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 led a team in planning a network of routes in the South Bay for all low-speed on-street and sidewalk modes. A South Bay-wide system of three interconnected roadway networks – local (Slow Zones), sub-regional and regional (Slow Mode Thruways) – each at a different scale, and each distinguished from other streets by signage and wayfinding – links destinations throughout the sub-region. Our goal was for more complete Complete Streets to support a diversity of modes including wheelchairs, mobility scooters, bicycles, skateboards and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). Project partners were DCR Design (GIS and mapping), MR+E (funding) and UCR CE-CERT (sustainability evaluation framework).

Pedestrian streets at the heart of areas termed 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 of network calls for multi-use paths shared by NEVs, bikes, pedestrians and all other slow modes. These Slow Speed Thruways 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 to 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 in supporting high-res Complete Streets. The slow-mode network would benefit from multi-modal traffic control, as well as from crowd-sourced mode-specific user data feeding back quickly into navigation. 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.