Thursday, March 17, 2005

construction, commerce and century city

in yesterday's latimes, the paper writes about the neverending street widening project on santa monica blvd and the effect it is having on local businesses. many are struggling to stay afloat, the project is more than seven months behind schedule, and no end is in sight. the project started in march 2003, is only 45% finished, rains cost an additional $1.2 million in damages and "unknown and unanticipated underground utilities" have caused additional engineering problems. the goal? a five-lane roadway in each direction to ease traffic congestion.

while on the surface, wider roads and more traffic lanes seem to be a good idea, LA's city planners are ignoring the phenomenon known by most planners and ignored over half a century ago in ny by robert moses:

Moses' attempt to alleviate congestion only generated more traffic. Planners outside of Moses' circle knew about this reality of "'traffic generation'" in which "the more highways [that] were built to alleviate congestion, the more automobiles [that] would pour onto them and congest them and thus force the building of more highways -- which would generate more traffic and become congested in their turn in an inexorably widening spiral...". (from caro's the power broker).


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Hilary said...

I will vouch for the horrors of the Santa Monica Blvd. street project--I work in Century City and live in Hollywood so I deal with it everday. It sucks!


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