Kate Pynoos’s plan for transportation


Los Angeles is a city notorious for its gridlocked traffic, potholed streets, and buckled sidewalks. Moreover, our streets are deadlier than any other major city in the United States, our tailpipes emit 40 percent of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, and our high cost of mobility keeps low-income families from accessing basic services. Los Angeles has voted three times in the past 15 years to raise taxes to fix transportation, yet it’s hard to see improvements on our streets in Council District 13. Los Angeles needs leaders who can break through political gridlock to make getting around safe, accessible, dignified, and sustainable.

Like many other issues in Los Angeles, City government often stands in the way of improving mobility. Los Angeles adopted a forward-looking Mobility Plan in 2015, but has implemented just three percent of it in the seven years since. Individual councilmembers have incredible control over street improvements in their districts, making life-or-death decisions based on political expediency and parochial concerns instead of long-term benefits. As a result, infrastructure that people need to safely move around our neighborhoods can start or stop at a political boundary. As your Councilmember, I will invest in safer streets, more options to get around, and cleaner modes of transportation.

1. Make our streets safe

In Los Angeles, 294 people died in traffic collisions on city streets in 2021. That is an almost 50% increase since the incumbent Councilmember was elected in 2013. Victims of traffic collisions are more likely to be people of color, older adults, and children. In fact, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death of children under the age of 14. In Council District 13, almost every major street is on the city’s official list of most dangerous corridors: Sunset, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Vermont, and Western, just to name a few. These are the streets where we live, go to work, go to school, and run errands—making everyday activities unnecessarily dangerous.

Traffic safety is a crisis and we need to treat it like one. We know what works: engineering, engagement, education, and equitable enforcement. We can eliminate traffic violence and save lives by:

  • Identifying and accelerating street safety projects on CD 13’s most dangerous streets with quick-build solutions that reduce speeding and other dangerous driving today.

  • Supporting proven neighborhood safety improvements like crosswalks, bike lanes, and slow streets.

  • Prioritizing safe routes to schools, parks, and other community destinations.

  • Engaging neighbors and uplifting community-led safety solutions.

  • Deploying effective and equitable alternatives to traditional traffic enforcement that reduce dangerous interactions between community members and law enforcement while holding reckless drivers accountable.

  • Advocating for more investment in a citywide traffic safety strategy that doesn’t start and stop at Council District boundaries.

2. Give people real options

Traffic is not a new grievance in Los Angeles. Driving is often miserable, but many people feel like they don’t have another choice. Construction of the Red Line has opened up Hollywood to visitors from around the region, but too many Council District 13 residents don’t have good connections to regional transit. Buses are slow, unreliable, and stuck in traffic. Bike lanes start and stop without connecting to a larger network. Broken, inaccessible, and missing sidewalks make it hazardous to walk or roll around our neighborhoods. The city has ambitious goals to double the share of trips taken by walking, biking, and transit, yet is failing to prioritize the investments needed to make these alternatives actually work for more people in more neighborhoods.

The city needs to deliver real mobility options for its residents. CD 13 is the most transit-rich district in the city. Our streets should look like it. We must provide transportation infrastructure and services that connect people to where they need to go safely, conveniently, and affordably by:

  • Working with neighborhood leaders and community-based organizations to identify local barriers to mobility, particularly for community members overlooked by traditional planning processes.

  • Prioritizing fast, frequent, and reliable bus service with bus lanes and signal priority on high-ridership corridors like Sunset, Vermont, and La Brea.

  • Building a network of safe bike routes connecting all CD 13 neighborhoods, including protected bike lanes and traffic-calmed neighborhood streets and starting with the community-led Sunset For All project.

  • Expanding neighborhood shuttles and circulators like DASH and Metro Micro to serve more residents with better hours.

  • Reforming the broken Sidewalk Repair Program to fix more sidewalks more quickly.

  • Expanding access to shared mobility options, including electric car share, bike share, and micromobility, to give people more flexibility without needing to own their own wheels.

  • Supporting Universal Basic Mobility to expand access to affordable and flexible transportation options for low-income families.

3. Plan for people

Transportation planning has long focused on quickly moving white collar commuters from their homes in the suburbs to jobs in the central city. That has come at the expense of urban communities like Council District 13, where our streets have been widened to squeeze ever-more cars through them at rush hour while our sidewalks are too narrow to accommodate basic amenities like street trees and bus shelters. Our streets need to be reoriented around our neighborhoods with greater attention paid to how our neighbors use them. That means more shade, more lighting, more places to sit, and more public bathrooms so that our streets encourage people to stroll and linger, giving everyone a sense of dignity no matter who they are or how they use the street.

Our streets should serve our neighborhoods first and foremost. With different priorities, we can plan for beautiful streets, with all the first-rate amenities that a world-class city should expect. We must:

  • Implement the 25 x ‘25 campaign to transform LA’s streets into more accessible, green, healthy, and vibrant public spaces.

  • Install shelter and lighting at every bus stop.

  • Light every street in our urban neighborhoods.

  • Provide seating and trash cans along walkable streets.

  • Plant and maintain shade trees on every major boulevard.

  • Expand access to public restrooms in public gathering places, like Hollywood Boulevard.

  • Support street vendors to enliven sidewalks and public spaces.

  • Implement recommendations from the Changing Lanes gender equity study to improve accessibility of public spaces for all residents.

  • Coordinate the delivery of Public Works and Transportation projects to build complete streets that are safe, beautiful, and sustainable.

4. Make transportation green

Our transportation is an essential part of our economy—it gets people to work and goods to market—but that comes at a tremendous environmental cost. Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, directly accounting for 40 percent of all emissions and rising to more than half once oil refining is included. It also produces a significant share of smog-forming emissions and asthma-causing particulate pollution. We simply cannot meet our region’s climate change goals without transforming the way we get around.

We need a rapid transition to zero emission transportation. Electric cars are a big piece of the solution, but every climate model shows that it’s not enough. We also need a major shift toward shared and active modes of transportation and zero emission goods movement. This crisis is urgent and requires an urgent response. Already, climate change is causing devastating wildfires and exacerbating drought conditions throughout the western United States, including California. Without immediate emissions reductions, we are at risk of passing the tipping point where irreversible climate change will make our neighborhoods hotter, smoggier, and more prone to natural disasters.

To ward off the worst effects of climate change and adapt to a warmer climate, we must:

  • Make green transportation choices safe, comfortable, and convenient and prioritize them on city streets.

  • Reduce the cost of greener transportation choices, including free transit and low-cost shared mobility.

  • Expand BlueLA electric car share into more neighborhoods, including more stations in Hollywood.

  • Increase the number of e-bikes in Metro’s bike share fleet.

  • Install a network of easily accessible public EV chargers in every neighborhood in CD 13.

  • Fully electrify LADOT’s DASH buses and other City vehicles.

  • Oppose freeway widening projects that add traffic to our neighborhood streets and reinvest those funds into local mobility improvements.

  • Coordinate transportation and land use in community plan updates to encourage new residents to adopt more sustainable transportation habits.