Councilmember Cedillo outlines pedestrian safety plan but wants to ban road diets

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Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, whose district includes Westlake, Pico Union, Cypress Park, and Highland Park, put forward a motion Wednesday that asks for a host of new and overdue safety improvements for pedestrians throughout his district.

Cedillo’s motion acknowledges that the Vision Zero Action Plan—the transportation department’s plan to end traffic deaths—identifies Westlake and Pico Union as the neighborhoods with the second and third highest pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in the city. (Cedillo’s motion actually refers to Vision Zero as “Zero Vision.”)

He uses those dire safety stats as part of the reasoning in asking for pedestrian upgrades (which we have detailed below).

Oddly, though, the upgrades he has outlined disregard bike riders.

And, in what would be a major blow to Vision Zero, Cedillo is asking to halt all road diets, traffic lane removals, and lane reconfigurations in his district until he himself approves them.

to crosswalks, SRTS, and curb extensions. But we need clear community engagement around road safety reconfig – not 1 CM’s final word

— LACntyBikeCoalition (@lacbc) July 27, 2017

Road diets are designed to slow cars down, which can save lives of people on foot and on bikes. They also typically give space to cyclists by reducing vehicle lanes and adding bike lanes.

Vision Zero proposed bringing a road diet to Cedillo’s district—on North Figueroa.

Today, CM Cedillo took a decidedly anti-#VisionZeroLA position, calling for a ban on projects that address speeding

— Bike The Vote L.A. (@bikethevote) July 26, 2017

The pedestrian upgrades are numerous:

  • Installing scramble crosswalks at three Alvarado intersections: Sixth Street, Wilshire Boulevard, and Seventh Street
  • Implementing the delayed Safe Routes to School program for Esperanza Elementary School, Liechty Middle School, and Union Avenue Elementary School
  • Installing full traffic signals at Berendo and Pico Boulevard, Temple and Patton, and Avenue 26 and Humboldt
  • Installing rapid rectangular flashing beacons on Eagle Rock Boulevard at the Avenue 35 and Avenue 41 intersections
  • Adding painted curb extensions and high-visibility crosswalks to North Figueroa at every intersection between Avenues 44 and 60; giving pedestrians more time to cross and the ability to cross first at all signalized intersections along that stretch, and the addition of a flashing beacon at the Avenue 60 intersection

Cedillo also asked the city’s transportation department to present on additional recommendations for pedestrian safety improvements on North Figueroa at Piedmont, Marmion Way/Pasadena Avenue, and Cypress Avenue.

Cedillo’s chief of staff told Curbed via email in June that the councilmember’s motion was not going to ban road diets, but this seems to be a de facto ban. Cedillo has held strong against removing lanes of traffic in his district, namely on North Figueroa, for years.

Read the full text of Cedillo’s motion here.

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