County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas tweets news of an online vote for an option "to improve the livability, accessibility and walkability" on a stretch of Slauson Avenue near Overhill Drive. The street alignment is part of a larger effort currently in the works to transform the Slauson Corridor into a "town center." As an earlier post on Ridley-Thomas's website explains, "residents surrounding Slauson Ave. (from La Brea to Angeles Vista) have passionately argued that Slauson Avenue should be upgraded to reflect the purchasing power and stature of the surrounding communities." Apparently the Community Development Commission agrees, finding that (pdf) "Forty-five percent (45%) of the properties in the Survey Area, consisting of thirty-six percent (36%) of the land area, exhibit characteristics of slum or blight based on physical deterioration." (According to federal terms, 25 percent is the threshold to be eligible for Community Development Block Grant funds.)
As for the vote, the website lists five candidate streetscapes, each with its own cocktail of wider sidewalks, bike lanes, median landscaping, lighting, and traffic lane reduction. In what has to be a considered a deterrent, Options A and D, which both remove one lane of traffic in each direction, offer this caveat: "Elimination of two travel lanes in each direction triggers the need for an Environmental Impact Report(EIR) with no feasible mitigation, construction could start in 30-36 months."
As to whether the Slauson Corridor will expand the ever-creeping expanse of bicycle infrastructure in the region--of the five total options, only two offer a "Class III bicycle route as proposed on the County Bicycle Master Plan." One offers a Class II lane (a regular bike lane) and two options offer no bike lane at all. Also, the words "traffic calming" are never mentioned, but the site does make several mentions of the benefits that pedestrian improvements could pass onto businesses along the corridor.
· Vote on Your Preferred Streetscape for Slauson Avenue [Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas]
· Revitalization of the Slauson Corridor [Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas]