Lewis Research Topic: MOVE

Transit-Oriented Development & Commercial Gentrification: Exploring the Linkages
By Karen Chapple, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Silvia R. Gonzalez, Dov Kadin, Joseph Poirier

This research focuses on Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to examine the relationship between commercial gentrification and fixed rail transit, transit ridership and traffic crashes. Using a longitudinal database of business establishments, the authors develop a quantitative definition of commercial gentrification for Los Angeles and the Bay Area. They investigate where commercial gentrification has occurred along with its relationship to fixed rail transit, and offer key findings to motivate policy.

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Main Street Parklet Pilot Program Evaluation: City of Santa Monica
By Madeline Brozen, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Rayne Laborde

In late 2015, the City of Santa Monica approved a parklet pilot program along Main Street at the request of the Main Street Business Improvement Association. By June 2017, three parklets were installed along Main Street. To evaluate this pilot program, the City commissioned this pilot program evaluation to undestand the pilot performance and provide recommendations for the program’s future. The goal of this evaluation report is to determine whether parklets, a relatively new streetscape improvement type, is an idea that works along Santa Monica’s Main Street corridor.

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Transit Oriented Los Angeles: Station Area Comparison Appendix
By Madeline Brozen, Matthew Hartzell, Dr. Michael Manville, Dr. Paavo Monkkonen, Mark Vallianatos

The purpose of this appendix is to help readers further explore similarities and differences in seven station areas (Van Nuys, Fillmore, Wilshire/Vermont, Culver City, Leimert Park, Compton, and Paramount/Rosecrans) and to be inspired to consider how features such as population density, transit ridership, parcel-level housing density, housing units and planned housing capacity, zoning class, building age, parking lot availability, activity density, job density, and neighborhood amenities shape neighborhoods around rail stations throughout Los Angeles County.

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Transit-oriented development in Los Angeles: Past, Present and Future
By Mark Vallianatos, Madeline Brozen

This brief provides a short history of how transit and land development have often gone hand-in-hand in L.A., summarizes research that shows that residential density in greater L.A. is still influenced by long-gone streetcar routes. This brief also recommends ways to achieve greater synergies between housing and public transit investments, such as allowing more homes close to transit, incentivizing deeded-affordable homes close to transit, and allowing more homes within a wider radius of transit. This interconnection of transit and the built environment over time holds lessons that planners, policy-makers, and developers can learn from today.

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Encouraging Diverse Missing-Middle Housing Near Transit
By Mark Vallianatos, Madeline Brozen

This brief explores why and how jurisdictions in the Los Angeles region should zone for more diverse-types of lowrise housing, especially near transit. The paper argues that too many properties close to transit stations and stops are zoned to only allow one home, single-family-only zoning originated to exclude apartments and lower-income and non-white residents and neighborhoods with a mix of small apartments and single-unit homes used to be common, but policy changes enacted in the mid-20th century banned these diverse communities The paper also argues that removing barriers to diverse, low-rise housing could bring benefits for housing choice and affordability, equity, sustainability, and transit-ridership.

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Transit-Oriented Los Angeles: Envisioning an Equitable and Thriving Future Summary
By Madeline Brozen, Matthew Hartzell, Michael Manville, Paavo Monkkonen, Mark Vallianatos

This report provides a conceptual framework for thinking about how more people can live and work near transit, near the major regional investments that county residents are paying for, in ways that maximize social benefits and minimize social costs. Because neighborhoods are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we do not profess to offer one. What we offer instead is a foundation on which informed civic conversations about different neighborhoods and ways to better our region can occur. We hope to demystify density, explain the determinants of transit ridership, and shed some light on how zoning and land use regulation influence both ridership and housing prices.

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Transit Oriented Los Angeles: Envisioning an Equitable and Thriving Future
By Madeline Brozen, Matthew Hartzell, Michael Manville, Paavo Monkkonen, Mark Vallianatos

This report provides a conceptual framework for thinking about how more people can live and work near transit, near the major regional investments that county residents are paying for, in ways that maximize social benefits and minimize social costs. Because neighborhoods are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we do not profess to offer one. What we offer instead is a foundation on which informed civic conversations about different neighborhoods and ways to better our region can occur. We hope to demystify density, explain the determinants of transit ridership, and shed some light on how zoning and land use regulation influence both ridership and housing prices

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Bolstering Mobility and Enhancing Transportation Options for Low-Income Older Adults
By Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Madeline Brozen, Lené Levy-Storms, Martin Wachs

This study explores the travel patterns, needs, and mobility problems faced by diverse low income, inner-city older adults in Los Angeles in order to identify solutions to their mobility challenges. The study draws information from:
1. a systematic literature review of the travel patterns of older adults;
2. a review of municipal policies and services geared toward older adult mobility in six cities;
3. a quantitative analysis of the mobility patterns of older adults in California using the California Household Travel Survey; and
4. empirical work with 81 older adults residing in and around Los Angeles’ inner-city Westlake neighborhood, who participated in focus groups, interviews, and walkabouts around their neighborhood.

