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Moving Los Angeles

Moving Los Angeles: Short-Term Policy Options for Improving Transportation

Paul Sorensen
Martin Wachs
Endy Y. Min
Aaron Kofner
Liisa Ecola
Mark Hanson
Allison Yoh
Thomas Light
James Griffin
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 714
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  • Book Info
    Moving Los Angeles
    Book Description:

    Los Angeles has the worst traffic congestion in the country. Excessive traffic congestion detracts from quality of life, is economically wasteful and environmentally damaging, and exacerbates social-justice concerns. The authors of this book recommend strategies for reducing congestion in Los Angeles County that could be implemented and produce significant improvements within about five years.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4646-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Management & Organizational Behavior, Transportation Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xvii-lxxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. lxxv-lxxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. lxxvii-lxxxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate and recommend strategies for reducing congestion in and around Los Angeles¹ that could be implemented and produce results in a short time frame, defined as a period of about five years or less. We focus on options available to public-sector agencies operating in Los Angeles (L.A.) County, though some of the measures may require the involvement of private participants as well. We are especially interested in strategies that might be pursued by some of the larger public agencies in the region, such as the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT),...

  10. CHAPTER TWO A Primer on Congestion
    (pp. 11-34)

    Many of us are familiar with traffic congestion because we must deal with it on a daily basis. During peak hours, the number of cars outstrips the capacity of the road network, and thus we waste many hours each year enduring stop-and-go travel conditions on the region’s highway and arterial networks. Yet the phenomenon of congestion is deceptively complex, and subtle characteristics of travel behavior and traffic-flow patterns may surprise even the veteran rush-hour commuter.

    This chapter begins with a brief historical perspective on congestion, demonstrating that the problem, in one form or another, is almost as old as cities...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Characterizing Congestion in Los Angeles
    (pp. 35-52)

    The intent of this chapter is to characterize the scope and severity of congestion in Los Angeles, including current conditions and recent trends. The analysis shows that congestion in Los Angeles is considerable and has been increasing fairly steadily over time (although, as noted in Chapter Two, the recent surge in fuel prices combined with an ailing economy have led to modest reductions in congestion delays in the past six to nine months). Quantifying the severity of congestion in Los Angeles may help build political consensus about the need for effective policy intervention. In addition, characterizing the spatial variation in...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Diagnosing Congestion in Los Angeles
    (pp. 53-78)

    The figures, tables, and statistics presented in the preceding chapter demonstrate that Los Angeles leads the nation in congestion, both at the aggregate level and on a per-person basis. This gives rise to the question, just what is it about Los Angeles that sets the region apart from other metropolitan areas? Why, specifically, is traffic in Los Angeles worse than in other cities? This conundrum is interesting from a purely intellectual perspective, and academics have spent years trying to untangle the intricacies of traffic in the region. More important in the context of this study, however, is that gaining insight...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Short-Term Congestion-Reduction Options
    (pp. 79-100)

    In this chapter, we introduce short-term congestion-reduction strategies that could be implemented in Los Angeles and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. We first describe the process through which we identified strategies and then discuss several criteria that were used to select a smaller set of options for further analysis. The strategies that meet our selection criteria—28 in all—can be organized into three broad categories:

    1. strategies to increase the capacity of existing roads

    2. strategies to manage or reduce peak-hour automotive travel

    3. strategies to improve alternative modes of travel.

    We briefly consider the potential advantages and limitations of these categories...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Short-Term Congestion-Reduction Recommendations
    (pp. 101-146)

    Our purpose in this chapter is to develop a set of specific short-term transportation-planning and -policy recommendations for Los Angeles based on the findings presented in the preceding chapters. We begin by outlining our methodology for selecting strategy recommendations, which proceeds in two stages: (1) developing a guiding policy framework for reducing congestion and improving transportation in Los Angeles and (2) identifying the strategies that best support this framework, leading, in turn, to a set of specific recommendations.

