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  • State Transpo Officials Push to Toll for Maintenance, Not Just Capacity

    Last week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told state DOT officials gathered at an AASHTO conference in Washington that he was all in favor of tolling – but only to add new capacity. Iowa DOT Director Nancy Richardson says her state should be putting all of its funds toward stewardship. Photo: Iowa DOT “We believe in tolling,” LaHood tenance-not-just-capacity/>[...]

  • FTA: Transit Maintenance — Not Just Expansion — Will Grow Ridership

    Aging infrastructure across the country has become an enormous safety risk. It’s also becoming an economic hazard. SEPTA is forgoing new amenities to focus on making sure their trains don't end up like this one. Brownstoner Last year, the Federal Transit Administration announced that the seven largest rail transit systems had a backlog of $50 billion in tenance-not-just-expansion-will-grow-ridership/>[...]

  • U.S. DOT Admits Status Quo Untenable, Vows to Cut Transport Emissions

    In its second Earth Day release, the U.S. DOT yesterday unveiled a 600-page analysis of transportation emissions mandated by Congress in the 2007 energy bill. In addition to weighing in on many potential tactics for limiting transport’s contribution to the changing climate, the document notably recommits the Obama administration to that goal at a time when Democrats are weighing a delay tenable-vows-to-cut-transport-emissions/#more-91591>[...]

  • Streetsblog Interview: Andres Tena

    Back on the bike: Tena after the "Bike Not to Work Day" ride last week.Late one Thursday night, or early on Friday morning depending your point of view, this April an H3 Hummer hit a cyclist, and what followed is a controversy that fuels emotions that rivals last year’s Mandeville Canyon “Road Rage Doctor” tena/>[...]

  • DC Inspires Bike Lane Envy With Curb-Protected Cycling

    The new 1st Street curb-protected bike lane takes shape. Photo: BeyondDC/Flickr Here’s a good sign that protected bike lanes are here to stay in American cities: Cities are increasingly trading plastic bollards for concrete curbs, making the lanes a more permanent feature of the landscape. As I reported for People for Bikes last year, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, New York and [...]

  • CA Sen. Steinberg Proposes New Spending Plan for Cap-and-Trade Revenue

    Senator Darrell Steinberg’s new proposed spending plan for CA cap-and-trade revenue. Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) announced a proposed plan to create a permanent spending strategy for cap-and-trade revenue [PDF] that prioritizes investments in affordable transit-oriented housing, transit expansion, and CA high-speed rail. Unlike the Governor’s plan for this year’s budget, Senate Bill 1156 also [...]

  • The Week in Livable Streets Events

    Schools are on their Spring Breaks, most Council meetings are in recess, so our schedule is a little on the light side. Wednesday – L.A. City’s Board of Public Works discusses mitigation measures for tree removal for construction of Metro’s Crenshaw line. A joint neighborhood council task force has been negotiating with Metro and the city [...]

  • California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

    For social media coverage focused on statewide issues, follow Melanie @currymel on Twitter or like our Facebook page here. Here’s Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of legislation and events related to sustainable transportation at the California capitol. The big news out of Sacramento is that Caltrans endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guidelines. S.B. 1183, Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord): this is the [...]

  • EPW Big Four Announce Plan to Maintain Status Quo for the Next Transpo Bill

    Sen. Barbara Boxer, together with Sens. Carper, Vitter and Barrasso, announced their agreement to maintain the status quo with the next bill. Screenshot from press conference. Last year, while the House flailed in partisan misery, the Senate passed a transportation bill 74 to 22. When the bill was signed into law, it was considered one of [...]

  • Philadelphia Pedestrian Plaza Welcomed by 98% of Neighbors

    An overwhelming majority of neighborhood residents favor a plan to turn this Philadelphia street — at 23rd and South — into a pedestrian plaza. Photo: This Old City Inspired by New York City, Philadelphia has created its own pedestrian plaza program. Unfortunately, Philadelphia’s ambitions have so far been hindered by some pretty zealous restrictions, like one [...]

