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L.A. sets meetings on Olympic-Pico traffic plan

March 31, 2009|Cara Mia DiMassa

Plans to ease traffic along Olympic and Pico boulevards will get a public airing in a few weeks as the city begins an environmental review process for the changes it wants to make to Westside traffic conditions.

If the city of Los Angeles gets its way, parking during peak traffic periods would be restricted on Olympic and Pico, and signals would be timed in a way that would favor westbound traffic on Olympic and eastbound on Pico.

Ken Husting, a senior transportation engineer for the city, said the environmental impact report became necessary after a group of Angelenos challenged the city's plans for Olympic and Pico.

Critics argue the one-way plan won't ease traffic and could hurt businesses on the streets.

"The initial study found that there could be impacts as far as air and traffic," Husting said. "We decided that if we are going to go through the environmental documentation, it's prudent to do the most comprehensive job."

Husting said current parking restrictions are "a hodgepodge" of times and locations. He said that the city has dropped plans to change the number of westbound and eastbound lanes on both of the major thoroughfares.

In preparation for the impact report, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is holding a series of public meetings on the Westside.

* 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd.

* 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd.

* 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 7 at Stoner Recreation Center, 1835 Stoner Ave.

At the meetings, officials plan to present an overview of the project, in anticipation of a draft report that would be issued later in the year. Husting said they expected the entire impact report process to take a little less than a year -- which means that commuters will have to sit in traffic a little bit longer.

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cara.dimassa@latimes.com

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