Your guide to Los Angeles' citizen ballot Measure HLA: Mobility plan

The document — called Mobility Plan 2035 — touches almost every corner of the sprawling city. One of its chief goals is to eliminate traffic deaths and ensure that 90% of Angelenos live within half a mile of a protected bicycle lane, path or streets that are otherwise “neighborhood enhanced” to be calm and safe, and within a mile of a public transit network.

Among the many projects the plan identifies are protected bike lanes that would run on Sunset and Venice boulevards, and a bus lane connecting Whittier Boulevard in Boyle Heights to 6th Street downtown, then to Wilshire Boulevard west of the 110 freeway.

The plan also identifies about 80 miles of roads where efficient vehicle travel would be the priority.

When it was adopted, the mobility plan represented a departure from previous street planning, by focusing on ways to slow down cars in certain parts of the city and make safer the increasingly deadly Los Angeles streets — where a pedestrian was killed nearly every other day last year.

If the ballot measure passes, residents could sue over instances when Los Angeles fails to implement the plan. And to make sure city officials are doing the task, the measure calls for a public portal where residents can check up on its progress.

Architects of the measure intended it as a way to make streets safer, more accessible to bikes and pedestrians and more transit-friendly. Foes say the changes will clog up traffic and make it harder for emergency vehicles to pass.

Either way, it will cost. An analysis by City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo found the bicycle and pedestrian portions of the plan would cost $2.5 billion over the next decade, while potentially delaying annual repaving. Those delays could further increase costs by $73 million to $139 million a year. He also warns that the measure could expose the city to lawsuits.

Street design in Los Angeles, such as adding bike paths, is often prioritized based on funding and political will. This would prioritize the plan, according to the city’s chief legislative analyst, Sharon M. Tso. She notes that the measure doesn’t deal with any environmental or public review process. And critics complain that it does not take into account community needs, relying instead on the mobility plan to determine which projects are done and when.

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