GLATWG comments on Bike Parking

Green L.A. Transportation Work Group has recently been grappling with issues related to parking requirements and how they relate to affordable housing. Many of us (myself included) are generally Shoupistas – followers of Donald Shoup. In The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup makes a convincing case that unjustifiedly high suburban parking requirements drive up the cost of housing.

For example: in L.A. a typical new housing unit (ie: a condominim in a multi-story building) 2.5 parking spaces, and each space costs $20,000-$50,000+ to build… so… the parking requirement adds  $50,000-$100,000+ to the cost of new home. Reducing this requirement effectively reduces the cost of housing. While developers may not pass this reduced cost savings on to occupants/owners… overall, reducing excessive parking requirements generally can get more housing built more cheaply, which, based on market forces (supply and demand) should reduce the cost of housing.

Recapping: less required parking leads to more affordable housing.

But there’s a catch… some of the city’s most effective mechanisms for building and preserving affordable housing are built on incentives that are based on those excessive parking requirements. Basically, when housing developers build affordable housing, the city allows the developer to build less parking (under what’s called the Density Bonus.) Additionally, in some cases, excessive parking requirements prevent owners from converting rent-stabilized apartments into condominiums.

So… if we’re not careful, moving towards more rational (reduced) parking requirements can actually result in developers chosing to build market rate housing, instead of affordable housing.

Currently working their way through various legislative process, there are three initiatives that include reducing car parking requirements:

  1. AB710 (California State Legislation)
  2. Modified Parking District Ordinance (City of Los Angeles CPC-2007-2216-CA)
  3. Bicycle Parking Requirements (City of Los Angeles CPC-2011-309-CA)   

There’s a lot of commenting and dialog on all three of these… and, generally, the most suburban NIMBY types are out in opposition to anything that will remove any of their god-given parking… but for now, I am just going to focus on #3 the Bicycle Parking Requirements.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wilshire Boulevard - one of the highest volume bus lines on the planet - photo LA Wad via L.A. Streetsblog

Since the formation of the Green L.A. Transportation Working Group five years ago, one of our top priorities has been the implementation of Bus-Only Lanes (BOL)in the city of Los Angeles. Bus-Only lanes are a very low cost, very effective way of increasing mobility, including increasing transit speed and capacity.

At that time, it appeared that the Wilshire Bus-Only Lane project implementation was just around the corner… but the project has dragged on and on. Finally, it’s now imminent (at least it’s funded and the environmental review is about to be approved – construction may drag it out a bit more), and there’s a lot of resistance from some anti-bus homeowners along Wilshire near Westwood.

Green L.A. Transportation Working Group’s Bus Riders Union representative Esperanza Martinez passed along the following action alert in support of implementing the full bus lane project:

Hello GLA friends, members and allies,

Many of you have been an important part of our fight to make the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes project a reality! All the way from fighting to protect the initial one mile thru the DEIR process and now what we should be the last round before we make it home safe to a full 8.7 mile implementation!! Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an invitation from Green L.A. Transportation Work Group’s Los Angeles Taxi Worker’s Alliance:

LATWA Fundraiser - Click on image for higher resolution pdf

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to ask that you support the L.A. Taxi Workers Alliance (LATWA) by purchasing tickets to LATWA’s upcoming fundraiser on Sunday, August 28, from 6 pm to 9 pm at St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  As many of you know, I’ve been working with LATWA since its founding in 2005 and continue to be inspired by the courage and commitment of the taxi workers who lead LATWA’s heroic efforts to organize against taxi company greed and exploitation to achieve real justice for taxi workers. 

LATWA is a worker-led organization with a minimal budget and needs your support.  With a board composed exclusively of current and former drivers, LATWA is led by Sentayehu Silassie who drove a cab for 18 years until he was retaliated against for speaking out against taxi company abuses.  For the first time in decades – because of LATWA -  there is real hope amongst the 3,500 predominantly immigrant taxi workers in Los Angeles that the end will come for the current system of sweatshops on wheels.  Please help LATWA to continue its critical organizing that brings together taxi drivers of different races and backgrounds to fight in unity for justice! 

You can rsvp to me betty_hung [at] hotmail [dot] com or to Sentayehu Silassie at silassie [at] att [dot] net .  Thanks for your support!

