Nipsey Hussle, congestion pricing vs robot cars: HWR, April 1

Here’s an appreciation in the LAT. As someone says in the above Twitter stream it’s a shame that he didn’t live to see the Crenshaw/LAX Line open next year.

•As expected, the New York Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to a state budget on Sunday that includes congestion pricing in New York. Under the program, motorists entering Manhattan below 60th Street will be charged a toll that is expected to be about $10. The idea is to discourage some motorists from entering the most congested part of Manhattan while also raising money to repair the New York Subway and provide for other transit alternatives. The tolls aren’t expected to begin until 2021.

Over at the Verge, writer Andrew J. Hawkins makes the argument that congestion pricing is likely inevitable in other cities as well as a last chance to save themselves from being overwhelmed with traffic, especially if self-driving cars become a thing — and make driving even more popular than it already is.

Attentive readers know that the Metro Board in February voted to launch a feasibility study of congestion pricing to determine where it might be tested in L.A. County. The study is expected to take up to 24 months. The Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG) released their own feasibility study last week (Metro’s plan will be separate — see this post). Stay tuned. My colleague Anna Chen on C.P. on her stream started a good back-and-forth on the topic.

The LAT published four letters from readers on the SCAG study — and none supported tolls at this time.

Art of Transit

•Another way to reduce driving in cities? Remove more than 11,000 parking spaces over the course of several years, as Amsterdam is doing, Citylab reports. The plan sounds workable:

It also helps that no driver will actually be stripped of the right to park. Rather than revoking permits, the city will simply not replace any that are given up when drivers leave the city, give up their cars, or die. In this way, the city reckons it can naturally do away with about 1,100 permits a year.

This rider wasn’t happy about Dodger Stadium Express after the game Saturday. Anna provides some background in the thread — getting buses to and from the ballpark post-game is trickier when the crowds are big.

•Lyft’s IPO began at $72 a share last week — but the current stock price is now below that as of 12:30 pm EDT on Monday. Jalopnik has a story.

Credit: Google.

•Things to read whilst transiting: not a transpo story, but one about infrastructure, engineering, climate change and hubris in the New Yorker: the ongoing work of holding back the waters from New Orleans and points south along the mighty Mississippi.

•The number of bridges in California in need of repair keeps growing, reports the LAT, which notes that this is happening despite the passage of the SB 1 gas tax and vehicle fee increases in 2017. Hmm. Fair enough, but not exactly surprising that SB 1 hasn’t wiped out the repair backlog quite yet.

•Metro CEO Phil Washington met last week with Alex Herrgott, the Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC). The meeting was a chance to brief Herrgott on Metro’s wide-ranging capital program and to provide a tour of the Regional Connector project, which is funded in part by a $670-million federal grant and a $160-million federal loan.

The FPISC was created as part of the 2015 federal transportation spending bill to modernize (and help speed up) the federal permitting and review process for major infrastructure projects. Herrgott was appointed by President Trump as the Executive Director of the FPISC in 2018. Mr. Herrgott has previously served as the Associate Director for Infrastructure for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) at the White House and as a senior staffer with Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Metro CEO Phil Washington points to one of many capital projects the agency is working on during a conversation with Alex Herrgott, Executive Director of the FPISC.

Herrgott touring Metro’s Regional Connector project in DTLA.