Programming note: If I sound 2,000 miles distant this week, I’m working Very Remotely — I’m back in Cincinnati dealing with the wonderful world of assisted living facilities. FWIW, traffic here is getting a little worse every year and has me shouting Midwestern things such as “geewillickers you are a shamefully bad driver” and “double hot fudge darn it, I used to be able to drive to the UDF in two minutes and find parking.”
Art of Transit:
Very first Metro Bike station install it's so hot y'all pic.twitter.com/2PykAftwHF
— anna 🐮 (@annanotation) June 19, 2017
Metro Bike Share launches in Pasadena on July 14. This station is at the intersection of Lake and California. Those are both pretty busy streets with no bike lanes — that’s the city of Pasadena’s call, btw — but there are some residential streets nearby that make for some very nice riding.
A smart look at the region’s housing challenges/crisis. As Lopez writes, there’s no easy way out. Increasing supply would likely help…as long as we’re not just increasing the supply of expensive housing that’s out of reach to too many.
The key may be charging developers a ‘linkage fee” when they build — with the fee going to help build more affordable housing. It’s controversial in the development community (shocker!) and the L.A. City Council — which has historically been criticized for being a little too well-tuned to the needs of developers — may not go for it.
Back in Days of Yore when I covered the L.A. City Council for a certain newspaper, there was a proposal for something sort of similar that went by the clunky name of ‘inclusionary zoning.’ The idea was to require more affordable units as part of each development. Besides being a mouthful, the proposal got kicked around among the Council. It was eventually shelved in the Hall of Make-It-Go-Away Legislation.
Read the Lopez column. He covers some other things that could help. One thing different from the past: we have a larger transit network that will continue to grow, meaning it’s a lot easier to build housing near rail than in years past (when there was little to no rail!). Back then, development was often stifled due to traffic concerns — but perhaps that won’t be as much of an issue as in the past.
Metro does some joint developments on property the agency owns near projects (typically on land used to stage construction). The agency has adopted a policy that 35 percent of housing units in its joint developments be affordable to households earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) or below. The agency also last year set aside funding to help build more affordable housing.
In this letter to the editor, the writer says it would be better for Metro to wait to charge the $3 daily parking fee until there is more demand for parking near Monrovia Station. The new fee begins June 26 at APU/Citrus, Irwindale and Monrovia stations — click here for more info.
Metro argues the fees help open up more parking for actual transit users. FWIW, there is a transit-oriented development (called Station Square) being built next to Monrovia Station and the old Santa Fe depot there will eventually be restored.
Parking is already tight on weekdays at Monrovia and I think it’s fair to say that demand will likely go up. It will be interesting to see the parking situation after the fees begin.
And the bickering goes on, although at this time there is no funding available due to the Metro Board’s decision last month to pursue local street improvements instead of the tunnel.
Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla, the Hyperloop and other high-tech endeavors, says he’s talking with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti about digging tunnels under the city for car traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. Although the details of what and where have yet to be unearthed (boom!).
I do give Musk credit for understanding the ground upon which he plans to dig…(boom again!)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2017
The anti-Uber (NYT)
Ride sharing has been around this Central Valley farm town long before Uber and Lyft — and now the local government is getting into the business, recognizing that the local bus service is..what’s the phrase…no good.
Sounds nice on paper, which is often a very different thing from reality. Lyft says it will have a giant fleet of autonomous, electric vehicles all powered by renewable energy providing one billion annual rides by 2025.
Lyft gave 160 million rides last year. One billion is lots more than 160 million, so says my calculator.
Categories: Transportation Headlines