A very in-depth look at ongoing efforts by the Metro Board of Directors to increase the number of affordable housing units built on Metro-owned land next to transit stations. The Board last month approved a motion directing Metro to amend its joint development policy so that 35 percent of units built on Metro-owned land qualify as affordable units (that number is currently about 33 percent) and to possibly devote $10 million to a fund to promote more affordable units.
As Sahra Sulaiman makes clear, cities in our region are having an increasingly difficult time finding money to help build affordable units. And clearly there’s a huge need — a very small percentage of people who apply for affordable units that are built usually get them.
Buffered bike lanes were installed on two streets in the Uptown part of San Diego and — shocker! — use of the bike lanes has increased 346 percent since 2012. Build a good bike lane and they will come, eh?
The Sports of the Times column by Julie Macur delivers a spanking to the U.S. Olympic Committee for selecting Boston to be the U.S. bid city — USOC picked Boston over Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Excerpt:
The U.S.O.C. is probably blushing now, but it put itself into this position in the first place and should have known better, considering the recent spate of cities backing off Olympic bids because a majority of their citizens were against them. It should have looked for a city with overwhelming support from within, so it could possibly have avoided what it is facing right now in Boston: a statewide vote that would be held in November 2016, more than a year after the U.S.O.C. would have to submit its final bid to the International Olympic Committee.
And then there was Los Angeles, sweet L.A., the city that could probably host the Summer Games tomorrow. To see the U.S.O.C. turn its back on Los Angeles was a surprise to many, including me.
Los Angeles, a two-time Olympic host, has made a career out of bidding for the Games and has a proven track record. It’s a city whose Summer Games in 1984 captivated an entire American generation, turning some Olympians, like Mary Lou Retton and Greg Louganis, into iconic sports figures. Those Games actually made a profit, too, a main reason Los Angeles is one of the few Olympic cities that made a positive impression on the people who call it home.
In polling of residents to gauge support for the Games done before Boston was picked by USOC, Los Angeles apparently scored the best. But USOC is sticking to its guns, saying support for Boston could still grow and many other Olympics overcame earlier skepticism. If Boston moves ahead, it will likely compete against Paris, Rome and Hamburg, with the International Olympic Committee making a final selection in 2017.
One other thing worth noting: as part of the American selection process, USOC told the bid cities to keep quiet about their plans, meaning there wasn’t much public scrutiny ahead of time, according to an earlier story in the NYT. It’s really a shame; I think our region would have been a great host.
A nice tour of the Arts District with activist and photographer Melissa Richardson (of the Downtown Muse blog), which continues to boom. As the fun map from the Muse shows, the Gold Line’s Little Tokyo Station is on the north side of the Arts District — and that station will eventually be relocated underground at 1st/Central as part of the Regional Connector project that will link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines.
Metro is also planning further study of building a station for the Red/Purple Line subway in the train yards next to the river. Here’s an earlier post about that.
Not really about transit, but about an infrastructure issue that is sort of important and ultimately influences a lot of issues in our region and state.
This is a great interactive graphic that shows residential water use by city in California. It’s pretty easy to quickly identify the water hogs — although some cities are lumped together by water district. That obscures how much water a place such as San Marino may use (many San Marino homes are on very large, grassy lots).
The biggest users are in the Central Valley. I’m curious about Mammoth Lakes, which according to the NYT also uses more residential water than most other cities in the Golden State. In days of yore, Mammoth Lakes spent a good chunk of the year under snow. But something is happening there now, according to the data. Either too many lawns or perhaps residents see little need to conserve, given the (sometimes) snowy peaks outside their front door.