Councilmember Park Joins Firefighters in Opposing HLA

The 2035 Mobility Plan would reconfigure certain roads in Los Angeles when they are repaved.

Councilmember Traci Park joins L.A. City Firefighters in urging residents to vote “No” on Measure HLA.

Measure HLA would require City Street Services, also known as StreetsLA, to install modifications that serve bicycle riders and pedestrians whenever improvements are made to more than 660 feet of roadway–an average city block.

The document is based on a 2015 mobility plan that was advocated by then Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar (now incarcerated) click here.

The plan emphasizes non-vehicular alternative modes of transportation. Objectives include ensuring that 90 percent of households have access within one mile to the Transit Enhanced Network and that 90 percent of all households have access within one-half mile to high quality bicycling* facilities by 2035. (*Protected bicycle lanes, paths and neighborhood enhanced streets.)

CTN admits that if a single person lives and works near a metro station, that kind of travel is possible. This editor lived and worked in Manhattan in New York City and public transportation went within a few blocks of one’s destination.

But, if one has a family, and needs to drive kids to school and buys more than a bike basket of groceries, the plan is not feasible. Additionally, L.A.’s transit does not accommodate people who live off major streets (Palisades Highlands of Sunset Boulevard, for example).

Measure HLA could cost $2.5 to $3 billion in new spending over the next decade, according to an independent analysis by City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo. The CAO report also determined Measure HLA would cost $600 million more than initial estimates made in November 2023.

A major proponent for this measure, Streets for All, disputes that cost, but the Westside Current reported that “When the City installed a 0.8 mile ‘road diet’ on Venice Boulevard in 2017, it cost just under $2 million. Each year Streets Services repairs or rehabilitates an average oof 200 miles of roads. If the average cost of 0.8 miles of Complete Streets is even $1 million, Measure HLA would cost in excess of $2 billion over the next decade.”

“This $3 billion is going to have to come from other things,” Park said in an interview and noted that the City already faces a projected $500 million budget shortfall. “We will have to make cuts to pay for this. Look at our infrastructure.

“Our sidewalks are a mess, our parks are falling apart, we can’t trim our trees, there’s garbage and sewage flowing into the ocean, we don’t even have crossing guards at our schools,” Park said. “Our police and fire stations are falling apart. We’re not even keeping them safe and livable for the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. We can’t even take care of the things we have or finish the projects we already started.”

Measure HLA does not repair sidewalks.

The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club is supporting Measure HLA and CTN reached out to club President Steve Cron on February 20 and asked why, given there were no actual safety statistics to support the justifications for road diets. CTN was told it was a decision made by the Political POD of PPDC. If CTN receives more information, the story will be updated.

In an interview, Rich Ramirez, director for United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, who is a 18-year firefighter/paramedic, said the difficulties created by “road diets” complicate emergency drivers’ ability to navigate streets efficiently, especially in downtown areas like 7th Street. In a typical “road diet,” a four- or six-lane roadway is reduced to two or four lanes, with bicycle lanes, bollards, curb extensions, center medians, and other obstacles intended to enhance safety.

About HLA Park said, “I was furious that no one had ever even checked with our fire chief. There are places where bike and transit lanes make sense, but along our commercial corridors, which also serve as evacuation routes, we cannot create obstacles that lead to gridlock, that impede the access of our emergency vehicles coming through here.

“I have seen with my own eyes here on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, our fire engines trapped,” Park said. “They can’t move, and there is nowhere for the cars to move out of their way because of the road diet infrastructure. Imagine Lincoln Boulevard, which is already a traffic-congested nightmare on a good day but imagine it with a road diet and people trying to get out of Venice during a flood or a tsunami disaster.”

On February 17, the City Council asked its staff to perform further analysis on how the measure would impact the municipal budget and existing programs. The six councilmembers who support HLA are Nithya Raman, Katy Yaroslavsky, Eunisses Hernandez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Heather Hutt and Hugo Soto-Martinez.

Park said that HLA is a $3 billion boondoggle that will slow down first responders in any emergency and deliver road diets to nowhere just in time for the Olympics.

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2 Responses to Councilmember Park Joins Firefighters in Opposing HLA

  1. ROSANNE MANGIO says:

    SOMEONE IS PAYING SOMEONE OFF……THESE POLITICIANS NEED TO BE FIRED
    THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE PEOPLE LIVING IN ANY COMMUNITY IN LOS ANGELES…….PARK IS RIGHT……ABOUT ALL OF IT……

  2. Jeff says:

    Tracy Park is the only politician that will stand up to these clueless bike activist muppets. Go drive (slowly) around Seattle if you want to see the endgame for this – or cycle – you will be the only one except for three old white guys in lycra enjoying their millions of dollar bike lane through gridlock. The world can burn as long as little stevie can wide his bicycle. It doesnt save the environment either. Nor do electric cars. Read a book.

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