car AND rides a bike in LA, I hate having to sit in traffic, I hate the people speeding down my neighborhood street as a cut-through, I hate that people who work hard and can’t live close to their job have to spend hours in their cars every day. But I have looked at lot of the arguments for and against traffic calming, road diets, etc. and I really just think it’s worth it to make some improvements that will save lives of people who are our neighbors, friends, and family members. I’ve read about many pedestrians, bikers, motorcyclists, and car drivers die in horrible wrecks over the last few years and I feel like reducing death & injury needs to be our primary concern over whether or not our commute times will be increased by a minute or two. I hope you can at least try to see it from my perspective as I will try and see it from yours.

    • Count me a one neighborhood resident that would love to feel safer when I walk and bike around my neighborhood. Temple is a neighborhood street, not a freeway! I regularly see cars driving 50 mph or more. Crossing the street is terrifying on foot, and the only other E-W bike lanes are either up on Sunset or all the way down on 7th St. It’s unsafe, and long overdue for a change!

      • Temple is NOT a neighborhood street, it is a major thoroughfare classified as a state highway.

        And your estimates of speed need plenty of work. As someone in this area for several decades, I can assure you you do not have a bunch of cars speeding on Temple at 50 mph – oh, if it were only possible in the traffic load there, but it isn’t, except maybe at 2 a.m.

        Why do these people pushing bike lanes always insisted that the traffic on every last street everywhere is going at a minimum of 50 mph, often they say 60 mph or more? Every time, every street that is ever mentioned, everyone is speeding at freeway speeds. But in reality, everyone knows better, everyone knows they can’t even do such speeds if they wanted, there are cars in front of them in the way.

        Please, at least stop with the constant false and fake assertions to back up your arguments — please, leave that to Donald Trump, we don’t need that kind of fake information in LA. If you can’t justify your arguments with truth, then maybe you should reconsider them.

        • It is NOT a state highway. It is classified by CalTrans as a Principal Arterial. See: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tsip/hseb/crs_map/13v23.pdf And that a designation that, if one examined the land use patterns along the route, one could easily challenge. It’s a commercial street that serves the neighborhood. And it’s literally less than a few hundred feet from a REAL ACTUAL FREEWAY known as US 101.

          You tell me to bring facts, but then you cite only your longtime residency as the authority to contradict my experience. I’m telling you that when I am on Temple, I am frequently challenged to cross the street in the allotted crossing time, with cars making rights on red without so much as slowing down. And when I am on my bike, have cars pass my at extremely high rates of speed. Is it 50 mph? I don’t know, but it’s fast enough to scare me and make me feel unsafe, and I’m a pretty confident cyclist. It’s really not hyperbole. And it’s not at 2am, it’s pretty much all the time besides peak AM/PM commute (which really isn’t that congested – when I drive to work taking Temple is extremely reasonable w/r/t peak level congestion…).

          So similar to your request, please stop the constant false and fake assertions that NO EVER is speeding, cyclists and pedestrians are perfectly safe, and that congestion levels are SO BAD that if drivers (of which I am one) are inconvenienced for even 30 sec. in the name of safety or letting someone not in a car use the street that the world will end!

          • As per my point, no, its not 50 mph, its 35 and you don’t even know the difference, as you pretty much just admitted. And no, it is NOT a neighborhood street. It runs from Silver Lake (where it merges into Beverly and with that extends all the way to the Westside) through Rampart, through Temple-Beaudry and through downtown — and is a major thoroughfare, as even the classification you give means.

            And if you would rather use a neighborhood street, you should do so — there are plenty both north and south of Temple you could use, so use them, and stop pretending that Temple is the only street there.

          • You and I are just going to have to agree to disagree about what a neighborhood street is. It’s the very definition of a neighborhood main street (or thoroughfare, as you call it). The term you use is illuminating, as it implies that you think it’s merely a tool to allow you to pass through. But Temple has retail stores, restaurants, cafes, churches, schools, residences, dry cleaners and laundromats, salons, markets, art galleries, medical centers, and small business office spaces. The land use on Temple indicated that it is meant for far more than simply transporting vehicles as quickly as possible from one end to the other.