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Falling Transit Ridership: California and Southern California
By Michael Manville, Brian D. Taylor, Evelyn Blumenberg

In the last 10 years, transit use in Southern California has fallen significantly. We examine patterns of transit service and patronage over time and across the region, and consider an array of explanations for falling transit use: declining transit service levels, eroding transit service quality, rising fares, falling fuel prices, the growth of Lyft and Uber, the migration of frequent transit users to outlying neighborhoods with less transit service, and rising vehicle ownership. While all of these factors probably play some role, we conclude that the most significant factor is increased motor vehicle access, particularly among low-income households that have traditionally supplied the region with its most frequent and reliable transit users.

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Toward Accurate and Valid Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Reductions from Bikeway Projects
By Juan Matute, Herbie Huff, Jaimee Lederman, Diego de la Peza, Kevin Johnson

Transportation projects that can demonstrate cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions are eligible for targeted funding from growing revenue sources. Chief among these funding sources in is California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, established under AB 32. A growing body of evidence indicates that the provision of bikeway infrastructure is effective in increasing bicycle ridership. The increasing availability of performance-based funding for GHG reductions bolsters the importance of providing a method for validly and accurately quantifying GHG emissions impacts of bicycle infrastructure investment. Calculating GHG emissions reductions for transportation projects is both difficult and imperative for policy.

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Heightening Walking Above Its Pedestrian Status: Walking and Travel Behavior in California
By Evelyn Blumenberg, Kate Bridges, Madeline Brozen, Carole Turley Voulgaris

In this study we draw on data from the last two California Household Travel Surveys to examine walking behavior in four major California regions—the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego. The study includes four components; analyses of (a) the change in walking over time (b) the relationship between walking and the built environment (c) the determinants of change in walking over time and (d) the relationship between changes in neighborhood characteristics and changes in walking. In each of the analyses, we pay particular attention to differences across these four metropolitan regions. We pair our statistical analysis with a set of interviews intended to understand whether and how walking trips are included in regional travel demand models.

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Not So Fast: A Study of Traffic Delays, Access, and Economic Activity in the SF Bay Area
By Taner Osman, Trevor Thomas, Andrew Mondschein, Brian D. Taylor

While often overshadowed by traffic-choked Los Angeles to the south, the San Francisco Bay Area regularly experiences some of the most severe traffic congestion in the U.S. The TTI estimated that traffic congestion cost the Bay Area economy – by some measures the nation’s most vibrant regional economy – a staggering $3.1 billion in 2014. But do such measures really capture how congestion and the conditions that give rise to it affect regional economies? This study explores this question for San Francisco Bay Area by examining how traffic congestion is (i) related to a broader and more conceptually powerful concept of access and (ii) how it affects key industries, which are critical to the performance of the region’s economy.

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Where They’re Coming From and How They’re Getting Here: A Mobility Assessment on Little Tokyo’s Nonresident Population
By Karen Thai

With the enormous amount of change happening in Downtown Los Angeles and the desire to preserve the rich culture of its ethnic communities, a need exists to better understand the trends of these neighborhoods in order to inform decisions for a more sustainable future. The growth of ethnic communities as commercial destinations and the onset of new transportation developments necessitate a richer understanding of how people travel to and from neighborhoods like Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo employees and visitors mostly drively, but visitors carpool frequently, and in both cases, almost 20% get to Little Tokyo by way of public transit.

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Equity in Motion: Bikeshare in Low-Income Communities
By Aysha Cohen (Student Capstone)

With Washington, D.C’s public bicycle program, Capital Bikeshare, embarking on an ambitious three-year plan to expand to 454 stations and forging new partnerships with community health clinics, the District Department of Transportation asked for an analysis of current and predicted bikeshare ridership in low-income DC communities.The findings in this report suggest that ridership can increase even in high crime and high poverty areas if four major financial, cultural, and structural barriers are addressed. To overcome these barriers, a variety of intra-agency, interagency, and partnerships with local institutions will be needed to support the adoption of Capital Bikeshare in historically disadvantaged, low bikeshare usage communities.

