Professor Emeritus Martin Wachs and ITS Director Brian Taylor authored an article published in the Los Angeles Register in support of creating permanent high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on 14 miles of the Interstate 10 (the San Bernardino Freeway east of downtown) and 11 miles on the Interstate 110 (the Harbor Freeway, south of downtown). Currently, these lanes are part of an LA Metro pilot program. On Thursday, April 24, the Metro Board will vote on whether to continue the lanes, making them a permanent part of the region's transportation system.
Recently, ITS Associate Director Juan Matute was quoted in a New York Times story on future plans to connect Los Angeles International Airport to L.A. Metro's Green Line. Click here for the full story and Mr. Matute's comments.
Madeline Brozen, manager of the Complete Streets Initiative, joined a lively group of presenters and participants in the Open Streets Summit, held in Los Angeles the weekend of April 6. She joined Dr. Aaron Hipp of Washington University, the co-author of the report, Open Streets Initiatives: MeasuringSuccess Toolkit and Ed Clancy of CicloSDias, to talk about how to collect data during open streets and how to use these data to evaluate the event. Brozen offered a variety of advice to the international audience, many of which are planning their first open streets events: Your data collection and evaluation plan should be tailored to the size of your event. If you are doing something the size of the Los Angeles event, a participant count wouldn’t be practical, for example. Think about any language barriers and get some data collectors that speak other languages. For the Wilshire route, the UCLA research team included members who speak Korean and others that spoke Spanish to do the business outreach Select an evaluation plan that can help improve your event. Don’t do research just for research’s sake. Think about questions and data points that can benefit the operation of your event and organization The panel and event was well received by many in [...]
How is the ubiquity of smart phones, internet connectivity, and real-time information changing transportation? With innovators like Google and start-ups like Lyft entering the transportation arena, what role can government play? On March 20, 2014, planners, policymakers, and thought leaders convened at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles to explore these questions. The forum, entitled Digital Cities, Smarter Transportation, was arranged by the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. The forum’s audience was composed of a variety of professionals and thought leaders, including staff from the Mayor’s Office and various Council Offices in the City of LA, consultants, researchers, staff from regional agencies such as Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments, and local press outlet Streetsblog. Panelists discussed recent, far-reaching changes. Parking meters can now communicate with a central server to set prices, and streets can sense whether or not parking spaces are occupied and whether or not the adjacent meter has been paid. Professor Ginette Wessel explored the connection between the rise of social media and the popularity of food trucks. Websites and mobile applications are driving the evolution of local government service delivery and creating the [...]
An ongoing research project on teens and travel led by Lewis Center Faculty Fellow Evelyn Blumenberg and Lewis Center Director Brian Taylor was referenced in a recent CBS story about declining automobile usage. Blumenberg, Taylor, and their research team find that young Americans today are traveling much fewer miles than previous generations. In support of the study, the CBS article mentions related research indicating that Americans overall are now driving less than in the past. Although the number of total trips taken by Americans rose in 2013, fuel consumption by Americans driving automobiles has declined. The recession, fuel economy, gas prices, and other economic factors appear to be partially responsible for the decline.
Proposed changes by the Los Angeles Metro Board have cut a number of programs, including bus lines that potentially impacts the Bus Riders Union, the elderly, and the lower-income population. These routes, that potentially assist disadvantaged groups, were part of a discussion on KCRW’s local radio show Which Way LA? with Warren Olney. Urban Planning Professor and Institute of Transportation Studies Director Brian Taylor explained why the Metro Board of Directors is making cutback and drastic choices. Listen to the complete story at KCRW.
The Urban Institute recently released a report co-authored by ITS affiliates Evelyn Blumenberg (Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Urban Planning), Michael Smart (Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and former Lewis Center Post-Doctoral Researcher), and Gregory Pierce (Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning). The report, Driving to Opportunity: Understanding the Links among Transportation Access, Residential Outcomes, and Economic Opportunity for Housing Voucher Recipients examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants. The principal investigator of the study, Rolf Pendall, Director of the Metropolitan Housing & Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, worked with Professor Blumenberg and her ITS colleagues on the project, which has received attention in The Washington Post andThe Atlantic Cities. For more information, click here.