Transportation is a constant controversy. How does the city move? The MOVE project in Culver City that creates separate traffic lanes for vehicles such as buses, cyclists, and emergency vehicles to have increased speeds. According to the MOVE Project website, this is because “the community has experienced increased traffic congestion that will continue to rise with the city’s economic growth,” so these separate lanes come with the intention of being more safe and efficient for people. The benefits offer easier and safer transportation for environmentally friendly options of travel such as bikes and buses. It also benefits pedestrians. These forms of reduced lane transportation systems are often referred to as ‘road diets.’
However, according to The Federal Highway Administration, some of the negative outcomes of road diets are that it “may reduce capacity” of how many vehicles of transportation can pass and “In some jurisdiction, maintenance funding is tied to the number of lane-miles, so reducing the number of lanes can have a negative impact on maintenance budgets”. Moreover, this sparks debate among citizens over the question: How should Culver City’s transportation system look with the MOVE project involved in its most vital streets?
The volume of road users since the project launched has been pretty successful according to the MOVE 2022 Public Draft Report with over 21,426 bicycle users, 103,072 pedestrian users, and 9,528 Micro mobility users as of April 2022. Specifically, the succeeding area of the MOVE project is pedestrians. On Culver and Main volumes of pedestrians on average as of April 2022 are 4,002 people.
“I think pedestrians are the big winners,” says Alex Fisch, city council member “cars are much slower. Two people were killed in separate incidents by cars and it was because they were driving too fast.” Although speed is a crucial factor, the travel time has taken longer for drivers to get to locations. On weekday afternoon/evening hours the time decreased at Venice Boulevard eastbound from +3.4 in 2019 to +1.4 in 2021 and for its westbound +0.6 in 2019 and +0.4 in 2021. “It’s always been bad traffic,” says Fisch “People who are upset about the car traffic forget what it was like before” citing pre-COVID. traffic conditions.
Fisch says change is happening to specific areas of the project. “There are changes happening right now, ” he explained “to make the striping on the roads less confusing, to repair some of the damaged paint, and to remove some of the lights that are confusing”. Alex Fisch believes that the paint peels are highly likely due to tire wheels on the road. “One of the biggest micro-plastic contributors is people’s tire dust,” he says
MOVE has plans for the future as well to transport people to big stadiums, mainly for the 2028 Olympics. “The Olympic committee and Metro have made clear the mobility plans for the Olympics do not involve cars,” Fisch explains “They involve rail and dedicated busways”. He believes that if this goes to plan MOVE will be the center for the 2028 Olympics.
Other important figures working on the MOVE project include Rolando Cruz who is one of the leaders as well as the Chief Transportation Officer of Culver City and Diana Chang who is the project manager and Transportation and Mobility planning manager of Culver City.