Support Mobility Plan 2035 for a Safer, More Sustainable Transportation

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(via LACBC)

On Tuesday August 4, the Los Angeles City Council will consider Mobility Plan 2035, the first comprehensive update to the city’s transportation policies since 1999. A lot has changed since the 1990s: we now have regular CicLAvias, and the voter-approved expansion of the region’s transit system is rapidly under construction. Our streets are now seen as places for people, not just thoroughfares for cars. Technologies like real-time transit info, ride hailing apps, and bike share promise to give Angelenos new tools to take full advantage of the new infrastructure being built. The adoption of the unprecedented Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles earlier this year has grounded mobility conversations in the context of health and equity, recognizing that better transportation policy provides economic mobility for underserved residents while promoting community health and active transportation. And, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn calls for increasing walking, biking and transit to 35% of all trips in just 10 years to help meet the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The resulting Mobility Plan 2035 is a plan that is right for Los Angeles and right for our multimodal future.

What does the Mobility Plan do?

  • Makes safety the City’s #1 transportation priority, particularly the safety of children walking to school.
  • Sets design speeds for city streets and provides engineering and enforcement solutions to stop the constant increase in speed limits.
  • Proposes a new network of protected bike lanes across L.A.
  • Doubles city funding for walking and bicycling.
  • Calls for annual bicycle and pedestrian counts by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
  • Sets a performance metric of zero increase in car travel per person.

You can see the entire Mobility Plan 2035 and EIR here.

As with any significant progress, skeptics and naysayers are vocally opposing the Plan, either in whole or in part. Some neighborhood groups are fearful that a transition away from a car-dominated city to a balanced system might snarl traffic or delay emergency responders. Meanwhile, a vocal minority are taking this opportunity to attack specific projects, which threatens to piecemeal a well-planned citywide network. This Plan is supported by a broad base of residents, business groups, environmental organizations, and health advocates. Now is the time to demonstrate that support to the City Council.

Take Action to Support the Mobility Plan!

Join us for another #MobilityMondayLA day of online action this Monday 8/3!

  1. Attend the joint Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) and Transportation Committee at 2:30PM, Tuesday, August 4th at City Hall Room 340 (Council Chamber).
  2. Email the LA City Council Transportation and PLUM committee members – sample below
  3. Share/tweet that you did it! (sample tweet: “I just called @PaulKoretzCD5 to support Mobility Plan 2035. You should too! www.la-bike.org/mobilityplan #MobilityMondayLA”)

 

 

Sample Email

To: councilmember.bonin@lacity.org, councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
cc: david.ryu@lacity.org, paul.koretz@lacity.org, councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org,councilmember.englander@lacity.org, councilmember.martinez@lacity.org, Adam.Lid@lacity.org,councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org, councilmember.fuentes@lacity.org
Bcc: hyeran@la-bike.org

Subj: Support Mobility Plan 2035 for safe & sustainable streets! CF#15-0719

Dear Honorable Councilmembers:

I support adopting the Mobility Plan 2035, including ALL of its proposed networks. As a ___________ (e.g. bike rider, pedestrian, transit user, driver, business owner, student, parent, etc.), I strongly support this Plan because I believe that it will help make L.A. streets better for all of us walking, biking, taking transit and driving.

A well-connected network of protected bike lanes and other complete streets improvements the Plan includes will give people healthier options to get around our neighborhoods and our whole city. Calmer traffic and safer streets are critical to protect and enhance our quality of life. We need this plan to build on the progress made by the 2010 Bicycle Plan and make all modes of transportation work together for our city. The modal networks in the Plan were carefully crafted to balance the needs of all who will use them. We can’t afford to piecemeal them to appease local naysayers without undermining their citywide utility.

I am especially distressed by a councilmember’s recommendation to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan 2035.  At a time when the City of Los Angeles is working to become more walkable and bikeable, we need more safe bike lanes connecting popular destinations like Westwood Village and UCLA to neighboring communities–not fewer. According to the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT), along this half mile stretch, more than 8 times as many collisions occur between vehicles and bicyclists than similar streets in Los Angeles. Without proper accommodation for bicyclists, Westwood will continue to fail the thousands of students and faculty who ride to the campus every day, as well as the countless more who will come when the Expo Line opens next year. Not to mention anyone wishing to visit the area’s shops and restaurants by any means other than motor vehicles. Please keep the Plan’s networks intact and keep Westwood Blvd. in the Plan.

(Personalize here)

Please approve the Mobility Plan 2035 so that we can all travel safely on the streets of L.A.

