Civic Projects | LA Metro Slow Speed Network Strategy for the South Bay

LA Metro Slow Speed Network Strategy for the South Bay

  • Current Projects

Civic Projects is leading a project team of DCR Design, MR+E and UCR CE-CERT in planning a sidewalk and roadway transportation network for slow speed vehicles that travel 25 MPH or less. Expanding the concept of Complete Streets through a more fine-grained and high-resolution approach than allowed by the typical focus on only bikes and pedestrians, the project addresses a wide range of both on-street and pedestrian modes including wheelchairs, bicycles, neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and other motorized and non-motorized modes.

A South Bay-wide system of three interconnected roadway networks – local, sub-regional and regional (“slow mode freeway”) – each at a different scale, and each defined by signage and wayfinding – links destinations throughout the sub-region.

Pedestrian streets at the heart of areas that we term Slow Zones are the smallest scale of the network. The project team carried out walk-audits on these select pedestrian thoroughfares to recommend improvements in multi-modal pedestrian infrastructure.

A continuous sub-regional slow speed network, using mostly residential streets, provides safe and efficient access to Slow Zones and adjacent regional destinations for bikes, NEVs and other non-car modes. The network is differentiated from other streets by signage, and and features multi-modal signals at intersections.

The largest scale network calls for non-car multi-use paths shared by NEVs, bikes and all other slow modes. These slow mode freeways traverse the South Bay along the 16-mile length of the Dominguez Channel as well as along a portion of the Harbor Subdivision, providing efficient access to employment centers, colleges and other destinations, as well as the sub-regional slow-mode network.

Beyond highlighting the untapped potential of existing low speed roadways, the project points to future roles for data, and way-finding/decision-making, for high-res Complete Streets. The slow-mode network benefits from multi-modal traffic control, as well as by mode-specific user data feeding back quickly into user decision making. This shortened feedback loop promises to fulfill the significant unmet data needs required for planning for a wider range of sustainable modes. Hypothetical scenarios set in 2025 are the basis for an Evaluation Framework for analyzing potential broad-based sustainability benefits of the interconnected slow-speed network.