With support from local mobility and equity advocates, the Council approved a motion to improve street safety and streamline implementation of the city’s Mobility Plan.
In 2015, the City of Los Angeles approved its Mobility Plan 2035, designating an immense network of bus lanes, pedestrian-priority areas, and protected bikeways. It also reinforced the City’s commitment to ending traffic deaths by ratifying Vision Zero.
The Council’s motion would direct the City Attorney to prepare a safe streets ordinance based on the Healthy Streets LA Ballot Measure. This would require the city to do improvements listed on the Mobility Plan when streets are resurfaced.
This motion differentiates from the Healthy Streets Ballot Measure by prioritizing low-income neighborhoods, ensuring proper engagement takes place and integrating broader improvement, such as street lighting, sidewalk repair, and crosswalks. It also establishes an equitable local hire program to bring community improvement jobs to these disadvantaged areas.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has developed a High Injury Network showing the 6% of Los Angeles’ streets that are the most deadly – causing 70% of deaths and severe injuries. These streets are overwhelmingly located in working-class neighborhoods in South LA, Central LA, and the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
Currently, traffic violence is one of the most serious issues affecting Los Angeles. In 2021, 294 people were killed in traffic related accidents, including 132 pedestrians.
A major barrier to implementing the Mobility Plan has been a lack of coordination amongst the myriad departments that oversee street infrastructure. A key piece of the legislation is establishing a new Unified Project Coordination Office to streamline the street improvement process and encourage coordination between departments.
Currently the City is facing a backlog where, for example, a department is able to resurface a street, but another department is delayed in implementing an aspect of the Mobility Plan at that time. The Unified Project Coordination Office would be tasked with working with the different departments ensuring a timely completion of projects in the Mobility Plan.
The new Unified Project Coordination Office would also serve as a public-facing liaison, working with community-based organizations to obtain neighborhood input while addressing local concerns, specifically surrounding issues of gentrification and displacement. It would also prioritize transparency, creating an interactive dashboard and mapping tool on a publicly accessible website.