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Not So Fast: Traffic Delays, Access, and Economic Activity in Greater LA and the SF Bay Area
By Andrew Mondschein, Taner Osman, Brian D. Taylor, Trevor Thomas

Traffic congestion is a major economic threat for American cities because it wastes commuters’ time and inhibits business growth. But how important are high travel speeds in the ability of workers to access jobs and in the locational choices of new firms? Little research examines how travel speeds and distance combine across a large region like Los Angeles or the Bay Area, to determine overall accessibility. To address this gap in knowledge, we examined the relative effect of average travel speeds and proximity upon job access and new firm formations in Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Sustainable LA: Lessons from Vancouver
By UCLA Vancouver Study Tour

In March 2015, a group of 14 UCLA Urban and Regional Planning graduate students travelled to Vancouver to learn first-hand about Vancouver’s sustainable planning successes. Students met with over 30 government agencies, non-profits, researchers and private companies working at the front lines of sustainable urbanism. This report highlights a few of the most meaningful lessons learned. The report is organized around seven lessons which we consider especially applicable and implementable in Los Angeles. Each lesson alludes to an objective from the Sustainable City pLAn. Hashtags at the bottom of each lesson indicate which pLAn sections (economy, environment, equity) the lessons align with.

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Congested Development: A Study of Traffic Delays, Access, and Economic Activity in Metropolitan LA
By Taner Osman, Brian D. Taylor, Trevor Thomas, Andrew Mondschein

For years Los Angeles has been ranked among the most traffic congested metropolitan areas in the U.S., often the most congested. The Texas Transportation Institute estimated that traffic congestion cost the LA economy a staggering $13.3 billion in 2014. But do such measures really capture how congestion and the conditions that give rise to it affect regional economies? This study explores this question for metropolitan Los Angeles by examining how traffic congestion is (i) related to a broader and more conceptually powerful concept of access and (ii) how it affects key industries, which are critical to the performance of the region’s economy. Our analysis shows that more often than not in Los Angeles, the time lost to commuter traffic delays is off-set by the greater opportunities to reach destinations over shorter distances to which high development densities gives rise.

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The Highway Capacity Manual’s Method for Calculating Bicycle and Pedestrian Levels of Service
By Herbie Huff, Robin Liggett

This paper concerns the methods for calculating Pedestrian/Bicycle Level of Service as they are presented in the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual. These calculations serve to assign letter grades, ranging from A through F, to a portion of roadway. This grade is meant to correspond to the perceived level of service that that roadway provides to pedestrians or bicyclists, respectively. By carefully examining the four formal units of analysis employed by the methodology, we can understand the relative contribution of the variables that determine the final scores of roadways. The goal is to allow the reader to understand how scores are developed and to better interpret the final grades.

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Exploration and Implications of Multimodal Street Performance Metrics: What’s a Passing Grade?
By Madeline Brozen, Herbie Huff, Robin Liggett, Rui Wang, Michael Smart

Scholars, municipalities and federal agencies have proposed new measures for evaluating street performance for non-automobile modes including transit service, bicyclists and pedestrians. This is in response to the critique that the current street performance measure, traditional level of service (LOS), overemphasizes the free flow of automobile traffic while neglecting other users of the transportation system. We examine four often-cited multimodal level of service (LOS) metrics; those of the cities of Fort Collins, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina; metrics developed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (BEQI/PEQI), and the multimodal LOS metrics of the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual; and explore the differences between each metric. We provide a literature review with an overview of each metric’s development and the variables used to calculate performance scores, as well as their ease of use and threats to their validity. Finally, our literature review closes by offering our critique of the metrics, focusing on how the use of single outcome metrics (even differentiated by mode) may skew our understanding of street performance by masking considerable variation among users.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts in the San Gabriel Valley: Results from Automated Counts in 2013-2014
By Herbie Huff, Madeline Brozen, Norman Wong, Diana Benitez

Although ~17% of all trips in the Los Angeles region are made by foot or bike, and 40% of all roadway fatalities in Los Angeles County are people walking or riding bicycles, historically, traffic monitoring has focused exclusively on cars.
Bicycle and pedestrian counts enable these modes to be considered on equal footing with driving, and enable robust understanding of costs, benefits, behavior, and more. In 2014, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) loaned counting devices to the cities of South El Monte, El Monte, San Gabriel, and Monterey Park to automatically count the levels of walking and cycling at selected locations. These four cities are among the five San Gabriel Valley cities who recently adopted the 2014 San Gabriel Valley Regional Bike Plan, which was funded by DPH. (The fifth city is Baldwin Park.) The resulting data provide an understanding of the number of people walking and cycling in these cities, and the distribution of that activity. These data are crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of walking and cycling infrastructure and safety investments in the San Gabriel Valley. In addition, conducting counts, collecting and sharing the data contributes to a growing body of bicycle and pedestrian count data in the Los Angeles region.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts in Carson: Results from Automated Counts in 2013-2014
By Herbie Huff, Madeline Brozen, Norman Wong, Diana Benitez

