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damientalks's podcast

SGV Connect is Streetsblog Los Angeles' podcast that explores the people, places, projects and events that make up the changing face of transportation in the San Gabriel Valley. SGV Connect is hosted by Damien Newton and includes interviews by Brian Velez. This feed also hosts SGV Connect's predecessor podcast, #DamienTalks.
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Aug 31, 2017

This week, Damien talks with Frank Ching, the Senior Director, Parking Management for Metro about the early feedback and impacts of the new parking program at the El Monte Bus Station. Earlier this week, Metro began charging $2 for parking at the Bus Station to riders' TAP accounts as a way to make certain that those parking in the lot were actually doing so to use the bus service.

The early impact shows that the program is working, the need for an overflow lot has vanished and at least anecdotally there has been little change to ridership. This experience mirrors what has happened when fully subsidized parking is replaced with a fee-based system in other Metro lots.

In today's podcast Ching not only discusses the program in El Monte and rail stations across the county, but also the future of the program and any near-term tweaks that could be coming to the parking plan at the El Monte Bus Station.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Whole Foothill Transit is mentioned in this podcast, they were not involved in the content for the podcast in any way.

Catch past episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunes, Google Play, or Overcast.

Aug 17, 2017

This week, Brian Velez talks to a pair of horse riders in the San Gabriel Valley about their experiences, challenges and all of the reasons to choose riding a horse as their preferred form of transportation. 

The first interview is with Alejandra from Avocado Heights. A horse owner, Alejandra tells stories and outlines the costs of owning, caring for and riding a horse both in terms of money and time.

The second interview is with Deputy Hector Beltran, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office. Deputy Beltran tells stories from his time as a horse owner, including a sad tale of a horse's death after being spooked by a driver. He also explains some of the rules and regulations for owners and riders in L.A. County.

This is one of our longer interviews, the podcast runs nearly a half hour and we do our best to only lightly edit for brevity.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Catch past episode of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn and iTunes.

Aug 9, 2017

Nisei Week is an annual festival put on by the Nisei Week Foundation in Downtown Los Angeles' Little Tokyo District. The nine day festival features everything from a parade, to a film festival to a competitive eating competition with pretty much everything else in between. A full schedule of events can be found on Nisei Week's official website.

Today, #DamienTalks with idori Mizuhara with Community Arts Resources and Cory Hayashi with the Nisei Week Foundation about this year's festival which begins at the end of next week. Hayashi does a great job of briefly laying out the history of the event and highlighting some of his favorite parts of this year's festival. 

Mizuhara works on the Go Little Tokyo campaign with Metro and the Little Tokyo Neighborhood Council. This campaign is designed to help the community thrive during construction of the Regional Connector in the area and to preserve the cultural events, and places that help make Little Tokyo a unique place to live, work and visit. The campaign, is working to provide transportation options beyond the car for people visiting the festival. Read more about that effort at Go Little Tokyo's campaign website.

A quick programming note, we are not going back to the #DamienTalks format for our podcast in the San Gabriel Valley. #SGVConnect will return in the next week or two with the promised podcast on mobility for horse riders.

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored podcast that Metro pitched to us and agreed to sponsor. No discussion was made as to any editorial comments made by me nor did Metro receive any questions from me ahead of time. If you would like to sponsor a podcast, email me at damien@streetsblog.org)

Aug 4, 2017

After watching bike share systems come to neighboring cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Long Beach and others; in July it was Pasadena's turn to launch its own bike share system. Shortly after the launch, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (COG) earned a grant to expand bike share to 14 other cities throughout the valley.

Today, SGV Connect's Damien Newton talks with Streetsblog Los Angeles editor Joe Linton and the Pasadena Complete Street Coalition's Blair Miller. Miller is also a member of the City of Pasadena's Transportation Advisory Committee.

In our conversation, we discuss the rollout of bike share in Pasadena and how the system is working and being perceived. From there we transition to a discussion of the regional network of Metro bikes and other systems before talking about future bike share systems that will be coming to cities throughout the San Gabriel Valley thanks to the state grant received by the COG.

