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A report here, A Plan there – Soon LA will have…..What?

The City of Los Angeles has adopted a Los Angeles Shared-Mobility Climate and Equity Action Plan. Politicians are slapping each other on the back for all the hard work they have done with the plan. Nothing unusual so far.

Log on to Parknews.biz if you want to read the entire plan.

I just wonder how a plan, written by the National Resource Defense Council, and not having any input from private industry, will fare in the real world. Since developers, energy companies, automotive companies, tourism, and all their related support companies, will be affected by the plan, shouldn’t they at least be consulted or be involved in its formulation. Oh well…

Here is a summation of the goals of the report:

  • Creating incentives for the use of electric vehicles in ridesharing and other shared mobility options
  • Piloting a congestion pricing zone in the city to manage flow in high-traffic areas and create a sustainable funding source for low-carbon mobility choices
  • Creating a single routing, booking, and payment platform to enable access to all mobility options
  • Developing specifications for gathering data from mobility providers
  • Creating an equity advisory committee on transportation to provide greater input into city decision-making,
  • Reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements in the city zoning code

They seem laudable, but what about the real world.

Why do we need incentives to use electric vehicles? Virtually every taxicab in LA in a Prius. There must be some reason for that. Maybe this would happen to Uber and Lyft if we just left well enough alone.

Congestion Pricing can only work if there is an alternative to get where you need to go. In London, there is an extensive underground system. In LA, not so much. If it takes longer to ride the metro in LA than to drive on the congested freeway, isn’t that a problem that needs to be solved before forcing people out of their cars.

Creating an app to be used for finding and paying for ‘mobility options’ is a great idea. I think that there are a number in our industry that would fill that bill today, without any ‘creating’ going on. You would think someone might ask.

I’m all for gathering data, but doesn’t that data exist today? Surely MTA, Metro, and local bus lines have ridership stats and the like. Can’t we just ask for them?

Ah, yes, lets create a committee. Will it be anything like the committee that penned the plan? Would the companies and organizations that will have their lives turned upside down have any input?

Abolishing minimum parking requirements may be a good idea. But in an environment where people are buying more cars, not fewer, should we not also look at the infrastructure.

The residents of the city complain about traffic. The current solution is to take a perfectly serviceable three lane (each direction) major street and convert it into two lanes plus a bike lane that is used sparingly on weekends and unused all other times and move traffic off the main road and into nearby neighborhoods. This was a fantastic idea that was certainly ginned up by some committee somewhere without much input from those affected. (The city councilman mentioned in the article about the “plan” is being recalled by the folks living around the three lane to bike lane conversion.)

Things that work in one city may not in another. Bicycles work and are part of the culture in Amsterdam. However, the city is less than 84 square miles. Los Angeles is nearly 500 square miles and that doesn’t include all the various municipalities like Santa Monica, Culver City, the various beach cities, West Hollywood, Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, and all of Orange County. I think I’ll just hop on my bike and ride 10 miles to the metro, then pick up another at the other end and ride a similar distance to my destination.

These plans are fine in their creation, but often impossible in their application.

I have great respect for the members of the National Resource Defense Council. They have a goal and they are going for it. I don’t necessarily believe that their goal and that of the population of our city are compatible.

LA is spending a billion dollars a mile on an underground metro to turn the City of Angels into London, or Paris, or New York. (By the Way, ridership on the metro and bus lines is decreasing.) Could all that money be better used? Now that’s a committee I could get behind.

JVH

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