Jessica Alba guides us through recent innovations that support several goals, such as promoting economic development while maintaining a quality pedestrian environment. Her June 2014 presentation was part of the Taste and Talk series hosted by the City of San Mateo and its Sustainable Streets project.



Los Angeles, CA – July 25, 2014 – The impending completion of the Metro Rail Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica within the next couple of years naturally carries with it a series of subsequent impacts on its surrounding communities. The most apparent change due to occur is the increased appeal of the Expo Line.

With an estimated projection of about 64,000 riders per day by the year 2030, the Expo Line is predicted to assist in decreasing the number of vehicles on local roads and alleviating the issue of traffic.

However, the Expo Line has also catalyzed a more comprehensive analysis of an underlying core issue within the realm of local public transportation: the current status of the Big Blue Bus routes.

As widely used as the Big Blue Bus system is, it has been a while since the efficiency of the present-day routes has been brought to question.

“It’s been 15 years since there has been a comprehensive look at ridership patterns in Santa Monica,” Thomas Wittmann, project manager of the Expo Line integration study at Nelson\Nygaard said.

Read the full article (Santa Monica Mirror)

By Terra Curtis and Paul Supawanich

Washington, DC – July 10, 2014 – Why are new car models released every calendar year? And, why do those apps on your phone download updates every few days? These consumer products are the outcomes of a design and production process that values prototyping, rapid iteration, and a learn-from-mistakes approach to production that minimizes the costs of design while increasing the end value to users. These concepts represent what has come to be known as “lean production,” or simply “lean.”

So why should transportation planners, engineers, or even the public at large care about lean?

Read the full article (CityLab)

San Francisco — July 8, 2014 — The report that Michael Schwartz sets down on the table is truly enormous. It looks like it has eaten several smaller reports and laughed as they tried to run away screaming. The document is some 700-pages long and several inches thick; that’s not counting the second volume or the thousands of pages of technical supplements.…

The tome in question is the environmental impact report for a bus-rapid transit line that will run two miles down Van Ness Avenue in downtown San Francisco.… Understanding the delay requires a quick primer on the California Environmental Quality Act, the state’s environmental law.…

In California, LOS has an especially high-profile. As the primary arbiter of traffic impacts under CEQA—adopted in 1970 by Governor Ronald Reagan—the metric not only determines the fate of many transportation and development projects, but has the awkward role of promoting car use within a law designed to protect the environment. “We have one section of CEQA saying we’ve got to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says transportation consultant Jeffrey Tumlin of Nelson\Nygaard, “and another section of CEQA saying we need to accommodate unlimited driving.”

(CityLab, Eric Jaffe)