'Mobility Plan' passes city council, contested bike lanes unresolved

A bike lane on Avenue 50 in Los Angeles, California.
A bike lane on Avenue 50 in Los Angeles, California. waltarrrrr/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

A plan to reshape Los Angeles roadways over the next 20 years passed city council Tuesday, but questions about several controversial bike lanes will not be addressed until September.

The Mobility Plan 2035, which would be part of the city's General Plan, represents a paradigm shift from previous transportation plans, which focused on reducing car congestion. This one encourages Angelenos to get out of the car for some trips.

"We have to think differently," said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who has championed the proposal. "For too long here in Los Angeles we have effectively forced people into the automobile and this Mobility Plan is about giving people the choice to do something different."

The plan envisions three networks of roads, each prioritized for a different mode; some would be modified to protect bikes and pedestrians, some would get dedicated bus lanes and others would be designed to move car traffic more quickly.

In recent months, controversy has arisen over a proposed bike lane on Westwood Boulevard near UCLA. Homeowners in the neighborhood are concerned it would slow traffic on the busy street and increase cut-through traffic in the neighborhood.

Advocates on both sides of the debate showed up by the dozens at a joint L.A. City Council Committee meeting last week to offer public comment.

At the meeting Tuesday, Councilman Paul Koretz renewed his attempt to challenge the Westwood bike lane.

"It is a danger," he said. "I believe traffic will be obstructed and safety will be risked."

Koretz, with Councilman Gil Cedillo, voted against the plan. Curren Price was absent and the 12 other members voted in favor of the Mobility Plan, allowing it to pass intact.

Koretz's amendment to strike the Westwood bike lane, along with similar amendments from several of his colleagues, will be considered in committee in September.

The Mobility Plan must ultimately be approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti before it is officially adopted as part of the city's General Plan.

 

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