To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Transportation solutions on the table at CityLab


Posted by Anthony Foxx (United States Secretary of Transportation), October 1, 2014

America's cities face a number of transportation challenges, not the least of which is anticipated population growth over the next two decades and endangered federal investment in the transportation necessary to move those new residents and the goods they will need. For the last three days, however, a group of more than 300 innovative leaders gathered in Los Angeles to help chart a course toward meeting those challenges.

Now in its second year, CityLab --sponsored by The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies-- brings together mayors, urban experts, city planners, writers, technologists, economists, and designers from around the world in a constructive dialog about creating scalable solutions for city leaders to share with their communities.

Photo of Secretary Foxx meeting construction workers on LA Downtown Regional Connector project

It was fitting to have this year's conference in town on the same day that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority was breaking ground on its Downtown Regional Connector, which will allow the Blue, Gold, and Expo rail lines to run through the city's urban core and finally provide a connection between these disjointed lines in downtown L.A.

Right now, some of L.A.'s transit commuters lose hours every week waiting to transfer to another bus or train just to keep heading in the same direction. Imagine losing several hours each week in transfer time on top of putting in your hours of hard work and coming home to cook dinner and raise your kids.

With this "one-seat" connector, passengers will --for the first time-- be able to travel from Long Beach to Azusa, or East Los Angeles to Santa Monica, without changing trains. Suddenly, jobs that were once literally out of reach will be more viable.

As I've said here in the Fast Lane before, it's a simple equation: greater access equals greater opportunity.

 (See website for the video "Metro Regional Connector Transit Project Groundbreaking Ceremony.")

At CityLab, I saw and heard a host of different visions of tomorrow's transportation. And, I'm proud to say that DOT is part of the community working to make some of those visions a reality.

We've had Fast Lane posts about Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) Communication. Those are real technologies that are around the corner.

Photo of Secretary Foxx at CityLab

Then there are the other technologies. You've all heard about driverless cars. Express shippers are thinking about delivery drones. And who knows what kind of apps will be available tomorrow on what kinds of devices?

But one thing we do know is that we can't have communities within the same metropolitan region working at cross-purposes to serve the same residents. We need more cooperation.
That's a principle we've used to select our TIGER projects since 2009. And it's a key part of the GROW AMERICA legislative proposal we sent to Congress earlier this year.

GROW AMERICA is a four-year, fully-funded, $302 billion surface transportation bill. And beyond the proposed funding levels designed to help us catch our transportation network up to the 21st century, GROW AMERICA also proposes policies better suited to the realities of today.

It promotes regional development, gives Metropolitan Planning Organizations and communities more say in what they build, and streamlines the permitting process so we can get projects done faster and cheaper. For the LA County MTA, that would significantly reduce the paperwork burden they faced preparing and submitting nearly 1,000 permits to get shovels into the ground for the Downtown Regional Connector we celebrated yesterday.

GROW AMERICA is exactly the transportation policy the leaders gathered at CityLab this week will need as they continue to work on solutions to our cities' challenges.