            Next, you recommend I cycle on a different neighborhood street (by that I think you mean residential streets). Which one? Court St dead ends just past Alvarado. Council only runs part of the way through too. Bellevue doesn’t connect either. And Marathon is one of the hilliest streets in the area. You’ve already implied I shouldn’t be on Beverly. Temple is among the best alternatives south of Sunset for connecting East Koreatown/south East Hollywood/Virgil Village/South Silverlake with downtown, not to mention being a destination of it’s own. It really is the best option, and in some ways the only feasible one.

            Finally, you misunderstood my point about speed, which is that my personal observation is that cars are consistently driving at a rate of speed on Temple that is excessive and hostile to other types of road users e.g. cyclists, pedestrians, the disabled, etc.

            I actually drove Temple end to end (E->W) last night at 6:30 pm, maintaining a 30-35 mph pace, and was constantly passed (often quite fast), honked at, and tailgated for going at or near the speed limit. Not only were most cars exceeding the speed limit, but I observed pedestrians in a crosswalk nearly hit by a right turning vehicle, and two cyclists who were pushed to the right side of the right lane, where cars were passing extremely close and they had to dodge opening car doors and cars pulling in and out of curbside parking. Finally, there was there no congestion whatsoever. The entire trip from Beaudry to Hoover took about seven minutes.

            I rode my bike down Temple from Hoover to Beaudry the opposite direction (W->E) this morning at around 8:15, and again, aside from some queues in the turn lanes at Rampart and Alvarado (presumably to get on the 101, the congestion was minimal (esp. considering it’s the AM rush, and it SHOULD be congested). That being said, I was again honked at, cut off, had cars pass me very close and very fast, and generally felt unsafe.

            Temple already serves more uses that just a transportation corridor, and it already serves more types of travel than cars. It just doesn’t do it well or safely. We can reconfigure Temple in a way that has a minimal impact on vehicle throughput and actually INCREASES person-throughput (more transit, bikes, peds) and improves neighborhood access to Temple businesses and other local destination while also increasing safety. How can you be against that, as a longtime neighbor?

    • Preach! What kind of hippie idiots would want to do something about easily preventable deaths in this city. This is LA, I’m late for work so tell your kids to watch their asses… vroom vroom!

  2. Great. Now hopefully we can get Mitch O’Farrell to do the same!

  3. Cedillo to Los Angeles walkers and cyclists
    “Drop dead”

    Cedillo to undocumented immigrants
    “Come to the head of the line”

    • Are all Bike Nazis racist, or is it just you?

    • I support bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements but I also support the rights of immigrants. This comment doesn’t represent the majority of people walking and riding bikes–in fact from what I see around this area, the people most likely to be on foot or on bike are working class and nonwhite. I genuinely appreciate Cedillo’s work in the legislature on the behalf of immigrants and our undocumented community members, in fact I think SB60 increases safety because it makes people engaged in an accident less likely to pull a hit and run because of fear of criminal charges. I just wish he would recognize that these modest improvements are supported by a lot of research and that they will actually save lives. I really do understand that people think something is being taken away but what we gain is increased safety for all Angelenos–it has been shown that reducing traffic speeds in neighborhoods inevitably saves lives.

    • Undocumented immigrants tend to be walkers and cyclists, so not sure how those two statemens add up.

  4. Excellent, someone who deals in reality rather than fantasy. Can we make Cedillo mayor?

  5. Satan Loves You

    Wow what a low life “politician.”

  6. This is great! I live on Temple and traffic is bad as it is when there are concerts or games at the dodger stadium. The waze app doesn’t help with traffic as well because traffic jams smaller streets as well. I’m glad he haunted the “road diet”.

  7. Keep up the good work Gill.

  8. Road diets suck!

  9. So glad to hear this! Traffic is already bad enough we don’t need to make it worse.

    • Traffic is bad enough because so many people are driving. We need to make it safe for people to walk and bike. We need livable communities. And the data from the traffic calming measures put in place elsewhere in the city show only a minor delay in travel time, but smoother traffic flow, and significantly improved safety.

