The City Council approved the 2035 Mobility Plan on Tuesday, laying the groundwork for a city that gives more credence to transportation other than the car. What does that mean? More bus lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrian amenities, like wider sidewalks and curb cutouts. While some traditionalists are crying foul, saying the plan will cut car lanes and increase traffic on already congested streets, city officials believe their plan will encourage more people to walk, ride bikes, and use transit; effectively lessening the amount of cars on the road.
As lawsuits are threatened and details are worked out, we took a look through the nearly 200-page mobility plan. While you might have already heard of the plan’s “Vision Zero,” which aims to cut the transportation fatality rate to zero in 20 years, there were plenty of other interesting nuggets.
- In making the case for the mobility plan, the document states that young people are looking for more transportation options than the private automobile. It also brings up the point that L.A. has an aging population: “In 2030, senior citizens will make up one fifth of LA County’s population. This older population (as well as children and the disabled) will benefit from longer pedestrian crossing times, shorter street crossing distances, wider, shaded sidewalks, street benches, and separated bicycle facilities.”
- Los Angeles has double the national average of pedestrian fatality rates for children under 4 and adults over 70
- The plan aims to increase the percentage of women who travel by bike by 35 percent by 2035.
- Multi-modal detour facilities are part of the plan, which means that if construction necessitates the closure of a sidewalk or impedes cyclists, action must be taken that these groups can still travel safely. What this hopefully means is that when a sidewalk is torn up for a building for years, a covered, safe alternative is offered, as is the norm in cities like New York.
- “Provide 95% on-time arrival reliability of buses traveling on the Transit Enhanced Network by 2035,” the plan mandates. “Establish an off-peak 5 minute bus frequency on 25% of the Transit Enhanced Network by 2035.”
- The plan mandates all the city’s crummy sidewalks be fixed in 20 years.
- Finish the planned bike paths along the L.A. River by 2025, not 2035.
- The plan discourages widening streets, as it “could change the character of the street in an undesirable way.”
- An objective is to increase the number of “car light” households in the city (only one vehicle) from 50 percent now, to 75 percent in 20 years.
- The plan also intends to cut transportation costs for Angelenos by 10 percent by offering more transportation options.
- In the Regional Transit Connections section, the plan calls for an alternative to driving on the 405, a transit line along the Harbor Subdivision right-of-way, and “the continuation of the Crenshaw Light Rail line north to the Hollywood Bowl would expand the travel options for area residents, employees, and visitors. A visitor could arrive at LAX and travel directly north to Hollywood. The addition of this leg to Metro’s rail network would greatly contribute to the flexibility and fluidity with which travelers could move about the region.”
- “Discourage the use of cul-de-sacs that do not provide access for active transportation options.”
- Make parking easier by “installing street parking occupancy-detection capability at 50% of on-street parking locations by 2035.”
- “Reduce the number of unhealthy air quality days to zero by 2025.”
- Encourage electric car use by installing “more than 1,000 new publicly available EV charging stations throughout the City.”
- Change how street performance is considered by no longer measuring a roadway’s “LOS” (level of service), which only calculates how quickly motorized vehicles move, and changing it so all options—biking, walking, etc.—are studied.