EPA vs California, Tesla autopilot, personal drones: HWR, April 2

Art of Transit:

Metro is pleased to announce the launch of Personalized Drone Service to Dodger games for those who are above taking the express bus. Drones will pick up individuals at any location in Los Angeles County and then deposit them within 200 feet of their seat at the ballpark. Only one-way fares will be available at this time…hope you had a lovely Sunday, April the one.

Trump administration moves on two fronts to challenge California environmental protections (LAT)

As news stories predicted last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to roll back fuel mileage standards designed to make vehicles far more efficient by 2025. The standards were set under President Barack Obama.

In addition, the EPA said it would try to revoke California’s ability to set its own stricter standards — something the state does to help improve air quality.

Nothing will likely happen soon and the matter will almost certainly be resolved in court. “This cynical and meretricious abuse of power will poison our air and jeopardize the health of all Americans,” said Gov. Jerry Brown in a statement.

Fatal Tesla crash raises new questions about autopilot system (NYT)

Key graph:

The company said the driver, Wei Huang, 38, a software engineer for Apple, had received several visual and audible warnings to put his hands back on the steering wheel but had failed to do so, even though his Model X S.U.V. had the modified version of the software. His hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before his Model X slammed into a concrete divider near the junction of Highway 101 and 85 in Mountain View, and neither Mr. Huang nor the Autopilot activated the brakes before the crash.

As the article notes, three people have died with autopilot engaged on Teslas. The NTSB is investigating the latest crash, which occurred March 23 in the Bay Area.

L.A.’s land use rules were born out of racism and segregation. They’re not worth fighting for (LAT)

The bill that would allow much more housing to be built near frequent transit lines across California keeps getting more attention. In this op-ed, Mark Vallianatos writes that many single-family neighborhoods once hosted all types of buildings. Excerpt:

There are plenty of neighborhoods that prove him wrong. I love walking around my community in Northeast L.A. and seeing the mix of duplexes, bungalow courts, single-family houses, dingbat apartments and townhome-style small-lot subdivisions. Not to mention it’s hard to take aesthetic complaints about taller buildings or boxy apartments seriously when so many Angelenos are living in tents, under tarps or in literal cardboard boxes.

But the most cringe-worthy aspect of the “community character” argument is the fact that single-family-only rules are a legacy of racist exclusionary zoning.

That’s a good point I haven’t seen made in the debate over the bill. Still, rezoning single family neighborhoods will likely be a tall political task given that homeowners are protective of their properties, which in many cases is their nest egg. Stay tuned.

Categories: Transportation News

5 replies

  1. Concerning the EPA rollbacks in Calif. One of the issues that California insist on enforcing is the additional cost of including Ethanol in our gasoline. We are one of few states that mandates it’s addition. Ethanol is but a joke as to improving our air. Have we all forgotten the failed Ethanol/Methanol experiment that the MTA among others engaged in. Not only did it eat up the buses engine parts but the air quality was not improved but instead became worse. Downtown L.A smelled like a garbage dump. We pay almost one dollar more per gallon because of this fiasco. It’s time to change course and think of the citizens instead of this failed experiment.

    When the first whites came over the hills into what would become Los Angeles a brown haze had settled over the basin. The cause was the Native Americans camp fires. I guess they never heard of global warming and the need to seek out a different source of heat and the ability to cook while they froze to death and would have been dying because they were eating uncooked foods.

  2. If this housing bill passes born out of the further expansion of Socialism, could very easily result in mass evictions utilizing the often misused “Imminent Domain” when the government finds their mislead objectives are not reached.

  3. Upzoning a single-family neighborhood doesn’t mean property owners are kicked out of their houses. The potential for redevelopment will increase the value of each homeowner’s land, which they can freely choose if/when to sell to a developer. The cash windfall from the sale would only increase each homeowner’s nest egg.

    • Hi Drew;

      I suspect that many homeowners might say they like their homes and are not seeking to sell and didn’t know the zoning rules on what could be built next for would one day be changed by the state. That said, I agree rezoning could increase property values, although I wonder if those increased prices will be passed on to new residents — meaning higher rents for them.

      Example: a developer purchases a single family home for $800,000 (a good deal). Let’s say the developer then must demolish the house, hire an architect, get the necessary construction permits and decides to build six new units on the same property. Given construction prices these days, what would be the cost of building the units? And what would the developer charge for rents to cover those costs plus associated ongoing costs?

      Just throwing it out there if someone wants to tackle the math. I’m not sure of current costs to build a home in So Cal, etc.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source