"Bike share is an exciting opportunity because we hope it will get more people out and riding," Miller concludes. "I hope that Los Angeles, Pasadena and other cities in the San Gabriel Valley can keep going in the direction their going to get more people out and riding."

Towards the end of the discussion, Linton mentions an upcoming piece by Streetsblog L.A.'s Sahra Sulaiman that looks at some of the equity issues (pricing, location) that surround bike share in Los Angeles and throughout the world. He hopes that the COG's plans take reporting on these issues seriously to insure that bike share is a system that works for as large a group of riders as possible. 

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Catch past episode of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn and iTunes.

 

UP NEXT : Horses!

Jul 13, 2017

Every now and then, one of our interviews turns up some breaking news. The 6 stations that will be part of the next Foothill Gold Line Extension will have twice the bicycle parking as the six stations opened last year. Much of that increased parking will be in the form of "bike rooms" similar to the bike hub currently opened at the El Monte Bus Terminal.

While final details and designs on the rooms are not yet available, much of the rest of the station design will be unveiled at a series of public open houses tonight. Staff will be on hand to answer questions. Models of the station and samples of the local art will also be on hand.

Today, SGV Connect talks with Albert Ho, with the Foothill Gold Line Extension's media relations team about the meetings and of course about the bike parking.

Here's a full list of the upcoming meetings:

Thursday, July 13
San Dimas Senior/Community Center
201 E. Bonita Avenue
San Dimas, CA 91773

Tuesday, July 18
Palomares Park Community Center
499 E. Arrow Highway
Pomona, CA 91767

Wednesday, July 19
Montclair Senior Center
5111 Benito Street
Montclair, CA 91763

Monday, July 24
Alexander Hughes Community Center
1700 Danbury Road
Claremont, CA 91711

Thursday, August 3
Hillcrest Retirement Community
2705 Mountain View Drive
La Verne, CA 91750

Monday, August 7
Glendora Library, Bidwell Forum
140 S. Glendora Avenue
Glendora, CA 91741

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Jun 28, 2017

Welcome to the latest episode of SGV Connect, Streetsblog Los Angeles’ podcast covering the San Gabriel Valley, featuring hosts Damien Newton and Brian Velez. SGV Connect’s new episode includes a series of interviews conducted by Brian Velez on the pending report by the U.S. Department of the Interior examining whether or not previous administrations followed proper procedure in creating national monuments.

A National Monument is a place of historic, scenic, or scientific interest set aside for preservation usually by presidential proclamation. The San Gabriel Valley National Monument covers 342,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest and 4,002 acres of neighboring San Bernardino National Forest.

Velez interviews Congressmember Judy Chu and Los Angeles resident Roderick Burr, two supporters of keeping the San Gabriel Mountains Monument as it is. He also speaks with Glendora City Councilmember Judy Nelson, who opposed parts of the designation of the monument in 2014 but currently has a more supportive view.

A final report, due in August, could decide whether or not Trump challenges the National Monument designation made by the previous administration. In the meantime, there is a lot of waiting, and a lot of unease, from supporters of the monument.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Jun 2, 2017

Welcome to the first episode of SGV Connect, the podcast formerly known as #DamienTalksSGV, covering the issues, places, people and events that impact mobility in the San Gabriel Valley.

In this week's episode, Damien Newton interviews Habib Balian, the CEO of the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. Following a successful meeting earlier this week for potential contractors for construction, it seemed a good time to check back in on the next extension of the Gold Line.

The Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair will extend the Metro Gold Line 12.3 miles and add stations in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair. Ground breaking will be this October, but construction won't be complete until 2025.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

May 23, 2017

Duarte Mayor John Fasana has been earning a lot of positive press based on his efforts to finally end the 710 Big Dig Tunnel Project. In the meantime, the City of Duarte has been making strides to embrace a more progressive vision for transportation inside its own borders.

