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Aysha Rüya Cohen

806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 806 days ago
Aysha C BRT and the Future of the 720 Bus
  1. Dedicated right-of-way, shifting the discussion to moving people 
  1. Flexibile system to adapt to changing economic needs
  1. 1st mile/last mile connections to BRT - like car-free, car-light streets in Argentina (9 de Julio?) 
  1. How to integrate bicycles onto buses in a more robust way? 
  1. Nelson/Nygaard planners - have been involved in BRT projects in past
  1. Investment in BRT vs. Rail: 
  1. Majority of capital dollars are earmarked for rail
  1. 75% of Metro's boardings happen on the bus already and provide access for lower income households in the near term 
  1. Currently: 
  1. Limited stop buses (existing in LA since the 1980s?) 
  1. LOS is being eliminated (congestion delay, cycles it takes to clear) by the govenor and moving to VMT based metric - so BRT does not have to mitigate additional traffic that is caused (longer left turn lanes etc. increases the cost of project currently) so that bus-only lanes can be implimented
  1. Peak periods are growing past 3-6pm - extending time frames needed 
  1. Parking during off-peak okay
  1. Re-education campaign about difference between select bus service and BRT 
  1. Dedicated lanes cause decreased travel time
  1. BRT light - 
  1. e.g. travel time savings is 12 minutes over entire length - only amounts to 1 or 2 minutes for average commuter
  1. Dedicated bus way through industrial district downtown in Seattle? 
  1. At end of freeway trip, you spend an extra 15-20 minutes downtown if no dedicated right of way to decrease transfer time - to capture the imaginations of commuters 
  1. Communications: 
  1. Communicate benefits:
  1. Decreased costs - No guideway needed, only signage and concrete
  1. Can be done faster - see results much sooner
  1.  Watered down BRT undersells the concept - dedicated ROW needed so buses can move faster than traffic 
  1. e.g. Toll lanes - selling capacity to drivers on the 10 freeway ($15 from El Monte to DTLA) which degrades transit speeds significantly
  1. e.g. Metro county wide BRT study - spot improvements on different roads (e.g. 2 miles of bus lanes receive targeted improvements on a congested network as part of a larger  frequent network)
  1. Frequent network may cut service to the suburbs
  1. Go higher-level - 
  1. Off board fare payment needed, 
  1. dedicated lanes
  1. Real-time information 
  1. Station boarding platform 
  1. Need to go beyond a frequent network
  1. Trade-off (taking away car lane or parking lane) understand at the County (?) engineering level to re-pave Wilshire Blvd. - 30-35 buses an hour now
  1. e.g. 7th Street & Dodger bus (Rowena?) - traffic calming has slowed down bus travel times inadvertently - created tension between growing bicycle commuters, limited right of way for pedestrians/cars/transit/bikes 
  1. e.g. Santa Monica - crossing lanes even though they run parallel in theory raising safety concerns, but* has not negatively impacted service times 
  1. Cycle tracks needed to mitigate these concerns
  1. e.g. Orange Line was rail right of way, quickly built but has no other express buses that run on it - unlike 720 and El Monte buses or Pittsburgh
  1. Why don't Simi Valley buses, LADOT Commuter Express etc. use this Right of Way with separated bicycle facility? 
  1. e.g. Van Nuys Transit Corridor : BRT or LRT being considered - stakeholders see BRT as ineffective (all buses at capacity, standing room only)
  1. Maybe adding ammenities onto buses
  1. e.g. Tables for social seating, WiFi, on board lighted route information etc.
  1. e.g. Variation in the run time Monday through Thursday because dedicated lanes not available, very few utilize freeways, no signal integration (compatible TSP?) across agencies on the corridor) 
  1. e.g. Hartford, CT BRT - dedicated corridor 
  1. Spill over effects: 
  1. Has improved run times down in Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus
  1. Washington State allowed buses to use HOV lane, prioritized signalization etc. was not allowed in California
802 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 802 days ago
UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, scholar
802 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 802 days ago
Aysha Rüya Cohen: I don't think this session was able to happen at Transportation Camp LA :-(. Any chance you can be at Transportation Camp (Northern) California on October 20?
Aysha C
  • Aaron Antrim: Thanks for the invite! I was running around as a "Camp Counselor" the day of taking notes at assigned sessions, so I didn't get to connect with you in LA this time around. 