(Your name)
(Your address)

WalkLAvia Culver City

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Next Sunday August 9 is CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Venice, and we can’t wait to walk at CicLAvia on the westside.

We’ll be meeting up at the Culver City Expo Station at 10am and walking to the Mar Vista Farmers Market for lunch (about 3 miles).

After that, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can join us on foot or bike all the way to Venice or head back to Culver City to catch the Expo Line.

YES (Youth Envisioned Streets) for a Healthier South LA

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Los Angeles Walks is excited to partner with National Health Foundation, A Place Called Home, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development on YES (Youth Envisioned Streets) for a Healthier South LA.

The project will empower South LA youth to plan and execute a one-day community event to take place on Central Avenue in 2016.

Youth from South LA will lead the creative direction and vision for this event, which will reflect Central Avenue’s rich culture and history. Participating youth will develop temporary pop-up street treatments to increase ped and bike safety and encourage active transportation. There will also be youth-designed organic vegetable gardens and healthy food demonstrations.

This project is a recipient of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Challenge Grant. The grant is based on matched funding raised through individual donations. We are working together to raise $10,000 to fund our project.

More info here – Please donate today to help youth re-envision Central Avenue to be as great as it can be!

Metro Active Transportation Wants to Hear from You!

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Join an open house workshop with Metro to identify needs for the upcoming Active Transportation Strategic Plan. The goal of this project is to improve the bicycling, walking, and transit use in your area, so first we need to develop the plan.

The workshops will:

  1. Gather input on improving the first and last mile access to transit and improvements to the regional network of walking and bicycling facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways.
  2. Explore opportunities for supporting local and regional partners to get these programs implemented

Check out the ATSP flyer here!

Find the workshop nearest to you:

San Gabriel Valley & Surrounding Area
Tuesday, August 9. 4-6pm
Grace Black Auditorium
3130 Tyler Ave, El Monte, CA 91731

Westside & Surrounding Area
Tuesday, August 11, 4-6pm
Veterans Memorial Building
4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230

Central & Surrounding Area
Wednesday, Augst 12, 4-6pm
Union Station- Historic Ticketing Concourse
800 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

North County & Surrounding Area
Thursday, August 13, 4-6pm
Cultural Center Room
38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale, CA 93550

South Bay & Surrounding Area
Monday, August 17, 4-6pm
Lawndale Community Center
14700 Burin Avenue, 3rd Fl, Lawndale, CA 90260

Gateway Cities & Surrounding Area
Monday, August 24, 4-6pm
16401 Paramount Blvd, 2nd Fl, Paramount, CA 90723

San Fernando Valley & Surrounding Area
Wednesday, August 26, 4-6pm
150 N Third St, Room 104, Burbank, CA 91502

Los Angeles Is Talking About Safe Streets

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It was an energizing week for pedestrian rights here in LA, with plenty of discussions in the media about what it will take to make the city safe and accessible to all walkers. Los Angeles Walks was honored to be included in four articles on the growing movement around safe streets in the city.

First the Los Angeles Times released its map on the most dangerous intersections for walkers in the city. Our own Deborah Murphy was interviewed by Laura Nelson about the corner of Slauson and Western:

“There is so much work to be done here,” Deborah Murphy, an urban planner who runs Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group, said as she surveyed the streets on a recent afternoon. The wide intersection, anchored by three strip malls and a gas station, felt like a highway: Cars sped through it, and vehicles leaving parking lots narrowly zipped past children on bikes and old women with wire carts.

Away from L.A.’s congested core, wide streets like these can invite speeding or rapid lane changes. Adding taller buildings or trees that arch into the roadway could narrow drivers’ field of view, Murphy said, adding more shade for pedestrians and subconsciously signaling drivers to slow down.

Another factor that makes Slauson and Western so dangerous, Murphy said, is that pedestrians must cross five lanes of traffic, or about 70 feet, to reach the opposite corner.

“That’s a long way for an able-bodied person,” Murphy said. “Now think about people who do it in a wheelchair.”

At each corner of the intersection, one ramp points people with wheelchairs or strollers into the middle of the intersection. The better, but more expensive option, Murphy said, would be to add one ramp at each crosswalk. The city also could install sharper curbs that force drivers to brake as they turn, she said.

In other coverage about the LA Times study, you can hear Deborah on KPCC discussing dangerous intersections and how they might be made safer. Special thanks also to Curbed LA who nodded to our own map of dangerous intersections published in our Footnotes publication last year.