Today, #DamienTalks with Brian Velez, who conducted a series of interviews with people riding bicycles, residents of the city and the Duarte City Manager about the impact of recently installed bicycle lanes on Duarte Road. The lanes were installed as part of the city's effort to build out its Bike Master Plan, passed by the city in the end of 2015.

For more information on bicycling in Duarte, you can get information from the Bike SGV webpage: Information on bicycle master plan, information on the current state of bicycling in Duarte, and recent news on how the SGV Greenways plan impacts the future of bicycling in the city.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

May 17, 2017

Today, #DamienTalks with Jose Jimenez, the education director for Bike SGV. Late last month, Bike SGV and its partners, the City of El Monte, Day One, and the Honorable Daniel Lopez of the Los Angeles Superior Court in El Monte, launched Los Angeles County's first "traffic school program for people on bikes."

For the car-free amongst us, violators of traffic laws who are driving a car can often get the penalties reduced by going to "traffic school". The Bike SGV Website does a great job explaining the program :

For BikeSGV and Day One, launching the program in a high-need, lower-income community like El Monte was particularly important as the monetary cost of a violation on a bicycle is generally the same as when driving a motor vehicle. With court fees this means a stop sign violation can cost around $200 and a red light violation more than $400, significant sums, especially for low-income individuals and families who are most likely to rely on bicycling for everyday transportation.

We go into much greater detail in today's talk, so make sure to check it out.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Apr 21, 2017

As anyone who reads Streetsblog or The Source or who follows the pace of rail expansion in Los Angeles knows, today is the "retirement party" for Harriet, the tunnel boring machine that has been drilling about a mile of tunnel for the Crenshaw Line.

Today, #DamienTalks with Anthony Crump, the Constructions Relations Manager for the Crenshaw Line Construction Project. In a wide ranging conversation, we touch on Metro's commitment to bicycle and pedestrian access to stations, upcoming plans for Crenshaw Construction and an update on whether or not the line is scheduled to open on-time in the fall/winter of 2018 (It is!)

And of course, we wish a fond farewell to Harriett. As she is the property of the construction company and not Metro, we cannot say as to her long-term fate. However, we all wish her well in "retirement."

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored podcast that Metro pitched to us and agreed to sponsor. No discussion was made as to any editorial comments made by me nor did Metro receive any questions from me ahead of time. If you would like to sponsor a podcast, email me at damien@streetsblog.org)

Apr 14, 2017

Rounding out our coverage of the Foothill Transit fare and route changes #DamienTalks #BrianTalks with three Foothill Passenger riders about how the changes would impact their lives. Spoiler : people don't like having their transit fares increased. However, most of the riders that Brian talked to, regular commuters, could actually see a decrease in their monthly pass from $70 to $50 if they choose to buy monthly instead of trip-by-trip.

Earlier this week, #DamienTalks hosted Foothill Transit's Felicia Friesema to give an overview of the changes. Yesterday, Joe Linton reported on a hearing he went to on Wednesday night.

Before we get to the three interviews, Damien has a short editorial reminding people that fare increases and service changes don't happen because transit agencies are mean, but because they don't get the support from state and federal governments that similar agencies do in other parts of the world. By all means, let Foothill Transit know what you think, but don't stop there. Let your state legislator, your Congressman, President Trump and Governor Brown know too.

To weigh-in on the changes, the easiest way is to email Foothill Transit at changes@FoothillTransit.org. Find out more about the proposed changes at Foothill Transit website or attend one of the remaining hearings, listed below.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

  • April 18, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Pomona Library, 625 S. Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91766.
  • April 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., El Monte City Hall East, 11333 Valley Blvd., El Monte, CA 91731
  • April 22, 9 a.m. (official public hearing), Foothill Transit offices, 100 S. Vincent Ave., West Covina, CA 91790.
Apr 11, 2017

Today, #DamienTalks with Felicia Friesema with Foothill Transit about the changes staff has proposed for the fare structure and bus service offered by Foothill Transit. Our talk covers an overview of the changes, the response from Foothill Transit riders, and a handful of questions submitted by you, Streetsblog readers.

