10 ideas for fixing Los Angeles’ traffic woes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As traffic gets worse in Los Angeles, residents, business leaders and even public officials have plenty to say about what they think are the most effective ways to ease the traffic headaches, improve air quality and clean up the streets.
“People are coming to our city and saying, ‘You’ve got to do something.”‘ said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It’s time. We’re going to fix it.”
So here are 7 ideas — and more that may be coming to town — on how to move Los Angeles forward:
1. Don’t build more of the things that people complain about.
Driving through a city with the most cars is like sitting on a giant roadblock. The city can fix its roads and clear the most traffic, but until it puts a stop to driving by building more things, it’s never going to get its congestion problems solved.
“The biggest thing is not necessarily changing what they do, it’s how to change what the city does,” said City Engineer Joe Linton. “The key to making that happen is focusing on people first — making sure we are focused on being a great place to live and work.”
Linton said part of the problem is the city doesn’t have clear policies and zoning so people can be more creative when building projects.
2. Don’t build more freeways.
The city needs to focus on building pedestrian-friendly streets with more bike and pedestrian boulevards, such as what’s built in West Hollywood and in L.A.’s Central West Side and South Central neighborhoods.
“It seems like it’s going to be easier to have a little bit more of a highway in every neighborhood,” said Linton.
The city should also focus on more efficient street design, such as better street trees — and more green areas.
3. Make the street safer.
The city’s streets offer plenty of problems. Traffic, parking, parking, pedestrians, cyclists — and it all happens too fast, too often and too often without enough road safety.
“We’ve been thinking long and hard about how to make the street safer and make it do what it’s supposed to do,” said Mike Felder, L.A.’s assistant director for transportation and planning.