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L.A. City Council Approves New Mobility Plan, Including Vision Zero

9:02 AM PDT on August 12, 2015

City Council Planning Committee Chair Jose Huizar speaking in favor of Mobility Plan approval today. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
City Council Planning Committee Chair Jose Huizar speaking in favor of Mobility Plan approval today. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
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After a lengthy and contentious debate, the full Los Angeles City Council approved the city's new Mobility Plan, the Transportation Element of the city's General Plan. Mobility Plan 2035 replaces the city's former transportation plan in effect since 1999. The final vote was 12 in favor, with only Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo opposing.

The approved plan places a high priority on traffic safety, including making Vision Zero official citywide policy. L.A. is now committed to "decrease transportation-related fatality rate to zero by 2035."
Public testimony was limited to 20 minutes, and was heavily in favor of plan approval.

A number of councilmembers offered amending motions that would have removed specific bikeway components from the plan:

    • Councilmember Koretz continued to press til the last moment to remove Westwood Boulevard from the bikeway network. Ultimately, he forced a vote, which lost with only three councilmembers in support.
    • Councilmember Gil Cedillo continued to press for pretty much all future Council District 1 bikeways to be removed from the plan, as his staff had proposed in committee last week. When Cedillo questioned Department of City Planning staff about these modifications, they responded that a change of that magnitude was likely to trigger additional environmental studies.
    • Councilmember Curren Price proposed removing Central Avenue from the bikeway network
    • Councilmember David Ryu proposed removing 4th Street from the bikeway network.

Other than the Koretz motion, which was voted down, the rest of the proposed amendments will be heard later, in a joint meeting of the Planning and Transportation committees anticipated in September.

Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin showed strong livability leadership in ensuring committee and council approval, and staving off piecemeal amendments. Ultimately, Huizar and Bonin were able to shepherd plan approval with only two council amendments. In committee, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson added that the plan would include equity in implementation. Today, Councilmember Ryu added that plan implementation would consider public safety and community input in implementation.

Final Los Angeles City Council vote to approve Mobility Plan 2035
Final Los Angeles City Council vote to approve Mobility Plan 2035
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Ultimately, it is just a plan. The 1999 plan had similar language about "transit priority streets" and "safe and convenient bicycling" that has, for the most part, failed to materialize. Communities will need to organize and press to translate the Mobility Plan's multimodal vision into improved safety and broader mobility choices in L.A. neighborhoods.

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