Lawmakers Look to Revive Los Angeles' 1984 Olympic Plan to Reduce Traffic

In 1984, Los Angeles reduced traffic and accidents during the Olympics in part by banning trucks from freeways during peak hours. Some lawmakers think it's a policy worth revisiting.
by | August 28, 2013 AT 1:00 PM

As congestion continues to worsen, policymakers are faced with a dilemma: how to relieve it when there's no money for new roadways and often no room to build them.

A 27-year old plan could hold some of the answers.

In 1984, when  Los Angeles hosted the Olympics, many worried how a city famous for its traffic would move athletes, journalists and spectators -- not to mention everyday Angelinos -- during the two-week games. So city, regional and state officials doubled down on a plan of attack.

As reported in a retrospective by the (now defunct) CityBeat:

Their plan included: More car-pooling and bus-riding. Major incident response teams were on full alert, around the clock. Traffic flows on Figueroa and Flowers streets were switched to one-way. Commercial deliveries were made at night. Telephone hot lines kept the public informed. School buses were used to shuttle attendees, the press, and athletes to different sites. Employers allowed their workers to have flexible shifts or work from home. A specific traffic management plan was put into motion each day. The result: Congestion was reduced by about 60 percent, and truck traffic was down by as much as 16 percent during peak periods.

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