      Business as usual just won’t cut it anymore. Please don’t blame bicycles and pedestrians for the worsening traffic in the city that is caused by increasing amounts of *cars* on the road. And in case you haven’t noticed, the earth is rapidly becoming less habitable due to carbon emissions associated with, among other things, driving. Let’s have a vision that’s appropriate for the challenges of the 21st Century, not the 20th.

      • “Traffic is bad enough because so many people are driving” or because not enough cyclists are cycling. What I’ve always said about the bike lobby is that they’re an agenda without a demand. IF there are any extra lanes on local streets and highways, they should be dedicated to public transportation NOT to indulge the occasional cyclist with a recreational bike lane. Moreover, cyclists themselves don’t seem to grasp the function of the lines defining these lines, e.g., what about riding in a single file can’t cyclists grasp? I regularly drive through Griffith Park and constantly have to swerve around entitled cyclists spread out across the bike lane they wanted Aaand the remaining traffic lanes(?!?). TO THE RIGHT AND IN SINGLE FILE, that’s the law and rule and every responsible cyclists knows it.

        • LOL, it’s a park and you still expect carte blanche to zip through at 40mph? You’re ridiculous.

          • corner soul, you nailed it.

            It’s a park, Procopio. Lighten up.

            And just to clarify, the California Vehicle Code does NOT require cyclists to ride single file. Rather, it is totally silent on this issue. Some cities have passed ordinances about this. LA City is not one of them.

          • Who said anything about “zipping through at 40 mph”? I simply resent being compelled to craw along at 5-7 mph because a group of selfish and entitled cyclists won’t be constrained by the very bike lane they insist solves the problem(?!). Also, the California Vehicle Code DOES instruct slower traffic to keep to the right and since cyclists are usually slower traffic they are advised ride near the right edge of the road . . . Orrr withIN the boundaries of their precious bike lane but never mind s rule or law. It’s just common sense and courtesy.

  10. Thank you Gil Cedillo. Doing the popular thing isn’t always right. Doing the right thing isn’t always popular

  11. Yeah! screw all those damn kids at the 3 schools on Temple, they need to learn how to run faster when crossing the street, or headed up to Echo Park for gym class.

    • Better yet, let them replace gym class with a form of human Frogger. I’m sure the oblivious commuters using Temple as a cut-thru so they can speed to work would oblige.

    • Cross on the proper signal, look both ways, stop texting and pay attention: it’ll be fine!

      • They do, and it’s not fine. Students are hit at least annually using crosswalks on Temple. Are we really willing to sacrifice a child every now and then for a 5 minute faster drive downtown? This isn’t hyperbole or drama, it’s the truth.

      • Absolutely right! Drivers need do need to cross on the proper signal ( i.e. stop for red and wait for green), look both ways, stop texting, and pay attention. Their transportation option of choice is by far the most deadly for them and everyone else around them.

    • Millions of people manage to successfully navigate this city every day. Millions. Taking more personal responsibility for your own and others safety is key. Clogging streets and pushing traffic further into neighborhoods is not the answer.

      • And hundreds die every year, thousands are injured, and it seems like every week some reckless idiot crashes into a building or utility pole, causing thousands and thousands in needless property damage. Is social darwinism really the best policy we can come up with as a society?

        We’ve been retrofitting the entire city around motorists interests for the last 100 years and it’s only made traffic congestion worse. Cyclists and pedestrians are not the problem, they’re the solution.

        • And yet you assume that every one of those deaths and injuries is 100% the fault of the driver? While all of them are tragic it’s just simply not true and yet that’s one of the main underlying assumption behind the pro road diet/restriction arguments.

          • I’m blaming the design. Urban neighborhoods need not be such a high stakes environment, where the smallest lapse in judgement gets you flattened like a pancake.

            If thousands of people in this city were being poisoned every year at local restaurants, or by lead in the water, would you consider that a reasonable tradeoff too?

  12. Gil Cedillo is my new personal hero.

  13. Gil Cedillo Honks and Yells at Pedestrians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbaPq-A4KJk

    During a September 2016 City Council meeting, when discussion turned to Vision Zero, an initiative aimed at reducing traffic deaths & improving pedestrian safety, Councilmember Gil Cedillo proceeded to rant about pedestrians. His rant occurred a year to the date after Yolanda Lugo, a resident of Highland Park, was killed by a hit and run driver on N. Figueroa Street, just blocks from Cedillo’s Highland Park office. She was killed while walking in a crosswalk. 2 months after her death, a teen was also fatally struck while walking in a crosswalk on Figueroa.