Late last month, Foothill Transit announced plans for its bus service to react to ridership changes caused by the opening of the first phase of the Gold Line Foothill Extension. Last week, its Board of Directors approved taking the changes to the public through a series of hearings before a Board vote later this spring.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune has broken down the largest changes, including segmenting Line 187, that currently runs from Pasadena to Montclair. The change will allow Foothill Transit to focus on more local service on the new Line 187 (Pasadena to Azusa) and Line 188 (Azusa to Montclair).

If you want a chance to weigh-in on the changes, the easiest way is to email Foothill Transit at changes@FoothillTransit.org You can read more about the changes at the website and you can meet with them at the remaining hearings, listed below the podcast.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Mar 21, 2017

This week, #DamienTalks with Monica Curiel of Bike SGV about the upcoming bicyclists and pedestrian counts happening throughout the San Gabriel Valley on April 1. Bike SGV is looking for volunteers to help with the counts, and if you want to volunteer, you can get more information by visiting Bike SGV website.

In Part II, Brian Velez is back, and he interviews three past (and future?) volunteers.

Irma Bustamante is one volunteer who collects data who then turns it over to Anthony William-Contrado who enters the data into a system. Both volunteers believe that their communities deserve more than what is given when it comes to safe street design.

“I see it not so much as giving my time. This is something I’m passionate about. I grew up in El Monte, and there’s too many cars,” replied Irma.

Next up, Brian talks to Danielle Zamora in North Whittier. Danielle also believes that bike counts are an important part of improving communities, “We want to make streets in general safer for everyone so people have access to active transportation and can be healthier.”

Just a reminder, all the information you need to sign up and help can be found here, at the Bike SGV Website.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Mar 7, 2017

You know we’ve got a great episode of #DamienTalks when a woman who is eight months pregnant and running a half-marathon is the fourth interview in the podcast.

Today, #DamienTalks looks back at last Sunday’s mammoth open streets event, the 626 in the San Gabriel Valley. #DamienTalks with Joe Linton, the first staff person for open streets super-group CicLAvia, and Brian Velez of BikeSGV. Later, we podcast five interviews Velez conducted with people enjoying the 626 in the sun and rain last Sunday.

To call the 626 a success would be an understatement. Even with the rain, the event attracted roughly 100,000 participants. They biked, jogged, walked, or rolled the seventeen miles of car-free streets along a route that was roughly parallel to the Gold Line Foothill Extension that opened last year.

For more coverage of the event, visit this open thread from Streetsblog yesterday, or check out these stories on ABC7 and in the SGV Tribune and South Pasadena Review.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Feb 23, 2017

Listeners are going to see some major changes in the podcast in the coming weeks and months. We’re happy to announce the first of those changes today.

Today, #DamienTalks with Brian Velez. You may know Brian as a staff member at BikeSGV. Brian is going to be joining this podcast as a correspondent, helping to round out our podcast with a series of “person-on-the-street” interviews to either supplement or anchor stories that we’ve been working on.

Of course, #DamienTalks is a lousy name for a podcast that has a lot more people talking than just Damien. A change in the name and logo will be coming in the near future as well.

But for today, welcome to the team Brian! Damien and Brian talk about Brian’s history, some of the things they plan to work on together, and of course, with March 5 looming just around the corner, they talk about the 626.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Feb 2, 2017

Today#DamienTalks with Habib Balian, the executive director of the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. Last week, the Construction Authority's Board of Directors approved a construction schedule that was characterized as both a milestone for the project and a delay from the original time schedule pending your news source.

But regardless of you point of view on the schedule, there is no denying that the extension of the Gold Line all the way to Montclair in the San Bernadino Valley is going to happen. It might take eight years, but groundbreaking is going to begin this October and over 90% of the funding for the project is already in place thanks to Measure M in Los Angeles County and Measure I in San Bernadino County.

