Transit

LA Metro’s Transit to Parks Strategic Plan

A beneficial but incomplete solution to address lack of access to open spaces for disadvantaged communities

I previously wrote about the potential to generate greater support for environmental initiatives, by improving community engagement with the natural environment. One mechanism to improve community engagement in this manner is quite simple: make it easier for people to access parks and open spaces. Access is a widespread issue in Los Angeles, as many residents …

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TOC Under Fire

Fix the City’s new lawsuit challenges a key transit-oriented housing program

Last week, a Los Angeles slow-growth group, Fix the City, filed a lawsuit challenging a West Los Angeles development project on Santa Monica Boulevard.  The project, a seven-story, 120-unit apartment building less than half a mile from the Century City mall, was approved using density bonus, height, and setback incentives through the City of Los …

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LA’s Trying to Build Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing

But could we make it easier?

My colleague Jonathan Zasloff rightly points out that one way to harness the benefits of upzoning to alleviate our housing crisis is to promote inclusionary requirements for transit-oriented development.  Los Angeles has adopted just such a program through its Transit-Oriented Communities ordinance, which I’ve written about here. Per the City of Los Angeles’ initial assessment, …

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We’re Never Going to Meet Our GHG Transportation Goals Unless We Radically Rethink Our Cities

Introducing an ongoing series focused on reducing vehicle miles traveled as a crucial climate mitigation strategy

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about vehicle miles traveled, or VMT. Specifically, why is it so hard to get people to think seriously about reducing VMT as a climate mitigation strategy? Building on my earlier ode to electric scooters, this post begins a semi-regular series on different aspects of VMT reduction strategies, beginning with …

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My Environmental Law Wish List For A California Legislative Super-Majority

Tuesday could give Democrats enough seats to make a major impact on environmental policies

The presidential election next week is making most of the news these days, but while the rest of the country flirts with electing Donald Trump as the next president, California is going its own progressive way. The Republican Party has been all but completely marginalized in this state, for a variety of demographic reasons and …

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Anti-CEQA Lobbyists Turn to Empirical Analysis, But Are Their Conclusions Sound?

Influential Attacks on California’s Environmental Impact Law Aren’t Supported By the Data

Every August, as the California legislative session comes to a head, lobbyists attempt to gain support for dramatically scaling back California’s landmark environmental law, CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act).  This year was no exception.  Last month, the law firm Holland and Knight, which has been a leading force on this issue, issued a new …

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What Steve Jobs Could Teach Us About Land Use and Transit Planning

Lessons for making urban spaces great from the celebrated entrepreneur

Steve Jobs died in 2011, but his life experience, as related by biographer Walter Isaacson, offers some important lessons for today’s transit and urban development practitioners. I just finished reading the biography and was struck — like many others — by what a notoriously awful person he was to those around him. Part of the …

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Are Californians Finally Getting Out of Our Cars?

If Something Looks Too Good To Be True, Then It Probably Is

It looks like a miracle: Californians aren’t depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and  errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans. Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation  across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips,  researchers say a …

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Berkeley Law Amicus Brief Highlights Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development

Smart growth alternatives would help end the vicious cycle of highway expansion and housing sprawl in San Diego region

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) filed an amicus brief last week in a California Court of Appeal case with far-reaching implications for development, transportation, and California’s climate goals. The case, Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), challenges the State’s first Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy …

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Can Los Angeles Reinvent Itself Around Rail?

New op-ed explains key challenges and opportunities

A city famous for its car culture now has three new rail transit projects under construction.  Can Los Angeles reinvent itself around rail-oriented development? Passenger vehicle transportation plays a major role in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. But building more rail, alone, is not enough to get folks off the road and onto public transit. …

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