Fix The City Lawsuit on the Catalina Project

The lawsuit filed by Fix The City concerning the Catalina Project can be found HERE.

In a nutshell, the suit claims that the City failed to adhere to its own laws in the way the project was approved, that the City erred in allowing an MND for a project when substantial evidence that an EIR was required, and that the City ignored its own General Plan in allowing for increased density when there is insufficient supporting infrastructure.

 

Great article by @pattlatimes on Robert Silverstein, development, ceqa, infrastructure, quality of life.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-morrison-silverstein-20151014-column.html

 

2005 Report Relevant to MP2035 Discussion: Does Light Rail Worsen Congestion and Air Quality?

The linked article discusses the “counterintuitive” prospect of decreasing VMT while increasing congestion and pollution.  It might provide a useful basis for discussion of MP2035.

Congestion:

The reduction of VMT is normally expected to reduce delays for the remaining motor vehicles. However, since the roadway capacity is reduced by two lanes, the smaller VMT might be offset. The MAG model’s projected vehicle-hours of travel (VHT) indicate that the loss of capacity is a larger factor than the diversion of drivers from their cars. For the region, the addition of light rail is expected to increase VHT by 0.45 percent. For the corridor served by light rail, VHT are expected to increase by 1.23 percent. So even though fewer miles would be traveled, those trips would take longer if light rail is added to the traffic mix.

Pollution:

Inasmuch as light-rail transit is often promoted as a means of improving air quality, the indication that it will actually increase pollution may strike many as counterintuitive. After all, aren’t we luring some people out of their cars? Don’t fewer cars mean less pollution? So far as it goes, the answer is yes. However, by placing the train tracks in the street, we reduce roadway capacity. The reduction in capacity more than offsets the reduction in numbers of vehicles using the roadway. The remaining vehicles take longer to travel through the narrower roadway. This leads to more fuel consumed and higher pollution.

While this article discusses the loss of vehicle lanes to light rail, MP2035 is focused on removing lanes for bikes and buses – each with far less carrying capacity than light rail.  One can only imagine the congestion/air quality concerns would be amplified when lanes are replaced with low-passenger-count alternatives.

Examining Response Times For LAFD Station 56 on Rowena #MP2035

The MP2035 impact study predicted diminished response times for first responders.

FTC thought it would be a good idea to check FireStatLA to see what the city’s own data shows for the LAFD station on Rowena at the heart of the “road diet.”  (LAFD #56)

Without too much commentary – it looks like the city was unfortunately right – despite having not done any of the required study on the matter.  Response times have indeed suffered…

Remember: The overall citywide impact of numerous “road diets” is unknowable since, as stated above, no study was done on this critical issue.

Note that FireStatLA does not report the “arrival within 5 minutes, 90% of the time” metric.  FTC analysis of raw data shows that metric for FS56 at just 46.5% under 5 minutes – half of what it should be…

(As always – none of this should be taken as a criticism of our city’s heroes at the LAFD.  They do the best they can with diminishing resources, increasing congestion and increasing demand for service.)

Citywide (http://www.lafd.org/fsla/stations-map?year=2015)

cola2015acola2015bLAFD #56 on Rowena (2015) (http://www.lafd.org/fsla/stations-map?st=556&year=2015)

row2015arow2015bLAFD #56 on Rowena (2014)  (http://www.lafd.org/fsla/stations-map?st=556&year=2014)
row2013b
row2013aLAFD #56 on Rowena (2013) (http://www.lafd.org/fsla/stations-map?st=556&year=2013) row2014b row2014a

Back To The Immobility Future

For an interesting look at (im)mobility, read this report... from 1947/1954.

A sample:

1947townhall1947townhall2

 

 

LAT: More than 40% of Los Angeles water pipes graded C or worse

The LA Times reported on the state of the City’s water infrastructure.  (LAT Story)

“The new information about the decrepit state of the city’s water infrastructure comes amid increasing water conservation efforts as the state is seeking to cope with an unrelenting drought and as Angelenos express growing concern over recent major water pipe breaks that have flooded roadways, damaged property and snarled traffic.”

