May 8: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1924:  The Major Highways Committee of the Traffic Commission of the City and County of Los Angeles submit their report titled “A Major Traffic Street Plan For Los Angeles” to the City Clerk, one of the most important early traffic studies for the city.

The consulting board preparing the plan for the Committee is composed of nationally renowned urban planner Frederick Law Olmsted along with Harland Bartholomew and Charles Henry Cheney.

The plan seeks to address the increasing congestion caused by the convergence of rapid population growth, the rise in personal automobile ownership and the peak of the streetcar system in Los Angeles.

The report’s foreword states that the Committee is “organized for the specific purpose of developing a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of the ill-arranged collection of streets of Los Angeles into a well ordered system of traffic arteries.”

The Consulting Board studies “the main body of the city, though not ignoring the wider aspects of thoroughfare planning throughout the metropolitan district.”

The plan proposes numerous recommendations for specific streets throughout the Los Angeles area, including those which should serve as distributor streets, radial thoroughfares from the Central Business District, interdistrict thoroughfares, business district improvements, truck hauling thoroughfares and parkways and boulevards for passenger automobiles.

It suggests the establishment of a revolving fund of several million dollars to use in street opening and widening as soon as possible.

More information can be found in the A Major Traffic Street Plan for Los Angeles full-text report.