2016 has been a topsy-turvy election year. There has been a great deal of anti-urban sentiment voiced from the national campaign stage. There was no shortage of anti-urban sentiment from local NIMBYs too. Overall, though, Southern California is moving toward a wider acceptance of the diverse ways that Angelenos get around. This is trickling upward to policymakers, who are more and more supportive of a broader range of transportation options.
At Streetsblog, we work year round to bring you coverage that you cannot find elsewhere. We tell the stories of movements that are improving the way Angelenos get around and improving the quality of life for everyone. Often stories that we shed light on get picked up by other media. Our coverage is read by elected officials and the staff they depend on. Often our work helps to broaden awareness and change the policies and priorities that shape our streets and neighborhoods.
Here are just a few of the success stories that I am proud to have been reporting on in recent years:
Bike-Share's Arrival: A decade ago, city staff were reporting that bike-share wouldn't work in Southland cities. Now it has arrived in Santa Monica, Long Beach, downtown L.A., and West Hollywood, and will be expanding to UCLA, Venice, and Pasadena in 2017. From early on, at Streetsblog L.A., I covered bike-share implementation efforts, from proposals to celebrations to expansions.
Right-Sizing Metro Parking: Metro operates an inventory of more than 20,000 parking spaces, nearly all of them free. This costs the agency a lot to operate and maintain, often at the expense of transit riders and the environment. At Streetsblog L.A., I critiqued Metro's often wasteful parking policies. In 2016, Metro approved moving to manage its parking more professionally and more in targeted support of overall transit system ridership.
L.A.'s Sidewalk Repair Settlement: People with disabilities forced the city of L.A. to get serious about funding repairs to an impassable sidewalk network. At Streetsblog L.A., I covered the convoluted legislative process, and the approval of programs that will, in early 2017, result in actual repaired sidewalks.
Streetsblog is bigger than just me. Communities editor Sahra Sulaiman covers issues impacting Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles. Founder Damien Newton runs our non-profit while reporting on issues all over California. Our sister sites cover Santa Monica, Long Beach, San Francisco and California. Streetsblog L.A. is a growing national network supporting livability efforts in 10 key American cities.
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