In Defense of Healthy Streets and Good Transit
MOVE Culver City has delivered safer, healthier and more sustainable streets for all.
For over a year, residents and visitors to Culver City have been able to move through downtown like never before. Thanks to an initiative called MOVE Culver City, rather than getting stuck in traffic with no other options, travelers along Culver and Washington Boulevards can glide by on frequent transit, bike side-by-side with friends, and stroll or roll in dedicated lanes, separated from fewer gas-burning cars.
A recent analysis of the corridor shows MOVE Culer City has delivered substantial benefits with few tradeoffs.
- A 52% increase in bus ridership
- A 32% increase in cycling activity
- A 18% increase in pedestrian activity
- Only a 2 minute increase in average peak period travel time for people in cars
Hard-won progress deserves defending. So this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a letter to the City Council expressing our support for the MOVE Culver City initiative. In doing so, we joined over 20 other organizations that advocate for sustainable, safe, healthy and equitable transportation.
Unfortunately, the Culver City Council is expected to consider as soon as next week a series of changes to MOVE Culver City -- or even a full-scale removal of the project.
Doing so would have foreseeable negative impacts to the environment and to people traveling through the corridor.
In our letter, we make the case that any action by the city to increase the number of lane-miles available for mixed-flow vehicle traffic would require analysis, disclosure, and mitigation of potential environmental impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City must comply with CEQA before making any final decision on a project that changes conditions on the ground today.
Full removal of MOVE Culver City would entail adding approximately 2.6 lane miles of vehicular lanes to principal arterial highways, which is likely to significantly increase vehicle miles traveled, according to the state's official CEQA guidance. That increase in VMT would contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions impacts, as well as criteria air pollution, including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM10 and PM2.5, from tailpipe exhaust and brake, tire, and roadway wear.
Further, we note that the City is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to analyze changes to transit service that might disproportionately affect people of color, immigrants and other protected communities who ride transit.
To reach our climate goals and create healthy, connected communities, we should be doubling-down on success stories like MOVE Culver City, not backsliding into traffic jams.
Residents and stakeholders can weigh in on MOVE Culver City by emailing the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.