Is City Getting Serious about Rand’s Traffic Reccomendations?

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Last October, the RAND Corporation, a non-profit think tank that is headquartered in Santa Monica, released a report containing thirteen ideas for improving traffic flow in Los Angeles.  RAND’s suggestions have less to do with speeding up traffic and more to do with controlling traffic demand, increasing transit and other alternative transportation usage and increasing the ways we fund transportation.

After first discussing the proposal last November, the City Council is finally ready to do something with the report, even though it’s just asking the LADOT to study RAND’s proposals and do what they can with them.  The council will be voting on them during tomorrow’s meeting. 

In some cases, the LADOT won’t have a lot of work to do because the new curbside parking plan that RAND proposes seems awfully similar to what the LADOT has already done.  In other cases, the council has seemed interested in pushing for enforcement of the state law requiring businesses of more than 50 employees to have a "Cash Out Parking" program, but may come up with a more feasible plan if htey give it a second look.

RAND’s thirteen suggestions, which are as a whole far superior to the ideas to improve transportation that the Councilmembers came up with on their own, can be found after the jump.

  • Install
    curbside parking meters that charge more during peak business hours for
    parking in congested commercial and retail districts.
  • Enforce the existing California state law that allows
    employees to "cash out" the value of their parking spaces. Companies
    with more than 50 employees who lease parking are supposed to offer
    their employees the option of cash instead of free parking, but this
    law is not enforced.
  • Implement local fuel tax levies at the county level to raise transportation funds.
  • Develop a network of high-occupancy/toll lanes on freeways throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Evaluate the potential for implementing tolls on those
    entering major activity centers, like those that exist in London and
    Singapore.
  • Expand rapid bus transit with bus-only lanes on arterial streets and express freeway service in the high-occupancy/toll lanes.
  • Offer and aggressively market deeply discounted transit passes
    to employers, who would purchase passes for all employees, allowing
    those who commute by transit to ride at reduced cost.
  • Develop an integrated, region-wide network of bicycle pathways.
  • Restrict curb parking on busy arterial streets.
  • Convert selected major surface streets to one-way streets.
  • Prioritize and fund investments in upgraded signal timing and control.
  • Bolster outreach efforts to assist businesses in promoting ridesharing programs, telecommuting and flexible work schedules.
  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a regional
    incident management system on the arterial streets to reduce congestion
    caused by traffic accidents.

Photo: Sara/Flickr

  • Congestion can be addressed by changing the way that employers provide office space. Currently, employers rent several floors of office space and workers from all over the city drive across town to this location. Most of these workers could just as easily work from a remote office located near their home.

    Remote Office Centers make it possible for workers to work from an office down the street, so they can skip the long daily commute and all the associated expenses that go with long distance commuting.

    ROCs lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located around the city and suburbs.

    ROCs are fairly new, but can be found in many cities by searching the internet for “Remote Office Centers” in quotes or by going to a free web site that lists remote office centers:

    http://www.remoteofficecenters.com

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