Converting Olympic and Pico boulevards into one-way streets from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica could increase capacity on the roads by up to 20%, according to a county transportation study to be released today, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The finding by a traffic engineering firm represents the first solid evidence that the conversion idea could reduce congestion. But the idea still faces an uphill battle at Los Angeles City Hall, in part because some residents fear that the change would increase cut-through traffic in neighborhoods between the streets.

The report, commissioned by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a one-way proponent, is meant to be the first step in what will be a yearlong examination of whether the concept could work.

Traffic engineers who studied commuting patterns on Olympic and Pico found that about 106,000 cars a day use the corridor. They also studied a traffic configuration in which Pico would go west only and Olympic east only.

Vehicle capacity could increase by 20% with one-way streets and no left turns, the study found. It was conducted by Allyn D. Rifkin, a transportation planner and engineer.

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