Eliminating Car Lane on Temescal Canyon Road Not Holzer’s Idea

An article in the Aug. 3 Palisades News stated: “The downhill side of Temescal Canyon Road from Sunset Boulevard to Pacific Coast Highway will be downsized to one lane in order to accommodate a buffered bike lane, if Jessie Holzer’s plan goes through.”

Councilman Mike Bonin subsequently contacted the News and asked for a retraction because “The story incorrectly labeled the idea as something Jessie was personally advocating for.”

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The News asked Bonin’s office to clarify whose idea it was, since Holzer was introduced at the July 28 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting as someone who had given up her car. (Visit: blog.altaplan-ning.com/living-car-free-in-la-impacting-relationships/).

Bonin spokesperson David Graham-Caso responded in an email: “This idea was the result of bicyclists in the Palisades working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to explore ways to improve safety after a cyclist was killed by a car, and it is merely a suggestion and idea for the community to consider.”

The News apologizes for incorrectly attributing the idea to Holzer.

This entry was found on the Biking in LA blog on Aug. 5 (bikinginla.com): “The proposal to install a road diet on Temescal Canyon Road, with a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side and a buffered lane downhill, ran into opposition at the Pacific Palisades Community Council last week.

“People tend to be very defensive of their traffic lanes—almost as much as they are parking. And anything that promises to improve safety usually takes a back seat to fears of traffic congestion, warranted or not.

“Hopefully, local residents will come around once the benefits of the project are actually explained.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti has a Bicycle Advisory Committee, whose stated purpose is “to act in an advisory capacity to the mayor, city council members, and the various agencies of the government of the City of Los Angeles in the encouragement and facilitation of the use of the bicycle as regular means of transportation and recreation.”

Unfortunately, Pacific Palisades, which is isolated geographically from the City of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu, has only three ways in and out (Sunset and Chautauqua Boulevards and Temescal Canyon Road). This isolation was given as a reason that Fire Engine 69 was one of the first engine companies in the city to be reinstated this year (Palisades News, “Engine 69 Restored,” May 18).

Noted urban designer Doug Suisman wrote in a letter to Bonin, “The Bowdoin-Temescal intersection is one of the most heavily used, and often most chaotic in all of Pacific Palisades. We have ongoing and serious concerns about the safety of our students and school community who cross at Temescal by the thousands each week. I believe the intersection has a significant record of accidents.”

At the PPCC meeting, Holzer cited a traffic study saying there were 684 cars on Temescal Canyon Road, which is below the 700 required to generate an environmental impact report.

The News found the study she referred to on Navigate L.A. It was taken at the intersection of Sunset and Temescal Canyon Road on a Monday, April 20, 2015, but did not track the traffic heading south on Temescal towards PCH, and more specifically there was no study at Bowdoin, the entrance to Palisades High School, which has nearly 3,000 students enrolled.

Resident and civil engineer Linda Andrews said in a Letter to the Editor: “This intersection [at Sunset] does NOT represent the Temescal traffic because many vehicles driving on Temescal never pass through Sunset Boulevard.

“The vehicles drive up Temescal, turn onto Bowdoin and drop off their students and then turn around. Vehicles also drive on El Medio, drop off their students and turn right going down Temescal to PHC.”

At the PPCC meeting Holzer was asked if there had been a survey of the number of bikers using Temescal Canyon Road. She said she didn’t know.

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