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Transportation Plan for Westwood Project

February 20, 1992

The Environmental Impact Report for the Nansay hotel/mixed-use project in Westwood demonstrates a continuing propensity by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to attempt to solve transportation problems by techniques that worsen traffic and air quality. Traffic mitigation measures are dominated by such auto-friendly techniques as street widening, added turn lanes, narrowed sidewalks and traffic signal improvements. The long-term effect of these strategies is to draw more traffic, reduce transit use and deteriorate the pedestrian environment.

While some street improvements may be necessary to accommodate this project in already congested Westwood, they should not be the emphasis. It makes more sense to mitigate traffic with measures that will reduce the number of people driving alone. Operational expenses for local ride-sharing programs, bus service improvements, well-lighted bus shelters with maps and schedules, bus-only and car-pool lanes on major arterial streets, bikeways and pedestrian amenities will encourage people to travel by means other than driving alone.

The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Southern California Assn. of Governments all have plans to reduce the number of people driving alone by encouraging people to use public transit, ride-sharing, bicycling and walking. Prudent long-term planning must move in this direction to address air quality and congestion issues.

RYAN SNYDER

Los Angeles

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