(Editor’s note: there are a few items on the upcoming election that have not been highlighted, but deserve voters’ scrutiny. One is The City Mobility Plan Street Improvement Measure: Initiative HLA. This editor is all for improving mobility in the city, but the plan developed in 2015, might not be the best way to achieve that goal. Using all of the City’s General Fund would take away from other much-needed programs.)
The ballot states that Measure HLA doesn’t increase taxes or fees in any way, and adds that the City already budgets for routine street maintenance. But, the expected cost from the City to complete this 20-year Mobility plan is estimated at $2.5 to $3 billion over the next decade. This would dictate that L.A. City General funds be spent on bicycle lanes and road diets.
The Plan would require the city to add upgrades to the street sections identified in its Mobility Plan 2035 when it repaves or modifies 1/8 of a mile or more of those roadways (certain work like fixing potholes or emergency repairs are exempt), such as adding bike lanes or pedestrian pathways.
The Mobility Plan 2035 was initially championed by Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar in 2015.
When Councilmembers voted on it, Councilman Paul Koretz voted against the plan, saying some of the routes earmarked for bike lanes just won’t work on Westwood Boulevard in his district.
“There are 900 buses that pass in that little stretch. Every day, there are 25,000 plus cars. It’s a little too much activity for bike lanes,” Koretz said.
Then, KABC reported that “The Los Angeles City Council approved a 20-year mobility plan Tuesday aimed at encouraging Angelenos to walk, bike or use public transportation when getting around the city.
This plan implements roadway enhancements to improve travel for non-auto modes—whether walking, bicycling, or public transit, such as the bicycle lane on Venice Boulevard.
According to a progress report (Los Angeles General Plan Mobility Element Programs Progress Report 2016-2022) three-quarters of the Mobility Plan’s Action Programs are being implemented on an ongoing basis or are completed.
That 2023 report noted that The Action Programs that are paused, in progress, or have not started, as well as those that are ongoing, represent opportunities for the Council and Mayor to consider for future funding and staffing when they align with current best practices and City priorities.
Councilmember Traci Park told CTN that if this measure passes, it would take money from general funds, leaving Councilmembers little or no option about how to spend funds: it would all have to go towards the mobility plan.
“I receive thousands of emails from people about dealing with the homeless, I’ve received very few from people wanting dedicated bus and bike lanes,” Park said.