Only government could be so brain dead.
When you have too much traffic for the road capacity, why, make fewer lanes! That’s the ticket!!
Ran into this on RT reporting about Los Angeles where some city (Playa del Rey?) had a recall of their representative and a reversal of the policy after 2 of the only 3 roads connecting them to the rest of the L.A. Basin were reduced from 2 lanes each way to 1 each way to “fix” traffic congestion…
The Stupid, it burns…
The thesis is that if you live in an expensive sea-side town and work in downtown L.A., you will abandon your luxury car and instead ride a bicycle to work… Clearly thought of by folks who have never tried to ride a bike in L.A. Traffic nor had a 30 mile commute. Oh, and as the spouse has hip problems, just where is the bike that does not require hips to work well?
So after local businesses all reported significant drops in foot (and $Dollar) traffic, and after ambulances and fire trucks were stuck (lights flashing) in traffic since there was no longer anywhere for the cars to pull over and let them pass (the bike lanes being “protected” by barriers), the idiots in charge (facing a recall election) decided to shout “Never Mind!!” and reverse their decision.
I’ve seen something similar starting in San Jose. Massive amounts of Green Paint showing up on streets as “bike lanes” are added all over. Sometimes removing parking. Sometimes removing traffic lanes. Almost universally devoid of bicycles. I suspect the Green Paint Lobby was involved as they paint solid blocks of green the width of the lane for many car lengths at various points in the bike lane.
Bold bits done by me. Some emotional sop bits elided.
Every person injured, used as as reason to do what is politically correct and virtue signal. (Strange how every death at the hands of a street thug does not get used to justify personal carry of firearms…)
LA’s focus on reducing traffic deaths running into ‘road diet’ congestion concerns
Meghan McCarty Carino | October 1, 2015
A recent hit-and-run crash that killed a 51-year-old woman is heightening concerns over traffic deaths in Highland Park and focusing attention on the city’s plan for safety improvements in the area.
But officials’ strategy to eliminate fatalities by slowing traffic is dividing the community and delaying efforts to address the neighborhood’s long-standing problems with pedestrian and bicyclist accidents.
A new initiative looks poised to address her call. In August, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive to eliminate traffic deaths in the city over 10 years as part of an international initiative called Vision Zero. It’s also part of the city’s long-range transportation plan, Mobility Plan 2035, passed by City Council last month.
The idea of planning for zero traffic fatalities started in Sweden in 1997 and has expanded throughout Europe to several major American cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
“Getting around town safely should be an expectation that we all have,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of the L.A. Department of Transportation who is spearheading the Vision Zero effort.
More than 200 people die every year in road collisions in L.A., making its traffic fatality rate one of the highest among major cities in the United States and the world.
The Vision Zero philosophy conceives of road traffic much like air travel, so safety becomes the top priority. Officials work off the assumption that humans will make mistakes, but that with proper checks and balances in place, the results don’t have to be fatal.
This differs from traditional transportation planning models that give priority to traffic flow on streets and emphasize personal responsibility when it comes to road safety.
L.A.’s approach to Vision Zero will include public education, changes to traffic enforcement focusing first on infractions like speeding or failing to yield to pedestrians, and redesigning roads specifically to keep bikes and pedestrians safe.
As long as “zero” is your goal, and humans are less than perfect, you can justify anything.
The plan sounds fairly uncontroversial until you delve into one of the main strategies for achieving all this: slowing car traffic down, often with a so-called road diet, which narrows lanes of traffic or replaces some car lanes with bike lanes.
So when you have deaths due to mixing an unprotected slow and hard to see bicycle with big, fast, cars that are a ton of moving steel, the answer is to mix MORE of them together with MORE bike lanes and MORE bikes?
IMHO, the “correct” answer is to remove the mixing. Provide dedicated bike roads in those areas with high bicycle traffic. Over time, more hard core bike riders will move there and the problem will decrease even in areas without bike lanes. Just like we don’t let bikes drive on freeways as it’s a very stupid thing to to, they ought to also be forbidden from major thruways and multilane urban streets.
Battle over bike lanes
On North Figueroa, controversy over a plan to install bike lanes has been raging for years, foreshadowing some of the likely challenges to implementing Vision Zero across the city.
In 2014, North Figueroa looked ready to get a bike lane: an environmental impact report had been completed, it was considered a high priority project under the 2010 bike plan and it was funded under Measure R. But incoming City Councilman Gil Cedillo put it on hold after hearing concerns from some in the community about how the bike lane would affect traffic.
“To me, it is impossible to have bicycle lane on Figueroa,” said Jesse Rosas, a longtime Highland Park resident who has a notary business on North Figueroa and doesn’t want to see car traffic held up there.
He collected about 250 signatures from businesses up and down the street to block the bike lane. His concern is that slower traffic would increase congestion and hurt his business. He said fundamentally he believes cars are an inescapable way of life in Los Angeles.
“They think this is Europe,” he said. “It’s not. Europe is different.”
Rosas isn’t alone. Last month, a Westside community group sued the city over the Mobility Plan, which proposes expanding bike lanes throughout L.A. over the next 20 years.
Our Government thinks it a dandy idea:
A roadway reconfiguration known as a Road Diet offers several high-value improvements at a low cost when applied to traditional four-lane undivided highways. In addition to low cost, the primary benefits of a Road Diet include enhanced safety, mobility and access for all road users and a “complete streets” environment to accommodate a variety of transportation modes.
A classic Road Diet typically involves converting an existing four-lane, undivided roadway segment to a three-lane segment consisting of two through lanes and a center, two-way left-turn lane.
The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.