  • St. John’s New Health and Wellness Campus Promises Good Things for South L.A.

    St. John’s Well Child and Family Center celebrated the grand opening of a new Health and Wellness Campus across the street from its current facility at 58th and Hoover. The expanded facilities should serve as many as 30,000 new patients. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog “Is that yours?” a surprised 9-year old had asked me as I had [...]

  • Vision Zero or Zero Vision? L.A. Needs to Change the Way It Thinks About Safety

    Walk SF shows that with a Vision Zero philosophy, increase traffic volume can lead to fewer road fatalities. Cyclist John Philips was cycling in heavy traffic in the San Fernando Valley when he was hit from behind by an impatient driver. While the driver did try to run, heavy traffic allowed witnesses to photograph both him [...]

  • Good-bye #RoadBond, Hello #RoadandSidewalkTax

    Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander between meetings in D.C. last month. These two have worked tirelessly to find funding for road repair. Photo via CD 15/Office of Joe Buscaino Sustainable transportation advocates from all parts of the city have weighed in on a draft proposal to repair large parts of the city’s road and sidewalk [...]

  • Who Pays for “Free” Park-and-Ride Parking?

    Park-and-ride lots, writes Matt Steele at, are the “darling infrastructure of the transit planning profession.” In exchange for providing a parking spot at no charge to suburban commuters, says Steele, transit systems can increase ridership. Suburban Minneapolis park-and-riders don’t pay to park here, but their spots aren’t free. Photo: But “free” suburban parking isn’t such [...]

  • San Fernando Votes To Move Forward With Pacoima Wash Bikeway

    Salvador Valentin, of Bikesan@s del Valle collective, and his son Isaac testify in support of the Pacoima Wash Bikeway. The San Fernando City Council approved moving forward with pursuing state funding for the project. Last night, the city of San Fernando moved a step closer to constructing a new bike path along the Pacoima Wash. The [...]

  • “Our Fears Have Not Been Allayed”: The Limits of Regulatory Powers Over Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction Techniques

    Pastor Kelvin Sauls and members of Holman United Methodist Church place a Ban Fracking Now sticker on the full page ad Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas took out in the LA Sentinel in anticipation of the City Council vote. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog “Qué significa ‘fracking’ en español?” the woman wearing a “People Not Pozos” shirt and [...]

  • You Can’t Attract Walkable Retail Without Walkable Housing

    Some who want to live near amenities that come from having a lot of people living relatively close together, like cafes and small markets and shops, are also resistant to the type of development that makes walkable retail possible. There’s no interest in retail development in this area, after residents shot down a plan for high-density [...]

  • Vehicle Automation versus Connectivity, and What it Might Mean for Traffic

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s depiction of connected vehicles on a controlled-access highway. ed’s note: This week, we’re featuring a short series of articles from our board member Juan Matute on what he’s thinking about technology and transportation. I have the opportunity to be involved in a lot of interesting research as the Associate Director of the [...]

  • Caltrans on the Hot Seat: Assembly Looks at State, Local Planning Tensions

    It was the California State Assembly’s turn to review the recent State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) report on Caltrans at a Transportation Committee hearing Monday. Chair Bonnie Lowenthal addresses the Transportation Committee (find a video of the hearing here) The discussion played out along the same lines as the Senate Transportation Committee hearing last month, where Professor Joel [...]

  • Women’s Bicycling Forum Confronts Obstacles to Getting More Women Riding

    NOW President Terry O’Neill told the Women’s Forum that they need to put women — not bicycles — at the center of their analysis. Photo: Brian Palmer This year marks the third time a Women’s Bicycling Forum has preceded the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, and, despite weather emergencies and an epidemic of flight cancellations, [...]

  • Will Obama and the GOP Align on Plan to Fund Transpo With Tax Reform?

