Tonight at 6:30 pm is the final public meeting for the city's proposed Olympic/Pico Blvd traffic plan. The meeting is at the Stoner Recreation Center; the last two meetings, both held last week, have been held at the Temple Beth An and Westwide Jewish Communty Center, respectively. Given that city officials say it can take 45 minutes to go the six miles on Pico and Olympic (from Centinela to Fairfax) during rush hour, this is their latest stab at reducting congestion in the area. (For those that are new to this project, Streetsblog does good job of rehashing the whole backstory on the project and the lawsuit.) This latest proposal basically removes peak hour parking in some areas and implements signal prioritization to favor westbound movement on Olympic and eastbound movement on Pico. Below are three of boards that the city has been showing at these meetings. Given that parking is one of the issues, these three boards (the last one shows the left hand lanes) may be of the most interest.
---Proposed PM Peak Parking Changes
---Proposed AM Peak Parking Changes
---Focused Left Turn Signals
Some reaction so far:
City Watch. Here is Jay Handal, West LA Chamber, who was behind the lawsuit, speaking to City Watch: “It appears that the additional lanes and contra flow are out. The taking of parking and synchronization of lights is all that is left. The effects of the additional traffic along with the loss of consumer parking is what appears to be at issue now. There seems to be precedent for the removal of parking and light timing , so the E.I.R. may show significant negative impacts due to increased traffic and loss of parking.”
Additionally, Streetsblog worries that neighbors believe it'll bring more traffic to the area, and that the plan doesn't consider the pedestrian experience. The blog also notes that both politicians running in the Fifth District City Council race oppose the plan.
Indeed, here's what candidate Paul Koretz, who is running, told us at last Wednesday's meeting. “It’s one of the most half-baked proposals I’ve heard. If they instantly implement it, it’ll be a disaster.” But he did allow that it could be done in a more effective way, by putting parking behind the shops on Pico, for instance. And by putting signs that clearly show that parking is available behind the stores ie so consumers can see it.
At the same meeting, some of the concerns we heard at last Wednesday's meeting had to do with parking for businesses on Pico. There was also worry among neighbors about cut-through traffic. There was also some confusion about the plan itself--some members still believed that the traffic would be entirely one-way on both streets.
There was some support for the project as well, but the overall tone? Residents seemed hesitant and wary.
Meanwhile, more about the plan itself. Back to the left hand turns: The following 12 streets will be touted as major north-south routes. If they don’t already have left-hand turn signals, they will:
---Century Park East
---Avenues of the Stars
---Beverly Glen Boulevard
And the comment period closes April 20.
· L.A. sets meetings on Olympic-Pico traffic plan [LA Times]