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Posts from the Streetsblog Category


Support Our Bid for an LA2050 Grant and Help Us Make L.A. an Affordable Place to Live for All

AbundantHousingNote: California Streets Initiative, the nonprofit that publishes Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog California, Longbeachize, and Santa Monica Next, is teaming up with Abundant Housing LA (AHLA) to compete for an LA2050 grant to help make LA an affordable place to live for all.

To earn the grant, we either need to win a popular vote or be selected by the Goldhirsch Foundation Board. Either way, your vote is important. You can vote once per category, so just because you support another #LA2050 proposal does not necessarily mean you can’t support our proposal as well. If you value Streetsblog, and you’d like to support us and see us cover a broader spectrum of housing issues, please please please VOTE ONLINE NOW.

Los Angeles has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the most expensive places to rent in the country, eroding the diversity that has made this one of the great places to live.

For decades, we haven’t been building enough housing to keep pace with a growing population. This well-documented housing shortage means that increasingly middle- and lower-income households are finding themselves priced out of once-affordable neighborhoods, having to commute farther distances just to get to work, or having to leave the state altogether.

More housing at all levels of affordability will allow current residents to remain here while making room for newcomers and future generations to make their homes here.

Streetsblog Los Angeles and our partners are competing for LA2050 grant funding to get the word out about how housing, affordability, and livability interact. We need your online vote today. If we win, we hope to educate and mobilize new voices to speak up for new housing in a debate too often dominated by misinformation and fear of change. Through community organizing, online tools, and media coverage, we want to empower those burdened by high housing costs to become informed, attend hearings, submit comments and champion the construction of more places to live.

Not only can abundant housing help stabilize the cost of living for all throughout the region, housing in transit-rich walkable bikeable neighborhoods can help take cars off the road, reinvigorate our streets as public spaces, and allow people to live in an overall more sustainable way than decades of auto-oriented and sprawl planning have.

An influx of new voices demanding more housing can help expand housing options for everyone.

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Ten Reasons to Come to the Streetsblog Party at Eco-Village Tomorrow

Come party with Streetsblog Los Angeles as we celebrate our success with the 2014 Los Angeles Press Club Awards banquet.

In addition to taking home the “Best Blog” award, members of our team picked up individual honors throughout the night including Sahra Sulaiman (Best Online Feature story, 2nd for Best Online News Story, 3rd for Best News Photo), and Damien Newton (3rd for Best Online Lifestyle Piece). SBLA sister publication’s Brian Addison also took home “Best Online Journalist.”

We’ll be returning to the home of our first fundraiser, the Los Angeles Eco-Village (117 Bimini Place) at 6 p.m. Admission is $25 on a sliding scale. Food and drink will be provided. 

If that thrilling introduction wasn’t enough of an incentive, here’s ten more reasons to come party with us tomorrow.

1) Streetsblog (and our sister sites under the umbrella non-profit Southern California Streets Initiative) won six L.A. Press Club awards in three years including Best Blog (twice), Best Online Journalist, and three awards for individual articles.

2) It’s been almost three years since our last party at L.A. Eco-Village. The last one was a going away party for Joe Linton.

3) If you don’t have plans for CicLAvia, you can meet a ride buddy. Seriously, like 90% of the people at this party will be going to CicLAvia the next day.

4) Damien, Joe and Sahra will all be there, so if you want to complain about a Streetsblog L.A. story, you’re almost guaranteed a chance to meet the author.

5) New t-shirts! For the first time Damien ordered women’s and men’s sizes instead of “unisex.” Read more…

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Party With Us At L.A. Eco-Village This Saturday!

Celebrate with Streetsblog this Saturday!

Celebrate with Streetsblog this Saturday!

If you’re reading this… well, then, you read Streetsblog Los Angeles. Hopefully you’re here because you like what we do.

It’s not just readers like you that appreciate Streetsblog. We’re happy to also be acknowledged by the Los Angeles Press Club. Streetsblog L.A. was recently awarded the Press Club’s award for Best Group Blog and SBLA Communities Editor Sahra Sulaiman was awarded Best Online Feature for her article To Be or Not To Be a Gang-Banger: Is that Really the Question?

SBLA also pulled some runners up prizes: 2nd for Best Online News Story, 3rd for Best News Photo, 3rd for Best Online Lifestyle Piece, while our sister publication LongBeachIze’s Brian Addison won Best Online Journalist.

