|CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION|
This text and accompanying maps constitute the Transportation Element of
the City of Los Angeles General Plan. This Element incorporates and
revises the Scenic Highways Plan originally adopted in 1978; it replaces
and supersedes the Highways and Freeways Element originally adopted in
1959. It should be reviewed periodically in light of information from the
monitoring and evaluation program (Chapter VIII) and revised within ten
(10) years of adoption to accommodate changing conditions and
|PURPOSE OF THE GENERAL PLAN top|
California state law requires that every city and county prepare and adopt
a long-term, comprehensive General Plan for its future development. This
plan should be integrated and internally consistent with a compatible
statement of goals, objectives, policies and programs which provide a
decision-making basis for physical development. California state law
further requires that the day-to-day decisions of a city follow logically
from, and be consistent with, the General Plan. Specifically, Government
Code Sections 65860, 66473.5, and 65647.4 require that zoning ordinances
and parcel map approvals be consistent with the General Plan.
Goals, objectives and programs are established for each plan to meet the existing and future needs and desires of the community to create a healthful and pleasant environment. These goals, objectives and programs are specific and action-oriented. The City will promote these goals and objectives during the life of the Plan.
The preparation and adoption of a General Plan serves the following purposes:
|STATE REQUIREMENTS top|
California State Government Code Section 65300 requires each county and
city, including charter cities, to adopt a comprehensive General Plan.
The General Plan may be adopted either as a single document or as a group
of related documents organized either by subject matter or by geographic
section within the planning area [Government Code Section 65301 (b)]. The
General Plan must be periodically updated to assure its relevance and
Changes to the law over the past twenty years have vastly boosted the importance of the General Plan to land use decision-making. A General Plan may not be a "wish list" or a vague view of the future but rather must provide a concrete direction(1). In essence, the General Plan is a "constitution for development, (2)" the foundation upon which all land use decisions in a city or county are to be based. It expresses community development goals and embodies public policy relative to the distribution of future land use, both public and private.
The General Plan must include the following seven mandated Elements (Government Code Section 65320):
Counties and cities have flexibility in organizing their General Plans as long as all of the requirements specified for each of the seven mandated elements are addressed. For example, it is permissible to combine the Open Space and Conservation Elements into a single Element [Government Code Section 65301 (a)]. State law recognizes that the diversity of the state's communities and their residents require local jurisdictions to implement general plan law in ways that accommodate local conditions while meeting minimum requirements Govt. Code § 65300.7). Further, state law recognizes that differences among cities' and counties' size and density, fiscal and administrative capabilities, land use and development issues and human needs, their capacity to respond to state planning law will vary (Govt. Code § 65300.9). State law has given a city with the diversity and size of Los Angeles latitude in formatting, adopting and implementing its General Plan, so long as it adheres to the minimum requirements of state law.
|ORGANIZATION AND CONTENT OF THE LOS ANGELES GENERAL PLAN top|
The City of Los Angeles has re-organized its General Plan in order to
better address the particular issues facing the City. The twelve elements
which comprise the Los Angeles City General Plan are listed below:
|Citywide General Plan Framework|
The Citywide General Plan Framework (CGPF) is the first component of the
Comprehensive General Plan. This component seeks to bring the demands on
the urban systems into equilibrium with the systems' capacities and to
maintain that balance in the future. The General Plan Framework defines
citywide policies related to growth that influence most of the City's
General Plan Elements. It includes policies for land use, housing, urban
form/neighborhood design, open space/conservation, economic development,
transportation, and infrastructure/public services.
The Framework sets forth an estimate of population and employment growth to the year 2010 that can be used to guide the planning of infrastructure and public services. This, however, does not represent a limit on growth or a mandated level of growth in the City or its Community Plan Areas. Traditionally, such "end-state" limits have proven ineffective in guiding growth and public infrastructure/service investments and in responding to the changing needs of a city's residents and its economy. In its place, the Framework establishes a program to annually monitor growth, its impacts, and infrastructure and service needs that will be documented in a report to the City Council and pertinent service departments and agencies. This provides decision makers and planners with the information that is essential in shaping growth in a manner that seeks to mitigate its impacts, minimize development costs, conserve natural resources, and enhance the quality of life in the City.