Although ~17% of all trips in the Los Angeles region are made by foot or bike, and 40% of all roadway fatalities in Los Angeles County are people walking or riding bicycles, historically, traffic monitoring has focused exclusively on cars.
Bicycle and pedestrian counts enable these modes to be considered on equal footing with driving, and enable robust understanding of costs, benefits, behavior, and more. In 2013-2014, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) loaned counting devices to the City of Carson to automatically count the levels of walking and cycling at selected locations. The City had recently adopted its first bicycle master plan, and is currently in the process of developing an Active Transportation Plan, funded by DPH. The resulting data provide an understanding of the number of people walking and cycling in Carson, and the distribution of that activity. These data are crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of walking and cycling infrastructure and safety investments in Carson. In addition, conducting counts, collecting and sharing the data contributes to a growing body of bicycle and pedestrian count data in the Los Angeles region.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts in Cudahy: Results from Automated Counts in 2013-2014
By Herbie Huff, Madeline Brozen, Norman Wong, Diana Benitez

Although ~17% of all trips in the Los Angeles region are made by foot or bike, and 40% of all roadway fatalities in Los Angeles County are people walking or riding bicycles, historically, traffic monitoring has focused exclusively on cars.
Bicycle and pedestrian counts enable these modes to be considered on equal footing with driving, and enable robust understanding of costs, benefits, behavior, and more. In September 2014, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) loaned counting devices to the City of Cudahy to automatically count the levels of walking and cycling at selected locations. The City is currently developing its first Safe Routes to School Plan, funded by DPH. The resulting data provide an understanding of the number of people walking and cycling in Carson, and the distribution of that activity. These data are crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of walking and cycling infrastructure and safety investments in Cudahy. In addition, conducting counts, collecting and sharing the data contributes to a growing body of bicycle and pedestrian count data in the Los Angeles region.

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Pricing Parking by Demand: Assessing Price Adjustments in the SFpark Program
By Gregory Pierce, Donald Shoup

In 2011, San Francisco adopted SFpark, the most innovative pricing program for parking since the invention of the parking meter. SFpark aims to vary the price of curb parking by location and time of day, with the goal of achieving a consistent block occupancy rate between 60 and 80 percent. This occupancy rate ensures that curb parking is both well used and readily available. Over two years, SFpark adjusted prices every two months in order to achieve the 60 to 80 percent occupancy rate, and this article assesses SFpark’s overall performance with respect to such price changes

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Tools for Estimating Benefits of Bicycle Count Data
By Madeline Brozen, Tulsi Patel, Karla Kingsley, Mike Aronson

This white paper identifies potential relationships between improved bicycle count data and travel demand modeling in the Los Angeles region. A number of tools for estimating benefits of bicycle travel, separate from regional travel demand models, are summarized. Finally, additional considerations for estimating benefits on the Los Angeles region are listed. We do not provide for development of a specific methodology, but provide resources for methodologies that could be implemented.
Improved bicycle count data in the Los Angeles region will provide certain benefits for travel demand modeling. It will be some time before the bicycle data is comprehensive enough to fully inform a travel model calibration representing all decisions related to bicycle travel. However, focused bicycle count data at a specific cordon, screenline or activity center could be used to calibrate models to represent special circumstances influencing bicycle travel (for example, at a college) or to provide model validation targets at a specific geographic location.

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Greenhouse Gas Reduction Close to Home
By Juan Matute

In 2008, California adopted the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) to lower GHG emissions by reforming local land use and transportation policies that subsidize cars and suburban sprawl. Recent literature focuses on the need to measure the complete output of GHG emissions in local areas, but these efforts risk falling short of state and federal targets for two reasons: a lack of proper local forecasting tools and the absence of an appropriate guide for implementing local measurement. This report remedies research shortcomings by offering a framework for measuring, evaluating, and forecasting the GHG effects of local policies.