  • Looks like Transpo. Camp CA is on a Tuesday, which conflicts with two of my UCLA classes.. but maybe I could get the notes from a classmate? 
806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 806 days ago
Aysha C Political Will in Transit Planning
  1. How to manage a regional transit system when there is no overarching structure to engage entrenched community opposition or tackle political obstacles? 
  1. How to cross jurisdictional boundaries in corridor planning or connecting a network when a geographic area refuses to take part in the planning process 
  1. Step 1:
  1. Getting diverse representation in community meetings
  1. Case Study: Hollywood projects under lawsuit to fight densification, permit parking to restrict to residents only, 500 surveys conducted - 80% approx concerned about loosing parking & homelessness 
  1. Which fluctuates depending on events - a strategic proposal is being developed now and BID creating educational workshops to show actual availablity of parking and what kind of people developments/infrastructure brings into their community
  1. Santa Monica Blvd. needs to be relinquished from CalTrans, Neighborhood Councils and BIDs are strong forces in the community
  1. Often the same faces appear in different councils, but less than 2% (?) of Angelenos vote 
  1. NCs tend to be dominated by older, converstative voices that have the time/energy/connections to effect development and transportation policy already
  1. NCs have adivsory authority but greater political power that goes back to the councilmember directly  
  1. How to educate the public - strategic plan - capacity building in low-income areas about what is planning, how they can become more involved so NCs reflect actual consistency 
  1. Common background of information to work from is important - 
  1. e.g. Perception = Balancing budget off of poor motorists who can't pay parking tickets; so education effort needed to see availability of parking on the ground 
  1. e.g. Parking structures - show how they loose money - information needs to be accessible/transparent 
  1. Fundamental disagreements of what the problems and solutions are, especially when jurisdictions have local control
  1. Setting terms of the debate - effective in communicating key points of the message
  1. School curriculum (in arts, social studies etc.) need to include planning efforts so children present past/present/future vision
  1. Wayfinding/community kiosks for stakeholder involvement passively 
  1. Geocoding public comments to represent stakeholders not present at meetings
  1. Small scale pop-ups to show how improvements to walk-ability can increase livability of corridor  
  1. BiketheVote.com - Online voter guide to call out candidates that were bike-friendly through social media, StreetsBlog
  1. Got 1:1 meetings with City Council candidates at their events - offered endorsements leveraging Twitter followers, show up at local campaign offices to volunteer frequently to demonstrate that their is a constituency 
  1. Bike advocates got mentioned in the narrative by the LA Times as a key constituency in getting Huizar re-elected 
  1. Case Study: Minneapolis, MN (hometown effort started by an engineering professor run by volunteers and diverse stakeholders)
  1.  Central voice to exchange ideas can be online, is not reflected in the city
  1. Collaborations with museums - James Rojas (MIT grad from East LA, thesis completed on Latino urbanism - how they make their mark on the City - adapting and appropriating the built environment to fit their own needs) 
  1. Where would you like your grandchildren to grow up? Where was your favorite childhood place? What is your ideal place? - build using found objects to shift discussion to positive visioning, consensus building - tactile  (eg. elevated sandbox like city
  1. Acupuncture solutions needed - no understanding or connection to other side of the city
  1. Partner with unlikely voices - have undergraduate students work on giving a playful spirit using tactical urbanist, pop-up projects to inspire the community - see what are the benefits, show data points in a way that makes sense, help them make these concepts their own 
  1. E.g. Germany - build a mock building on stafolding so you can see what it could look like on the street 
  1. E.g. People Street and Great Street are pilot, temporary improvements 
  1. Using plain language to be 
806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 806 days ago
Aysha C Equity & Disruptive Transportation 
  1. Needs assessment done first, then plugged in officials from different departments - 
  1. E.G. LA Trade Tech weekly collaborative meetings & Janine Holmes at UCLA host:
  1. Innovation training that gives communities a design lab and plugs them into the decision making process
  1. Undeserved communities are not wired in the same way,no access to capital and do not have the design training
  1. e.g. workshop in Florida, transit pass for community college students (with MoveLA)
