Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Take ACTION for Bike-Share

Pending legislation attacks scooter and bike-shares in California. The legislature hearing is TODAY, tell your state representative to vote NO on AB 1286. Read details and act, use this 60-second CALbike form here.

-LS

Friday, August 7, 2020

Businesses Compensate for COVID

Dallas, Chicago, Spokane, Vancouver test parklets...

SF Parklet (credit Pinterest)

Ironfire, a Long Beach coworking enterprise moves its workforce outside to compensate for COVID, story here.   

-LS


Friday, July 17, 2020

Business Parking for Naysayers

"If you remove parking spaces how will customers get to my business?"

Little Italy, NYC 
Street Parking, NYC (credit: NY Times)

Street Parking, Prague

Street Parking, Lisbon

Street Parking, Boulder Colorado
Dreams Time for Menton France
Street Parking, Menton France (credit: Dreamstime)

"Transmissibility of the virus is greatly reduced outdoors."

-Marc Lipstich, Professor Epidemiology, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard University.

-LS

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A 4th July Lock-Down Opportunity

By Governor Newsom's orders California businesses are once again required to close for three weeks due to a surge in COVID-19:

Restaurant dining rooms and other indoor recreational activities have been ordered to close for at least three weeks in 19 counties experiencing increased spread of the coronavirus, including Los Angeles, Sacramento and Orange County.

But hey in that closure is an opportunity, the LAT continues:

Restaurants in those counties can still offer sit-down dining outdoors, as well as takeout and delivery. -Essential LA Times.

Affected businesses take assessment of your parking habits and provide outdoor seating instead. Nothing fancy, beach chairs will do, even Manhattan used beach chairs in Times Square with success.


-LS

Monday, June 8, 2020

A Forest Avenue Promenade Approved

It took a pandemic to approve a test of Forest Avenue Pedestrian Plaza. One fallout from COVID-19 is business revitalization, see links.


Nixle Traffic Alert: Forest Avenue is closed at Coast Highway until September 8 2020 for implementation of the outdoor Promenade on Forest pedestrian plaza.  Use an alternate route for downtown access. 

Laguna Streets Alert: The Forest Pedestrian Plaza opens 15 June 2020, use alternative transport like walking, skating, cycling, Uber to access downtown LB. Trolley resumption anticipated soon.

Notice the plan phrasing, one remains car-centric.

Laguna Beach Independent: Forest Promenade
City Laguna Beach: Press Release


 -LS

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Car-Culture Chasm

Credit: Greater Greater Washington


After the Virus will Laguna return to
car-culture?

Friday, March 27, 2020

A Self-Distancing Opportunity

Laguna's traffic congestion is way down due to the COVID-19 "self-distancing" measure. The stay-at-home order, isolation and mass layoffs contributed to reduced distance traveled by these amounts:
  • California down 36%
  • California number of miles driven down 53%
  • LAX Air traffic down 85%
  • San Francisco (all vehicle modes) down 70%
  • LA & OC 405 speeds averaging over 70mph 
  • Update: Accidents down 50% -LAT
Traffic speeds up shown in green -Google

With reduced motor vehicles on our roads and the Laguna Beach Trolley shut-down, now is a good time to try Laguna's bike-routes while complying with "self-distancing" rule.

GOOGLE Maps shows LB "bike-friendly" routes in blue. Maybe GOOGLE didn't get the memo.
Google Maps bike-friendly routes in Laguna Beach

For more charts on distance traveled, flight delays, empty SoCal freeways see this LA Times article.

-LS 

Monday, March 16, 2020

TCA Toll Roads Debt Never Ends

TCA Toll Roads
The SoCal Toll Roads consist of the SR-73, SR-133, SR-241, SR-261 and "SR-241 Completion" through San Clemente and managed by the Transportation Corridor Agency, the TCA. The roads occupy three geographic regions, the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor (FETCA), the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor (SJHTCA), and the SR-241 Completion portion of the SJHTCA. 36-miles of roads were completed in 1999, the SR-241 Completion portion will complete the project for 52 miles total in this analysis. No more roads were constructed since 1999.

In 1987 the roads were initially financed by toll fees to begin planning design and construction of the projects. Other sources are these:
  • Revenue Bonds: Interest, Convertable CABS, Term Rate, Liens 
  • Development Impact Fees (DIF)
  • Toll Revenue
  • Toll Fines and Fees
Early Toll Road bonds were issued in 1995 with initial maturity planned for 2035. The bonds were restructured in 2013, 2014, and 2018 to benefit from lower interest rates and to repackage debt financing with extended maturity dates.

The charts show the debt and income incurred to finance these roads over the lifetime of the project, from 1987 when the first toll revenues were collected to 2053 - the planned maturity date of the newest bonds issued.  The first chart shows the monies contributing to the road financing, over 270 sources in all.

Prior to 2013 the revenues were actual realized income, after 2013 the income from toll revenue, fees, fines and developer fees were projected through optimistic forecasting till bond maturity in 2053. All values in these charts are annualized per year.
  
The next chart shows the net income from all sources, annualized per year. Notice prior to 2013 the income from toll revenue and all other sources cannot pay the bond debt service. After redeeming the bonds in 2014 and refinancing, the new debt financing reaches break-even in 2029 and forecasts a profitable outlook till 2053.


This next chart shows the truth about these toll roads, the debt never stops. Past performance of these roads show the revenue collections do not pay for the bond debt service, the projected revenues show wishful forecasts of debt service on bonds. 
The last chart shows the total cost of revenues, debt service, and operations in the bullets above, for 52 miles of completed toll roads.  

TAKE-AWAY: If light rail costs $10 million per mile, a new rail system could be built every year from 2006 to 2053 for the cost of this toll road, that is 48 light rail systems each 52 miles long.


The annualized costs increase beyond the bond maturity date.  For the Toll Roads to arrive in this financial state the accounting practices of the TCA are in serious question. See NotMyTollRoad for more details. Story in the LB Patch here.

-LS

Saturday, February 22, 2020

LB Neighborhood Trolley Service Input


What:
The city of Laguna Beach invites the public to participate in three "listening meetings" and a short survey about the Neighborhood Trolley Service.

When:
First Meeting: February 24 2020, 6pm
Second Meeting: February 26 2020, 6pm
Third Meeting: March 9 2020, 6pm

Where:
Laguna Beach Community and Suzi-Q Center, Third Street, Laguna Beach

Survey: 
The short survey is still active and taking comments.

Details:

See the website City of Laguna Beach here. 

-LS



Thursday, February 6, 2020

TOLL ROADS the REAL Story

Consider these SoCal Toll Roads:
  • SR-73
  • SR-133
  • SR-241
  • SR-261
  • SR-241 Completion
The these toll road projects are managed by two oversight boards, the Foothill/Eastern TCA and the San Jouquin TCA (Transportation Corridor Agency).  Two financial firms evaluated the bond debt for these projects as shown in these charts.





The latest bonds mature in 2033 and 2053, these studies show for 36 miles of toll road the project cost will be
  • 2033:   $242 Million per mile
  • 2053:   $322 Million per mile.
When the San Joaquin SR-241 Corridor is included, 52 miles of toll will cost

  • 2033:    $167 Million per mile
  • 2053:    $223 Million per mile.
TCA's debt restructuring scheme guarantees the debt will never be paid off. Stop corporate welfare!

Consider the cost of lightrail is $13-$20 million per mile (no tunnels, no elevated sections, good soils, granted right-of-ways), what could SoCal residents do with the savings over Toll Roads?

If you made it this far, sit back relax, here's NotMyTollRoad's video.


-LS