On Thursday, May 28th, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission approved the L.A. City Mobility Plan, or L.A. Mobility Plan 2035 (Plan). The Plan, which has not been updated since 1999, serves as the official transportation policy component of the city's General Plan. It creates the blueprint for policies and goals around how Angelenos move through the City. Of the hundreds of miles that the Plan addresses, 1/2 mile is especially important and contentious.
An official request was submitted by Council District (CD) 5 to L.A. City Planning and the L.A. City Planning Commission to remove the proposed bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard between Wellworth Avenue and Le Conte Avenue. This stretch, which extends through Westwood Village, is a key connector through for those living and working around the Westwood and UCLA communities. However, given extensive community support, the L.A. City Planning Commission voted to approve the current Plan as is, with all proposed networks intact. The Planning Commission requested an Amendment to the Plan that will require L.A. City Planning staff to provide six-month implementation progress reports to the Planning Commission. After approval from the City Planning Commission, the Plan, along with the Commission’s Report and recommendations, will be presented to the Mayor and the entire City Council for approval. Any amendments must be adopted by majority vote of the City Council.
The pressure to remove the proposed bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard comes on the heels of new paint on the adjacent blocks of the contended area. Just north of Le Conte Avenue on UCLA property, LADOT painted new green and buffered bicycle lanes, extending north to Charles E. Young Drive. As the busiest entrance to campus, connecting the bicycle network (even 1/2 of a mile), to support efforts towards developing Complete Streets, remains essential, especially in a community that has pushed the envelope early and creatively to implement dynamic bicycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure. The pressure from CD 5 to fragment the larger network illustrates the challenge that advocates face in creating a comprehensive and connected bicycle network throughout Los Angeles.
There will be three more occasions for public comment. CD 5 is expected to appeal again for the removal of Westwood.
Read more on the progress and happenings of the Westwood bike lanes here.