    Today, both President Obama and Republican House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp unveiled plans to pay for transportation with corporate tax reform. Few details have emerged about exactly how Camp plans to do this, but Politico has heard from Capitol Hill staffers that it would push $100 billion to $125 billion to transportation over [...]

  • CA Legislation Watch: Bills Introduced That Could Impact Livable Streets

    The deadline to introduce new bills to the California legislature was Friday, so a slew of new legislation is currently being assigned to committees for hearing. Some of them are so-called “spot” bills, as in “hold a spot in line for me, bub,” containing a bare minimum of information, with the plan being to shape [...]

  • Second Time is Not a Charm: Community Still Vociferously Opposed to Plans for Lorena Plaza in Boyle Heights

    The proposed Lorena Plaza apartments would sit at the corner of 1st and Lorena, next to el Mercado de Los Angeles and across the street from the Everbrown, er, Evergreen Cemetery. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog What had ever happened to the plans to turn the space on the corner of Lorena and 1st St. into a fitness [...]

  • L.A. City Council Eliminates Sidewalk Repair Permit Fees

    Photo: Waltarr/Flickr Los Angeles took a very small step forward on the issue of sidewalk repair. Hopefully that metaphorical step forward doesn’t too closely resemble the very real steps L.A.’s pedestrians are taking on the city’s treacherous and lawsuit-ridden buckling sidewalks. Estimates place L.A.’s broken sidewalks at more than 4,600 miles. At its Tuesday meeting, the Los Angeles [...]

  • Five Ways Colleges Are Coaxing Students Out of Their Cars

    104 colleges and universities around the United States provide free or reduced-price transit service to students. Map: U.S. PIRG The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides bike valet at its football games. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports free transit for everyone in the region. The University of California, Irvine launched a bike-share system in [...]

  • Missouri Doubles Down on Highway Spending Despite Diminishing Returns

    States everywhere are feeling the squeeze in their transportation budgets. As gas taxes stagnate, they either have to raise revenue or cut spending. Missouri’s gross state product has been under-performing the national average, despite a whole lot of highway building. Image: nextSTL In Missouri, as lawmakers propose a state sales tax hike of 1 percent that would be [...]

  • The New Blue Line: $1.2B Overhaul Over Next Six Years

    After nearly a quarter of a century in operation, Los Angeles County’s oldest and most popular light-rail line—Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)’s Blue Line—will see a six-year, $1.2B overhaul. The massive capital project will be funded through Measure R, the $40B, half-cent sales tax initiative overwhelmingly passed by Angelino County voters in 2008 in order to relieve [...]

  • Lessons from NYC: Greenway Success Through Interdepartmental Collaboration

    (In advance of my mid-February return to Los Angeles, I’ll be writing up a few L.A.-applicable lessons that I’ve learned back east. – Joe) After living car-free in Los Angeles for 16 years, I fell in love and decided to move to New York City for a while. Well, not quite in New York City proper, [...]

  • Suburban Maryland Calls Wider Roads “Pedestrian Improvements”

    Road widening is being disguised as pedestrian spending in the DC suburbs. Photo: This is Bossi/Flickr It’s one step forward, two steps back for transit and livability in the Washington region. Today, Greater Greater Washington reports that the highway lobby in Virginia is seeking to wrest control over transportation funding from the northern part of the [...]

  • So, Ground Has Officially Been Broken for the Crenshaw Line. What Does That Mean for People in the Area?

    Martin Luther King Jr. was invoked by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the groundbreaking for the Crenshaw Line yesterday. (Photo from 2013 King Day Parade) Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog To say change is afoot in the Crenshaw/Leimert area might be the understatement of the year. And, depending on who you ask, you might get very different perspectives [...]

