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John Swartz

806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by John Swartz 806 days ago
John S Planners and Engineering Working Together
  • What does each group need to learn from each other? 
  • Hurdles
  • Planners and engineers are segregated
  • Tension between the two
  • Planners feel engineers have not done enough to move alternative transportation forward. 
  • Engineers think that they are focusing on alt transportation, but not getting the recognition for this. 
  • Sometimes it feels political, ie. planners are progressive and engineers are conservative
  • Ideas / Discussion
  • You can do great things when you work together
  • The planner can help the engineer with presentation, communicating ideas. 
  • Planner figures out what needs to be done, then the engineer needs to do it.  
  • They need to talk earlier to make sure that the ideas that the planner is coming up with is possible. 
  • How do we bring the two conversations together?  
  • Its not something a planner or engineer can do by themselves. 
  • What is the Forum?
  • Planners should go to engineering conferences and speak.. and vice versa
  • Planners don’t have as much hard science of math and science. But, if the planners had more exposure to engineering. 
  • It would be good to have a couple engineering classes in planning degree classes. 
  • Important to understand that the two fields think differently. 
  • Engineers learn how to think from a tactical approach: science based, not creative based.  
  • Planners learn more creative. 
  • Planners call a meeting to make a decision, but the engineers cannot make a decision on the spot. they have to analyze the engineering details and specifics. 
  • When Planners approach engineers
  • Engineers want to be brought the problem, not the solution. 
  • Engineers are thinking not only abou bikes and wheelchairs, but they are thinking abou trucks, cars, bikes, wheelchairs, etc. 
  • Power of the stamp vs. power of the plan
  • Variances in engineering requested by planners
  • Planner needs to understand what it takes to get a variance from an engineering code.
  • Engineers need to be more understanding of why the variances are being requested. 
  • If a plan fails, no-one is blamed.  If a stamped engineering plan fails, a license can be lost. 
  • The engineers have to defend the plan, sit in court, etc. 
  • Some jurisdictions have robust legal support that will fight for the engineers and some do not.  The engineers who work for jurisdictions who do not have strong legal support are very risk sensitive. 
  • Organizational structure
  • Engineering based organizations  are usually more hierarchical than planning organizations
  • In some agencies, they are very siloed. 
  • In planning, it seems to be less segregated.  
  • When the planner is doing an EIR, they should bring the engineer with them. 
  • Really need to have the engineering staff in the planning
  • Safety
  • Both sides can come together with this theme. 
  • Our conception of what is safe is changing. 
  • How do we think about safety and where are we willing to accept tradeoffs. 
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806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by John Swartz 806 days ago
John S Measure R2
UCLA Transportation Camp 2015
Session 1: Move LA Measure R2
  • Beth Steckler – Move LA
  • Measure R main components of strawman proposal
  • Transit Systems 65%
  • 30% Metro rail, including 1st/last mile
  • 5% Metrolink
  • 25% Local return
  • 5% active transportation
  • Transit Operations – 25%
  • Includes 5% transit passes for student, senior, disabled
  • Active transportation- 15% 
  • 5% Local return
  • 5% complete streets
  • 5% Metro Rail 1st/last mile
  • Alternative design – South Bay COG
  • Looks at an alternative – need support of the people not served at the regional and local program 
  • Their solution is not based on a pie slice of modes, but a pie slice of like regional, subregional, and local. 
  • How is the measure going to educate the public?
  • The reason why there is highway funds are in this- because in some areas of the county that are not served by transit, they have solutions that must include highway improvements. 
  • Hassan Ikrata announced that LA county is not going to build any more freeways. Is this contradictory? 
  • Discussion
  • Why is this tax only a sales tax, but not a vehicle tax
  • Project performance is not reviewed at the sales tax measure, it is looked at when the project is funding. 
  • LOS or VMT – Creation of wealth as a measure of effectiveness
  • What are we actually trying to accomplish?  The measure should be broad enough so that 66% of the people to pass but narrow enough to actually achieve what is metro actually trying to get accomplished.   (GHG reductions)
  • We are capital money strong, but planning poor – because there are competing jurisdictions.  
  • Who are major supporters?  Design, engineering, and construction firms, environmental groups, triple A, 
  • Rail operations is an important component so as to keep the existing bus and rail operations up and running. 
  • The Grand boulevards- looking at secondary highways throughout county.  
  • The component will include rider retention strategies – housing policy, etc.   
  • Metro cannot develop land use improvements because it is mostly outside their jurisdiction. 
  • Highway & clean freight
  • One idea – taxes for big box stores and warehouse to compensate for traffic and pollution on highways.  (These already exist- called truck fees)
  • There should be a larger chunk for bus expansion. 
  • Regional significance – need an evaluation tool that says these are effective projects. 
  • Sales tax – every time there is a sales tax raised, shoppers go to other taxes to other counties to shop. 
  • Affordable housing
  • Property values increase significantly with transit.  Part of the value captured needs to be dedicated to a mechanism for affordable housing. 
LA needs more affordable / inclusionary housing.               

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