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Today’s Headlines

  • L.A. City Council Considers Reforms To Make Parking Citations More Fair (KPCC)
  • San Gabriel Fires May Postpone Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets (SGV Tribune)
  • Hit-and-Run Crash Kills Cyclist On Crescent Heights In L.A. Mid-City (NBC4, Biking in L.A.)
  • Biking in L.A. Finds Homeowner Support For the Westwood Blvd Bike Lanes
  • Metro Releases Draft Environmental Studies For LAX Connection (The Source)
  • Metro’s Edgy New Train Safety Videos (The Source)
  • The Source Explains Metro Bike-Share
  • How Big Can L.A. Get? (Motherboard)
  • Santa Monica Breeze Bike-Share Is Hiring A Technician (WorkPop)
  • Why All States Should Dump Level Of Service (Transportation For America)

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DTSC Begins Environmental Review Process for Residential Clean-Ups Around Exide, Seeks Public Input

The area around Exide within which DTSC is conducting soil lead testing and clean-up of contaminated yards. Source: DTSC

The area around Exide within which DTSC is conducting soil lead testing and the clean-up of contaminated yards. Source: DTSC

This coming Saturday, June 25, and next Thursday, June 30, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will hold scoping meetings to gather community input regarding the extent to which the clean-up of lead-contaminated properties located within a 1.7-mile radius of shuttered lead-acid battery smelter Exide could affect surrounding neighborhoods. Community comments, the DTSC Notice of Preparation (NOP) states, will “help shape the scope of the Environmental Impact Report” (EIR) which will ultimately guide the clean-up of as many as 2,500 contaminated properties.

Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown had contemplated exempting the residential clean-up from a review as he prepared to ask the legislature for the $176.6 million needed to test 10,000 properties and clean up as many as 2,500.

Proceeding without an EIR for the residential clean-ups would have expedited the process of remediating the highest priority properties – already expected to take at least a full year. Doing so, however, many community members ultimately decided, might have worked against their own interests.

Speaking on the issue back in March, Executive Director of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice Mark Lopez said, “The reason we are in this whole mess is because the state didn’t fully understand the impact of Exide on our communities.”

Assessing potential impacts on the community ahead of time would hopefully preclude any further damage and ensure what promises to be a massive clean-up is carried out in the most sensitive way possible.

The input DTSC is looking for from the community is specific to the kinds of activity residents can expect to see on their streets, including traffic congestion, air quality issues, water quality issues, noise issues, and issues related to the movement of hazardous materials. In particular, DTSC intends to explore the feasibility of clustering clean-ups, meaning a street that has several contaminated properties would see multiple crews doing soil excavation, removal, and replacement at multiple homes at the same time. DTSC estimates they will be able to remediate approximately 50 properties per week.

DTSC has brought on Pasadena-based ESA PCR to draft the EIR, and seeks to have the EIR completed and certified by the summer of 2017. Testing of properties within the 1.7-mile radius of the plant will continue while the EIR is being conducted. Residential clean-ups would begin immediately after certification.

This Saturday’s scoping meeting will be held at Perez Park (6208 Alameda St. in Huntington Park) from 10 a.m. to noon. Next Thursday’s meeting will be held at Commerce Council Chambers (2535 Commerce Way in Commerce) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The public comment period runs between June 16 through July 18 of this year. Comments can also be submitted via email: ExidePIACleanup[at]dtsc.ca.gov. For more information, see the NOP here, or visit DTSC’s website.

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Metro Service Changes Take Effect This Sunday, Including Fewer Night Trains

A side effect of additional "late night" train service will be to alleviate the strain on cars when Midnight Ridazz let's out (assuming the ride ends before midnight). Photo:##http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyseven/3138690971/sizes/z/in/photostream/##Gary Kavanagh/Flickr##

As of Sunday, Metro’s “More Trains More Often” nighttime initiative will be over. Photo: Gary Kavanagh

This Sunday, June 26, Metro will be making their twice yearly “service changes” to bus and rail service. This typically means minor cuts, often justifiable, but still incrementally making riders’ lives a little worse and incrementally contributing to declines in ridership.

Metro’s The Source has a fair summary of the agency’s latest round of transit service adjustments. As one would expect, the agency emphasized improvements:

  • All Gold Line trains will serve the entire new Foothill Extension. Since the new stations opened in March, they were only served by every other train out of Union Station, meaning trains to Azusa ran every 12 minutes. As of Sunday, peak-hour service to Azusa will be every 7 minutes.
  • Metro Rapid Bus line 744 night service has been adjusted to better serve Cal State Northridge.
  • Metro Bus line 230 night service has been adjusted to better serve Mission College.