  • People St Launches: Plazas, Parklets and Bike Corrals on the Way

    LADOT People St Flyer After months of promise, the LADOT formally launched the “People St” website moments ago. All of the documents a community group needs to apply to create a plaza, parklet or bicycle corral in their own community are available online. An introductory project application period will open on March 3 through April 30. [...]

  • “They Never Do Things Like This in My Neighborhood!”: New Park Along Vermont Ave. Surprises, Delights Residents

    A mini-park wends its way down the middle of Vermont Ave. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog He was surprised when they put the bike lane in a while back, he said. But then this? “They never do things like this in my neighborhood!” he laughed. He was referring to the new mini-park that popped up around Thanksgiving between 88th and [...]

  • City Councilmembers Want Rules for Ghost Bikes and Roadside Memorials

    Members of the East Side Riders and Los Ryderz bike clubs put a ghost bike up at the site where a cyclist was hit by the Blue Line train in March of 2013. (photo courtesy of John Jones III) (Note: An earlier version of this story mis-identified the Council Member who introduced the motion as Mitch [...]

  • West Adams Neighbors Come Together to Oppose the Drillers Next Door

    A drilling rig peeks out from behind a sound barrier that was recently erected by Freeport-McMoRan at the Murphy Drilling Site. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog “So, those are not water trucks we see coming through the neighborhood?” asked an older gentleman enjoying the sunny Saturday afternoon with friends outside one of the men’s homes in the West [...]

  • Governing Board of the AQMD Adopts Amendment Imposing Stricter Emissions Controls on Lead-Acid Battery Recyclers

    Concerned citizens, representatives of elected officials, steelworkers, and Exide spokespeople packed today’s hearing before the AQMD governing board. (webcast screenshot) “Se me murió mi señora, se me murió mi cuñado… yo no quiero que muera más gente. Esto es lo que pido de ustedes.” “I have lost my wife and my brother-in-law… I don’t want more [...]

  • Is California Ready to Raise Its Vehicle License Fee?

    Every state has its “third rail” that politicians are afraid to touch. When I began my advocacy career in New Jersey in 2004, politicians were deathly afraid of raising any tax after Democratic Governor Jim Florio was ousted in the solidly blue state because of tax increases he pushed through. Florio had been defeated over [...]

  • Holiday Food for Thought: A Better Way to Bike Share?

    Colin Bogart (LACBC) and Diego Binatena, an Eagle Scout and Olympic cycling hopeful who put together a bike share program for two residential facilities for the homeless, stand next to the newly donated bikes at PATH in Hollywood. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog Gesturing toward the new bicycles that he and Eagle Scout Diego Binatena had just locked [...]

  • A Look at Parklets from the L.A. Forum: L.A. Interrupted

    (The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design Fall 2013 Newsletter, available here. For information on how to join the forum, click here. In addition to other benefits, members receive a paper copy of the newsletter in the mail. – DN) City leaders and neighborhood advocates gathered on York Boulevard Saturday [...]

  • Oregonians Less Interested in Bigger Highways, More Excited for Bike/Ped

    Oregonians are increasingly uninterested in seeing roads expanded and more interested in ensuring proper maintenance of existing facilities. Image: Bike Portland By more than a two-to-one margin, Oregon residents would rather maintain existing highways than expand them. That’s one of the most interesting findings from a recent survey of state residents taken by the Oregon Department [...]

  • We Can Tell You How to Get, How to Get to People St

    The People St program seeks to bring more plazas, such as the one above in Silver Lake, parklets and bike corrals through the city by encouraging partnerships with community groups. “Thank you for liberating our streets,” City Council Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin greeted LADOT staff last week. While LADOT staff may not be used to [...]

  • Today’s Headlines

    Ridley Thomas: Unused South L.A. Rails Will Become Bike/Ped Friendly Greenway (MRT Blog) Op/Ed: Bonin and Garcetti Are Really Excited About Rail Plans for LAX (Daily News) LAPD Handing Out $250 Jay Walking Tickets in DTLA… (DTLA News) …Downtown News Calls Ped. Sting a “Crackdown” Curbed Goes for “Total Bullshit” Everyone Is Stunned by the Milten Olin Crash, No [...]

