L.A. may tax Uber and Lyft rides to curb traffic congestion

By Laura J. Nelson : latimes – excerpt

Transportation officials are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft rides in Los Angeles County, saying the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region.

The ride-hailing fee is in the early stages of discussion at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with more than a dozen other strategies to manage congestion and fund transportation projects before the 2028 Olympic Games.

Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax. The directors also will consider approving a study on congestion pricing, which would analyze the effects of converting more carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee for motorists to enter certain neighborhoods… (more)

Program Will Allow Homeless To Pay LA Parking Tickets With Community Service Instead Of Fines

cbsla – excerpt

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved a measure to allow homeless people to pay parking citations by performing community service rather than paying a fine.

Under the newly approved program, people who meet the federal definition of being homeless under Title 42 of the Public Health and Welfare Code can go into one of the city’s service provider agencies and apply to perform social services or community services instead of paying the citation fine… (more)

Coronado Puts The Brakes On All Future Bike Lanes After Resident Complaints

By Claire Trageser : KPBS – excerpt

Coronado’s wide streets, slow traffic and bike paths make it a haven for cyclists. It won a national award for bike friendliness in 2013 and leads the county in the percentage of people who bike to work, according to census data. In a grant application last year, the city reported that 70 percent of its students walk or bike to school.

Cycling was supposed to get even easier as the city rolled out its 2011 Bike Master Plan, which calls for 12 more miles of bike paths.

Then at a City Council meeting last week, residents started putting on the brakes. Although the proposed bike markings would not eliminate parking spaces or driving lanes, they still had complaints. They did not like how the bike lanes would look.

“You are covering Coronado with paint stripe pollution,” said resident Gerry Lounsbury.

“The graffiti on the streets does not help our property values,” declared Aileen Oya.

The lanes “bring to mind a visual cacophony that if you look there long enough it will induce a dizzying type of vertigo,” said Carolyn Rogerson.

Gerry MacCartee asked if the community couldn’t think of a better option than “these black streets with these brilliant white lines everywhere because believe me, it takes away from your home, from your outlook on life.”

And Darby Monger crafted an analogy to describe the addition of bike lanes to her beloved city.

“It’s very similar to personally taking all three of my daughters to a tattoo parlor and having them completely body tattooed,” she said.

After public comment, the City Council voted to suspend all new proposed bike lanes… (more)

Why ‘Fix The City’ Opposes MP2035 – The ‘ImMobility’ Plan
and other things they are doing in Southern California: http://fixthecity.org/

Los Angeles: The City Of Whining About The Car

By Susan Shelley : capoliticalreview – excerpt

There was something very strange about the Los Angeles City Council debate on the day they adopted the Mobility Plan 2035.

On August 11, the council was rushing to pass a 20-year plan that called for removing traffic lanes on busy streets to make room for 300 miles of protected bike lanes. Councilman Mike Bonin told his colleagues how much safer the roads would be once traffic was slowed by the lane reductions.

“Only 5 percent of those hit by a car going 20 miles per hour die,” Bonin said. “Over 80 percent of those who are hit by a car going 40 miles per hour die.”

You don’t typically hear an elected official arguing for slowing city traffic to 20 miles per hour. And then the council members began to hint that the plan wasn’t binding on anybody.

“Every particular project will need to be vetted by you, in your district, with your constituents,” Bonin told his colleagues.

“This is a concept,” council president Herb Wesson said. “If you choose to vote on this today, it will not be put in place tomorrow.”

They called it “a vision statement,” and “an aspirational document.” And then the truth came out.

“This is a document that also helps us get a lot of money from somewhere else,” Bonin said. “This is a document that can help us get active transportation funds from the state. This is a document that can help us tap into cap-and-trade funds because it will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a smart thing to be doing.”

Sacramento has more than a billion dollars available for projects that reduce greenhouse gases, money that is pouring in from new fees on gasoline and diesel fuel that began on Jan. 1. The cash goes into a fund for politicians to hand out to anything green, or greenish.

