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

LA Metro Slow Speed Network Strategy for the South Bay

  • Current Projects

Designing a network of Slow Zones in the South Bay of Los Angeles County. The project team is analyzing data and working with local governments and community organizations to identify the best locations and extents of Slow Zones.

Civic Projects is leading a project team of DCR Design, MR+E and UCR CE-CERT in planning a sidewalk and roadway network for slow speed vehicles that travel 25 MPH or less. Expanding the concept of Complete Streets with 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 “slow mode freeway” – each at a different scale and each reinforced by wayfinding, makes key local and regional destinations accessible by slow non-car modes.

Pedestrian streets at the heart of areas that we term Slow Zones  are the smallest scale of our analysis. The project team carried out walk-audits on these select pedestrian thoroughfares to recommend improvements in multi-modal pedestrian infrastructure. A network of signed local on-street routes using residential streets provides access to these pedestrian centers for bikes, NEVs and other non-car modes. The on-street network extends to connect the Slow Zones to each other in a sub-regional slow-mode network  that avoids the barriers posed by major arteries. The adaptive reuse  of the existing roadway network reimagines navigation through the sub-region, primarily on residential streets. The largest scale network calls for non-car multi-use paths shared by NEVs, bikes and all other slow modes. They traverse the South Bay along the 16-mile length of the Dominguez Channel as well as along a portion of the Harbor Subdivision, serving as slow-mode freeways offering efficient access to the slow-mode network, as well as employment centers, colleges and other destinations.

Beyond highlighting the untapped potential of existing low speed roadways, the project points to future roles for data, and way-finding/decision-making,  in higher-resolution Complete Streets planning and implementation. 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 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.