The Source uses very neutral language to mention some nighttime service cuts for Metro rail lines. These cuts are generating some concern on social media. Right now, evening service (from roughly 8 p.m. to midnight) on the Expo Line and Blue Line runs every 10 minutes. As of Sunday, this will be cut in half to every 20 minutes. Some late night Blue Line trains also run shorter lines, ending at Del Amo Station. In addition, Red Line and Purple Line service for Friday and Saturday nights will be reduced from every 10 minutes to every 20. (Metro already reduced Sunday through Thursday night service to every 20 minutes last year.)

Relatively frequent night train service was introduced in 2011 as part of the Villaraigosa-era “More Trains More Often” improvements. This week’s changes effectively end that 2011 service expansion.  Read more…

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Ten Things to Check Out at 626 Golden Streets – UPDATE 626 HAS BEEN POSTPONED

UPDATE VIA BIKE SGV, JUNE 23 : BREAKING NEWS: ‪#‎626GoldenStreets‬ POSTPONED for a future date given unfavorable conditions due to San Gabriel Valley Complex Fire 🔥😭😭 Please be advised: Openstreets and all activities planned for #626GoldenStreets will no longer be held this Sunday.

Thank You to all those who ALMOST made this truly special event possible. We thank sponsors, volunteers, vendors, performers and city staff for your commitment and continued support. #626GoldenStreets will be back, stay tuned!

626 Golden Streets is this Sunday. Click here for detailed route map.

626 Golden Streets is this Sunday. Click here for detailed route map.

In case you haven’t heard, this Sunday the CicLAvia-style 626 Golden Streets event will finally arrive to the San Gabriel Valley. The 626 open streets route, from South Pasadena to downtown Azusa, will close 18+ miles of roadway to walk, bike, dance, skate, and explore. The event features seven cities and eight planned activity hubs offering an array of activities, plus food trucks, water, restrooms, maps, t-shirts, and lots of smiling faces. Activities include live music, arts and crafts, Rams players and cheerleaders, lawn sports, bicycle repair, a Cyclo Cross competition, lion dances, chalk art, selfie spots, Zumba, and much, much more.

Check out 626’s website here to learn more detail about the event route, activities and services at each hub, points of interest, feeder rides, and answers to any questions you may have.

For added high-tech convenience there is even a 626 event app you can find here.

We at Streetsblog were so excited about this massive open-streets event we compiled a list of our own highlighting some restaurants, shops, and points of interest alongside the route. There will be lots and lots of official activities at the hubs, but we found some off the beaten path neighborhood attractions that can give participants some taste of the surrounding San Gabriel Valley neighborhoods.

Streetsblog created a Google map for easy visual reference. If you have any other points of interest feel free to include them in the comments below!

Videoteque

Videoteque

Vidéothèque

Vidéothèque is a local video rental store located in South Pasadena’s downtown, nearby the Gold Line station hub. The store, according to its website here, offers some 25,000 international, independent, classic, and cult titles to satisfy any film enthusiast – young and old, new and experienced. DVDS line the store and are organized by genre, director and country. It is like a candy store for movies, and many of the DVDs offered can’t be found online. Whatever kind of movie experience you’re looking for, Vidéothèque will almost certainly have it.

Vidéothèque is located right near the route’s western terminus at 1020 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030.

DSC_0276

Bhanu’s and Why Thirsty

Bhanu’s Indian Grocery & Cuisine and Why Thirsty

The San Gabriel Valley is known for a great variety of Asian food restaurants and markets. Though these are mostly somewhat south of the route, there are many close at hand. Why patronize food trucks when there are so many good bricks-and-mortar restaurants to choose from?

Bhanu’s is both a sit-down restaurant and a store stocked with Indian groceries and ingredients. I’d recommend the chicken tikki masala, which was close to perfect, but the whole menu looked incredibly appetizing and featured some dishes with some serious spice.

If you’re feeling in need of a cold drink or shaved ice while traveling the route, check out Why Thirsty for all kinds of boba tea and shaved ice flavors.

Bhanu’s and Why Thirsty are located at the south end of the Trader Joes strip mall at Rosemead Boulevard and Huntington Drive – a block west of the Michillinda Park L.A. County Hub. The address is 7248 N Rosemead Blvd San Gabriel, CA 91775.  Read more…

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Columbus Wins $50 Million “Smart City” Grant. What Put It Over the Top?

