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#DamienTalksSGV 16 : Mayor Sam Pedroza and Bike SGV’s Jose Jimenez

This week, #DamienTalks with Claremont Mayor and Foothill Transit Board Member Sam Pedroza and Bike SGV Education Director Jose Jimenez.

Damien Talks SGV logoThe conversation with Mayor Pedroza is pretty wide- ranging, but covers three major areas: the expansion of Livable Streets in Claremont, the flexibility of Foothill Transit as it seeks to maximize the value of its service and this fall’s transportation sales tax ballot measure, Measure M.

Much of the discussion of Claremont focuses on a complete streets plan for Claremont’s portion of the iconic Route 66. Doug Lewis wrote an in-depth story on the plan for Streetsblog earlier this summer. That story can be found, here.

You can give feedback to Mayor Padroza on his Twitter, @CouncilmanSam.

Next, we talk with Jose Jimenez, the education director for Bike SGV. Jimenez provides an update on the Bike Education Center in El Monte and some of the classes it’s offering this fall and winter. For more on the Education Center, visit Bike SGV’s website.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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Today’s Headlines

  • LADOT Is Revamping DASH Service – Meetings Underway (KPCC)
  • Carnage: Mom and Kids Killed By Suspected Drunk Driver In Placentia (LAT)
  • Recommended #Streetsr4families Trip: Natural History Museum (L.A. Bike Dad)
  • Councilmember Huizar Survey On Verdugo Road Improvements (Safer Verdugo)
  • Burbank Riders Take Back the Night (CiclaValley)
  • Under-Construction Hollywood Target Store Languishes In Legal Battle (LAT)
  • Nine Expo Line Hacks (L.A. Magazine)
  • How To Drive Or Take the Train To Rams Games (KPCC)
  • Bicycling in the South Bay Exposes Some Twitter Bike Haters
  • Fresno Policeman Wrestles Student To the Ground For Jaywalking (Fresno Bee)
  • Park-and-Ride Needs To Move Past Free and Full (Green Biz)

Get National Headlines At Streetsblog USA
Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

Via Streetsblog California
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Stop Already with the “Cap-and-Trade Is Dead” Business

IMG_6008

Senator Fran Pavely, author of A.B. 32 and its potential successor, S.B. 32

Some members of the mainstream media seem to be enjoying a good rip on California’s climate change policies, especially its cap-and-trade program, heralding its imminent collapse and describing Governor Jerry Brown as desperate and “nervous” about whether he can save it.

And some of those media pundits are going a little overboard, like the Los Angeles Times’ in-house curmudgeon George Skelton when he derides High Speed Rail as Governor Brown’s “choo-choo.”

But hold up there, cowboys. Yes, there is a pending court case about whether cap-and-trade is a tax—and therefore whether it needed to have passed with a 2/3 majority—but there are pretty good arguments against that reasoning, and the case has already been shot down once.

And sure, last spring’s cap-and-trade auction was disappointing in terms of raising revenue, but greenhouse gas emission reductions from the cap are not affected by the amount of revenue collected in the trade. And while we still don’t know the results of this week’s auction, permits had recently been trading on the open market at a price above the auction’s floor price. So let’s not jump in to proclaim the program’s demise quite yet.

Skelton’s derisive column is not helpful in the midst of a proliferation of ramped-up pessimism and misleading allegations about cap-and-trade. Do we want California to do everything it can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or would we rather stand around arguing about it? We’re kind of running out of time here.

(Note to the author of the above-linked nonsense, and like-minded people: stop it already with the “hidden gas tax” stuff. It’s just silly. For one thing, any pass-along costs to consumers are minuscule compared to the fluctuations in gas prices we endure; and for another, consumers should be paying for cleaner air, since we’re contributing to the problem by driving so much.)

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Carless Renters Forced to Pay $440 Million a Year for Parking They Don’t Use

Many residents of American cities can’t escape the high cost of parking, even if they don’t own cars. Thanks to policies like mandatory parking requirements and the practice of “bundling” parking with housing, carless renters pay $440 million each year for parking they don’t use, according to a new study by C.J. Gabbe and Gregory Pierce in the journal Housing Policy Debate.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

The financial burden works out to an average of $621 annually per household, or a 13 percent rent premium — and it is concentrated among households that can least afford it. “Minimum parking standards create a major equity problem for carless households,” said Gabbe. “71 percent of renters without a car live in housing with at least one parking space included in their rent.”

Parking is typically bundled with rent, making the price of residential parking opaque. So Gabbe and Pierce set out to estimate how much people are actually paying for the parking that comes with their apartments.

Crunching Census data from a representative sample of more than 38,000 rental units in American urban areas, they isolated the relationship between parking provision and housing prices. They determined that on average, a garaged parking space adds about $1,700 per year in rent — a 17 percent premium.

Looking only at carless households, the average cost is $621 per year and the premium is 13 percent. On average these households earn about $24,000 annually, compared to $44,000 for the whole sample, and they get no value whatsoever out of the parking spaces bundled with their rent.

Gabbe and Pierce estimate that nationwide there are 708,000 households without a car renting an apartment with a garaged parking space, for a total cost burden of about $440 million per year due to unused parking.

So how can parking policy create fairer housing prices?

Gabbe and Pierce say cities should eliminate minimum parking requirements to make housing more affordable. Cities can also help by allowing and encouraging landlords to “unbundle” the cost of parking from the cost of rent — so people who don’t have cars aren’t forced to pay for parking spaces they don’t use.