    • Probably to accommodate more new developments he gets kick backs from.

    • Rant? You fake news spreading misinformed tool. This is straight talking politician that speaks from his experience of driving. I wish more politicians and traffic planners would drive on the street they destroy with their utopian ideas of zero pedestrian deaths. People are stupid and will die! Children are raised by stupid parents and will die. All your road diets traffic calming measures will not stop this. You might want to educate children and their parents to understand the mindset of a driver who’s main goal is not to run over cyclists and pedestrians. We just want to get to work or get home. I admit there are just as many stupid drivers out there as pedestrians but consider the duties of the driver and the quick actions they have to employ. The only job a pedestrian has is not to get hit by a car…. that’s it…. To a driver its just another job looking out for you to walk out in front of us without looking. To many pedestrians a crosswalk is like Moses parting the red sea so you can walk untouched to the other side. Use your brain and your eyes. My parents taught me to never assume the car is going to stop for you or see you just because your in a crosswalk. And while your at it don’t make the people who drive cars lives any more miserable by creating barriers, single lanes, road diets just to create road rage in us. It’s hard enough just to get the idiot in the car ahead of us to go on a green light.

      • Hilarious: “And while your at it don’t make the people who drive cars lives any more miserable by creating barriers, single lanes, road diets just to create road rage in us.”

        Some drivers won’t even take responsibility for their own road rage! How should we expect them to handle the responsibility for driving conscientiously with the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles in mind? An excellent argument for traffic calming on streets like Temple.

  14. I am both a biker and a contractor who absolutely needs a pick up truck to maintain a living.

    The idea that every road needs to be on a “road diet” is not effective but at the same time there isn’t nearly enough bike lanes that exist in LA.
    To complicate the struggle between bike and car even more apps like Waze and Uber are making shortcuts only known to locals all but completely clogged during rush hours.

    The “Vision Zero” is exactly that it has zero vision in how to proceed in a cohesive plan. The newly completed train out to the West side is a laughably slow trudge, numbers that would make any dent in traffic will never take it as it is far too slow just from downtown and add 40 mins if you are connecting from any other line.
    There has to be bike lanes added to the cities infrastructure along with smart traffic lights. Both of these things would go a far way in reducing the heat island effect of idling cars at lights that do not monitor the traffic loads.

    Hyperbolic statements that ooze of violence towards bicycles is not healthy for the city or the car drivers either; i mean do you really enjoy being mad and aggressive towards someone who just wants some exercise and is practicing their right to be on the road?.
    Don’t get it twisted Gil Cedillo is appealing to the hateful nature of people on this topic with no real concern for the community at hand. Lets remember he is implicit with TRUMP if you don’t believe me please look up the link below.
    Lets start looking out for each other rather making heroes and taking sides with these political we elites who thrive off divisiveness.
    Those who voted by Cedillo have been duped by his divisive rhetoric. So you were worried about “new comers”? lol “code word”. Well guess what you just elected a guy who is implicit with TRUMP.

    Think I am kidding here is The Eastsiders own documentation; https://www.theeastsiderla.com/2016/08/councilmen-cedillo-ofarrell-have-raised-more-than-500000-to-get-reelected/

    Who is Geoff Palmer? Just TRUMP’s biggest campaign contributor, and the developer of the enormous ugly and community destroying fake Italian stucco boxes called Orsini, lorenzo, or medici .These eyesores and low thought developments look like they belong on a highway roadside and do not address low income housing. the enormous commercial spaces below the buildings are mostly empty and are still making money as a tax right off, yep he can make money by having them empty and right off the vacancy at market rate.

    So next time you want to play the ” Gil Cedillo is good for the community game” just remember you actually lying to yourself. LA, wake up.

  15. I am a Temple Street resident and I SUPPORT the changes to Temple Street! WE NEED THE LEFT HAND TURN LANE! We need to make the street safe for walking! I would appreciate it if you folks who don’t live here would stay out of this issue.