Columbus has been chosen to help pioneer innovation in transportation technology. Image: Columbus

U.S. DOT chose Columbus to model how new technologies can improve urban transportation. Image: City of Columbus

U.S. DOT announced the winner of its $50 million “Smart City” grant yesterday, and Columbus, Ohio, bested finalists San Francisco, Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Denver for the prize. Many other cities had applied for this federal funding to demonstrate how new technologies can improve urban streets and transportation.

In its application, Columbus focused on improving job access for low-income residents via shared cars and autonomous buses. Michael Andersen at Bike Portland considered the winning bid from the perspective of his city’s close-but-no-cigar application. Here’s what he thinks set Columbus apart:

Though many of the elements of Columbus’s proposal are similar to Portland’s ultimately unsuccessful one — a multimodal mobility app, electric vehicle charging stations — two things jump out as being absent from Portland’s proposal:

• Local Columbus companies pledged $90 million of their own investment in smart transportation technology as part of the matching-fund total.

It’s hard to say how much of this is just clever repackaging of money that would have been spent anyway, but it’s a very impressive sum. Portland’s application drew lots of letters of support but no local financial commitments like that.

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  • Metro CEO Editorial: Take Charge Of Transportation Future (LB Press-Telegram)
    …Walking, Bicycling, And Equity Not Quite Adequate (Investing in Place)
    …But Southeast L.A. Wants Its Metro Rail Line Sooner (LAT Opinion)
    …But Will It Really Ease Traffic? (KPCC)
  • Carnage: Two Dead In Presumed DUI Head-On Crash In Lakewood (LAT)
  • Future West Santa Ana Branch Corridor Rail Line Explainer (The Source)
  • Silver Lake Hillsiders Want Preferred Parking, Blame Popular Nightclub (Eastsider)
  • Gehry L.A. River Plan Gets Low-Key Rollout (LAT)
  • Foothill Transit Connects Riders With Water Parks (Footnotes)
  • Waze Convenience Can Have Consequences (UCLA CHA)
  • Traffic Would Not Jam If Drivers Behaved More Like Ants (Nautilus)

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Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

Via Streetsblog California
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Caltrans Bicycling/Walking Survey Closing Soon, Draft CA Plan This Fall

Support Streetsblog California today. Click on image to make a donation.

Support continuing coverage of Caltrans and statewide bicycle and pedestrian issues on Streetsblog California. Click on image to make a donation.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 1.50.56 PM

Caltrans is developing the first-ever statewide effort to provide guidance on bicycle and pedestrian planning

As part of the process to develop the first-ever statewide bike and pedestrian plan, Caltrans has been collecting general information from people about their current walking and bicycling experience. The survey, available here, closes on June 30.

So far the department has collected about 2,500 responses from around the state. The information will be used to help formulate a draft California State Bike and Ped Plan, with the completed plan due in February 2017.

While at the State Bike and Ped Plan website, sign up for updates on the next phase of public outreach. A webinar about the plan is being put together for some time in late July or August. When the draft plan is released this fall, there will be “another round of public engagement,” according to Scott Forsythe, who is managing the effort for Caltrans.

The plan’s website is also due for an update in the next few weeks.

So far Caltrans has held ten regional workshops—well, nine, with the tenth happening in Eureka tomorrow—with local agency partners to gather feedback about coordinating on bike and pedestrian issues. The regional workshops gathered about 170 representatives from cities, counties, metropolitan planning organizations, health departments, and law enforcement agencies. Bicycle and pedestrian advocates were invited to attend as well. See earlier SBCA coverage of a recent state plan workshop in Los Angeles.

The regional forums were an “early outreach effort,” according to Forsythe. A summary of the input from the forums will inform the draft plan. Then, in the fall, “there will be further opportunities for public input to the plan. We’re still looking for the best way to reach out to get the most effective input,” said Forsythe.

Currently Caltrans is developing draft objectives for the plan, with the help of a technical advisory committee made up of representatives of about forty planning agencies, state agencies, and advocates. The advisory committee “is a good cross section of California,” said Forsythe. “It includes representatives from urban areas and rural areas, mountain communities, coastal communities.” The advisory committee provides feedback on the draft objectives, and will help with developing strategies to meet those objectives and performance measures to evaluate whether they are being met.

The plan’s objectives are based on the six goals already developed for the statewide California Transportation Plan 2040. “There was an extensive statewide effort to develop the CTP goals,” said Forsythe, “and they apply to this plan.”