So we’re celebrating this weekend! Join team Streetsblog for a garden party at Los Angeles Eco-Village in Koreatown. Tickets are $25 on a sliding scale. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. RSVP via Eventbrite. Share and get more event details at Facebook. If you’d like to donate to support us, but can’t make Saturday, you can always make a donation by clicking here, or sending a payment to on paypal. If you’re really 21st century, you can even make a bitcoin donation by clicking here.

Come celebrate with us while making sure we can continue to provide the stories that you read and enjoy!

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Save the Date for August 8th: Party with Streetsblog L.A. and LongBeachize to Celebrate Our Press Club Honors

Damien Newton, Melanie Curry, and Joe Linton accepting the Group Blog award at last night's L.A. Press Club awards dinner. Photo: Juan Matute

Damien Newton, Melanie Curry, and Joe Linton accepting the Group Blog award at last month’s L.A. Press Club awards dinner. Photo: Juan Matute

Come party with Streetsblog Los Angeles and LongBeachize as we celebrate our success with the 2014 Los Angeles Press Club Awards banquet. In addition to taking home the “Best Blog” award for the second year in a row, members of our team picked up individual honors throughout the night including Sahra Sulaiman (Best Online Feature story, 2nd for Best Online News Story, 3rd for Best News Photo), and Damien Newton (3rd for Best Online Lifestyle Piece). SBLA sister publication’s Brian Addison also took home “Best Online Journalist.”

We’ll be returning to the home of our first fundraiser, the Los Angeles Eco-Village. Admission is $25 on a sliding scale. Food and drink will be provided.

We’ll have more details in the coming weeks, but if you already know you want to party with us, you can reserve your ticket at EventBrite.

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Streetsblog L.A./LongBeachize/Santa Monica Next Are Finalists for NINE L.A. Press Club Awards

Friends of Oscar Toledo, Jr., gather around the ghost bike put up at 47th and Normandie in South LA. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog LA. This photo is a finalist for an award from the L.A. Press Club

Friends of Oscar Toledo, Jr., gather around the ghost bike put up at 47th and Normandie in South LA. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A. This photo is a finalist for an award from the L.A. Press Club

The votes are in, and while we don’t have all the final results, we do know that Streetsblog Los Angeles, LongBeachize, and Santa Monica Next are finalists for nine awards from the Los Angeles Press Club for our work in 2014.

Every year at this time, I mention that award-winning journalism doesn’t come free. If you want to help us celebrate our nominations, consider a donation at Streetsblog Los Angeles (donate here!), LongBeachize (donate here!), and Santa Monica Next (donate here!).

Streetsblog Los Angeles is up for “Best Blog” for the second year in a row. Last year, Streetsblog LA won this category in our first year as a finalist. Our competition for this award is pretty stiff with blogs from Truthdig, Hollywood Reporter, and KCET rounding out the category.

For the second year in a row, one of our teammates is up for “Online Journalist of the Year” as LongBeachize editor Brian Addison is recognized for both his work with LongBeachize and the Long Beach Post. For LongBeachize, Addison’s coverage of the Terminal Island Freeway removal project is a finalist for Best Online News Story. For the Post, Addison is a finalist for his eerie photography essay of an abandoned pool at a soon-to-be-demolished hotel.

As has become the norm, Sahra Sulaiman is nominated for a bevy of awards. From a photo of friends mourning at a ghost bike, to a news story on her coverage of the public relations disaster Metro created for itself at Mariachi Plaza, to a heart-rending features story that simply asks, “To Be or Not Be a Gang Banger, Is That Really the Question?;” Sahra continues to write the stories and capture the images that nobody else does. Read more…

Via Streetsblog Denver
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Get Ready for Streetsblog Denver


I’m pleased to welcome the newest member of the Streetsblog collective: Starting Monday, you can get news and commentary about safe streets, effective transit, and walkable development in the Mile High City by pointing your browser to Streetsblog Denver.

Streetsblog Denver arrives at a pivotal moment. The city is growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and it desperately needs streets and transportation policy that respond to these changes with intelligence and foresight. While there’s a huge grassroots appetite for walkable, bikeable neighborhoods and excellent transit access, for the most part the city’s streets remain stuck in the cars-first status quo. Working with an energetic advocacy community and the support of dedicated readers, Streetsblog Denver aims to change that.

Streetsblog Denver is run by a new, Denver-based non-profit of the same name, under the umbrella of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. The site is possible thanks to the generous support of The Gates Family Foundation, the New Belgium Family Foundation, Zeppelin Development, Joel Noble and Julie Hock-Noble, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Editorial guidance and technical support come from Streetsblog’s main office in New York. Many thanks to Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek for getting the ball rolling.

