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Westwood, Central bike lanes intact as Mobility Plan moves ahead

FILE: The Mobilty Plan 2035 calls for hundreds of miles of bike lanes to be added to Los Angeles streets in the next 20 years.
FILE: The Mobilty Plan 2035 calls for hundreds of miles of bike lanes to be added to Los Angeles streets in the next 20 years.
Craig Barry via Flickr Creative Commons

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The Los Angeles City Planning Commission decided Thursday to leave a plan for bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard and Central Avenue intact, despite opposition from some City Council members.

About two dozen people showed up to offer public comment on several changes to the Mobility Plan 2035, a blueprint to guide transportation policy over coming decades.

The proposal has become a flashpoint for competing visions of the city's future, one focusing on cars and another more open to bikes, pedestrians and transit. The plan calls for expanding bus and bike lanes over the next 20 years, in some cases by removing lanes of car traffic. That idea has spurred two lawsuits and heated debate.

The City Council approved the Mobility Plan last August, then reapproved it in November to fix a procedural error.

During the council discussion, several members proposed changes to the plan, most notably the removal of bike lanes slated for Westwood Boulevard near UCLA and Central Avenue in South L.A.

Biking and walking activists had rallied behind the plan, while some homeowners groups complained the changes would slow traffic and encourage cut-through traffic on backstreets.

On Thursday, the Planning Commission approved some minor changes to the plan, but rejected the exclusion of the Westwood and Central bike lanes.

The plan now returns to the City Council for approval before being sent to the mayor for his checkoff.