    • I drive on Temple street virtually every day and there already are left-hand turn lanes from Rampart to Alameda. Meanwhile, NO, We Do Not Need Bike Lanes on Temple Street However, we apparently do need to provide training on how to safely walk on sidewalks and cross city streets without being struck by a vehicle(?). This was a skill we used to master by SIX by following a few simple rules (“Red stop. Green, look both ways, cross”). I don’t know what’s happened during the past 30 years that has suddenly made walking in public a death-defying feat(?).

  16. “For the most part, these road diets appear to be disastrous with respect to what the public thinks of them,” Cedillo told the Times.

    Herein lies the problem. It’s the job of politicians like Cedillo to communicate using facts, logic, data, and outreach to explain why and how safety measures are beneficial for the streets and communities. Instead he backs off because the loudest and least-informed of his constituents tell him “my gut tells me that traffic engineers are trying to make my commute more miserable and it’s all because of some vast bicyclist conspiracy.”

    • Based on minimal use of bike lanes that have been installed. the “conspiracy” is anything but “vast”. which is what is so frustrating to the rest of us. How did this distinct minority of recreational cycling zealots hijack the policy discussion regarding our daily commute?

  17. I live on Temple St and strongly support the Temple St safety project. Vision Zero is a data-driven approach to identify especially dangerous streets in our city and then taking immediate steps to make them safer. Politics should not be allowed to interfere.

  18. My opinion is that these “Road Diets” are just a means to an end. The city is not really interested in preventing deaths and saving lives and those who believe they are, are very naïve. For years we’ve asked the city to install speed bumps along some of the residential streets in this neighborhood but guess what? We still don’t have speed bumps so trust me the city does not care about safety. What the city is in fact interested in is DENSITY. If these road diets are implemented, the city touts that bikers and pedestrians are winning the fight against the “evil car”. This then makes it easier for denser development because parking requirements get thrown out. Our elected officials have such a hard on for density that they are destroying the character of our neighborhoods in every way. They are allowing developers with no regard for the community to build hulking apartments that loom over our homes. Now they are attempting to completely ruin our dominant transportation system in the name of “safety” to make it easier for developers to further ruin our neighborhoods. Southern California will never be New York or San Francisco simply due to its size so automobiles will always be the dominant mode of transportation. This means that if we continue to allow the city to implement these ridiculous road diets, the residential neighborhoods that we live in are going to continue to become highways thereby creating more safety hazards for us and our children. If the city is really interested in safety, maybe they should start by doing what we’ve been asking for; installing speed bumps, traffic lights, etc. These “road diets” in the name of safety are nothing but a way to further the density agenda.

    • That has been the grand plan for the city for years. They are designing with density in mind. They hate the suburbs and are looking to build up – more apartment complexes and mixed use developments. Never mind that L.A. is a desert and water is a precious commodity, the city wants us teeming with more humanity than is possibly sustainable (for selfish reasons I am convinced) – how this kind of thinking squares with climate change, environmental impact, etc is beyond me. There are too many cars because there are too many people period and putting them all on bikes isn’t going to change the fact that there is not enough affordable housing, high-paying jobs or government resources to accommodate everyone coming here (both legally and not). If the answer is that you can’t control the population, then the answer can’t be you encourage more growth either – and that, to me is what the powers that be seem to be advocating.

  19. It’s not like removing bike lanes is going to put a huge dent into lessening traffic. The only real solution is persuading commuters to take some form of group commute, whether it be carpooling or public transportation. It’s imperative that there be proper government support to encourage commuters to get used to not having their car be a part of their daily commute.

  20. Road diets suck. But there’s only one way to truly reduce traffic and that is getting cars off the road. And you won’t do that until there are safe options for people. Think about it: If I weren’t on a bike, I’d be in my car in traffic and maybe in front of you.

    And for all those who complain that no one uses the few bikes lanes we do have, I can say from personal experience that if you build it, they will come. Not overnight, because humans don’t adapt THAT quickly. But it will happen. And every person who decided, “hey, maybe I will bike downtown today because it feels safe and I need some exercise” equals one car that’s not in your way.

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