Adding a center turn lane like that article shows might well work better on a semi-rural 4 lane highway with modest traffic loads. It’s fairly brain dead when used in an urban environment on city streets already running a bit over capacity. I can see the turn lane IFF there’s a lot of turning traffic and turn related clogs / accidents. The rest of it smells of “social engineering” and we all know “social engineering” is an oxymoron that means “stupid attempt to control others doomed to fail”.
IMHO, it’s just another Green Fad being pushed for feel good / does bad virtue signaling ( with a potential side of graft and kickbacks from the folks providing materials, studies, labor, etc. etc. to push the farce.)
Seems a lot of the citizens who have to deal with the consequences of this “vision” also think it daft.
L.A. reworks another ‘road diet,’ restoring car lanes in Playa del Rey
By David Zahniser
Oct 03, 2017 | 5:15 PM
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, appearing at a January news conference, announced the restoration Monday of more vehicle lanes in his Westside district. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Faced with an ongoing furor over traffic congestion and so-called “road diets,” Los Angeles officials announced they will restore car lanes removed from two Playa del Rey boulevards earlier this year.
Traffic crews will add back a single westbound vehicle lane to Jefferson and Culver boulevards, the latest reversal in a coastal district represented by Councilman Mike Bonin.
Opponents of the lane reductions, who are planning a recall of the councilman over the issue, contend the changes happened only because Bonin is facing heat from his constituents.
“Bonin’s latest flip-flop has less to do with a ‘community task force’ and more to do with the fact that our efforts to recall him from office are moving forward and gaining broad support,” said Alexis Edelstein, chairman of Recall Bonin.
Bonin set up the 20-member task force in July after fielding angry complaints over additional traffic that resulted from a series of road diets, or reductions in car lanes.
Make my life worse, clog things up more, and have both less business and more time “butts in seats” in cars trying to get to work, school, or shopping? Hell Yes I’m going to sign up to recall your ass.
BTW, I’ll believe these folks are truly in love with bike commuting when the Mayor, City Council, and all city managers ride bikes to all days at work and all meetings, and show up in their sweat soaked suits for public affairs and fund raising dinners.
FWIW: At one point in my life I commuted by bike. For many years. While I was at U.C. Davis. The campus bans cars from the center (other than delivery vehicles, police, and “special” people…) so daily about 18,000 folks take to their bikes to get to, and traverse, the 3000 acre campus. So I’m not disparaging bikes out of ignorance. No, I’ve ridden to the Chem Final in the rain, arriving cold and wet. I’ve ridden to summer session French arriving sweaty wet and overheated. I’ve taken 4 showers a day. I’ve patched up skinned knees and elbows. (The traffic jam at the main campus traffic circle is horrendous with a half dozen deep bikes circling and jockeying for position at class changes. Accidents are frequent, nearly constant).
So yeah, been there, done that, have the scars and bad memories. Sure, some times it’s nice. Evening classes on a spring day. Early class in early Fall. At least 4 months of the year here in California… I even road to class in the snow the few times it snowed. (Talk about accidents… most folks have no clue how to ride a bike in an inch of snow).
The tussle over traffic and road restriping blew open in May, when Bonin, working with the city’s Department of Transportation, implemented a new initiative aimed at slowing vehicle speeds, improving traffic safety and offering greater transportation options in Playa del Rey. The effort was billed as a pilot program whose elements would change if problems arose.
As part of the pilot, city officials reduced car lanes and added “protected” bike lanes, which feature plastic dividers or other physical barriers to separate bikes from cars. Bicycle lanes were added to a stretch of Pershing Drive, taking the street from two vehicle lanes in each direction to one.
Traffic crews also restriped sections of Jefferson and Culver, installing protected bike lanes and reducing both streets from two vehicle lanes in each direction to one.
So in a place where THE major iconic issue is the 24 x 7 jams and traffic way too slow for effective movement, your answer is to make it slower?
Oh what fresh hell of stupid is this… to work better at moving traffic you make it go even slower when it’s already too little volume / hour moved?
To get fewer jams and more efficient movement (and thus fewer accidents and injuries), first off, stop cramming more housing into areas where the roads can’t support it. “Densifying” housing ala Agenda 21 is NOT helping. Then set up some roads for fast traffic (minimize turn opportunities, remove parking and bike lanes, remove stops, add traffic lanes). By getting the cars to their destinations FASTER you get less congestion on the same road surface and fewer problems.
At roughly the same time, city officials reduced one traffic lane from each direction of a 2.1-mile stretch of Vista del Mar, a major roadway along the beach that connects the South Bay with the Westside. Traffic crews relocated public parking on that street to keep beachgoers from jaywalking into dangerous traffic — an issue that the city’s lawyers view as a costly liability.
The array of changes drew an outcry from drivers in L.A. and adjacent cities, such as El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. Foes of the changes began demanding their old lanes back, with Edelstein and others saying commute times through the area had doubled or even tripled. While some began pursuing a recall, city officials started to redesign its streets.
In July, city officials added back an eastbound car lane to Culver. Weeks later, Bonin announced that two vehicle lanes would also be restored on Vista del Mar, acknowledging in a YouTube video that the changes were “outright hated.”
The latest change will require the removal of the two bike lanes on Culver and Jefferson, which will be replaced by a single protected shoulder that can be used in both directions by bicycles and pedestrians, said David Graham-Caso, a spokesman for Bonin.
Edelstein, for his part, said he and his allies will press ahead with a recall, despite the most recent changes. A former marketing executive with Red Bull, Edelstein said his organization has already collected $70,000 for the recall effort.
OK, so we know a “recall” works as a “reframing the issue” ;-)
We also know that once you have “Virtue Signaled You Are Stupid”, folks now know it and don’t forget just because you said “Oh, sorry. We’ll back out some of it and hope you ignore the rest”.
I just hope the fad of Road Diets dies a quick death before everyone is inconvenienced.