Before we finish our talk, I give Balian a chance to respond to our most recent podcast with Wes Reutimann, the executive director of Bike SGV. Reutimann pointe out that demand for bike lockers is much higher than the lockers supplied at the recently completed Gold Line Foothill extensions. Balian offered verbal support for building more bike facilities and encouraged activists to continue the conversation on bike parking and access throughout the next several months.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Jan 20, 2017

We made it! It's inauguration day and the world hasn't ended. But even as the we face an uncertain future at the national level, there's still a lot of work to do locally. And in the San Gabriel Valley, 2017 promises to be another exciting year with "Gold Line Extension" being on the tip of everyone's tongue.

And while everyone is encouraged by the succesful launch of the Foothill Extension last year and the passage of Measure R; there's no need to let good be the enemy of "better." Today's guest, Wes Reutimann has some ideas that could make the next Gold Line extension the best Gold Line extension. Spoiler : It's less parking for cars and more parking for bicycles.

For it's part, the Foothill Extension Construction Authority has already built more bike parking than required by Metro for its last extension. A statement from the authority states:

"The Construction Authority put in significantly more bike parking (racks and lockers) than was required by the Metro criteria in 2010 when we began the project. In fact, we have reviewed their updated criteria for the next segment (which came out last year) and we put in more parking than is required by the new criteria as well.

The Construction Authority received a federal grant to study ways to improve bike, pedestrian and bus access to each of our stations and then was able to use about $1 million to augment the plans for each station to implement the recommendations. That allowed us to put in the additional bike spaces.

As you know, we turned the line over to Metro in September 2015. We have heard that bike parking is not full; but that may be old information."

At the request of Bike SGV, Metro put together some data on bike parking at existing Gold Line Foothill stations. That data can be found on Streetsblog Los Angeles. 

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Dec 22, 2016

This is it! The last #DamienTalks of 2016. As is traditional for unoriginal talk hosts, we're hosting an "end of the year" podcast where four local experts weigh in on what was the biggest story of 2016 and what will be the biggest story of 2017.

Our guests include the closest thing a bi-weekly podcast has to regulars, David Diaz and Wes Reutimann with Bike SGV, South Pasadena Mayor Mike Cacciotti and Transit Coalition executive director Bart Reed. As a bonus, Bart and I spend the first minute and a half of his interview talking about how my kids enjoy riding on trains.

Currently, all the Streetsblogs are doing their end of the year fundraising drives. If you want to continue to support this podcast, Streetsblog L.A. and the work we do, please click here and get started on your donation.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Dec 14, 2016

This week, #DamienTalks with Joe Linton, the editor of Streetsblog Los Angeles. Joe has overseen our efforts to expand our coverage outside of the boundries of the City of Los Angeles into the San Gabriel Valley in 2016. As a result, he has a lot to say when asked if he has any opinions on what the biggest story was of 2016, and what the biggest story will be in the next calendar year.

This is our second to last podcast of the year, but if you are taking an early trip to visit loved ones during the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of this podcast and Streetsblog.

Currently, all the Streetsblogs are doing their end of the year fundraising drives. If you want to continue to support this podcast, Streetsblog L.A. and the work we do, please click here and get started on your donation.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Dec 8, 2016

This week, #DamienTalks with David Diaz with DayOne and the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition about the Mulhall Bike Park that is under construction in El Monte. The Bike Park is literally designed to do exactly what it says: be a space for people who ride bicycle to practice their skills in a closed, safe setting.

This project is truly community driven, being led by community organizations, being next to a community center, and being in a community park. In fact, it's even being community built. The second of two Mulholland Bike Park Build Days is this Sunday. (Facebook Event) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you don't know where the park is, you can find it on most mapping program and apps at 10900 Mulhall Street in El Monte.

A quick programming note...we'll be wrapping up our 2017 schedule with a pair of "look ahead, look back" podcasts over the next couple of weeks. Currently, all the Streetsblogs are doing their end of the year fundraising drives. If you want to continue to support this podcast, Streetsblog L.A. and the work we do, please click here and get started on your donation.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Nov 16, 2016

Where do we go from here?

