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Los Angeles County, CA May 17, 2005 Election
Smart Voter

TRAFFIC: We Have Had Enough

By Bill Rosendahl

Candidate for Council Member; City of Los Angeles; District 11

This information is provided by the candidate
Bill's detailed platform on transportation issues
We have had enough.

We have had enough with sitting for hours at a time on gridlocked streets and freeways. We have had enough with long commutes keeping us away from family and friends. We have had enough with the choking taste of air pollution.

We have had enough with traffic.

The traffic nightmare you and I endure each and every day is one of the greatest public policy failures of the last half century. The problem keeps getting worse. We must fix this problem. We cannot continue to live like this. Our future and the vitality of our region are at stake.

When I am your councilmember, confronting and solving our transportation problems will be my top priority. Some solutions will be quick and easy, and will have a small but noticeable impact right in our neighborhoods. Other solutions will be big and tough, requiring major and lasting changes in how we think about transportation and land-use planning and ultimately, how government thinks and functions.

Working together, we can do it. Working together, we can get Los Angeles moving again.

Here are some of my proposals. I welcome yours.

Simple Solutions for More Livable Neighborhoods

A little common sense can go a long way. Some transportation solutions would be relatively easy to implement:

  • Add more left-turn lanes with adjusted traffic lights, allowing more cars to turn left at our more congested intersections.
  • Improve and enhance signal timing/synchronization, allowing traffic to flow more smoothly.
  • Implement latest-generation traffic-calming measures to smooth traffic flow to safe and consistent speeds.
  • Ban construction during rush hour.
  • Promote public van and small bus lines (such as DASH buses) to bring residents (in particular, students, the elderly and the handicapped) to neighborhood shops and restaurants.
  • Create or improve bus systems to rival and coordinate with the successful Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City buses and Metro Rapid Buses to make bus transit more attractive to riders of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Add more clean fuel and fuel-efficient buses with dedicated bus lanes.
  • Make cycling and walking viable, inviting transportation options by integrating better bicycle and pedestrian facilities into all road and transportation projects. For instance, better bicycle accommodation could be incorporated into routine road resurfacing and re-striping work at low cost.
  • Implement modern roundabouts at select locations, providing constant flow through intersections rather than stop and go traffic.
  • Encourage and reward commuters who use public transit, biking and walking.
  • Encourage and reward telecommuting to reduce commuter traffic.
  • Incorporate meaningful, substantive public participation early in transportation project planning so we create better projects, attuned to community needs, thereby minimizing costly opposition. Examples include: the Sepulveda Boulevard Design workshops in Westchester; the Envision Venice workshops; and the Mar Vista Community Council's "neighborhood envisioning" process.

Bigger Solutions: Ending the Chokehold Across the Westside

Many of the bigger solutions to our traffic problems have been stuck in a political gridlock so bad it makes rush hour on the 405 look like an expressway. We need a tough taskmaster to fully develop and push to completion a 21st Century transportation system. Key to that are the following projects:

  • A full Exposition Blvd. light rail line to the beach by 2012.
  • Extension of the Green Line into LAX by 2010.
  • Development of a plan for a LAX/Union Station rail connection along the publicly-owned and unused Harbor Subdivision Rail Right-of-Way by 2010.
  • Completion of all 405/101 freeway intersection upgrades by 2010.
  • Completion of the 405 HOV Lane project connecting the Valley to LAX by 2010.
  • Development of a plan for a Lincoln Boulevard rail line, linking the Green Line to the Exposition Line to establish a north-south light rail line from LAX to Santa Monica with stops in Westchester, the Marina, and Venice by 2010.

Addressing the Real Problem: Solutions Throughout the Region

Most politicians avoid talking about this because they think it is too complex. But the biggest cause of traffic is poorly-planned development. We can't keep approving developments that force people to use a car for nearly every trip. We'll never build enough roads to reduce congestion if we keep doing this. The reason people drive so much is because they can't find what they need closer to home. If we can provide access to our daily needs without so many car trips, we will not only reduce congestion and parking demand, but we will also make our city more livable and allow people to get around by walking or cycling, which are healthful physical activities. We need to:

  • Build clean, efficient, convenient mass transit along major transit corridors.
  • Encourage and facilitate mixed-use development (housing built on top of commercial property) along those corridors.
  • Build housing along major transit corridors so our growing population can live and work nearby, reducing the need to commute long distances.
  • Restore walkability to our communities through better pedestrian planning and land use policies that encourage and reward pedestrian-oriented development.
  • Insist on genuine and complete mitigations for all traffic caused by new development, and set up transit improvement accounts so developers contribute to future transit projects.
  • Refuse to approve major developments until proper infrastructure is in place.
  • Modernize and upgrade regional airports in Ontario, Palmdale and Orange County to alleviate the burden at LAX and reduce car trips from all over Southern California to the Westside and the 405 Freeway.
  • Facilitate the development of an intercity high speed rail system that can reduce the need for local air travel and interstate freeway trips.

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