Complete Streets: GLATWG Mayoral Ask

17 June 2009

This morning, Green L.A. Coalition had a meeting with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  Here’s the mayoral ask from the Transportation Work Group:

The City of Los Angeles has prioritized car traffic over other modes. This over-dependence on automobiles has resulted in many problems locally — from congestion, to smog, to obesity, to a rash of recent collisions resulting in pedestrian fatalities — and globally — from resource wars, to global warming. Continuing our imbalanced reliance on cars hurts Los Angeles economically, environmentally, and erodes our quality of life.

While there are some notable smaller-scale initiatives, mostly from the City Planning Department, the culture of LADOT continues to approach streets as if the only users are cars. There is a new paradigm emerging nationally for “Complete Streets” — streets that are shared by pedestrians, cyclists, transit, and cars.

Green L.A. Ask:

We urge the Mayor to move Los Angeles into the era of Complete Streets. There are four arenas where Mayoral action is necessary to make this vision a reality:

1. Adopt a Complete Streets policy, including reworking existing street standards.

2. Ensure that future city budgets reflect the city’s commitment to accommodating pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders, by dedicating more funds specifically for such modes. This includes dedicating local return funds from Measure R for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit services.

3. Use the Mayor’s leadership at Metro to emphasize Complete Streets regionally, including incorporating a Complete Streets policy in Metro’s Call for Projects, where pedestrian and bicycle projects need to be given more funding.

4. Direct deputy mayors for environment, transportation, and economic development to work together and meet with us on a regular basis to make Los Angeles streets livable, vibrant, environmentally-friendly and efficient for all.

The mayor responded affirmatively, though not necessarily committing to specifics.  He cited his leadership on Measure R,  pledged to keep Metro fares low, and stated his interest in a “more serious bicycle program.”  The mayor concluded with a call to the assembled environmental and environmental justice communities to “stand up more” so that our agenda can move forward and not get bogged down by the “retrenched group of folks who weigh in against everything we do.”

Environmental Deputy Mayor David Freeman followed.  Freeman was generally very good – refreshingly straightforward and emphasizing “actions that end up in results.”  He placed a lot of importance on climate change which he considers the most important issue facing us today.  He was generally supportive of bikes, but his interest, though, was more in getting cleaner/renewable energy and ultimately getting L.A.’s fleet of cars to be powered by renewable energy.

(For more information on GLATWG Complete Streets campaign, see older posts here, here, and here.)

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One Response to “Complete Streets: GLATWG Mayoral Ask”

  1. Ron said

    Nice work Dorothy and Joe with making the various asks to the mayor. Thanks for all of your work!

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