Finally, the LA Weekly followed up on the Hyperion Bridge story by interviewing Deborah as well and featuring the work of LA Walks. A group of residents are suing the city, claiming that the city violated the California Environmental Quality Act by not fully considering pedestrian safety:

“Why would we restore the historic belvederes and then not let pedestrians experience them on the south side?” asks Deborah Murphy of Los Angeles Walks. A key force in the debate, Los Angeles Walks wants city officials to take more seriously the physical safety of those on foot — as well as access for the disabled.

Read more here and share these stories to spread the good work being done by pedestrian advocates everywhere:

Los Angeles Times – Walking in L.A.: Times analysis finds the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections

KPCC – LA Times crunches data to reveal county’s 817 most dangerous intersections

Curbed LA -The Five Most Dangerous Places For Walkers in Los Angeles

LA Weekly – Do You Have to Sue to Get the City of LA to Design with Pedestrians in Mind?

Walk Into That Good Night: 5 Summer Evening Walks

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The sunshine this summer is beckoning us all to step on the sidewalk, trails, and sand for fun and adventurous walks! There are many opportunities to join a curated walk with host speakers, surprising sights, and friends. Check out our calendar for a full list of walking-related events around Los Angeles.

It’s not just Los Angeles Walks offering these guided excursions, here’s a list of Bob Inman’s Night Walks:

Silver Lake Loop
Thursday, July 23, 6:30-9:30pm
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Santa Monica – Ocean Park and Tongva Park
Thursday, July 30, 6:30-9:30pm
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Windsor Square, Hancock Park, Larchmont Village
Thursday, August 6, 6:30-9:30pm
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Sepulveda Basin
Thursday, August 20, 6:30-9:00pm
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Downtown LA from Grand Park
Thursday, August 27, 6:30-9:30pm
Details

Los Angeles Walks Is Looking for a Policy & Program Manager

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Help Los Angeles Walks Grow! Full-Time Position Starts September 2015

Los Angeles Walks seeks an enthusiastic and experienced Policy & Program Manager to help take this small, dynamic organization to the next level. The Policy & Program Manager will be responsible for leading the Vision Zero campaign and coordinating with partners on this long term campaign to improve roadway safety across the City of Los Angeles. This is a great opportunity to have a real impact on the city you live in and to help guide a small and growing organization. Our work promotes safe, active transportation, justice for under-served communities, and better health for all.

Los Angeles Walks is led by an active, engaged steering committee. This position will be the first paid position for the organization. The potential candidate will have the opportunity to shape the growth and long term direction of the organization in partnership with the steering committee. We are looking for someone with strong leadership and organizational skills and a desire to make change in Los Angeles.

Hiring is on a fast track; the position will start in September; applicants should send in materials by 5pm on Thursday, August 6th.

View and download the full job description here.

For consideration, please forward resume, cover letter and writing samples to hello@losangeleswalks.org

Community Speaks Up and Acts Out For Hyperion Bridge Safety

As Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx stated during the recent UCLA Complete Streets Conference, “the design of our roads are a reflection of who we are”. let’s hope that we are an inclusive and thoughtful city who cares for everyone, whether they walk, bike, roll or drive. ‪#‎safestreetsforall‬‪#‎saveoursidewalk‬

Don Ward spoke for the community in opposition to the proposed bridge redesign plan. Watch the video above or read full text here:

Good morning.  My name is Don Ward, I was born in east hollywood, I grew up in the area and I care deeply about my city. This morning we are announcing legal action to defend the community against the City’s rushed and ill-conceived approval of an unsafe design for the Hyperion Avenue Viaduct. The project approved by the City Council last month fails to provide safe access to everyone who uses the bridge and falls short of the City’s vision of promoting safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. This project fails to safely and conveniently connect an entire region of Angelenos starving for park space to what is arguably our city’s greatest natural asset, the LA river. We love this city and believe it is capable of building great public works, and so we challenge the City of Los Angeles to reconsider this project and build a bridge that lives up to its ideals.

Some have said that Angelenos are addicted to cars and so it is unreasonable to create safe convenient spaces for people walking and biking. But our outreach to local residents around the bridge found the exact opposite: well over 1,000 people in Atwater Village and the surrounding neighborhoods signed petitions in support of a more balanced project. That support includes dozens and dozens of letters written by businesses, school principals, parent and student groups, religious and even political leaders. People want options. Their voices should count for something.