What will happen in an earthquake?

State Hollywood Fault Map High Resolution PDF And Google Earth GIS Data Posted

The state just released its final fault map for the Hollywood Fault.  The high resolution PDF can be found HERE.  (LAT Story)

The GIS data that can be imported into Google Earth can be found HERE.

hwoodfault

Fix The City Releases Los Angeles County Fire Department Response Data

Fix The City’s public records request and statistical analysis of LAFD records resulted in the disclosure of faulty response time data at that agency.

Fix The City has now released an initial analysis as well as raw data for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The release of the data follows a months‐long effort to obtain the data from the County. Raw data can be found on here. (All huge files – 100MB+): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Our initial analysis shows that hillside areas often have on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds.

Red pins represent incidents with on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds with green under 300 seconds

Red pins represent incidents with on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds with green under 300 seconds

Buried in LACOFD reports are some hints as to why the response times are lagging.

The report states: “While demand for Department services continues to increase, it is met with unfunded mandates from federal and state laws and programs creating additional budgetary pressure.”

 It goes on to say: “Negative press, legal battles and state political machinery, labor/management challenges…are all potential issues for the department.”

Most tellingly, the note from the Fire Chief states: “Although our budget is $900 million, due to the decrease in tax valuation, we have lost significant revenue since 2008.  Currently, we have implemented over $50 million per fiscal year in curtailments, and have had to delay essential infrastructure needs.”

Fix The City believes that public safety is Job 1 of government and that the infrastructure has been neglected for far too long.

Fix The City Files Supplemental Writ Over City General Plan Amendment

In response to Fix The City’s win in court over the new Hollywood Community Plan, the City did two things.  First, as requested, they rescinded the new plan and reenacted the old plan.

The second step was far more troubling.  The City also passed a General Plan Framework Amendment that seeks to remove a key environmental mitigation found in the General Plan Framework.

The Fix The City Supplemental Writ, which can be found here, states:

“In the guise of complying with the Writ of Mandate, Respondents have eviscerated the mitigation measures adopted over a decade ago in connection with the Framework Element EIR, and have conducted no environmental review of the impacts of these actions, which were approved by the City Council approximately three weeks after they were introduced to the public, at nearly break-neck speed for a City Council action.  Respondents’ action was not necessary to comply with this Court’s order, and indeed, directly flouts this Court’s authority by stating an intention to “overrule and supersede” this Court’s Statement of Decision.”

The writ notes that both Fire/Emergency Medical Services and Police Services rely upon the impacted key section of the General Plan Framework that the City seeks to remove.

Specifically, the General Plan Framework EIR stated that Policy 3.3.2, which is amended in the Resolution Amending the General Plan:

 “directs monitoring of infrastructure and public service capacities to determine need within each CPA for improvements . . . .  This policy also directs determinations of the level of growth that should correlate with the level of capital, facility, or service improvement that are necessary to accommodate that level of growth.  In addition, the policy directs the establishment of programs for infrastructure and public service improvements to accommodate development in areas the General Plan Framework targets for growth.  Lastly, the policy requires that type, amount, and location of development be correlated with the provision of adequate supporting infrastructure and services.”

The Fix The City Supplemental Writ asks the court to force the City to set aside its overreaching action and attempt to “overrule and supersede” the court’s order.

One Day After Fix The City Win In Court, LAFD Restricts Access To Public Records

The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that the LAFD has halted its twitter feed and blocked access to response time data.

This action comes the day after Judge Allan Goodman ruled in favor of Fix The City on its Hollywood Community Plan lawsuit.  First-responder response times were one of the key aspects of the lawsuit.  We can only wonder if it is mere coincidence that the LAFD has blocked access to the very data that showed markedly longer fire response times.

Fix The City’s detailed analysis on LAFD records from 2007-2011 resulted in a breaking story by KNBC news and a long-running series of in-depth stories by the Los Angeles Times on LAFD response times.

The LAFD’s action today, if allowed to stand, would deny the public the ability to independently validate critical response time metrics, including those used to develop new community plans.

Fix The City is actively reviewing the matter.