One way to slow down the Olympic/Pico one-way traffic plan: more studies *
One thing we can agree on about the Olympic/Pico one-way traffic plan: It's hard to get anyone to agree. About anything. Is it the answer to the Westside's gridlock woes? The death knell to a neighborhood? As of yesterday, the whole issue's quite probably delayed. Steve Hymon, our traffic guru, has details:
A judge issued a tentative ruling Tuesday that the city must do a thorough environmental study before turning Olympic and Pico boulevards on the Westside into virtual one-way streets.
The two-page ruling by Superior Court Judge John Torribio sets the stage for a hearing today in Norwalk where oral arguments will be heard. A business group and a homeowners group have each filed lawsuits over the proposed project.
The controversial plan is being pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Jack Weiss. The project would initially change the signal timing so that eastbound traffic on Pico and westbound on Olympic are given speedier commutes. Some street parking also would be removed to add a lane of traffic during rush hour.
The city has argued that the modifications to roads and traffic operations are exempt from more study under the California Environmental Quality Act. Torribio ruled otherwise, writing, "The very purpose of the project is to expand the use of the existing streets."
More -- we're betting lots more -- on this to come.
* Updated 3:48 p.m. A judge took no action this afternoon on whether the one-way street plan needs an environmental study. A ruling is expected Friday and the judge ordered that the city do no
work on the project until noon Monday.
--Veronique de Turenne
Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times