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The 2nd Annual Alt Car Expo

5:05 PM PDT on October 22, 2007

StreetHeat took its first field trip this weekend to the 2007 Alternative Energy and Transportation Expo in Santa Monica. While I was wowed by cars that get 100 miles per gallon and bikes that do some of the pedaling for you...what was most important for this blogger was a chance to start meeting some folks in the transportation reform community and learn about which issues are hot locally.

The Southern California Transit Advocates and The Transit Coalition filled me in on Proposition 91, the Subway to the Sea, and the Expo Line. Of immediate importance, there are three public hearings this week announcing the initial results of the screening of the alternatives for the Expo Line. For more information about these hearings, click here.

Nurman Parada, the communications director for the Transit Coalition and I discussed how transit service really helped save the day along the I-5 corridor last week. He also shared with me that Metro is going to continue increased transit service through this week.

I also learned that folks with SoCATA don’t like being asked what the difference is between them and the Transit Coalition. Hey, if you guys had any idea how often I was asked whether or not I worked at TA, you wouldn’t have taken it so badly...

A quick hop over to the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition’s booth was equally helpful. One of the top issues for this group is passage of Complete Streets legislation in the California legislature. Having once tried (and failed) to get similar legislation introduced in Trenton, I know this can be a tricky bill to get passed. It certainly makes sense to design roads so that all passengers (not just auto drivers) can use it, but DOT’s don’t like to be told how to do their jobs and will pressure governors into vetoing any such legislation. And that’s assuming it moves through the legislature in the face of the automobile lobby and driver’s groups.

There is some good news for the LABC, Illinois just passed its own complete streets legislation.
StreetHeat will continue to follow these stories, and wishes all the best to any advocate of transportation reform.

Also, for some traditional media coverage...
Expo puts environment in the driver's seat
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-cars21oct21,1,5914654.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

Some pictures:

With new, high powered batteries, some entrepeneurs claim that they can make a normal hybrid get 100 miles per gallon.


Transit Coalition staff explain the proposed MetrolinkMAX service to conference attendees

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