Streetsblog.net
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An American Take on the “Bus Stop of the Future”

College Park, Maryland's "Bus Stop of the Future." Image: Beyond DC/Flickr

College Park’s “bus stop of the future.” Image: Beyond DC/Flickr

Four years ago, the regional transit agency in Paris, RATP, set out to create the “bus stop of the future.” This bus stop would be designed to give riders and even passersby a comfortable place to relax. In addition to a sleek shelter, it featured a bike-share station, a library, and snacks and coffee.

Inspired by that example, College Park, Maryland, recently created its own version of the “bus stop of the future.” Dan Malouff at Greater Greater Washington says it includes many of the elements of the Parisian bus stop, but at a price that’s a lot more reasonable:

They started with a normal bus stop sign and shelter, then added a standard mBike bikeshare station. To help with maintenance, the city chained a bike tire pump to the station sign.

For the library, they staked to the ground a Little Free Library, a pre-fab wood box for people to take and give away free books. There’s no librarian and no library cards; it runs on the honor system, and relies on people donating as many books as they take.

Read more…

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It’s Official: 2016 November Sales Tax Is “Measure M”

Metro sales tax promotional image

Metro sales tax promotional image for the newly confirmed “Measure M”

Metro asked for the “M” in its ballot measure request to the County Board of Supervisors. No more provisional monikers like R2, R2.1 or #metroplan. Metro announced today that the countywide transportation sales tax will be named “Measure M” on the November ballot.

Metro’s press release touts “More Mobility, Movement, Motion, Maintenance focus of Metro’s Sales Tax Ballot Measure.” What else does that “M” stand for? Maybe Money?

That means that Streetsblog L.A. now has a new “Measure M” category. Plenty more stories are coming about this critically important sales tax proposal as the November election approaches.

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Today’s Headlines

  • Santa Monica Breeze Bike-Share Is Pretty Nice (CityWatch)
  • Celebrities Endorse Anti-Growth Initiative (LAist, L.A. Weekly)
  • Jordan Downs Demolition Starting Soon, Redevelopment Follows (KPCC, Curbed)
  • Reseda Blvd Apartments To Become Mixed Use Apartment Building (Urbanize)
  • Los Angeles: Beautiful and Ugly (Land of Rye)
  • How Venice Could Secede From L.A. (Curbed)
  • The Eastsider Discovers L.A.’s Bike Polo Scene
  • Judge Sides Against Uber In Drivers Class Action Settlement (LAT)
  • If Only Car Collisions Got National Attention Like Newark Bus Collision Did (KTLA5)

Get National Headlines At Streetsblog USA
Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

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CA Cap-and-Trade Transit Funding Awarded to Metro, Other SoCal Agencies

This week California awarded $40M in cap and trade funding for Metro's planned LAX station

This week, California awarded $40M in cap-and-trade transit capital funding for Metro’s planned LAX rail station. Image via Metro LAX staff report

This week, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced the recipients of its Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants. TIRCP distributes state cap-and-trade funding to local transit agencies for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In greater Los Angeles, funds were awarded to Metro, Foothill Transit, Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Antelope Valley Transit Authortity (AVTA), and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). A detailed project list follows.

The TIRCP awards total $390 million statewide, with $109 million of that going to L.A. Metro.

Though state cap-and-trade has been criticized by its foes, including petroleum interests, it continues to be a key source of funding for critical livability projects, including these transit capital projects, plus high-speed railtransit-oriented affordable housing, and more. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing to extend cap and trade, but it appears that that effort may need to go to a statewide initiative vote, instead of the theoretically easier state legislation route.

Southern California TIRCP projects follow after the jump, listed in alphabetic order by agency name. See CalSTA for a full statewide project listsRead more…

Streetsblog USA
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State DOTs to Feds: We Don’t Want to Reveal Our Impact on Climate Change

State DOTs don’t want to report on how their spending decisions affect greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: Andrew Boone

Every year state DOTs receive tens of billions of dollars in transportation funds from the federal government. By and large, they can do whatever they want with the money, which in most states means wasting enormous sums on pork-laden highway projects. Now that U.S. DOT might impose some measure of accountability on how states use these funds, of course the states are fighting to keep their spending habits as opaque as possible.

At issue are proposed “performance measures” that U.S. DOT will establish to track whether states make progress on goals like reducing traffic injuries or cutting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. For the first time, state DOTs will have to set targets and measure their progress toward achieving them. It is strictly a transparency initiative — there are no penalties for failure to meet the targets.

Nevertheless, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), doesn’t want to expose the effect of state transportation policies to public scrutiny. AASHTO has released a 110-page comment [PDF] on U.S. DOT’s proposed performance measures, rattling off a litany of objections.

Here are a few highlights:

AASHTO doesn’t want to measure greenhouse gas emissions

In a meeting with federal officials in May [PDF], AASHTO leaders opposed a rule that would require state DOTs to measure their greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists and even some state DOTs support this rule (there is some diversity of opinion within AASHTO). But the AASHTO leadership really dislikes it. In its comments, AASHTO said it doesn’t believe the feds have the “legislative authority” make state DOTs track carbon emissions.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Talking Headways Podcast: Putting Dallas Back Together Again

Patrick Kennedy comes on the podcast this week to talk about what’s going on in Dallas. We discuss the highway removal campaign known as A New Dallas and the recent Texas DOT CityMap Plan to re-imagine the freeways and roads in the city’s downtown. We also discuss downtown subways, urban politics, why existing walkable neighborhoods matter to new walkable neighborhoods, and what’s going on with plans for the Trinity River.