Many residents from across the vast Los Angeles metropolitan area have likely heard references to a concept called Mobility Plan 2035 a few times or more over the past couple months. Perhaps they’ve even debated the emerging details of that plan with others.
We noted Mobility Plan 2035 in our August 18 blog entry, noting therein that it would “certainly be a subject of impassioned debate in the future.”
Apparently, that future has already arrived, with media stories across the country now routinely focusing in on the plan in the wake of its passage in early August via a 12-2 vote of the city council.
One such story comes courtesy of The New York Times and its recent focus on the wide divergence in area residents’ views toward the material changes envisioned by the two-decade initiative.
Mobility Plan 2035 envisions a progressive deemphasis on motorized travel coupled with more pedestrian and bicycling traffic, with advocates believing that fundamental infrastructure changes are a flat necessity across Los Angeles County.
The plan to cut back on passenger-vehicle lanes in favor of expanded space for non-motorized traffic is not endorsed in any slam-dunk manner by Angelinos, though, as many people are voicing criticisms regarding what Los Angeles might look and feel like in the future.
A central question appears to be this: Given that the region is home to a true car culture, can changes be made to materially alter that reality and allow for a material increase in bike and pedestrian traffic?
Unquestionably, purposeful infrastructure modifications can encourage alternatives to motorized travel and improve safety outcomes for bicyclists and walkers.
Will enough people be motivated to change habits, though, thus rendering the huge adjustments contemplated viable and cost-effective?
Only time will tell, of course. As the Times notes, Mobility Plan 2035 has spawned both great hopes for positive change and “fears of apocalyptic gridlock.”