Art of Transpo
We wrote about this yesterday. The Boring Company, owned by Elon Musk, wants an exemption from conducting an environmental review for a 2.7-mile tunnel between West L.A. (near the Expo Line) and Culver City the firm wants to build. An L.A. City Council committee is scheduled to consider the matter this week.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes:
For a comparison, take a look at Metro’s Regional Connector subway project. The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile subway under construction in downtown Los Angeles. Metro’s Regional Connector project features only two miles of bored-tunnels. That is less tunnel mileage than The Boring Company’s proposed proofing tunnel (though Metro’s tunnels are 21-feet diameter and Boring’s are 14-feet diameter.) Metro did an extensive multi-year full CEQA environmental analysis (plus its concurrent federal equivalent), which was then challenged and upheld in court. Can anyone imagine Metro trying to declare a couple miles of subway tunnels categorically exempt from CEQA?
Excellent point. More at yesterday’s post and here’s a letter from Metro that is part of the city of L.A. file. If you’re wondering exactly how the Boring Company’s tunnels would get cars/people around, that is not entirely clear yet. Boring Company officials have told Metro that they plan to coordinate with Metro on coordinating their project with Metro’s Sepulveda Transit Corridor project that will build a rail line between the Orange Line and LAX.
Not entirely related but: Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, says that Tesla under-reported injuries at its factory.
Urban density has been in the news a lot lately. With the 112-year anniversary on Wednesday of the 1906 quake and fire that destroyed more than 25,000 buildings in San Francisco, the NYT writes:
Experts are sending this message: The building code does not protect cities from earthquakes nearly as much as you might think.
Hmmm. The LAT also has a story about a new U.S. Geological Survey report the Hayward Fault that runs under Oakland and the threat it poses to the Bay Area.
The project that will bring Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal is now 2.5 times its original cost. Long story short: Lots of fingers are out and they are pointing.
State Sen. Scott Wiener has amended his bill that would pre-empt local zoning codes and allow bigger, multi-unit buildings to be constructed near frequent transit lines. The size of buildings allowed has been downsized but the bill would still allow multi-unit buildings in neighborhoods currently zoned as single-family homes.
The bill has inspired vigorous debate and has its share of proponents. It also has its share of opponents with many cities having taken formal positions against it, fearing gentrification that prices out current residents and the loss of local control over land use.
My take: clearly more housing is needed in our region. But, as I’ve written, a state bill that changes the zoning of single-family neighborhoods faces a tough uphill climb under any circumstance. And a bill that fails to pass doesn’t, by definition, produce any housing.
Update: The bill died Tuesday afternoon.
Today #SB827 did not advance out of committee. I’m deeply grateful to my colleagues who voted for the bill – especially co-author @NancySkinnerCA – & the bill’s broad coalition. I’m not going anywhere & neither is the need for bold action to address our housing crisis. Statement: pic.twitter.com/Xy6zdxndHi
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) April 18, 2018
— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) April 17, 2018
— Curbed LA (@CurbedLA) April 17, 2018
— JLL Los Angeles (@JLLlosangeles) April 16, 2018
— Rabi Abonour (@rabonour) April 17, 2018
Just a short stroll from the Expo Line’s Expo/Vermont Station, btw.
Dept. of Big City Con Men:
Try that on your work colleagues and let me know if it works. RIP, Harry Anderson.