- Betty Hung

See you at the event this Saturday night!

Transportation Work Group
Meeting Date: Tuesday 7/13/10  @  2pm
Meeting Location: Coalition for Clean Air
811 West 7th Street, LA, CA 90017  Ste. 1100
Located directly above the Metro Red/Blue Lines 7th Street Station

DRAFT July Agenda

1.     Introductions

2.     Updates

  • Living Streets Committee –
    o Tenets – revised  (Ryan?)
    o CD 14 Proposal (Ryan and Joe)
    o Boyle Heights Living Streets update (Ryan)
    o Parking Campaign Graphics Grant Proposal (Joe)
  • Bus-Only Lane Meeting – Report (Esperanza)
  • Taxi Workers Alliance (Sentayehu)
  • 2011 Measure R projects (Dorothy)

3.    New co-chair – election (Stephanie)

4.    SB 375 workshop – Preparation for a July 22nd meeting  (Jessica)

5.    Using Google Groups as a collaborative software to share documents (Stephanie)

6.    Member Forum/General Announcements

7.    Next Meeting – August 10th  or September 14th?

Handout – Green LA  Work Group Campaigns & Projects

Green LA Coalition
Transportation Work Group
Meeting Date: Tuesday 6/8/10  @  2pm
Meeting Location: Coalition for Clean Air
811 West 7th Street, LA, CA 90017  Ste. 1100
*Metro Accessible

DRAFT Agenda
1.     Introductions
2.     Updates
•        Living Streets Committee – CD 14 Proposal, Boyle Heights Living Streets update  
(Ryan and Joe Linton)
•        Bus-Only Lane/Fare increase? (Esperanza)
•        Taxi Workers Alliance (Sentayehu)
•        Measure R? (Dorothy)
3.     New co-chair – electing a new chair next meeting (Stephanie)
4.     Endorsement Request
5.     Member Forum/General Announcements

Green LA Transportation Work Group (GLATWG)

AGENDA
Tuesday, May 11, 2-4PM
Coalition for Clean Air, Ste. 1100
*Metro Accessible 

  1. Introductions
  2. Working Group Conversation on Green LA Restructuring (Dorothy & Stephanie)
  3. Updates
  • Living Streets Committee – Ryan Lehman
  • Bus-Only Lane – Esperanza
  • Taxi Workers Alliance – ATS Contract and next steps- Betty/Silassie
  • Measure R

4. Member Forum/General Announcements

Action Items from last meeting that need follow up:

  • Measure R research  – Esperanza research if 2/3 votes can reallocate funds in Measure R (versus because it is state legislation, it can’t)
  • Living Streets Tenets Betty and Serena – review the tenets and did it address concerns of gentrification.  Stephanie will send it out tenets and preface (from about us) by email and pin down by next meeting.
  • Letter on Wilshire Bus Only Lane to CM Paul Koretz – if folks didn’t send this letter year, they should.  Sunyoung will send around sample again. 

Green L.A. Transportation Work Group’s Living Streets Campaign is hiring! The following is a 2-year position funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It’s part of the county’s RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness) initiative – which includes reducing obesity – by doing things like building places where people will walk and bike every day.

The project coordinator will work with the Community Redevelopment Agency, city, Metro, community groups, and residents to create complete streets projects in Boyle Heights. Applications due Friday May 7th! Full job announcement text below – or nicely formated pdf here.

Mariachis in Boyle Heights' Mariachi Plaza - photo from East L.A. Community Corporation website

JOB OPPORTUNITY

Title: Boyle Heights Living Streets Initiative

Job Description: Green LA Coalition (GLA) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Project Coordinator for the Boyle Heights Living Streets Initiative. This position is funded throughthe Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s RENEW grant program and is expected to
run through March 2012.