  1. e.g. low-income car-sharing in South LA
  1. Community meetings - 
  1. We need to get out into undeserved communities and go low-tech - we we do show up, they are mad as hell 
  1. Small businesses - federal grants LA is loosing out on due to minority contracting 
  1. Consider people who are more rooted here - More people of color, lower income, not as wired, not a native speaker of English who want to be apart of disruptive transportation innovation - how does it effect entrepreneurship, the way you do business
  1. e.g. BBQ for 7 hours on a Saturday held in Florida  
  1. SBIR - Small Business Innovation Research Grants through the USDOT
  1. e.g. for real-time updates - what are you building on top of these platforms 
  1. e.g. Text updates on how the BART system is working gathered from tweets 
  1. Communications:
  1. Complaints are 2% when real-time information present with SMS to smart phones - two-way RideScout - to track calls (a staff of 5) 
  1. There are places where markets does not serve captive ridership -  e.g. Greyhound intercity routes
  1. Both a low tech and a high tech way of reaching customers 
  1. Access:
  1. Designing for a human scale:
  1. Technology creates a 2 tiered system - no communication from the agency to find delay and switch modes if needed
  1. You have to get face-to-face doing focus groups in their natural environment, there is an extent to where empathy is not good enough - you have to go into communities to show that there is an investment - money is big - 
  1. Civic engagement - you are in another role - you have to take time to invest - you have to write into grants how to pay people in communities so innovation comes from the ground up - minority contracting, employing people from the actual communities, partner and share financial resources, involve them in the design process  
  1. This will make us more competitive and bring different agencies together
  1. e.g. Promise Grants - US Dept. of Education has a collaborative grant - Jessica 
  1. Big/Open data - you cannot understand the numbers if you don't have information about how it was collected and by whom, qualitative 
  1. "With not for" design - entrepeneurs from the ground up, speak the language, design service to fit what the cultures there demanding, different ways of paying
  1. TNCs - the Chinese community has Breadcar with rates for the immigrant community, with a call center unlike other TNCs, options to rent out a car for a day 
  1. Uber's biggest competitor is in China and another in India
  1. Uber and Lyft can pick up the disabled and have partnered with others to get people wired
  1. We should stop making SMS applications - it is cheaper for us to give low-income folks a smart phone - e.g. Amazon's FirePhone - works for illiterate individuals because you can speak directly into the phone to map your routes, have someone talk back to you to create an equal playing field 
  1. 20% of any population - languages required for election materials but not so much for transportaiton
  1. Work arounds for the unbanked populations without access to credit and for the elderly without smart phone 
  1. EBT cards can be loaded for various different things or BankonDC to link low income
  1. EBT Card - benefits card to access food stamps and dispersements from the State, Counties and municipalities - TANDF and general relief 
  1. To get ride of LMI folks qualified which can have TAP or bikehsare features 
  1. Promise Zones - Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant - access bus can take hours, and the Dash bus - Phase II to Hollywood (Western/Santa Monica) needs a pilot 
  1. Financial Literacy Center now in LA - if you take a class, you can get credit for bikeshare etc. 
  1. GoogleFi - disrupt the carrier - works through Sprint, T-Mobile? and WiFi - agreements with different carriers on affordable rates; or at Health & Human Services to issue phones at a negotiated rate with adequate data 
  1. Going forward:
  1. Democratize the data, get more people connected
  1. Wayfinding to TNCs and informal transportation hubs
  1. Follow: @tech__miami, @CarlaMays, #disrupttransitla 
806 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Aysha Rüya Cohen 806 days ago
Aysha C
  1. Great Streets Intro:
  1. Vision:
  1. Streets encompass 15% of the land lass in LA = 1.5x the land mass of SF = makes this the largest public space in LA  
  1. Objectives:
  1. Increase different ways to access these spaces and gather in LA - make streets the centerpieces of our communities - sustainable and vibrant places 
  1. See slide for goals
  1. Who is involved:
  1. Community groups, local stakeholders, schools, council offices and more
  1. Precedents:
  1. Measuring the Street report (NYC) - measured accessible data points e.g. foot traffic, sales tax revenue, collisions
  1. e..g York Blvd. report - Economics of  Road Diet - with and without conditions of a road diet 