|Transportation Element Purpose|
|The purpose of this Element is to present a guide to the further development of a citywide transportation system which provides for the efficient movement of people and goods. This Element recognizes that primary emphasis must be placed on maximizing the efficiency of existing and proposed transportation infrastructure through advanced transportation technology, through reduction of vehicle trips, and through focusing growth in proximity to public transit. The Transportation Element and its monitoring and evaluation program should serve as the basis for City participation in, and input to, the preparation and review of mandated updates of the Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Transportation and Improvement Program.|
For the City of Los Angeles the Transportation and Infrastructure Systems
Elements together provide compliance with Government Code Section 65302
(b) which requires that the general plan include a circulation element
consisting of the general location and extent of existing and proposed
major thoroughfares, transportation routes, terminals, and other public
utilities and facilities, all correlated with the Land Use Element of the
The City's Transportation Element addresses motorized and non-motorized transportation through the year 2010. It is correlated with land use and other General Plan elements; it is based on the recommendations of the Framework Element. The Transportation Element includes the following maps, responding to the state requirement of indicating the general location of major thoroughfares, transportation routes and a portion of the public utilities:
The City of Los Angeles Transportation Element does not fully address the required public utilities/facilities component of a State-mandated circulation element. The City will address these remaining infrastructure requirements through the preparation of the City's Infrastructure Systems Element. The Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport, as major transportation facilities/terminals, each have plans included in the City's General Plan.
Consistent with the policies of the adopted Air Quality Element of the City's General Plan, the Transportation Element promotes strong linkages between land use, transportation and air quality. The Land Use Element is intended to guide the location and intensity of the private and public use of land and to promote an arrangement of land uses, streets, and services which will encourage and contribute to the economic, social and physical health, safety, welfare, and convenience of the people who live and work in the City. The Community Plans, which comprise the Land Use Element, incorporate the Transportation Element's Highways and Freeways system and also designate collector streets.
The Transportation Element recognizes the contribution of a proper juxtaposition of land uses to the reduction of vehicle trips. Locating land uses that better serve the needs of the population closer to where they work and live reduces the number and the distance of vehicle trips, resulting in congestion relief and a decrease in pollution from mobile sources. The Transportation Element provides goals, objectives, standards, policies and programs to continually meet the changing mobility and air quality challenges faced by the City of Los Angeles.
|INTERNAL CONSISTENCY top|
According to State Government Code (Sec. 65300.5), all elements of the
general plan must be consistent with each other. This internal
consistency requirement has several important implications for the
structure and content of the General Plan. First, it establishes that all
elements of the General Plan have equal legal status. For example, the
Land Use Element and the Open Space Element cannot contain different land
use intensity standards with qualifying statements such as:
"if in any instance there is a conflict between the land use element and open space element, the land use element controls" (Sierra Club v. Board of Supervisors of Kern County (1981) 126 Cal. App. 3d 698).Any conflicts among elements must be resolved within the General Plan itself. Similarly, all goals, objectives, policies, principles, standards, and plan proposals in the general plan must be consistent; the implementation programs set out in the plan must be true to and follow logically from the plan goals and policies.
Information, such as projections and assumptions, in all elements within the general plan must be consistent and uniform since no element is subordinate to another. Population projections in the Land Use Element, for example, must be consistent with population projections in the Transportation Element. When a new element is adopted or a part of the General Plan amended, the rest of the plan must be changed to eliminate any inconsistencies created by the new element or amendment.
|ADOPTION PROCEDURES top|
|The General Plan and any amendments thereto must be approved by the City Planning Commission following a public hearing and the approved changes must be presented to the Mayor and the City Council by the Director of Planning, together with the Commission's report and recommendations. A draft of this Transportation Element was circulated to the State Department of Transportation, Los Angeles County Regional Planning, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for their review prior to Council adoption to assure conformance with Government Code Section 65350. The , in its initial draft form as a chapter of the Framework Element, was also circulated to all regional, county, adjoining local governments as well as to the general public to give opportunity for review and comment.|
|City Council Adoption|
The General Plan and any amendment to it must be adopted by majority vote
of the City Council. A two-thirds vote of the Council is required if its
action contrary to the recommendations of either the City Planning
Commission or of the Mayor. A three-fourths vote of the Council is
required if the action of the Council is contrary to the recommendations
of both the City Planning Commission and the Mayor.
|REGIONAL CONTEXT & CONSISTENCY WITH OTHER REGIONAL PLANS top|
When preparing or revising a general plan, cities and counties should
carefully analyze the implications of regional plans for their planning
area. General Plans are required to include an analysis of the extent to
which the general plan's policies, standards, and proposals are
consistent with regional plans.