It is not Angelenos that are addicted to cars, but our city government that refuses to provide safe convenient alternatives. In the face of overwhelming support for a better bridge, the City steamrolled the community. In order to force through a cars-first project, the City overturned its community advisory committee, ignored the neighborhood councils, the businesses, the parent groups, the petition signatures. The city manipulated the results of its traffic study and manufactured an arbitrary deadline to create pressure and to coerce the Council’s approval before the end of the term. Just a matter of weeks after settling another lawsuit over sidewalks, the City will again go to court to defend its second-class treatment of people who walk. The public deserves better. The public deserves safe convenient options.

We are under no illusions that rebalancing our streets is easy. It will require robust public discussion and some hard tradeoffs. In order to do that, we need the City to be an honest broker in these conversations so that we can make decisions based on hope, not fear. CEQA is the public’s defense to ensure that our leaders make decisions based on accurate information and in full view of the public. That didn’t happen in this case, so regrettably we must take this action to ensure transparency and accountability.

We hope that with more time and another chance to evaluate the options with open minds, thought and reason will prevail. Our communities deserve a historic bridge that is safe and accessible for people walking and biking, and people with disabilities. Only by breaking this addiction to cars-first thinking will we be able to restore our city to health and create great streets worthy of our great city.

With that, I’d like to refer any questions to our attorneys. Thank you.

Follow along as we track the lawsuit unfolding. Also watch how StreetsBlogLA and the Los Feliz Ledger cover the news.

City of Los Angeles Sidewalk Infrastructure Program

We’d love to see all Los Angeles City sidewalks as a smooth as the path at Echo Park lake for strolling and rolling for people of all ages and abilities. #lasidewalks

We’d love to see all Los Angeles City sidewalks as a smooth as the path at Echo Park lake for strolling and rolling for people of all ages and abilities. #lasidewalks

Jessica Meaney, managing director of Investing in Place, is a transportation advocate who has been living intentionally car free in Los Angeles for over 15 years. Academically trained as a sociologist, Jessica’s approach to transportation policy began with looking at the key roles public transit, walking and bicycling play in social cohesion and  community health. Jessica’s policy approach has focused on using transportation finance research and advocacy efforts to achieve those outcomes, particularly in low income communities and communities of color.

The sidewalks in the City of Los Angeles represent one of the most critical public spaces, but are not yet afforded the same luxuries many other transportation infrastructure projects enjoy such as strategic planning, data and inventory collection, comprehensive funding or being viewed as a core part of the transportation network. The City of Los Angeles has backlog of broken and unmaintained sidewalks totaling over 10,000 miles with a estimated price tag to fix over $1 Billion. Since the mid 1970’s the City has not kept up with maintaining its sidewalks, and for the past ten years has been discussing this issue in committees that consider motions, staff reports, and numerous public testimony on how sidewalks should be funded and maintained. Yet still no inventory or strategic plan exists on this basic infrastructure need (see recent Los Angeles Times article).  A recent legal settlement with disability advocates on the quality of the City of Los Angeles sidewalks has the potential to change all this.

And currently, Public hearings on this issue are being held across the city. City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Joe Buscaino are hosting a series of joint meetings of the Budget and Finance and Public Works committees to get input from the public on what the city’s program to repair sidewalks next to homes and businesses should look like.  See meeting flyer here.  For questions on the Public hearings call City Clerk Michael Espinosa at 213 -978-106. For substantive questions about Los Angeles Sidewalks call Staci Sosa in the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) at 213-978-2752.

SOUTH LA
Tuesday, June 30, 6pm
Estelle Van Meter Senior Center
606 E. 76th St., Los Angeles 90001

WEST LOS ANGELES
Tuesday, July 28, 6pm
Mar Vista Recreation Center
11430 Woodbine Street, Los Angeles 90291

EAGLE ROCK/EASTSIDE
Wednesday, July 29, 6pm
Center for Performing Arts
2225 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles 90041

VALLEY
Thursday, July 30, 6pm
Van Nuys City Hall
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Los Angeles 91401

And the Los Angeles Times is asking people to share their broken sidewalks (and location) using #lasidewalks andsubmit them here. Share your LA City sidewalk pictures and stories with #lasidewalks with the Los Angeles Times or email Investing in Place – we’d love to hear them.

Through transportation finance research done over the past few years, it has shown that sidewalk maintenance and quality are consistently underfunded and represent great infrastructure need. As the region considers a new transportation sales tax for the ballot in 2016, should sidewalks be part of this conversation? According to Los Angeles County voters polled by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the answer is a resounding yes.