A Discussion: What's Right and Not-Yet-Right About The New Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities Program
The Strategic Growth Council green-lighted 54 projects to prepare full proposals for the new Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program in March -- a big new pot of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund money (from the Cap & Trade program) for all kinds of good projects, including infill and compact housing, transit, active transportation, complete streets, and other GHG and air pollution reduction projects and programs. Since then a lot of people have been trying to figure out why the Bay Area was given the go-ahead to apply for 40% of the AHSC pie, when Southern California was invited to apply for only 20%, even though SoCal has twice the population and significantly greater need: 50% of AHSC funding is to go to "disadvantaged communities" -- defined as "areas disproportionately burdened by and vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution" -- 67% of which are located in SoCal.Read more
As Los Angeles County gears up its transit construction program and contemplates another county sales tax measure to help build even more transit, advocates, elected officials and neighborhoods continue to debate which transportation investments to make, and whether the beneficiaries will be the rich or the poor. This makes a recent post on The New York Times "Upshot" website particularly interesting: It refers to an ongoing Harvard study on the factors that predict whether a low-income family will escape from poverty, which has found that commute time is the single strongest factor – the longer the average commute, the worse the chances that a family will be able to move up the economic ladder.Read more
California Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are postponing the decision on whether to spend $25 million in Cap & Trade revenues on student transit passes until after adopting the state’s budget on June 15. The decision is to be made by September 11.Read more
I have been in Los Angeles since September of 2001. My first week included a minor earthquake and September 11th. Quite the welcome wagon.
Needless to say, things got better. I was in the sun-soaked land of Hollywood and infinite beach days. It generally felt more pleasant outside at any given moment than it did inside my apartment. I tried Thai food and Indian food for the first time without having to travel to either country, and during my inaugural In-N-Out visit, The Fonz placed an order right ahead of me (true story).
Then I had to meet someone in Sherman Oaks, coming from West LA, at 6 pm. Running the gauntlet that was the 405 between the 10 and the 101 at rush hour -- just one time -- made me question everything that had been joyous about my East Coast relocation . . . at least momentarily.Read more
Metrolink upgrades: This is the 3rd in a series on San Gabriel Valley transit corridor projects under discussion as contenders for funding from a transportation sales tax measure that could be put on the ballot in November 2016.
Metrolink Board Member and LA City Planning Commissioner Richard Katz told the audience at Move LA’s 7th Annual Transportation Conversation that he believes Metrolink is Southern California’s most undervalued and underutilized transit asset. At Move LA we believe that with just modest investments in improvements – including more frequent headways and lower fares -- the regional rail system could significantly expand ridership and help reduce traffic congestion.Read more
This is the first in a blog series on “What people Were Saying” at Move LA’s 7th Annual Transportation Conversation last April 22 at Union Station. There were no less than 50 speakers on really big panels – “the biggest at any gathering in America,” Mayor Garcetti said – all making compelling cases for what another sales tax for transportation could/should fund.
LA Community College District Trustees Mike Eng and LaMont Jackson discussed the benefits of universal student transit passes, like the “Any Line Any Time” partnership between Santa Monica Community College and the Big Blue Bus – students pay a fixed amount of about $6-$7 a month as part of their registration fees (or they can opt out), and can use their student cards on any line at any time! Mike Eng made this impassioned case for the need to provide transit passes to community college students in particular:
Call Or Email Budget Conference Committee If You Want Student Transit Passes & $$$ For Active Transportation
This week the state Legislature's Budget Conference Committee is considering including student transit passes in the 2015-2016 budget, to be funded with $25 million from the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, with another $25 million for the state's Active Transportation Program. A decision could be made as early as today. Conference committee phone numbers are listed below.Read more
Move LA, the California Bicycle Coalition, and the statewide Sustainable Communities for All coalition have convinced the state Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Transportation to set aside $25 million for student transit passes and $25 million for active transportation in the Assembly’s expenditure plan for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. A conference committee will convene next week to reconcile differences between the Assembly’s version of the budget, which includes the GGRF expenditure plan, and the Senate’s. The Senate has recommended that the GGRF money be used for “local climate planning” activities.Read more
Grand Boulevards: This is the 2nd in a series on San Gabriel Valley transit corridor projects under discussion as contenders for funding from a transportation sales tax measure that could be put on the ballot in November 2016.
Move LA’s Measure R2 “straw man proposal” calls for spending $4.5 billion on a “Grand Boulevards” program to retrofit about 150 miles of major arterials in LA County with improvements that could include better transit service (such as upgrades to bus rapid transit), bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks and sidewalk repairs, street furniture, cool pavement, shade trees and landscaping. The goal would be to create livable, prosperous, mixed-use boulevards lined by neighborhoods where transit users could live. Potential candidates in the San Gabriel Valley include the Arrow Highway, Atlantic, Soto Street, Rosemead Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, Huntington Drive and Whittier Boulevard.Read more
Sorry to be late posting news about yesterday’s awesome and deeply moving 12th Annual Giants of Justice breakfast — the biggest event yet with nearly 600 people in the room — put on by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). CLUE was celebrating: California Labor Commissioner Julie Su for her aggressive civil rights litigation; Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels from Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica for his strong personal commitment to dealing with interracial and interfaith relations and homelessness issues; justice “power couple” Laureen Lazarovici and Victor Narro (I am proud to have worked at the LA Weekly with Laureen in the days when the Weekly was also a crusader for justice!), extraordinary leaders in the progressive labor movement; and the “Crenshaw 3” — Patricia Allan, LeDaya Epps and Vanessa White. Let me tell you more:Read more