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When Traffic Plans Aren't Kosher

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Earlier this year, Mayor Villaraigosa introduced his 2008 Traffic Relief Initiatives, which outlines ten proposals for improving driving conditions throughout the city (full document downloadable here). One of the initiatives is called "Pico East Olympic West" (or, alternatively "Olympic West Pico East") which was labeled a "Priority Express Corridor." The three-phase project will see a "seven-mile stretch of both streets between La Brea Boulevard and Centinela Avenue" have more "consistent rush hour parking restrictions" first, followed by a change in signal timing to promote traffic flow, then lastly a re-striping of the streets that will see more lanes going West on Olympic and East on Pico.

But the plan, which is slated to go into effect May 1, is something area merchants are not in favor of, particularly members of the Jewish community whose lives center around the businesses in the area. An article this week in The Forward looks at the impact the traffic changes are going to have on the way of life for the Jewish business owners and customers--the say " their livelihood may be jeopardized" and that "the plan’s parking restrictions during peak shopping hours would make it all but impossible for their patrons to shop in the area."