The goals in the CTP are a good start for a bike/ped plan. They are to: Read more…

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#DamienTalksSGV 11 – Metro, Cacciotti and 626 Golden Streets

UPDATE VIA BIKE SGV, JUNE 23 : BREAKING NEWS: ‪#‎626GoldenStreets‬ POSTPONED for a future date given unfavorable conditions due to San Gabriel Valley Complex Fire 🔥😭😭 Please be advised: Openstreets and all activities planned for #626GoldenStreets will no longer be held this Sunday.

Thank You to all those who ALMOST made this truly special event possible. We thank sponsors, volunteers, vendors, performers and city staff for your commitment and continued support. #626GoldenStreets will be back, stay tuned!

June 26 San Gabriel Valley open streets map!

June 26 San Gabriel Valley open streets map!

This week, #DamienTalks with Laura Cornejo, the sustainability officer for Metro and the lead for Metro’s Open Streets events program. Metro has been funding numerous Open Streets events throughout L.A. County. Metro’s initial open streets funding cycle finishes up this weekend with 626 – an amazing 18-mile long multi-jurisdictional car-free party.

Damien Talks SGV logo626 Golden Streets will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, June 26. Metro, Bike SGV, seven cities and a host of other organizations invite you to explore ​18+ miles of open streets linking six Metro Gold Line stations and seven San Gabriel Valley cities ​stretching from South Pasadena to Azusa. Participants do not need to ride all 18 miles, but can start and finish wherever you like. Participants can walk, run, bike, skate, wheelchair, or crawl. Take breaks, stop for lunch, listen to music, shop, hang out, and generally enjoy streets open to all. The event is free, family-friendly, fun, and, of course, very easily accessible via the Metro Gold Line.

For more information, visit 626GoldenStreets.com.

After the talk with Cornejo, we are replaying our #DamienTalks from April 7 with South Pasadena Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Cacciotti. Cacciotti has been a critical figure in the effort to create the 626 both as an elected official and an advocate. As a fun bonus, the interview takes place on the Gold Line itself as Michael is heading home from work.

#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.”

Streetsblog.net
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Beyond Fitness: The Social Benefits of Open Streets Events

Milwaukee's Ciclovia was planned in part to help bring together different groups in a Hispanic neighborhood. Urban MIlwaukee

One goal of Milwaukee’s Ciclovia is to bring neighbors together in public space. Photo: Urban Milwaukee

It’s a beautiful thing to witness just how much neighborhood streets can change when you remove car traffic. As open streets events, modeled after Bogotá’s Ciclovia, have spread across the U.S. in the past several years, they’ve brought not just opportunities for physical activity, but a joyful new way to use streets as public spaces.

In Milwaukee, this year’s Ciclovia overlapped with the city’s Pride parade. Writing at Urban Milwaukee, Dave Schlabowske of the Wisconsin Bike Federation says the combination of the two events underscored how open streets are about so much more than biking:

Our Ciclovía ended at 4 p.m. and I packed up the van with the now empty bike racks and put them back in the basement of our office. Pedaling home from our office after such a successful day, I kept reliving the smiles of all the cute kids, the infectious beat of the Zumba, and generally basking in a day that made me proud to work for the Wisconsin Bike Fed and be part of such a wonderful, healthy, community building event. It was one of those days I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but Milwaukee.

Then I got home and my wife told me the news about the mass shooting in Orlando. I was shocked. I can’t believe our event and the Pridefest Parade overlapped and yet I had no idea of the horrific attack on the LGBT community the night before. It took me awhile to write about this. At first I felt guilty for being so self-absorbed that I missed learning about the biggest mass murder in our nation’s history while busy with a “bike event.”

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  •  Metro’s Permanent Sales Tax Proposal Is Fair (LAT Editorial)
    …Metro Should Just Build My Crenshaw Rail Line Sooner (LAT Editorial)
    …Metro Should Not Forget Cal State Northridge (Daily News Editorial)
  • Silver Line All-Door Boarding Begins Sunday June 26 (The Source)
  • Urbanize Previews Major Changes Planned For Union Station
  • Pacoima Demonstrates Healthy Corridors (UrbanLand)
  • Hot Weather Slows Metro Trains (Curbed)
  • WeHo Mayor Proposes Extra Morning Free Parking, Council Rejects (WeHoVille)
  • Rowland Heights Opens New Nogales Street Train Underpass (SGV Tribune)
  • Southern California’s Biggest Open Streets 626 Is This Sunday (The Source)

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