KORETZ: Thank you Mr. President. And I’m not unenthusiastic about this plan, although I don’t think it’s cooked and I think it has holes in several districts. As I told the joint committee meeting, I’m not unenthusiastic about cycling, I’m an occasional cyclist, but I’m an enthusiastic cyclist. I’m sure as an example I’m the only person that has done the California AIDS ride from San Francisco to LA on this council. I’ve ridden all over the city. I helped Bill Rosendahl in his efforts to start funding bike paths appropriately.
But I’m also a realist, and that’s why I strongly agree with the majority of residents and community groups in my district, that this stretch of Westwood, basically from Wilshire to UCLA, is not appropriate. It is a danger. We will lose crucially needed parking and turn lanes. I believe traffic will be obstructed and safety will be risked, particularly because of the large number of buses that go through that short narrow stretch, over 900 buses a day, over 25,000 cars a day.
I believe we need a north-south route, to UCLA, but I don’t think we should pick the most dangerous possible choice. And so, I believe that we should remove the section. I believe we should ask the commission and the committee to study alternatives at a future date, but I’d like to see it removed. I feel this process has completely ignored the residents of my district and their concerns, and it’s pretty unusual for the council to ignore a council member and their district concerns. So I’d ask that you not do that. it’s more difficult to amend this once it’s passed because it becomes part of the general plan, has to go back to the commission, there are a lot of extra steps.
And, while I have two amendments to propose, there is one that I know would not be precluded from being passed today, wouldn’t have to go back, and the significant portion of it says, “The street segments indicated on the networks represent potential opportunities to connect major destinations, but they are not intended to represent the full range of street options that may be considered during the implementation phase.
For example, while Westwood Boulevard is identified on the bicycle enhanced network as a plausible north-south means of connecting UCLA with destinations to the south, parallel north-south corridors maybe substituted to implement Westwood bicycle enhancements and provide an alternative connection to the city network based upon more detailed operational studies and community engagement.
So it would not remove Westwood, it would provide us the option later to remove it and substitute a route, if it can be found, that is more acceptable to the community and makes more sense after we further studied it. So, I would ask that we pass that amendment. If not, we can hear a more dramatic amendment that would actually mandate removing Westwood, with or without alternatives, but I think this one is pretty innocuous and I see no reason why we couldn’t include it now and move it forward.