Regional plans prepared by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and other designated regional agencies (e.g. LACMTA) provide the legal basis for allocating state and federal funds, as in the case of transportation and water quality facilities. Other regional plans, such as air quality plans, spell out measures which local governments may institute in order for the region to meet state and federal standards.
The General Plan Framework serves as subregional input to the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide and provides a context for cooperative planning efforts between the City of Los Angeles, adjacent cities, and the five county region. The Framework, along with the Air Quality Element and this Transportation Element, seeks consistency between the Los Angeles City General Plan and the Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide as well as the Regional Air Quality Management Plan. The Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide includes Growth Management and Mobility components. This Transportation Element is also consistent with the 1993 California Transportation Plan, the 1995 LACMTA Long Range Plan and the Los Angeles County Congestion Management Program (1995).
|Congestion Management Program|
The Congestion Management Program (CMP) was enacted by the California
State Legislature with the passage of AB 471 in July, 1989 (California
Government Code Section 65088, et seq.). The requirements for the
Congestion Management Program became effective upon voter approval of
Proposition 111 in June 1990. The Los Angeles County Transportation
Commission (which was soon merged into the LACMTA) first adopted a
Countywide CMP in December 1992, and periodically updates the CMP on a
The City's General Plan Framework, Air Quality and Transportation Elements call for citywide congestion reduction by linking population and employment concentrations with transit systems. The intent of the CMP legislation was to create a state transportation planning program that required local jurisdictions to assume responsibility for their land use decisions which impact the regional transportation system. By linking land use, transportation, and air quality decisions, this legislation encourages more effective use of all transportation modes. The CMP provides local jurisdictions with a mechanism to link transportation and land use policies with the objective of reducing local and regional traffic congestion and improving air quality.
A major aspect of the CMP land use policy is the reduction of congestion and air pollution through the provision of incentives for development adjacent to rail stations and other public transit systems. Higher density residential, mixed residential and commercial, and low and very low income housing uses are exempt from any CMP requirements within a quarter mile radius of a fixed transit passenger station. Residential and mixed use development projects are also exempt if they are within a quarter mile of a transit station and more than one-half of the land or floor area is placed in residential use.
|CITIZEN PARTICIPATION top|
State law (Government Code Section 65351) specifies that: "During the
preparation or amendment of the general plan, the planning agency shall
provide for opportunities for the involvement of citizens, public
agencies, public utility companies, and civic, education, and other
community groups, through public hearings and any other means the city or
county deems appropriate."
A listing of entities for referral is provided by Government Code Section 65352. Other sections of the Government Code require that prior to adopting a general plan, element or amendment, the planning commission and legislative body hold at least one public hearing (Sections 65353 and 65355). While the above represents the minimum requirements, it is the policy of the City Planning Department to seek involvement and active participation of other City departments and other public agencies, the Office of the Mayor and all elected officials, as well as the public.
Over a period of several years, the Departments of City Planning and Transportation, in collaboration with a team of professional consultants, outside organizations, and residents from all parts of the City, developed the Citywide General Plan Framework Element. The primary mode for participation was approximately 60 community and neighborhood workshops, in which more than 3,000 residents and business persons participated. The Transportation Element is based on the Framework Element's recommendations. In addition, six community workshops dispersed throughout the City and one public agency workshop in Downtown Los Angeles were conducted in February and March of 1997, to present and discuss the preliminary Transportation Element. Public hearings were conducted by the City Planning Commission on May 8, 1997 and June 12, 1997 as part of its review and consideration of the proposed Element.
1. Office of Planning and Research, State of California General Plan Guidelines, (North Highlands, CA:General Services Publications Section, 1990), p. 5.
2. State of California General Plan Guidelines, p. 5.