With traffic passing by as he stood at the corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards in Venice, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl unveiled a comprehensive transportation plan to help relieve such congested Westside areas.
At a press conference in front of the busy intersection late Thursday afternoon, December 7th, Rosendahl outlined a plan for spending more than $11 million on traffic improvement and mass transit studies in the Westside.
The plan includes both short-term and long-term initiatives to relieve Westside traffic, from the installation of left-turn signals and synchronization of traffic signals to efforts to create a north-south rail line along Lincoln Boulevard.
With the transportation plan, Rosendahl said he is delivering on his promise during his campaign for office to take action on traffic issues in his district. In announcing the plan, he was joined by city Department of Transportation general manager Gloria Jeff and principal city planner Betsy Weisman.
“Traffic is a nightmare,” Rosendahl said. “It’s time we get Los Angeles, specifically the Westside, moving again.”
The $11 million for the plan comes from accumulated traffic mitigation funds of commercial developers.
The spending proposals must be approved by the Los Angeles City Council, but the money can be used only for projects within Rosendahl’s 11th Council District.
Rosendahl said drivers in the 11th Council District tend to experience gridlock more “dramatically” than in other areas primarily because the Westside is job rich.
“Gridlock is intolerable,” Rosendahl said. “Everyone in this district is fed up with being in gridlock half of the day.”
Of the $11 million, Rosendahl proposed that $8 million would be used for tangible “short-term fixes.” One such short-term proposal is spending $3 million for left-turn signal improvements at 32 intersections in the 11th District.
The proposed intersections within the Argonaut coverage area are:
Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevards;
Airport and La Tijera Boulevards;
Airport Boulevard and Manchester Avenue;
Airport Boulevard and Arbor Vitae Street;
Centinela Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard;
La Tijera Boulevard and Manchester Avenue;
Sepulveda Boulevard and Westchester Parkway;
La Cienega Boulevard and Arbor Vitae Street;
La Tijera Boulevard and Interstate 405 turnoff; and
Lincoln Boulevard and 83rd Street.
– Mar Vista:
Centinela Avenue and Venice Boulevard;
Sepulveda and Venice Boulevards;
Bundy Drive and Airport Avenue;
Palms Boulevard and McLaughlin Avenue; and
Centinela Avenue and Palms Boulevard.
– Del Rey:
Centinela and Short Avenues; and
Culver Boulevard and Centinela Avenue.
Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue.
Rosendahl said he hopes to have the left-turn signal improvements completed within 18 months to two years.
The other $5 million for short-term projects would be spent on enhancing the synchronization of traffic signals at 165 intersections and changing out controllers at 239 intersections to allow for better control and vision of the signals.
The remaining $3 million would be allocated for long-term projects that are part of the plan for a 21st century-system of mass transit on the Westside, Rosendahl said.
A major focus of the plan is the extension of the Metro Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport, which is expected to take years to accomplish.
Rosendahl has proposed spending $500,000 to fund the work of the Green Line Task Force that will study ways to extend the Green Line to the airport and $750,000 for planning of potential station locations.
Another of Rosendahl’s long-term transportation goals for the Westside is a north-south light rail along Lincoln Boulevard.
The councilman proposes allocating $750,000 for studying and planning the light rail and $250,000 for studying and planning a connection between the Metro Green Line and phase two of the Expo Line.
Other spending proposals include $200,000 for bicycle and pedestrian transit plans in the 11th District and $550,000 for master-plan studies of major boulevards in the Westside, such as Sepulveda, Pico, Santa Monica and Venice.
“It’s time we studied those boulevards,” Rosendahl said.
Rosendahl worked with officials from both the city transportation and planning departments, as well as local commu- nity members in developing the comprehensive transportation plan.
Weisman, a principal city planner, said Rosendahl’s proposal for projects to ease Westside congestion is “an announcement of real planning.”
Jeff of the city Department of Transportation said there is no single solution that will get rid of traffic, but transportation officials are excited at Rosendahl’s plan as a way to help alleviate gridlock.
“The use of coastal transportation funds will go a long way toward reducing congestion at crowded intersections and will initiate long-range planning for needed mass transit,” Jeff said.
Jeff said the short-term proposals that should be particularly effective are the left-turn signal improvements and the synchronization of traffic signals that will “progress large volumes of traffic through” the intersections.