Collaborating Authors

How do you ease traffic in Los Angeles? Make it harder to park

Los Angeles Times

Angelenos voted overwhelmingly last month to expand L.A.'s transit network. Measure M passed by a 4-point margin in large part due to Metro's promise to reduce traffic congestion throughout the county. But while the proposed new rail lines and bus routes will offer additional mobility choices, they will do little to reduce congestion unless Los Angeles also addresses its abundance of parking spaces. Cities have long required that a minimum number of spaces accompany any new building or one that is "adaptively reused" -- changed from a warehouse, say, to lofts. Los Angeles requires 30 spaces for a 3,000-square-foot restaurant and two spaces for a two-bedroom apartment.

Are public services ready to exploit artificial intelligence?


Governments are already using data and analytics in a number of ways to help them become better informed and provide superior services for their citizens. For both central and local governments, an increasing number of back end processing and citizen engagement opportunities are emerging for smart use of artificial intelligence and its many subfields. The biggest area for potential quick wins will be the vast processing that occurs in various administration tasks. This includes improving awareness of patterns in data, to create new theses and models. Bringing together data from different areas and using algorithms that learn, can create new insights.

Ground transportation improvements planned for LAX challenged in court

Los Angeles Times

A parking lot operator has sued the City of Los Angeles in an attempt to overturn approval of $5 billion in ground transportation improvements that are part of the ongoing modernization of Los Angeles International Airport. TPS Parking Century and TPS Parking Management, which run the Parking Spot near LAX, allege that the environmental impact report for the so-called Landside Access Modernization Program fails to adequately address the potential effects of the project and how to mitigate them. Filed late Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the lawsuit seeks an order to set aside the airport commission's approval of the project, require Los Angeles World Airports to revise the environmental analysis and recirculate it for public review if more severe impacts are discovered. LAX officials plan to reduce traffic congestion in and around the airport with an automated people mover in the central terminal area and two transportation centers east of the airport to handle shuttle buses, taxis and travelers using a new light-rail connection. The access program also calls for construction of new roads and the improvement of nearby streets to serve the transportation centers and a consolidated car rental facility to be built in Manchester Square.

Uber Crash Proves Cities Are Asleep at the Wheel


The awful news is that one of Uber's self-driving cars hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. If anything good is to come from the tragedy, cities need to seize this opportunity to change minds. Right now, while the companies running testbeds in American metropolises are forced to pause, city leaders have a chance to shape the future of autonomous vehicles and ensure they are part of holistic efforts to improve equity and quality of life for all residents. But if politicians simply introduce self-driving cars without conditions, we can expect tragedies on multiple levels. Susan Crawford (@scrawford) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED, a professor at Harvard Law School, author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, coauthor of The Responsive City, and a longtime columnist and blogger about tech policy.

Google to US: Driverless cars will cut public transport costs ZDNet

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Google argues that driverless cars improve highway safety while enabling lower federal spending on roads, buses, and trains. The government should support driverless cars because they will allow it to spend less on roads, public transport, and parking, Google will tell US law makers on Tuesday. A month after Google recorded its first own-fault accident in a self-driving car, Chris Urmson, head of the project at Google, will urge senators to allow the US Department of Transport to clear a path for the vehicles because they're safer and will ultimately cost the government less. Exactly what impact driverless cars will have on roads is still being debated. Some believe they will cut congestion due to the potential for car-sharing.