Boyle Heights Living Streets Initiative: The Boyle Heights Living Streets Initiative will increase people’s ability to safely and pleasantly
cycle and walk in Boyle Heights by implementing 3 prototype Living Streets near the Mariachi Plaza and Soto Gold Line stations. Currently, City of Los Angeles’ standard street improvement projects do not give any special consideration to cyclists and pedestrians. This Initiative will take advantage
of the opportunity afforded by approximately $25 million allocated through various grants and funding programs to design and install street improvements near these Gold Line stations according to Living Streets principles. GLA is partnering with the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) to lay the groundwork for 3 prototype Living Streets designed with strong community participation. This Initiative will additionally develop a Blueprint document and pass necessary policies so that Living Streets can be replicated throughout the city. An inter-agency task force and community stakeholder task force will be created. For more information on Living Streets see http://livingstreetsla.wordpress.com/
The Coordinator will work in collaboration with the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, Green LA Transportation Work Group and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Ideal candidates will have a background in urban planning or design, civil engineering, public policy, or architecture/landscape architecture, experience in implementing public improvements, especially in the city of Los Angeles, experience in conducting outreach and community meetings in an area of cultural and demographic diversity, and familiarity with Boyle Heights. The position will be part of a broader policy picture aiming to improve the health/wellness and mobility for the City of Los Angeles.

Office Location: 1916 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Duties and Responsibilities:
• Develop and pass policies to support the adoption and practice of Living Streets tenets in Boyle Heights and in Los Angeles in general
• Coordinate several existing and funded street improvement programs in Boyle Heights, with the goal of maximizing Living Streets qualities
• Enhance the level of community input in the street improvement programs by working with existing community groups as appropriate and/or forming a new organization for community stakeholders.
• Improve the community’s understanding of the Living Streets paradigm and related health, planning, and transportation issues
• Assist in conducting community meetings leading to conceptual plans for the 3 prototype streets.
• Coordinate the input of appropriate Los Angeles city departments to implement Living Streets tenets in the Boyle heights street improvement programs through participation in existing city
committees and/or forming a city working group for that purpose.
• Create a Living Streets Blueprint/how to guide for each prototype to document the various challenges and institutional barriers associated with implementing Living Streets and to highlight strategies to overcome such challenges and the solutions that were developed.
• Manage and administer the Boyle Heights Living Streets program reporting and evaluation.

Minimum Requirements:
• Graduation from an accredited 4-year college or university with a degree in Planning, Urban Design, Public Policy, Civil Engineering, Landscape Architecture or other related fields or equivalent experience.
• At least 2 years experience in community outreach, policy advocacy and/or planning and implementing public improvements programs in a large urban jurisdiction, and a total of 5 years professional work experience.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Flexible collaborator with leadership skills who values transparency
• Ability to effectively work with diverse interest groups to find consensus and move innovative ideas forward
• Out of the box, creative thinker
• Strong understanding and comprehension of the Complete Streets/Living Streets concepts
• Experience planning and implementing public improvements projects such as street improvements, recreational facilities, or public infrastructure. Experience with the City of Los Angeles is a plus.
• Excellent organizational skills. Strong attention to detail.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Proficient in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
• Ability to establish priorities, work independently, and proceed with objectives without supervision.
• Strong ability to present and convey policy recommendations to a government policy making body such as: a City Council, Planning Commission, Transportation and Parking Commission.
• Strong ability to present and convey policy recommendations to the public who reside in a low income community of color.
• Willing to work on other tasks as it relates to the goals and objectives of this project.

Special Requirements:
• Passionate, articulate and well versed about creating livable urban places
• Willing to work evenings and weekends as required.
• Conversational Spanish language skills highly desired.
• Familiarity with Boyle Heights or similar communities highly desired.

All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, condition of physical or mental handicap, or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of federal and State laws.

Salary Range: $60,000 to $65,000 annually with benefits, depending on experience/background.

Interested candidates please send cover letter and resume to:
Green LA Coalition
1000 North Alameda Street, Suite 240
Los Angeles, CA 90012
ATTN: Stephanie Taylor, Interim Managing Director
staylor [at] greenlacoalition.org

By: Friday, May 7, 2010

For More Information contact:
Stephanie Taylor, Interim Managing Director
staylor [at] greenlacoalition.org

Los Angeles International Airport - Photo by LAANE

This afternoon, Green L.A. Transportation Work Group folks received an early look at a Coalition for Clean Air study on airport pollution. The presenter/researcher is Colleen Callahan, and the study isn’t quite finished, and not available on-line, but will be available some time in the near future at the CCA website.

