Progress Tracker – We pledged to end the 40 year deterioration of LA’s roads by re-doubling our efforts. Since 2005 we have increased pothole repairs by 150% and pavement preservation by 25%. There’s more work to be done but we’re taking important steps forward.
A morning at the office spent looking at bike racks is better than most work mornings.
Sustainable transportation advocates may read news headlines about new voter ID laws, roll their eyes at the prejudices of red-state legislators, and turn the page — at their own peril. This seemingly unrelated issue may have far-reaching consequences for transportation policy. New state laws mandating photo ID for voters threaten to disenfranchise nondrivers, and the skewed elections that would result could lead to political control by forces hostile to transit, cities, and even Safe Routes to Schools.
Eleven percent of eligible voters lack the necessary ID, and, as the table above illustrates, nearly half a million people in the 10 affected states both lack access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest ID-issuing government office.
Progress Tracker – We pledged to make LA more energy efficient by transitioning our street lights and traffic signals to LED. Today, we are keeping that promise with over 250,000 units replaced. That’s good for our environment and our bottom line. Learn More: http://bit.ly/OtAOx9
Terrific infograph captures the terrifying side of bicycling..
Follow the click-through for a hi-res version!
Last week, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign revealed how states prioritize spending: 20 percent for transit, 2 percent for bike/ped, 38.5 percent for maintenance, and about 22.5 percent for highway expansion. Looking just at those last two numbers, that breaks down to 71 percent more spending on repair than sprawl-inducing new lanes.
But Smart Growth America cautions that these figures may be misleading.
“It’s important to note that the Tri-State report is based on an analysis of State Transportation Improvement Programs, so it’s looking at planned funding, not necessarily real spending,” said SGA President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson in a statement.
In a 2011 study, Smart Growth America found a very different story. Between 2004 and 2008, states spent an average of 36 percent more on road expansion projects than they did on road repair projects, based on data collected from the states by the Federal Highway Administration.
Between 2004 and 2008, states spent $37.9 billion annually on repair and expansion of roads and highways. Of these funds, 57 percent went to road widening and new road construction – just 1.3 percent of roads. 43 percent went to preservation of existing roads, which make up 98.7 percent of the system.
There are two different conclusions one can reach when looking at the disparity between current state transportation plans (the numbers that Tri-State crunched) and the history of state DOT spending patterns (the numbers emphasized by SGA).
One, we can assume that states are road expansion addicts, always promising to quit and then falling back on their old ways.
Or, two, we can assume, as Anderson charitably (albeit cautiously) does, that “states are coming to grips with the huge backlog of upkeep and maintenance that need to get done” and that the near future will be different than the recent past.
Last year, Brookings found that, on average, 70 percent of jobs in a metropolitan region are inaccessible to a typical resident via transit. Or at least, it would take over 90 minutes each way to get there.
This time around, Brookings looked at how large a pool of potential employees each employer has access to, assuming those employees would use transit to commute to work. And just as only 30 percent of jobs are accessible to most workers, only 27 percent of workers are accessible to most jobs, they found.
Mayor Villaraigosa’s directive to “build 40 miles of bikeway a year” went into effect July 1st 2011, one full year ago. The great news is that L.A. City greatly exceeded the 40 new miles pledged! BIKAS doesn’t have an exact total, but L.A. has installed ~62.5 miles of new bikeways over the past fiscal year – including over 50 miles of new bike lanes.
According to Bikes Belong, only 13 percent of Americans want to see the amount of federal money spent on biking and walking reduced. But apparently those folks are overrepresented in the halls of Congress.