On April 9 140 communities across the U.S. are staging a “Stand Up for Transportation Day” to emphasize the need for long-term investment in our transportation infrastructure — and the reauthorization of a federal transportation bill before it expires on May 31. Below is an unhappy story about ongoing problems reauthorizing the federal bill. (Note: The Washington DC-based American Public Transportation Association is organizing “Stand Up for Transportation Day” — and I borrowed some from their blog for my post below. Also note: Incoming LA Metro CEO Phillip Washington is APTA’s current chair.)
LA County has embarked on the largest public works project in the U.S. — with 5 rail lines under construction now — largely because the Measure R half-cent sales tax for transportation is producing revenues of $36 billion over 30 years. That’s a lot of bang for a lot less than a buck — to be exact, only about 8 cents per person a day.Read more
Ben Plowden, director of surface transport strategy and planning for Transport for London, was a featured speaker at the Live Ride Share conference co-hosted by Move LA and other partners in February. He did this interview with The Planning Report after also touring Portland and Seattle — a tour of several cities was necessary, he said, to lower his rate of carbon output per minute of speaking — and we excerpt the 3,000-word interview here for brevity.Read more
Emissions from diesel engines are the single most pernicious source of air pollution in Southern California — of both NOx (oxides of nitrogen), the precursor to ozone, and fine particulate matter, which next to cigarettes is one of the most significant causes of lung cancer. Diesel emissions are also a major environmental justice problem because they are concentrated along the 710 freeway corridor that runs through low income communities in southeast LA County, from the ports up through the San Gabriel Valley and on into San Bernardino County.Read more
This is the 2nd in a series on the transit corridor projects that are being talked about in the San Fernando Valley for inclusion in a transportation measure likely to be placed on the ballot in 2016. The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project could be one of the most transformative projects that would be funded, connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside and finally fixing the problem that is the 405 freeway.
USC Professor Manuel Pastor, a featured speaker at Move LA's 7th annual Transportation Conversation on April 22, believes Los Angeles is being reinvented – moving away from sprawl and toward compact development, from car dependence to transit orientation, from fragmentation to a cross-sector interest in inclusion — and that the build-out of the transit system is a sweet spot in this transformation. We couldn’t agree more.Read more
Even though Los Angeles is billed as the nation’s melting pot — one that shows the rest of the country what it will look like in a few decades — quite a bit of homogenous thought still persists among residents on certain topics.Read more
San Fernando Valley Projects & Measure R2!
Two major take-aways from the crowded San Fernando Valley Town Hall meeting Move LA co-hosted with the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments in February: There is a very high level of interest in and support for a new sales tax measure for transportation and for rail projects in particular, and a very high level of support for bike and pedestrian projects as well!
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is one of the Measure R-funded projects that hasn't been built yet but counts the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the Transit Coalition and the Valley Economic Alliance among its champions. The 9.2 mile corridor would mostly travel along Van Nuys Boulevard from the Orange Line in the south to the Sylmar Metrolink station in the north.
Measure R dedicated $180 million to make this an “enhanced Rapid Bus” project, but proponents want an upgrade to bus rapid transit ($450 million) or light rail (more than $2 billion). There’s keen interest in this project because it would eventually connect to the Sepulveda Pass project — which could include tolled Express Lanes on the 405 and a tunnel for a light (or heavy) rail line that would end at UCLA and provide real alternatives to sitting in the 405’s notorious traffic!
Some people imagine this corridor could one day continue to LAX, then connect to the existing Green Line, and then travel southeast to Torrance, eventually ending in Long Beach! Let's continue to dream big when we think about a new sales tax measure, which is likely to be put on the 2016 ballot, and that we like to call Measure R2!
It’s hard organizing collaborative projects in Los Angeles, given its diversity and size, though Cap & Trade dollars are proving a compelling stimulus. Case in point: The low-income carshare collaborative that has come together over the past few months to respond to a California Air Resources Board (ARB) RFP (request for proposals) for carshare pilots in low income neighborhoods.Read more