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L.A. planners focus on an altered traffic landscape going forward

We noted in a recent blog entry the "sprawling grids" that define much of the traffic landscape throughout Los Angeles. As we stated in our August 4 post, streets and roads throughout Los Angeles County have long favored drivers of passenger vehicles who are in a hurry to get somewhere.

Although congestion in recent years has obviously -- and routinely -- undermined that goal, there is no question that the aforementioned grids were put into place to promote fast travel above all else.

That policy has obvious and deleterious effects on pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders trying to compete with passenger autos plying the streets of Los Angeles. As we noted in the above-cited post, "Walkers and other persons using alternative forms of transportation have been largely deemphasized" in regional infrastructure plans and outcomes.

That has led to a "legacy of shame," states one city councilman, who says that far too many people have died across the region from automobile-related accidents.

Many of his fellow politicians agree, as noted by a 12-2 city council vote last week approving an ambitious traffic development plan aimed at rendering city streets and roadways safer for walkers, bicyclists and riders of public transportation.

That initiative is called Mobility Plan 2035, which is somewhat self-explanatory by its designation. The goal is to make the sprawling Los Angeles metro region a friendlier and more egalitarian place for all persons seeking to share road space, regardless of their mode of transportation.

That aim will be furthered by what planners say is increased emphasis on more space dedicated for mass transit vehicles, walkers and bikers, even if that means detracting a bit from the lane space currently allotted for passenger vehicles.

Although enthusiasm for the plan is clear and widespread, it is hardly unanimous. Mobility Plan 2035 will certainly be a subject of impassioned debate in the future.

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