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The California Gas Tax Swap: A Study of Revenue Volatility in Transportation Planning
By Anne Brown, Mark Garrett, Martin Wachs

In the mid-2000s, soaring gas prices created a perception of excess revenue from the fuel sales tax, with many arguing that using all of this money on mass transit would be unwise in a recession, when so many other needs beckoned. The state began diverting fuel sales tax money previously earmarked for mass transit to pay debt from highway and rail bonds, as well as general services supported by the state. A state court, however, soon ruled that diverting transportation sales taxes to the General Fund was invalid. Therefore, the Governor proposed a “Fuel Tax Swap”; the state would reduce fuel sales tax by 6% and increase the fuel excise tax. Specifically, a portion of the excise tax would be adjusted annually to approximate the amount of money that the previous sales tax would have generated. Researchers studied the history of California transportation finance, utilizing primary and secondary sources to present a comprehensive image of the state’s transportation funding history, present, and future.

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Can’t Hear the Train A Comin’: Passenger Exposure to Noise at LA Transit Platforms
By Alexander Schaffer

There are 16 transit stations located inside highway medians in Los Angeles County, and passengers on these station platforms are subjected to high levels of noise produced by nearby highway traffic. Exposure to these elevated sound volumes makes waiting for a bus or train unpleasant at best, and potentially harmful to passengers’ health. Researchers have shown a conclusive link between hearing loss and exposure to high ambient noise levels, and daily commuters, who use stations in noisy highway medians, over the course of many years may suffer from hearing loss and damage to circulatory systems. This study examines the noise levels at these stations with three specific goals: Determining which stations experience the most noise, Identifying why noise levels vary from station to station, and Suggesting design features that could reduce noise levels.

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Southern California PEV Readiness Plan
By J.R. DeShazo, Ayala Ben-Yahuda

Many policy-makers and environmentalists are optimistic about the ability of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (known as PEVs) to lower emissions, improve air quality, increase electric grid efficiency, and reduce fuel costs. Yet the success of PEVs in Southern California depends on how well we utilize our infrastructure to provide the necessary support system of charging stations for PEVs. This report serves to help planners understand the landscape of PEV planning by outlining the “ecosystem” of these PEV stakeholders whose actions shape the technology’s viability and success.

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Performance Metrics for the City of Los Angeles
By Madeline Brozen, Rachel Cushing, Herbie Huff, Chanda Singh, Margot Ocanas

Over the next 30 years, the Los Angeles region will expand the transportation system through investments from Measure R. As the region moves forward through an unprecedented opportunity to shift the city’s paradigm of transportation planning and policy, it is important for our political leaders, city staff, and community to understand current conditions and trade-offs that may lead to better or worse outcomes for various indicators. With revisions to the General Plan on the horizon, this report seeks to establish baseline conditions in order to measure progress in the future. Our hope is that this data will serve as a baseline for a new era in transportation performance measurement in LA – one whose goal is not only to maximize mobility and access but also quality of life for all Angelenos.

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Model Design Manual for Living Streets
By Madeline Brozen, Ryan Snyder

A growing number of communities are discovering the value of their streets as important public spaces for many aspects of daily life. Residents want streets that are safe to cross or walk along, offer places to meet people, link healthy neighborhoods, and have a vibrant mix of retail. Yet, as these communities form partnerships with neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and other groups in asking their city councils to create streets and neighborhoods that fit this vision, unexpected obstacles have arisen. An increasing number of cities looking to modify the design of their streets are often stifled by standards and guidelines that prevent them from making the changes they seek. This manual presents an opportunity to these communities to work through these challenges and ultimately design their streets for health, safety, livability, sustainability and more.

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Measuring Progress Toward Transportation GHG Goals
By Juan Matute

The State of California seeks to induce per capita reductions in regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation by setting modeling targets for regional transportation and land use plans. Key to the success of SB 375 are accurate, valid models which are capable of forecasting the effects of transportation and land use policies on future greenhouse gas emissions. Current models are not capable of meeting the regulatory requirements of SB 375. In this White Paper, I discuss the models, evaluation methods, and data required to improve California’s ability to successfully implement its SB 375 regional greenhouse gas reduction policy.

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The Long and Winding Route: Analyzing the Influence of Politics on Planning the Wilshire Subway in LA
By Brian D. Taylor, Eugene J. Kim, John Gahbauer

Los Angeles is known throughout the world as an auto-oriented city, yet for the past three decades the region has invested billions of dollars into an ambitious rail and busway network. Given such a significant investment, many find it perplexing that rail service still only partially traverses Wilshire Boulevard, the region’s most densely developed and heavily travelled transit corridor. We examine how conflicting political interests manipulated planning analyses and repeatedly dictated highly technical aspects of the subway’s routing and design, ultimately delaying the construction of a rail line along the most promising transit corridor in Los Angeles.

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