The Los Angeles City Council has changed the Southern California lifestyle and experience by changing streets to create more bike lanes. It has been argued that this would make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, increase bus lanes and attempt to get us out of our cars. The key question is: Do we want to do this?
As Will Rogers once said about buying real estate, “there is only so much there.” This is the same a rationale. Our existing streets cannot (for the most part) be modified to carry more vehicular traffic. They can be modified to carry less by the use of these lanes. However, do motorists want to have increased traffic in decreased lanes?
The City has a “legacy of shame” by not acting more aggressively to decrease traffic fatalities involving children and senior citizens. Once again, do we want to give up our cars? Do we want to worry about this when the city goal to accomplish this is over a 20 year period? The goal of “Mobility Plan 2035” is to decrease speed of traffic. Supporters cite that only 5% of pedestrians/cyclists in accidents with cars going 20 miles per hour die, while 80% of people involved in the same accidents with cars going 40 miles per hour die. Do we have the problem raised in urban planning of NIMBY (not in my back yard)? Do we want to slow ourselves down or lose parking spaces? The City council voted 12-2 to proceed with this plan. Is this a good use of city resources?
Experts say that reducing all types of crashes is possible if the city is willing to radically change streets by adding medians, widening sidewalks and putting in dedicated bus and bike lanes. The question is do motorists want this? Do businesses want this? Government claims that by enacting this measure and forcing people to use alternate means (bike, public transportation) the number miles driven will decrease. Once again, do motorists want this?
What say you?”