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Transportation

When Traffic Apps Maps Took Over My Neighborhood

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When Traffic Apps Maps Took Over My Neighborhood

by Laura Bliss, CityLab

In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation , CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps. This essay is adapted from SOM Thinkers: The Future of Transportation , published by Metropolis Books.

There might not be much “weather” to speak of in Los Angeles, but there is traffic. It’s the de facto small talk upon arrival at meetings or cocktail parties, comparing journeys through the proverbial storm. And in certain ways, traffic does resemble the daily expressions of climate. It follows diurnal and seasonal patterns; it shapes, and is shaped, by local conditions. There are unexpected downpours: accidents, parades, sports events, concerts.

Once upon a time, if you were really savvy, you could steer around the thunderheads—that is, evade congestion almost entirely.

Now, everyone can do that, thanks to navigation apps like Waze, which launched in 2009 by a startup based in suburban Tel Aviv with the aspiration to save drivers five minutes on every trip by outsmarting traffic jams. Ten years later, the navigation app’s current motto is to “eliminate traffic”—to untie the knots of urban congestion once and for all. Like Google Maps, Apple Maps, Inrix, and other smartphone-based navigation tools, its routing algorithm weaves user locations with other sources of traffic data, quickly identifying the fastest routes available at any […]

Continue reading at www.citylab.com

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Transportation

Expedited Wilshire Metro Work Continues in Beverly Hills

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Subway Tunnel - Photo by Claudia Soraya/cc

BEVERLY HILLS — With the temporary, full closure of Wilshire Boulevard between Crescent Drive and Beverly Drive, crews are making significant progress on completing extensive piling work on the Metro Purple Line Project.

The City Council earlier this month approved the closure and a new construction timeline due to reduced traffic flow in connection with the COVID-19 emergency.  

The piling work on the south side of Wilshire was originally scheduled to last through August.  Under the current expedited timeline, the piling work is expected to be complete by early May.

“While we recognize this work is some of the most difficult and impactful to date, it is happening at a more rapid pace and will reduce future congestion in our busy business district when merchants re-open following the COVID-19 emergency,” said Mayor Lester Friedman.  “We appreciate the community’s patience as crews complete this complex project as quickly and safely as possible.”

Map of detours around Metro construction on Wilshire in Beverly Hills

The current work hours are in accordance with the approved Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and were not adjusted for this expedited construction.  The project does include new hauling hours between 7 A.M. and 9 A.M. and 4 P.M. and 7 P.M. Metro may work on non-religious holidays such as Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day.

Soft closures will be in place along Wilshire Boulevard within the detour area and local access to businesses will be maintained.

This specially authorized Metro work may continue until the City’s local emergency is cancelled or within five days of notice from the City Manager or designee. For more information, please visit www.beverlyhills.org/purpleline.

Other Purple Line work underway this week includes the following:

  • Wilshire Blvd./Western Ave. – Tunneling Support and Street Maintenance 
  • Wilshire Blvd./La Brea Ave. and Wilshire Blvd./Sycamore Ave. – Hauling, Deliveries and Tunneling Support
  • Wilshire Blvd./Rimpau Blvd. – Center Enclosure, Material Deliveries and Underground Construction
  • Wilshire Blvd. and Side Streets between Western Ave. and San Vicente Blvd. – Instrumentation, Environmental Testing and Street Maintenance 
  • Wilshire Blvd./Fairfax Ave. – Station Construction, Hauling and Concrete Pouring 
  • Wilshire Blvd./Crescent Heights Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd./La Jolla Ave. – Utility and Tunnel Investigation
  • Wilshire Blvd./La Cienega Blvd. – Station Construction, Material Deliveries and Instrumentation
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Transportation

New LAPD Guidelines Put Pause on Towing & Ticketing Vehicles

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Los Angeles traffic cops are easing up on writing people tickets and towing away their vehicles … and you have coronavirus to thank for it.

L.A. City Hall sources tell TMZ … the LAPD just issued new city-wide guidelines as a result of the state of emergency in California and because of what City Council has ordered them to do … vowing to not issue any citations or haul anyone’s ride away for a lot of parking violations they normally would.

For example … 5 or more unpaid parking tickets are chillin’, so are the folks who park in one location for more than 72 hours, and yes — any inoperable vehicles aren’t going to be touched either for the time being. Just so long as none of these situations pose a threat, that is.

There’s more though — the police department says rush hour parking restrictions are scrapped, street sweeping violations in residential areas are exempt, and abandoned/oversized vehicles or those that park somewhere overnight won’t be hassled at the moment.

And, for those who are behind on their vehicle registration or who may have an expired driver’s license over the last 6 months … you’re good to go too. LAPD will leave you be.

These are fairly sweeping changes amid the pandemic — and considering L.A. is such a huge city, it’s likely other law enforcement agencies across the state (and maybe the country) will follow suit.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Business

During Pandemic, Lime & Bird Pull Back; Spin Steps Up

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The scooter fleets could be stalled for a while during COVID-19 — unless advocates urge companies to keep them open. Image source: Derrick Pollack/Creative Commons

(Streets Blog USA) — The two largest micromobility companies are pulling their fleets in response to the exploding Covid-19 pandemic — but some smaller players are stepping up to provide citizens with the essential solo transportation services they need to weather the crisis.

Lime — the largest micromobility company in the world, with roughly 120,000 scooters in 30 countries — announced on Wednesday that it is pausing operations apart from a handful of cities in the Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Bird, the second-largest scooter provider with fleets in 100 cities worldwide, pulled back this week, too, albeit only in Europe, San Francisco and San Jose.

And Uber’s scooter division, Jump, pulled out of Sacramento today; the company did […]

Continue reading at usa.streetsblog.org

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