Want to save a glacier? Trying riding transit; HWR, April 17

If you’re reading this whilst riding the Dodger Stadium Express, you don’t need to be told the Dodgers are going for the series sweep this afternoon. If the Reds’ relief corps and manager have anything to do with it, you might want to start looking for a broom.

•The L.A. City Council voted 12-0 to oppose Senate Bill 50, which would pre-empt local zoning laws across California and allow denser housing to be built near frequent bus and rail lines, reports the LAT.

Proponents say upping the amount of housing is critical in a state widely acknowledged to have a housing crisis — and putting new housing near transit is common sense. Opponents say the bill will lead to gentrification that will squeeze out low-income residents and that it will create more market-rate housing instead of the affordable housing so badly needed.

What both sides are saying: that the bill would allow single-family homes to be replaced by multi-unit housing (with limits on size but also market rate in many instances) is making things challenging for this bill from a political point of view. It’s hard to say how the bill will fare in the Legislature but I think it’s safe to say it’s not exactly a mortal lock to pass. A similar bill died in the Leg last year.


•Quasi-related: The city of Santa Monica plans to demolish a parking garage one block from the Third Street Promenade and replace it with housing for the homeless, reports the S.M. Daily Press. The Expo Line station is only a couple blocks distant but S.M. still gets pretty swamped from traffic — so it’s pretty incredible to see the city reduce existing parking.

•Gas prices are averaging $4.01 across California today, so says AAA. That’s the highest since 2014 and likely because of ongoing or recent maintenance on six of 10 refineries that produce the special-blend gasoline used in the Golden State to combat smog (combating does not equal winning).

Don’t like paying at the pump? Try riding Metro — a round-trip ride is just $3.50.

Credit: AAA.com

•A great interactive story in the NYT looks at melting glaciers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and the scientists who are studying how downstream ecosystems will change. One idea floating around: there could actually be more habitat for salmon but less for other species.

As we’ve said many times before, generally speaking taking transit instead of driving alone is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Or, to put it another way, take transit and help to try to save a glacier. This is one reason that Metro is offering free rides on Earth Day this Monday.

A couple pics of glaciers from the Pacific NW:

Aerial view of a glacier near Mt. Denali in Alaska. Credit: Getty Images.

The Nisqually and Wilson glaciers on Mt. Rainier in Washington State. Credit: Getty Images.



1 reply

  1. Market rate housing prices depends on neighborhood land prices, amenities, apartment size, permit fees and regulations, supply and demand, and the average housing sale market. As long as developers are limited in how they can build something cheaply, market rate housing prices continues increase. I don’t get the obsession with low income renters and affordable housing. Usually, living in poor neighborhoods like South LA is how this problem is solved. It’s like the benefits of creating a more better city (gentrification) is not desired because prices go up. Yeah, that’s how things work. Better cities cost more money to live in. That’s why my house is so expensive and why I prefer to keep it that way, but if the city wishes more affordable housing in the city center (downtown areas), then let the developers build cheaper with less amenities. Why not allow more micro-apartments? Or partitioned studio apartments for families? On the other hand, luxury apartments have a market as well. Why inhibit better quality luxury apartments when people want that too?

    SB50 should be neutral with regard to affordable housing. Perhaps allow cities to decide that issue at minimum. Allow some local control no matter how ridiculous it is.

    As for gas prices, I voted against the gas tax increase. This is what you get for wanting more gas taxes. Do people know what they’re voting for?