    In the first stage of the analysis, we revisit several key lessons and insights from earlier chapters about the general phenomenon of...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Consensus-Building Recommendations
    (pp. 147-162)

    In the previous chapter, we outlined recommendations for reducing congestion and improving alternative transportation options in Los Angeles. Many of the strategies were selected in order to mitigate potential concerns that might arise with other strategies. Providing faster transit service, for instance, will help to offset the equity concerns associated with certain forms of pricing.

    Even with complementary measures in place, many of the strategy recommendations are likely to face specific stakeholder concerns or general political resistance. The application of cordon tolls is perhaps the most controversial, but others—such as the conversion of general-purpose freeway lanes to HOT lanes,...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT Final Thoughts
    (pp. 163-174)

    This book focuses on strategies for reducing traffic congestion and improving transportation alternatives that L.A.-area officials could implement and see results in the short term, which we have defined as a period of roughly five years. Yet there are many longer-term options worthy of consideration as well. Land-use strategies related to zoning, density, parking supply, and the mixing of uses, for instance, may facilitate development patterns that support greater use of public transit and other nonautomotive options, while major transit investments will also expand the array of choices available to travelers and help to reduce reliance on the automobile. And...

  17. APPENDIX A Strategy-Rating Overview
    (pp. 175-196)
  18. APPENDIX B1 Freeway-Ramp Metering
    (pp. 197-204)
  19. APPENDIX B2 Signal Timing and Control
    (pp. 205-214)
  20. APPENDIX B3 High-Occupancy Vehicle–Lane Strategies
    (pp. 215-228)
  21. APPENDIX B4 Park-and-Ride Facilities
    (pp. 229-238)
  22. APPENDIX B5 Officers at Intersections
    (pp. 239-244)
  23. APPENDIX B6 Left-Turn Signals
    (pp. 245-258)
  24. APPENDIX B7 Curb-Parking Restrictions
    (pp. 259-272)
  25. APPENDIX B8 One-Way Streets
    (pp. 273-288)
  26. APPENDIX B9 Rush-Hour Construction Bans
    (pp. 289-298)
  27. APPENDIX B10 Incident-Management Systems
    (pp. 299-312)
  28. APPENDIX B11 Ride-Sharing
    (pp. 313-322)
  29. APPENDIX B12 Telecommuting
    (pp. 323-332)
  30. APPENDIX B13 Flexible Work Hours
    (pp. 333-338)
  31. APPENDIX B14 Car-Sharing
    (pp. 339-346)
  32. APPENDIX B15 Traveler-Information Systems
    (pp. 347-356)
  33. APPENDIX B16 Mandatory Transportation Demand Management Programs
    (pp. 357-370)
  34. APPENDIX B17 Driving Restrictions
    (pp. 371-382)
  35. APPENDIX B18 High-Occupancy Toll Lanes
    (pp. 383-390)
  36. APPENDIX B19 Cordon Congestion Tolls
    (pp. 391-400)
  37. APPENDIX B20 Variable Curb-Parking Rates
    (pp. 401-414)
  38. APPENDIX B21 Parking Cash-Out
    (pp. 415-426)
  39. APPENDIX B22 Local Fuel Taxes
    (pp. 427-436)
  40. APPENDIX B23 Variable Transit Fares
    (pp. 437-444)
  41. APPENDIX B24 Deep-Discount Transit Passes
    (pp. 445-450)
  42. APPENDIX B25 Bus Rapid Transit
    (pp. 451-466)
  43. APPENDIX B26 Bus-Route Reconfiguration
    (pp. 467-476)
  44. APPENDIX B27 Pedestrian Strategies
    (pp. 477-484)
  45. APPENDIX B28 Bicycling Strategies
    (pp. 485-494)
  46. APPENDIX C Institutional Roles in Transportation Planning and Policy
    (pp. 495-500)
  47. APPENDIX D Theoretical Insights on Political Consensus Building
    (pp. 501-516)
  48. References
    (pp. 517-556)