  1. e.g. People Street Project Evaluation Manual 
  1. Metrics to show a high Return on Investment: (see chart on slide) 
  1. Number of people visiting and shopping
  1. Business revenue reported to the LA Office of Finance 
  1. Parking meter revenue on each of these street corridors (see: Darryl Chan (Xerox)'s client project) 
  1. LADWP hookups
  1. Building permits issued through LADBS
  1. Number of vacant stores and lots
  1. Amount of money spent at businesses - retail sales tax revenue generated 
  1. Changes in property values
  1. LA Assessors Offices
  1. Number of jobs
  1. Business-owner perceptions 
  1. Surveys
  1. Case Study: Reseda Blvd. Greet Streets Project 
  1. First protected on-street, buffered, parking-protected bike lane (physical separation to create a great sense of security for Angelenos of all ages)
  1. LA Mas helped with outreach to community and businesses to find what amenities were needed
  1. e.g. Northridge Vision Plan (CD 12, Chamber of Commerce, Neighborhood Councils) that called for Reseda Boulevard to be more of a main street over many years, allowed Great Streets to be more assertive in implimenting plan to bring CSUN and residents together 
  1. e.g. Street furniture - mid-century modern living room concept to blend in with existing architecture in buildings with painted sidewalk to mimic flagstone on buildings  
  1. Mobility:
  1. Bike and pedestrian screen line counts 2 weeks before the project got implemented (when street resurfaced)
  1. Vehicle speed counts and volume counts 
  1. Metro boarding and alighting data - from sensors
  1. Economic development:
  1. Business revenue data
  1. Business operator perceptions 
  1. Difference between business perceptions vs. survey of their customers mode of travel to each business 
  1. Building permits
  1. Vacant businesses and property 
  1. Two new shops (shoe and lifestyle clothing shops in vacant properties that are starting to turn over since Great Street project implimented)
  1. Neighborhood Character
  1. Pedestrian intercept surveys and perceptions (about 300? surveys collected)
  1. Before the project and 1 year after implimentation
  1. Public art and murals ? 
  1. Environmental Resilience
  1. Mode share from ped intercept survey
  1. Presence/amoutn of tree canopy
  1. Amount of stormwater capture and inflitration 
  1. Safety and Security:
  1. Quantity and speed of traffic (correlated with collisions/injuries)
  1. Graffitti removal and illegal dumping reports from ?
  1. Presences of vulnerable populations (elderly, young, women)
  1. Adequate lighting 
  1. Next Steps:
  1. Compile the before data and publish at end of calendar year
  1. Publish raw data to data.lacity.org to be re-purposed
  1. Collect "after" data over the next 1-2 years (in time with investment cycles, to capture changes in residential patterns) 
  1. Coordinating efforts to collect data - 6% of LA streets that account for 2/3 of the crashes include all 15 Great Streets and include schools, high numbers of transit/active transportation riders 
  1. Scope of Work follows People Street data collection but have a 1/2 mile to a mile in scale
  1. People Street had more granular information on driver behavior, Great Streets have 20,000 foot level data about neighborhood change over time 
  1. Perhaps passive kiosks or wayfinding signs: to plug in passersby, residents and businesses with the local stakeholders involved in the Great Street Initiative planning process 
  1. Economic gardening and not gentrification:
  1. Housing Department staff collaborates to understand baselines about rents, home sale prices, demographic make up to track changes
  1. If we do enough Great Streets projects everywhere, it may spread out demand 
  1. e.g. David Somners (Metro?) will be looking at 7th Street, York Blvd. etc. long term as part of a master bike plan 
  1. Price: $60k for furniture/paint, $200k for buffered bike lane - incremental cost was low
  1. Connect businesses to federal funded Economic Development Corporation (marketing, social media, online sales, business model help, financing/loans perhaps through the Promise Zone initiatives, Business Improvement District, Affordable Housing - putting a monetary value on improvements 
  1. Intentionally layering place-making, economic development, affordable housing, mobility etc. tools to create a Great Street 
  1. Parking 
  1. Structures - have a $30 million cost, creating more traffic
  1. 2000 parking spots identified, so 2% of parking supply removed 1/2 a block or so away from Reseda Boulevard to add a parking protected bike lane  
  1. e.g. Venice Boulevard - still under the relinquishment process with CalTrans so is undergoing a visioning process now, others need to re-envision CD-5 programs from the now defunct CRA (California Redevelopment Authority?)  
  1. Contact:
  1. Carter.Rubin@lacity.org
  1. Twitter: @CarterRubin  

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