That question has been on the minds of a lot of people since the election results came rolling in last Tuesday night. Now that a little time has passed, #DamienTalks checks in with CalBike, the largest transportation reform organization in the state and second largesT bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group in the country. Joining myself is Jeanie Ward-Waller.

Ward-Waller and I try to dig through the election results across California to see if there were any statewide trends that we could trace, and to touch on what is, and isn't, going on in the state legislature's Special Session on Transportation. Spoiler: not much is gong on in the state legislature's Special Session on Transportation.

But things get a little more interesting when we talk about what CalBike, and by extension pretty much every bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, can and should do to be more inclusive. CalBike is ahead of the game when compared to many of its peer organizations, but as we discuss, it's far from perfect and still has some work to do.

We’re always looking for sponsors, show ideas, and feedback. You can contact me at damien@streetsblog.org, at twitter @damientypes, online at Streetsblog California or on Facebook at StreetsblogCA.

Oct 31, 2016

Today, #DamienTalks with a bunch of people who claim that they have witnessed paranormal activity in the Foothill Transit executive offices.

That's right, we're reporting that the major sponsor of this podcast is haunted.

Happy Halloween!

And thanks to Felicia Friesema for all her work on this podcast as well as our interviewees for being such good sports : Sabrina Muhne, Roland Cordero, Roberto Estrella, Ruben Cevantes, Miguel Rodriguez, Chris Pieper and London Lee.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Oct 28, 2016

I know it seems as though this election has been going on forever, but the end is in site. A week from Tuesday, America will vote on a new president, California will vote on a new Senator and Los Angeles County will decide the fate of Measure M.

But today, #DamienTalks with South Pasadena Mayor Diana Mahmud about the proposal. South Pasadena, its newspapers and many of its loudest activists either opposed or stayed neutral on Metro sales tax proposals in 2008 and 2012. But this time, the newspapers and City Council are unanimous in their support for Measure M.

I'll be honest with you, the conversation took a turn I didn't expect. Mahmud talked openly about the privilege South Pasadena has with being one of Southern California's first cities to have a rail station. She then pivoted to the need for the city to "pay it forward" by supporting a tax to help other cities in Los Angeles County experience the benefits of having a rail station at the center of town.

Maybe I've been covering the ugly fight over development in Santa Monica for too long, but to hear someone argue that it was their duty to help everyone achieve the privilege that they have was refreshing.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Oct 12, 2016

This week, #DamienTalks with Doran Barnes, the executive director of Foothill Transit and the Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Our conversation touches on a wide-range of subjects including integrating Foothill Transit with the new Gold Line Extension, Measure M and Foothill Transit's ground-breaking electric bus program.

We also talk about both APTA and Barnes' agenda as chair of this national advocacy organization for transit providers. Barnes lists three things he would like APTA to accomplish in the next year, one of which is assuring that the infrastructure needs of the country remain a priority for the incoming administration in the White House once it takes office.

If you want to hear the other two, you're going to have to listen in.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

Oct 11, 2016

Today, #DamienTalks with Olga Arroyo and Jean Marie Hance with Community and Construction Relations for the Regional Connector Project in Downtown Los Angeles. With the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) going in the ground next week, it seemed the perfect time to connect with the Regional Connector.

The conversation is wide ranging and goes on for over twenty minutes, a rarity for this podcast. We cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Where are we in the construction timeframe?
  • The naming project for the Tunnel Boring Machine (to be announced next week)
  • Outreach projects such as Go Little Tokyo
  • The station naming contest

Despite my best efforts, they would not tell me the names of the stations or the TBM. Even more disappointingly, no matter how many twitter accounts I create and spam them, I will not be able to get a station named after me.

But there is other exciting new. The TBM will be lowered into the ground next week at a special ceremony at the station at 1st and Central. Because it is an active construction zone, attendance is limited. You can get more details for the event in the podcast and can RSVP (if there's space) by emailing regionalconnector@metro.net.

 

 

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