  • People Get Ready: Winter Is Upon Us And Bus Stops Will Not Shelter You

    The bus stop at Gage and Vermont leaves riders marooned on a dirt (or mud, depending on the weather) island. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog I’ll admit I don’t take the bus very much. I have debilitating motion sickness. I can’t even snap my head from side to side quickly without getting nauseous. The constant stopping, starting, and general [...]

  • Today’s Headlines

    Editorial Urges Metro to Wait for 2016 for Ballot Proposition (LAT) Roadshow Readers Split on Proposed Increase in CA’s Vehicle License Fee After Court Ruling, High Speed Rail Plan Is On the Ropes Again (LAT, Fresno Bee) NPR Runs a Free Commercial for Build Your Dreams, No Mentions of Any Problems L.A. Bike Share Under Bike Nation. He’s Dead, Jim [...]

  • Long Beach: The Other Terminal Island Bridge Project

    The proposed Heim Bridge replacement. Rendering courtesy of Cal Trans. The massive Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project—y’know, that pocket-change $1B, 1.5 mile roadway project that will sit perched above the Long Beach Harbor—has shadowed a smaller bridge project on Terminal Island: the Heim Bridge replacement project. The Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge, a vertical-lift bridge that opened [...]

  • The Dept. of Parks and Rec Wants Your Input on What Parks Should Be

    Google screen shot of Julian Dixon Park, pre-makeover, random boulders and all. I’ve been watching the makeover that the Julian C. Dixon/48th St. Park on Hoover and 48th has been undergoing for the past couple of months with some interest. The small playground, cracked-up basketball court, and small (but well-used) fitness zone sat like disparate islands floating [...]

  • Who Would Benefit From Eliminating the Federal Gas Tax?

    We wrote recently on Streetsblog Capitol Hill about a proposal by Republican members of Congress to eliminate the federal gas tax and turn transportation funding entirely over to the states. This proposal — “devolution,” it’s called — has been a conservative dream for decades. Atlanta’s MARTA would not be possible without federal funding, as Georgia provides [...]

  • Today’s Headlines

    Metro Seriously Planning for Next Sales Tax Initiative (The Source) A Great Profile of Jennifer Klausner, the Head of LACBC (LAT) Huizar Needs Help on Broadway/Downtown Streetcar. Get Someone. (DTLA News) Departures Gives In=Depth Look at Warner Center Plan (KCET) A Look at LB’s Terminal Island Highway Freeway Removal Project (LAT) City Fixes Depressing El Sereno Sidewalk with Asphalt (Eastsider) But [...]

  • Learn About “Hotel Mariachi” at a Book Signing at the Mariachi Festival This Weekend

    Boyle Hotel. Photo: Workman Collection If you’ve been to Mariachi Plaza, then you’ve seen the beautiful Boyle Hotel, or Hotel Mariachi, as it is known to many, that sits on the corner of 1st and Boyle. It was built in 1889 by a Croatian immigrant named George Gerscovich (who changed his name to Cummings) who came to [...]

  • Westwood Boulevard: We Have To Stop Doing Bike Planning for Cars

    Though a sometimes cyclist himself, CD5 CM Paul Koretz angeres a lot of riders by vetoing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. Photo:KPCC Yesterday, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton broke the news that plans for bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard between National and Santa Monica, were, in effect, dead in the water. According to the story, CD5 Council Member Paul [...]

  • Mainstreaming Bicycling, Lessons From Davis California

    Path grade separations on the main path loop network around town meant that if you didn’t want to, you could largely skip crossing busy streets. I’m returned to Santa Monica this week from attending the California by Bike Summit in Oakland, with the theme of mainstreaming the bike in California, and a few extra days in [...]