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Greuel talks with Goldberg & Jeff

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Last night Council District 2's Wendy Greuel held a community forum, The Intersection of Planning and Transportation, in discussion with Director of Planning, Gail Goldberg and Gloria Jeff, General Manager of DOT. If we were better hackers, we would have live blogged, but LA Valley College protects their WiFi. Nevertheless, some highlights from last night:

Buzz Word of the Night: Mobility
New Phrase to Learn: Envelope Entitlement

Goldberg: Maybe The Unofficial MTA Prez
In her introduction of Gail Goldberg, Wendy says the future growth of Los Angeles will be like “adding the city of Chicago into the city of Los Angeles.” Have you seen Chicago drivers? They tailgate way too often.

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"Streets are not simply a place where cars move. Streets are a wonderful public space." Goldberg speaks on the capacity of the city and the flow of movement saying that one survival strategy will be to create walkable communities. "No great neighborhood can exist without great streets... we need to take the streets back from the automobile." She doesn't forget to add in that this not how all neighborhoods will be planned which appeased the single family home dwellers.

Mobility officially became the buzz word of the night when Goldberg proposed changing the word transportation to mobility in the city's general plan. Later on, Gloria Jeff joined the bandwagon and proposed redefining Transit Corridors to be Mobility Corridors.

If you are curious about the Expo Line and development plans for that, the city received a grant to do a TOD project at the Jefferson/La Cienga stop. Think Del Mar station.

DOT Has Values
Gloria Jeff started with her department's values: integrity, respectful, excellence, importance and inclusion.

What is honest? "We'll not dance, but be straight up... [however] the outcome may not the solution you want"

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What defines responsiveness? "Within 10 business days you will receive an acknowledgement." Your problem may not be solved yet, but DOT will be working on it.

Taxi Cab L.A.
Have you tried hailing a cab in Los Angeles? That just might change with new modifications to the contracts with the cab companies.

The Next City Blog
LAist had to pose their own question, so why not a blogging one? Goldberg seemed a bit surprised by the question and not too hot on it. However, Jeff finds the concept of a blog a fascinating one while adding that as of July 1st, DOT will have a public information officer for the first time ever.

Is it Possible to Build Double Decker Freeways
"I want to desperately" Goldberg says with zeal. But she doesn't want them for cars. Think green space. Think Seattle.

Jeff: "Yes it is possible. Probably not desirable."

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More Bike Paths, Less Bike Lanes
The city is hiring a consultant on a comprehensive bike plan Jeff says (check out the old one). Goldberg is all about those Class I Trails.

Public Transit and An Inconvenient Truth
Jeff, a Detroit native, turns the tables and gives a factoid: Up until 15 years ago, our largest manufacturer's (GE) product was buses. The market changed and demanded cars. "We must say we want it [public transit] for ourselves, not just the other guy."

Goldberg, who L.A. snagged from San Diego's planning department, mentions how PETCO Park was not built with parking. It forced people to use the trolley for the first time. And that's what she wants for L.A., knowing that the first time anyone uses public transit, it can be hard to figure out (Wouldn't it be nice to hop on a train and hit Dodger Stadium?). But once you get over that hump, you may not be so anti-public transit the next time.

Wendy's First Time
Have you ever brought exact change to the subway station only for the machine to eat it? The only thing to do then is turn to a constituent and ask for a quarter.