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Is L.A. Ready to Rethink Mobility?

<p>Plans to convert major arteries to one-way streets in L.A. are meeting tough criticism. Many say the city needs to rethink what mobility should mean, but others say L.A. isn't ready for such a paradigm shift.</p>
February 28, 2008, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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"As is the case with most traffic plans, this one has caused a huge stink. Businesses and residents have complained that it would affect the livability of their neighborhood. Some have threatened to file suit to stop it."

"Even if you don't participate in the steel-cage match that is Westside traffic, the dispute revisits a provocative question: What is the role of our streets? Do they exist to move a lot of traffic? Or should they be the spine of refurbished, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods? Can they do both?"

"In some ways, it's commendable for public officials to act now. Few do. Villaraigosa appeared on Charlie Rose last week and the first question lobbed at him involved traffic, and it's clear the mayor gets that there's a problem."

"In this case, however, what the city is doing also happens to rub against the grain of modern urban planning."

"'One way you can move toward less congestion is if you provide people better accessibility and walkability and more pleasant streets,' said Gail Goldberg, the city's chief planner, who is not wild about the Olympic-Pico plan. 'But as a city we're not ready for that conversation yet.'"

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Published on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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