LADOT in 4 Minutes

LADOT is in charge of the stoplights, signs, and painted pavement in this photo.
Photo from the series “In Transit” — Y Diaz


  • Early on, management of traffic and parking in Los Angeles was performed by the police department. Thus when the city created Bureau of Traffic Engineering in 1930, it was placed under the Police Commission.
  • In the early 1950’s, the City Council elevated the importance of traffic management by establishing a new Traffic Department. This new department covered traffic studies, the design and installation of traffic signs and traffic signals, the management of parking meters, and permits for commercial vehicles.
  • In 1979, after years of intense debate and pushback from other city departments, the Council and Mayor made the pivot from “traffic” to the more comprehensive concept of “transportation” with the inauguration the Department of Transportation (LADOT). This new Department absorbed the following transportation-related functions from other departments:
  • most transportation planning (from LADCP)
  • street-improvement studies (from BOE)
  • traffic and parking enforcement (from LAPD)
  • oversight of franchises for buses, taxis, and ambulance companies (from the Board of Public Utilities).

Current Operations




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Nathan S. Holmes

Nathan S. Holmes

Live in Los Angeles.

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