TRANSIT WATCH - LA Metro has a mobility objective called Vision 2028, but it is lacking in the ability to integrate transportation systems in order to achieve its goals.
There is a way to fill the gap so that the connection of mobility networks can bring the objective home to the community level in the LA Basin.
The way to bring about the integrative connectivity is to use the newly USPTO patented roadway system (patent # 10,954,638, issued March 23, 2021) named Flow Boulevard (FB), which allows greater capacity from existing regular boulevards to provide that integrative function. Additional information on the 50 Mile plan for a LA Basin Flow Boulevard Network can be seen and read about at www.flowblvd.com.
Besides the Vision 2028 objectives like less time traveling, a better travel experience, and enhancement of socio-economic development, a true robust EV bus public transit system can quickly come about for eliminating 4 billion pounds of CO2 in order to not enter the Basin atmosphere so as to fight Climate Change at low cost which means a great deal in the congested LA Basin. It can even include induction EV battery charging for buses and vehicles by simply driving on the FB roadway if so made, (www.electreon.com). Custom EV buses (Proterra) can be made in nearby City of Commerce. This can all become a transportation breakthrough quickly at low cost with 50 miles of FB for less than one mile of subway.
A network of Flow Boulevards would be a major integrative accomplishment by the LA Basin FB Network with its ability to more than double the capacity of moving people and goods on the selected existing boulevards. It can connect a FB Network to the regional rail system at the Union Station rail hub giving a greatly expanded ability to connect to the regular boulevards of the Basin via the FB network. That expands easy access from home to jobs and business to business connections regionally.
A bottom-up planning process through community plans and corridor plans is needed to balance the top-down one size fits all inability to address problems to be solved at the community scale. Metro does not do community plans! A democratic process is needed to address those many unique problems not addressed by top-down uninformed inadequate planning.
The allocation of new housing units in the LA Basin called for by the LA Dept of Planning New Housing Element and the additional housing units by the State with SB9 would best be connected to the 50 miles of FB robust EV bus public transit. That gives connections between the regional rail system and freeways as well, to the Basin network of regular boulevards which connects to all communities. This is a major planning effort and regular citizens should have bottom-up public involvement in the issues of planning improvements to their communities. Each community is different and has special problems to be solved.
The FB Network is like gaining 50 more miles of regular boulevard capacity in the Basin due to its ability to more than double person trip travel, however there is no appreciable impact by the boulevard because there is no widening of the existing street right of ways. The key to this innovative new type of urban boulevard is that it allows continuous flowing traffic without stopping at traffic signals. Two types of corridor are connected with continuous flowing traffic interchanges also at grade. The innovative Single Street Flow Boulevard (shown in green on the above plan) is connected to Couplet Flow Boulevards (shown with two red lines), thereby enabling a network of continuous flowing traffic to be made. Growth in vehicular capacity and land use density occurs together as is explained in the before mentioned FB website (www.flowblvd.com).
This allows the addition of housing, and the support land uses to grow at the same time along with the additional vehicular capacity in the corridors without impacting community character beyond the corridor. Innovative corridor zoning and architectural prototype planning may be needed in order to do justice to some of the various different communities.
It is important to point out that there are some communities that presently are in jeopardy of major impacts without the problem solving abilities of the Flow Boulevard system worked through the bottom-up planning process.
For more detailed explanation on the related Content on the www.flowblvd.com website the subjects there are; 1/ The 50 Mile Plan, 2/ 4 Billion Pounds of CO2e Reduction (EPA calculation), 3/ How Does Continuous Flow Traffic Work, 4/ Bike Lanes, Where to Put Them, 5/ Solutions Best Made with Flow Boulevards, 6/ Equity; Fairness to Everybody.
The 50 Mile Plan is not only a transportation and land use growth proposal to reduce vehicular miles traveled (VMT), it is also made to reduce single occupancy fossil fuel burning vehicles by making workable travel conditions so that trips are transferred to EV mobility. An expansion in bus ridership requires fast and frequent bus service to attract that ridership. Congestion free continuous flowing traffic cuts travel time greatly which creates attractive bus travel with as much as a 1,000% increase in bus service over a 10 year period (see FB website). In this light, it also becomes a major transition to EV transport to fight Climate Change.
Connecting to the Union Station rail hub, and with connections to freeways which connect to the LA Basin FB Network, would provide the needed increase in capacity to serve travel demand to eliminate congestion as well on the regular boulevards of the LA Basin.
And lastly, bike lanes have a very limited capability of resolving transportation and climate concerns. Maybe 2% of the travel demand in the LA Basin could be served with bike riding effectively and safely.
The travel demand model derived from the 1990 Los Angeles Regional Transportation Study (LARTS) reflected traffic amounts which occurred in 2005. The amounts could have been as much as 10% higher or lower than actual. Since Covid, the figures show a lower amount in a mixed picture, however many conditions remain the same or will return as the economy reopens fully. Travel demand conditions are relevant to solving mobility at the community scale and the LADOT must be brought to clearly address relevant data going forward otherwise there could be a downgrade in living standards in the LA Basin.
In ten years it is projected that the 50 miles of FB could provide a 2,925,000 person trip/mile/day capacity to serve the new housing units and more active communities with opportunity and growth. Figure the existing roadway capacity without continuous flowing traffic has a capacity of about 1,250,000 person trip/miles/day with a lot of single occupancy vehicles, congestion and only 3.2% of the person trips in buses caught in slow traffic. Therefore it is easy to see that in order to prepare for the future capacity needs and to fight Climate Change quickly, the Flow Boulevard Network is a low cost, effective way to do that.
The LARTS travel demand model shows 1,713,000 commuter trips/day involved with the LA Basin. The average commuter trip from suburbs is well over ten miles with an additional 4 miles of distributing and collecting of trips within the basin, or 4 times 1,713,000 equals 6,852,000 miles/day within the Basin.
LARTS data also shows an additional 830,000 trips/day to be made within the LA Basin moving between the three major zones of the Basin. Then there are the additional trips within each of the three zones A, B, and C that do not go outside of their zone which average about 3 miles in length. And finally there are freeway and rail trips that go through the Basin that go through without any terminus in the Basin which none the less occupy freeway and rail capacity.
All of that adds up to approximately 13,600,000 person trip miles/day in the LA Basin and will grow in time, It’s not something that is going to be solved with bike lanes.
The issues of the plan should be part of the upcoming election debates. Neighborhood Councils and future Councilmembers should be thoroughly aware of the capabilities of the Flow Boulevard system and how it benefits their communities.
The issues are economic growth to support greater density and to improve communities, otherwise there could be a down grade in living standards as well as mobility.
(Phillip Jon Brown is a California registered Architect, versed in the Manual Assignment Technique for engineering travel demand compliance, Masters in Urban Design M.I.T., independent study of LA Basin roadways for decades.)