Bus lane enforcement, congestion pricing: HWR, April 2

Dept. of Twitter

Some fresh ideas below on how to keep bus lanes clear for buses, courtesy of UCLA ITS. Check out the entire thread. It’s worth it.


Art of Transit

•With congestion pricing coming to Gotham — probably in 2021 — the NYT notes that several American cities could follow suit. Excerpt 1:

Major cities across the United States are facing increasingly clogged roads and have had frustratingly little success in dealing with them. But now that New York has adopted congestion pricing in Manhattan, the rest of the country is far more likely to seriously consider embracing such a policy — even though it was once considered politically toxic, according to municipal officials and transportation analysts.

Excerpt 2:

“I believe the time has finally arrived to explore congestion relief pricing in major cities,” said Phil Washington, the chief executive of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Here in Los Angeles, our congestion challenges are just as bad, if not worse, than Manhattan’s.”

He added, “We cannot sit idly by and watch it get worse.” (snip)

In Los Angeles, public buses traveled at an average of 11.8 miles per hour last year, down from 12.2 miles per hour in 2013, according to transit data. Mr. Washington said he wanted to use the congestion fees to pay for transit improvements and to cover fares so that everyone can ride free.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles said he has supported looking at congestion pricing “because it has the promise to dramatically reduce traffic and improve quality of life.”

I agree with the article’s premise that more cities will consider fees. Adopting them? Well, let’s see about that. I think it’s also worth noting that as traffic gets worse across the country, transit use remains down in many places (Seattle is probably the big exception) and many places in the U.S. are developed in such a way that driving is the only choice.

Thoughts? Do you think congestion pricing will be common in the America of 2029?

•A 550-unit residential building adjacent to the Gold Line’s Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena is in the permitting phase, reports Urbanize LA. The development would be next to two other big apartment buildings that have been risen since the Gold Line debuted in 2003.

As with those developments, there will be plenty of parking for this one — up to 839 spaces. And this caught my eye: “The 3200 Foothill Boulevard project, would replace an 8.32-acre self-storage facility,” according to the post. Proof again, perhaps, that our region does not lack space in commercial/industrial areas for new developments.

•The city of Duarte is the first in our region to have a fully electric bus fleet, reports the Daily News. It’s only three buses — but still a nice move.

And a little Tuesday music for you…Steve Earle covering Guy Clark.

2 replies

  1. I am for the congestion pricing. Currently driving in LA is so cheap and people are lazy using public transportation. Perhaps DTLA should have tolls because they are just many options to/from downtown.

  2. I am strongly in favor of congestion pricing.
    The roads should never have been free for private transit, much less free parking (my rent’s not free).
    How does anybody feel so entitled to give other people’s kids asthma and a warming world in exchange for nothing?