Here’s the blurb that was sent out announcing the meeting:

While Colleen’s report is larger in scope, for this presentation she will focus on passenger ground access transportation at Los Angeles International. LAX is the most polluting airport in the region and the vehicles traveling to and from LAX are most significant source of pollution related to the airport’s operations. Colleen finds that LAX’s ground access pricing system is such that the most polluting and least efficient transportation mode– the kiss-and-ride option that results in four trips versus two or less– is incentvized while less polluting modes– drive and park, taxi, shuttle, FlyAway, and transit– are disincentized. For example, LAX collects $2.50 every time a cab enters the airport, but there is no charge for private vehicles to enter the LAX circle and the immediate roads into LAX. Colleen’s main recommendation is to increase the viability of alternative ground access options by: 1) decreasing the cost of other modes relative to the kiss-and-ride mode and 2) increasing transit options through collaborative, regional approaches.

Two interesting things I learned that I didn’t know:

1) The “non-commercial general aviation airports” (not LAX, but the other ones – frequented by private jets - including Van Nuys) are a significant source of lead, which is still used in small airplane fuels. Scary that we still haven’t learned the lesson of lesson of just how toxic lead is. We, in the city of L.A. should ban it from our airport fuel use.

2) For a lot of air pollution impacting airport communities, car traffic is more responsible than airplanes are. So, to get a handle on airport pollution, we need to look at things like TDM (Transportation Demand Management.) We need to look at getting more people to the airport via transit, taxis, and bicycles… and fewer “kiss-and-ride” drop offs.

Looking forward to reading the finished study and to making progress on solving these important issues.

updated 13 April 2010 9pm

Green LA Transportation Work Group Meeting Agenda 
Tuesday, April 13, 2- 4pm* at Coalition for Clean Air, Ste. 1100, 811 W. 7th Street, downtown Los Angeles. Located above the Metro Red and Blue Lines 7th Street station.

*Note: Special pre-meeting presentation on airport pollution from 1-2pm
 
AGENDA
1-2 pm – Presentation by Colleen Callahan on airport pollution.  Please RSVP to meena [at] coalitionforcleanair.org if you plan to attend the presentation.
 
GLATWG Monthly Meeting (2-4pm)
1. Introductions
 
2. Mayor’s 30/10 Plan Discussion/Presentation
          Update – letter to mayor with GLATWG questions (Stephanie)
Plan Presentation by Denny Zane from Move LA
 
3.  Living Streets Grant
RENEW grant / next steps
Role of the Work Group/Living Streets Committee
Tenets finalized
 
4.  Green LA strategic plan
Green LA Work Group Objectives and added value of this workgroup
 
5. Last meeting updates
   -  Letter to Mayor – follow up from their meeting (Betty/Stephanie)
   -  Wilshire Bus Only Lanes and MTA Fare increase (Sunyoung/Esperanza)
   -  Taxi study (Betty)
   -  Street Reclassification Meeting Update and reportback (Deborah/Ryan)
   -  Street Summit reportback
   -  Bike master plan
 
6. Member Forum/General Announcements

Please attend tomorrow’s Green L.A. Transportation Work Group meeting: Tuesday March 9th 2010 from 2-4pm at the offices of the Coalition for Clean Air.  Address is 811 West 7th Street, Ste. 1100, Downtown L.A. 90017. It’s located on the north side of 7th Street between Figueroa and Flower – directly above the 7th Street Metro Station where the Metro Blue Line and Red Line intersect.

 
AGENDA
 
1 – Introductions

2 – Meeting with  Deputy Mayors Jaime de la Vega & Romel Pascual follow-up and next steps

3 – Brief report back on asks and action items
     Taxi Report – funding strategies
    Metro Fare Increase
    Mayor’s request for a letter of support for the 30/10 plan
 
4 – Formalize and finalize Living Streets tenets
 
5 – Last meeting updates
Living Streets Grant
Wilshire Bus Only Lanes
 
6 – Discussion of Steering Committee and new direction for Green LA
 
7 – Follow-up of USDOT meeting February 19th
 
8 – Agenda items for next time
·         Complete Streets Campaign?
 
9 – Member Forum/General Announcements
·         Green LA Dinner; March 15
·         L.A. StreetSummit: March 18th and 20th
·         CEQA News
·         Green LA Institute events

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