And that’s why officials have turned Los Angeles, the city of the car, into the city of whining about the car… (more)

Sound familiar? No doubt they plan to take over the city transportation legislation the way they did in San Francisco. By lying about it. Review that here if you missed it. https://metermadness.wordpress.com/actions/

It’s No Longer Illegal to Live in Your Car in Los Angeles

By Adrian Glick Kudler : la.curbed – excerpt

Rents are insane, housing supplies are short, and buying is one giant “pffffffft” noise going on forever, so housing options are housing options here in Los Angeles, and now finally the Ninth Circuit Court has struck down a law that made it illegal for people to live in their cars. The law had been on the books since 1983 but the city only started enforcing it in 2010 (with a 21-officer task force) when those notoriously complainy Venice residents started complaining about waste and trash on the streets, according to the Guardian. (In January, a group of Venetians finally dropped a years-long battle to kick cars and RVs off the streets overnight.) The ban forbid anyone from using a vehicle “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise,” and officers all had different interpretations of what exactly that meant, so enforcement was selective; officers were arresting people just for having stuff in their car and even when they were parked in private parking lots. One of the four homeless people who sued to overturn a lower court’s decision upholding the ban had been pulled over in her RV for failing to use a turn signal but was cited instead for living in the vehicle. As one Ninth Circuit judge wrote, “[the ordinance] is broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle. Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless.” That of course makes it potentially discriminatory and unconstitutional. The AP adds, via the judge’s opinion, that the ban “criminalizes innocent behavior.”… (more)

Group wants to revamp how L.A. collects parking ticket revenue

grass-roots group of Angelenos wants to revamp the way Los Angeles collects money from parking tickets — and has pledged to take its campaign to the ballot box if the city doesn’t embrace change.

The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety. Its list of proposed changes also includes giving neighborhoods a way to help shape local regulations and fees and having parking ticket money funneled into a separate fund instead of the general city budget…

Critics argue that many of the fines fall especially hard on the poor, particularly in dense neighborhoods with scarce parking. The Coalition for Economic Survival, a community organizing group that isn’t affiliated with the parking ticket campaign, has repeatedly raised concerns about street-sweeping fines, which now stand at $73 for parking in a prohibited area…

Beeber and Vincent were hopeful that the process would steer Los Angeles in the right direction, praising Garcetti for his openness. But if the city does not take sufficient steps toward change, the activists say they could still place their proposed reforms before voters next March.

“We’re not looking to stick it to the city — although there’s certainly a lot of angry people out there,” Vincent said. “We just want to solve the problem.”…

“The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety.”


Looks like people all over California are fighting back against the costs of parking tickets. Let’s get to the state legislators and let them know how we feel about the recent efforts to increase fees and fines. That is where the damage is being done.

Michelle Mowery, L.A.’s bike czar, talks to drivers too

By Carla Hall : latimes – excerpt

Michelle Mowery has been working in the intersection — or maybe in the crosshairs — between cyclists and drivers for the two decades she has been bicycle coordinator for the city’s Department of Transportation…
“People say you can’t go shopping. Yeah, you can. Costco is harder. One package of toilet paper and it’s all filled up.”
She is realistic: “The car is still the most efficient way to get around,” she says. But, she adds: “The time it takes to travel by bike is catching up with the time it takes to travel by car.”
Ever the politician, she winces at the term “road diet” to describe taking away a lane of traffic on a street to put in a bike lane. She prefers “road sharing” or “road buffet.” But whatever you call it, her goal is to create a network “that will get people where they need to go.”
The idea, according to Mowery, is to slow down or “calm” traffic on some neighborhood streets to make them more inviting to bicyclists, and let car traffic flow faster on other streets.
“The overall philosophy is that some streets will be better for bikes, some will be better for cars, some will be better for mass transit,” she says… (more)

Bike lanes go CEQA-free: Is that a good thing?