Streetsblog Denver editor David Sachs

Streetsblog Denver Editor David Sachs

Leading Streetsblog Denver is editor David Sachs, who lives in Congress Park. David brings a background in journalism, communications, and political organizing to the job. As editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times in Virginia, he regularly covered transportation and development. David’s been hard at work cultivating sources and generating story ideas, and starting next week he’ll be cranking out posts every workday.

Denver came of age in the highway era, and its streets still reflect that. Wide, car-centric roads like Colfax, Broadway, Colorado, and Federal feel more like Autobahns than functional urban streets. Key measures of street safety are heading in the wrong direction, with pedestrian deaths on the rise. While the city has a reputation as a bike-friendly place, the truth on the ground doesn’t measure up — bicycling on Denver’s high-speed streets will get your pulse pounding for all the wrong reasons.

While transportation planners have done well connecting the region’s suburbs to downtown via rail, it’s not enough. The Regional Transportation District still caters to Denver’s suburban past. Its rail lines circle the city but barely penetrate it. For city dwellers, Denver’s neighborhoods remain fragmented by a landscape designed for cars, without effective transit to connect them.

But as a young city, Denver is also very capable of envisioning a new way of doing things.

Read more…


Meet Your New Streetsblog L.A. Editor – Joe Linton!

Joe Linton has been a fixture in the L.A. bicycling scene for over two decades. In that time he’s founded the L.A. River Ride, co-founded the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, worked in key early leadership roles at CicLAvia and C.I.C.L.E., served on the board of directors of Friends of the L.A. River, Southern California Streets Initiative, and L.A. Eco-Village, and has worked to grow non-profits throughout the city.

Me on the left with Mary Leigh, Joe on the right with Maeve. Photo at the 2014 Complete Streets Day by Aaron Paley.

Me on the left with Mary Leigh, Joe on the right with Maeve. Photo at the 2014 Complete Streets Day by Aaron Paley.

As of last week, he has a new title to go with all the rest: Editor of Streetsblog Los Angeles.

Anyone who isn’t closely checking the titles on our business cards is probably surprised to find out that Joe wasn’t already the editor. Joe has been writing more articles than anyone else for well over a year and has been representing our organization at events throughout Los Angeles that aren’t held within walking distance of my house or in the South L.A./Boyle Heights communities that Sahra Sulaiman covers as part of our grant with The California Endowment.

But, I held on to that title for far too long after it was apparent that Joe had taken over most of the editorial work because, well, because it’s an awesome title. A friend of mine jokes that the Regional Connector is her first child (as opposed to her human child). If that’s true, than Streetsblog L.A. will always be my virtual child, even if I’m making coo-coo noises with Santa Monica Next, LongBeachize, and Streetsblog California.

In the meantime, Joe has taken over most of the editorial and day-to-day writing that makes Streetsblog what it is. He’s been both a groundbreaking reporter covering stories that fall through the cracks of legacy media outlets and a tireless voice for reform where other advocacy organizations leave off. But even before he joined our staff, he was a founding Board Member and first Board Chair of the Southern California Streets Initiative, the non-profit that took over the fundraising and editorial for Streetsblog L.A. in 2010. Read more…

Streetsblog NYC
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A New Type of Streetsblog in St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast? Yep.

A little more than six years ago, we launched the Streetsblog Network as a way for people across the country writing about livable streets, sustainable transportation, and smart growth to band together and share ideas. There are many wonderful things about the Streetsblog Network, but I would put this is at the top of my list: It is both profoundly local, full of people working on the nitty-gritty of street design, transit service, and planning issues in their hometowns, and broadly distributed, with hundreds of members operating in cities all over the nation.

For a long time we’ve been thinking about how to build on these strengths. And today we’re going live with a new way to channel the energy of the Streetsblog Network and broadcast it to the world.

We are launching affiliate sites that combine the work of Streetsblog Network members in four regions: St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast. These sites run on a different model than our other city-based Streetsblogs with full-time staff. Each Streetsblog affiliate syndicates material from several blogs in its region and runs a daily dose of headlines to satisfy the universal craving for morning news. Have a look. (Doesn’t it blow your mind to see the words “Streetsblog Texas” in a site banner?)



Our partners in this endeavor are volunteers writing in their spare time, independent media entrepreneurs, and people working at non-profit advocacy organizations and academic institutions. By running their work in this format, on the Streetsblog platform, we aim to help build their audience both nationally and in their home regions. The geographic scope of most of these sites is bigger than the usual Streetsblog city-based beat, but the writers are addressing overlapping issues — a Paleolithic state DOT, for instance, or city leadership that struggles to get Complete Streets right. We believe there will be strength in numbers like there’s been with the national Streetsblog Network.

