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LA experiments with universal basic mobility – Greater Greater Washington

LA Metro TAP card vending machines at Union Station by Oran Viriyincy licensed under Creative Commons.

Taking stock of LA’s universal basic mobility pilot. As demand for online delivery services grows, a zero-emissions delivery challenge incentivizes cities to find sustainable delivery solutions. A new analysis discusses where and why home insurance rates are increasing.

An experiment in Universal Basic Mobility: A pilot program in Los Angeles, California, funded by the California Air Resources Board, gives South LA residents $150 per month to spend on public transit, ride-hailing services, e-scooters, and car-shares. Funds are disbursed through a debit card “mobility wallet” which can be spent on most modes of transportation but not on owning or operating a car. Any unspent funds can be rolled over into the next month and residents have used it in different ways, including by saving up to buy e-bikes. (Maylin Tu | NextCity)

Fixing delivery’s pollution problem: Eight cities and one county will take part in a zero-emissions delivery challenge to find solutions for increasing pollution in low-income, disadvantaged communities from delivery vehicles. Cities will identify potential solutions that might work for them and the ones that work will get venture funding from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to scale up. Emissions from local delivery traffic are expected to rise 32% by 2030 without changes. DC will participate in this challenge by creating a micro hub that can support e-cargo bikes and other sustainable modes for last-mile deliveries. (Ysabelle Kempe | Smart Cities Dive)

Housing vulnerable to insurance shocks: The First Street Foundation created maps that show risks of insurance corrections from fire, wind, and floods around the country. The risk of home insurance being raised or nonrenewed for these hazards exists whether or not you live near a dangerous area as evidenced by the fact that State Farm will be raising rates by an average of 20% on all home insurance policies in California this year. And the increased costs for home repairs hit hard because replacing homes damaged or lost has become more expensive leading to potentially higher rates everywhere. (Lance Lambert | Fast Company)

Preventing America’s older buildings from collapse: Four recent high-profile building collapses in the United States were preceded by warnings in the form of deteriorating conditions witnessed by residents and documents submitted to city officials clearly showing problems. To make sure catastrophic building collapses don’t continue, Drexel University professor Abieyuwa Aghayere argues cities need to up inspections and residents need to speak up when they see potential signs of trouble. (Abieyuwa Aghayere | The Conversation)

The root of the housing crisis: There are a lot of scapegoats for the current housing crisis including federal programs, institutional investors, developers building high-end homes, and a lack of zoning changes that promote density. A new report from the Urban Institute suggests that while addressing these four issues can be part of the solution, the main problem is that there are not enough homes for all the new households that are being formed. (Molly Bolan | Route Fifty)

Quote of the Week

“‘Two-tier mobility’ is a meme for thinking of the relationship of mobility and urban design. Influential memes like transit-oriented development, missing middle housing, complete streets, safe routes to school, and mixed-use development reside in the mind as placeholders for urban planning solutions orchestrating many coordinated changes—memes that aid constructive and efficient communication. Over 100 years ago, travel was multimodal: walking, bicycling, streetcars, trains, horses, and ferries. It’s time to accelerate the change to a new multimodal transportation future that allows people to choose the low-carbon emitting vehicles appropriate to their local and distance mobility needs. Two-tier mobility as a meme can help us think and act anew.”

Steve Price in CNU Public Square discussing how to rethink mobility away from an auto-first paradigm.

This week on the podcast we’re joined by Dr. Shima Hamidi, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University to talk about the report: A National Investigation of the Impacts of Lane Width on Traffic Safety.


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