The Mayor has recently put in motion 2 important developments to try to ease traffic in the city:
The first is synchronizing the traffic lights. Starting with some major corridors but eventually expanding to all lights in the city, the Mayor will be implementing a computer based synchronization system to help traffic flow better. Sounds like a major accomplishment until you remember that they’ve had real-time data on this for years now but have just been throwing it away at the end of every day. Nevertheless, it has been a long time coming and should at least reduce the sense of frustration by a little bit.
The second is the Mayor’s push to reform Pico and Olympic. As of now he is pushing through changes that would make Pico primarily eastbound and Olympic primarily westbound. Also in his plans are new restrictions on parking on these streets, in order to provide more accessible lanes at times of high congestion. While no one really knows how this will work out, it seems like the Mayor is gung-ho, so we might as well give it a try.
Many skeptics claim that no matter what you do to ease traffic in the city, things will never truly improve because there will always be more people who see better traffic and decide to bring their cars to the city. While I agree to some extent, I don’t think this logic would work in my case, and I don’t see it as particularly intuitive. The main reason I have a car in LA is because I have a place to park it. Without a guaranteed parking spot or a reasonably high chance of finding one in my neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t have a car here regardless of how bad traffic was or how badly I needed to drive. I think that logic applies to most people: if you can’t find a place to park it, the traffic conditions aren’t going to matter.