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CP&DR News Briefs April 9, 2019: Congestion Pricing; Statewide Housing Goals; 100 Resilient Cities

CP&DR Staff on
Apr 8, 2019
The Southern California Association of Governments has identified a 4.3-square-mile are of West Los Angeles as the possible location of the state's first congestion pricing scheme. SCAG determined that a $4 toll for vehicles entering the area during weekday rush hours could reduce traffic delays and overall miles driven by 20 percent. Use of other modes of transportation would rise correspondingly. A number of bureaucratic hurdles would have to be crossed in order to implement the recommendations, including the creation of a tolling authority and updating state law to allow for tolling on surface streets. The area — bounded roughly by the 405 Freeway to the east, the 10 Freeway to the south, Santa Monica’s 20th St. to the west and the Sunset and San Vicente boulevards to the north — was chosen over several other high-traffic areas in Los Angeles because it was determined that traffic is most intense there. Critics of the idea have raised concerns about equity, citing relatively larger tolls for less wealthy drivers. 

Study Says State Needs Upzoning to Reach Newsom’s Housing Goal
Absent dramatic up zoning statewide, Gov. Gavin Newsom may have to settle for a shortfall of 700,000 of the 3.5 million new homes he envisioned for California. A UCLA study contends that land throughout the state is currently zoned for only 2.8 million homes if fully built out. Much of that land is in unincorporated county territories and therefore not conducive to the sort of dense urban development that many state policies are promoting. Because not all available land is likely to be developed for housing within the governor’s timeline, the study estimates that California localities may have to double or even triple their aggregate amount of land dedicated to housing. The report "shows pretty clearly that it’s going to be a hard slog to actually get 3.5 million housing units built,” UCLA Urban Planning Professor Paavo Monkkonen told the Los Angeles Times.

100 Resilient Cities to Shut Down; Four California Cities Participated
The New York-based Rockefeller foundation is abruptly shutting down the 100 Resilient Cities program, a global effort to help cities avoid and withstand challenges, including natural disasters, economic stresses, and other human-included and natural calamities. California had a generous number of cities, with Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco participating. The program funded a “chief resiliency officer” in each city. The foundation will continue to fund resiliency efforts through a $30 million grant to the Atlantic Council. The program spent $164 million in its six years of existence. Staff will be let go as of July. (See prior CP&DR coverage.)
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