Read more…

Streetsblog NYC
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Changes at Streetsblog in 2015

When Streetsblog launched in 2006, the site made an impact almost immediately. The daily scrutiny of NYC transportation agencies and elected officials created new opportunities for policy reform, leading to real change in the design and operation of our streets. It wasn’t long before advocates from out of town contacted Streetsblog about bringing this model of advocacy journalism to their cities, and where we could assemble the resources to pull it off, we did. In the course of a few years, Streetsblog became a truly national voice for overhauling our car-based transportation system.

With growth come risks. Our team knows how to make an impact with our reporting and commentary, but like many other media outlets, we’re still figuring out how to make the business of our journalism work. This process isn’t a straight line — there’s bound to be some trial and error.

In 2015, we’re making key changes based on what we’ve learned so far. While this will entail some difficult transitions, the new approaches Streetsblog is adopting position us to continue making an impact in more places over the long run.

Yesterday, we announced that Streetsblog Chicago is suspending publication after two excellent years of coverage from John Greenfield and Steven Vance. We hope this will be a temporary situation as John rustles up the financial support to revive the site under the umbrella of a new 501(c)3 separate from OpenPlans, the non-profit that publishes Streetsblog. (In Los Angeles, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton weathered the same transition a few years ago by starting up the Southern California Streets Initiative, which today runs a thriving local transportation news site at Streetsblog LA.)

Given current budget constraints, we’ve also had to cut two other valued members of our editorial staff, Tanya Snyder and Payton Chung.

We hired Tanya in 2010 as editor of our national site, called Streetsblog Capitol Hill at the time. Her leadership and energy built it into a compelling news source, with a broad and influential audience.

Tanya learned the ropes of federal transportation policy with alacrity, culminating with her coverage of the MAP-21 bill. Then she proceeded to steer our national coverage in new and varied directions under the Streetsblog USA banner. Tanya plugged her readers into the movement for transportation reform from coast to coast, delved into fresh topics like car-free parenting, and started up a new content platform in the Talking Headways Podcast. We’re going to miss her tremendously.

For the last year, Payton’s analytical skill and deep policy expertise added depth to the reporting across several Streetsblog outlets. While you may not have seen his byline frequently, as editor-at-large, Payton shaped content all over Streetsblog USA, Streetsblog Chicago, and Streetsblog SF every day. I count the three-part series on privately financed highways he produced with Angie Schmitt last November as the best piece of reporting that Streetsblog published in 2014.

Going forward, Angie will be directing Streetsblog USA coverage. She has a nose for stories that get at the heart of why transportation policy needs to change, and a keen eye for visuals that grab people’s attention. I’m excited to see where she takes the site from here.

For a small non-profit news organization, these are not minor changes. While Streetsblog’s core operations remain securely funded with a mix of support from individual contributions, foundations, and ads, we have resolved to adopt a few key shifts in strategy.

First and foremost: We have to adjust our expansion model. We continue to receive strong interest from advocates who want to bring Streetsblog’s brand of advocacy journalism to their cities, and we want to work with them to make that happen. Streetsblog LA points to the way forward: In the LA model, OpenPlans offers editorial expertise and a technical platform to a local partner organization who employs the reporters, instead of OpenPlans taking on everything in-house. We hope to replicate this model with John Greenfield’s reboot of Streetsblog Chicago, and in other cities where potential partners have reached out about starting up Streetsblogs.

The other change is to make better use of our capacity to generate revenue from ads. Streetsblog reaches a sufficiently large audience that ad sales are viable on a much larger scale than we’ve pursued to date. We can’t afford to leave that revenue on the table. It may be jarring at first, but more ads on Streetsblog will mean a healthier news organization in the long run, one that can better achieve its mission of connecting people to information about the movement for livable streets.

Thank you for reading and supporting Streetsblog as we embark on these changes.

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Very Light Publishing Today In Observance of Veterans Day

Celebrate our servicemembers! Image via pixabay

Celebrate our servicemembers! Image via pixabay

It’s Veterans’ Day!

SBLA’s platoon of hardworking writers are taking some R&R from their daily toil in the War on Motorists. We will publish very lightly today in observance of the holiday.

We’ll be back back in the trenches tomorrow, and publishing full days of stories and headlines the rest of this week.

Coming up this week:

Full week’s transportation and livability calendar here.