ITS students took part in the ninth annual UCLA Luskin Day at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, February 8 to meet with and interview a panel of experts on the topic of Full Speed Ahead: Creative Solutions to L.A.’s Transportation Needs. The event connected students from the School’s Public Policy, Social Welfare and Urban Planning departments with city and county leaders, as well as representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors, to discuss this multi-faceted problem. The recent failure in the November 2012 general election of L.A.'s Measure J, which would have extended the half-cent sales tax approved in 2008 as Measure R for an additional 30 years, leaves open the question: What is the future of transportation funding in Los Angeles? ITS Associate Director Allison Yoh served as faculty adviser and moderated an open noontime discussion on solutions to L.A.’s transportation challenges. The participating students will be drafting a memo with Dr. Yoh on the information gathered and the solutions proposed during the day.
UCLA Master of Urban and Regional Planning program student Drew Baldwin was recently quoted in a Daily Bruin story about ridesharing company Uber Technologies’ California operations. Baldwin explains that at first state officials were opposed to the company’s operations. Officials thought that Uber Technologies was not following the same standards as taxi and limousine companies. Ultimately, state officials decided to allow the company to operate. Baldwin states, “All of this is in the interest of public safety. It is not surprising that California operates on the spirit of regulation to ensure safety.” California officials only allowed Uber to operate if it followed regulations for safety, such as proof of insurance for drivers. To read the full article, click here.
ITS Director Brian Taylor was quoted within a McClatchy story about how and why highways are decaying in many states. Taylor explains that “we’ve engaged in a dangerous game of deferred maintenance.” By avoiding maintenance on highway systems in favor of building new ones, states now have to deal with poor highways requiring costly repairs. When it comes to state decisions on transportation plans, Taylor states “It’s difficult to come up with objective criteria. It’s just a very complex terrain.” Although the Federal Highway Administration prepared computer software which considers objective criteria, such as budget and revenue, the author of the article reports that most state do not use it. It is important that states consider the use of all available tools in their decision making processes. To read the full article, click here.
ITS researcher and UCLA Professor of Urban Planning Donald Shoup is slated to deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Smart Parking Symposium at the David Brower Center in Berkeley on March 18-19, 2013. The symposium is convened by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), in partnership with ITS California, Caltrans, and the Green Parking Council. Professor Shoup has extensively studied parking as a key link between transportation and land use. His influential book, The High Cost of Free Parking, is leading cities to charge fair market prices for on-street parking, dedicate the resulting revenue to finance public services in the metered districts, and remove off-street parking requirements. His research on employer-paid parking led to passage of California's parking cash-out law, and to changes in the Internal Revenue Code to encourage parking cash out. Professor Shoup is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University and the World Bank, and is an Honorary Professor at the Beijing Transportation Research Center. He has previously served as Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA. He is currently the Editor of ACCESS magazine. [...]