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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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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 22, 2015

It's the end of the year, so we're doing a special #DamienTalks. As announced on Streetsblog California, today I'm taking your questions...errr, your question...

The questions we received were variations on where transportation is headed, and how are things will change going forward. I see two big ways that things are going to be different: at the policy level things will change because of Vision Zero, and in the advocacy world we'll see a shift as we all figure out how to best address equity issues in our planning and programming.

 

Given that this podcast is occurring during our pledge drive, I would be remiss if I didn’t post the links to the donation pages for Streetsblog San Francisco , Streetsblog Los Angeles and Streetsblog California.

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

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the #DamienTalks homepage on Libsyn.

Dec 11, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Roger Rudick, a long-time contributor to various Streetsblogs and the incoming editor of Streetsblog San Francisco.

In the interview we cover varied ground including how Rudick's world travels inform his writing at Streetsblog and elsewhere, his views on some of the major stories breaking in the Bay Area, and some get-to-know-you questions including "have you ever ridden Critical Mass?"

If you're just dying to learn more about Roger, read our "Welcome, Roger" post and yesterday's "Hi, I'm Roger" post at Streetsblog San Francisco.

Given that this [delete "is"] podcast is occurring during our pledge drive, I would be remiss if I didn't post the links to the donation pages for Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the #DamienTalks homepage on Libsyn.

 
Dec 1, 2015

Hello, welcome back to #DamienTalks! It’s been awhile.

Today Damien talks with SFCTA executive director Tilly Chang (read Streetsblog coverage of Chang, here) about whether or not ride share companies are good for transit and good for urban transportation. SFCTA has been studying these issues and Chang has a wealth of information at her fingertips and even some advice for cities that are attempting to figure out the best ways to work with and regulate rideshare companies.

Our conversation mirrors an article at City Lab by Laura Bliss entitled, “Is Uber Transit’s Enemy or Its Friend?

Our answer, it’s too soon to say, but with the right partnerships and planning Uber, Lyft and all their friends can definitely be transit’s friends.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Nov 5, 2015

Today #DamienTalks with Ryan Price, Campaigns Director for CalBike, about CalBike's recently released legislative report card. 

Look up how your legislator did, here. Don't know who represents you in Sacramento? Click here.

In addition to scoring the candidates, CalBike produced some meme-friendly pictures with every legislator's score. In the interview we cover a couple of topics:

  • Why there appears to be a partisan divide on scoring, despite the reality that bicycling-friendly legislation seems to be gaining bi-partisan support.
  • CalBike's goals for the current "special session" on transportation going on right now.
  • And last, what to do if your legislator's meme-picture is a boring headshot instead of a cool bikeshot.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 30, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Sue Minter, a candidate for Governor of Vermont. This kicks off an irregular series where I'll be talking with elected and government officials either just before or just after they make a trip to California.We'll discuss best practices in bicycle and pedestrian planning, and give our interviewees a chance to talk about their impressions of the Golden State. 

Minter is a more natural choice than it might first appear. As the head of Vermont's transportation agency, she's had to handle the aftermath of flooded roads and highways after a tropical storm in 2011.

She also recently visited Los Angeles as a member of President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Minter understands the connection between these issues and transportation planning and urban design.

As a candidate for Governor of Vermont, she's hosting a couple of events in Los Angeles on November 16 and Pasadena on November 17.

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. Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 22, 2015

Today, we're broadcasting part 2 of the #DamienTalks discussing the best, and worst, news out of Sacramento. Yesterday, I talked to a trio of advocates around the state. Today, I'm talking with Melanie Curry, the editor of Streetsblog California.

Curry talks about some of the bills we didn't touch on yesterday, including many of the ones she has covered at Streetsblog California over the past year. As always, the conversation with Melanie is a little more relaxed than our regular interviews as Melanie and I have been having these conversations without a microphone for months.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 21, 2015

Welcome to the first two-part #DamienTalks. Today, I talk with Meea Kang with the Council of Infill Developers, Gloria Ohland of Move L.A. and Colin Parent of Circulate San Diego. The topic of the day is the recently concluded legislative session in Sacramento.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a lot of legislation, much of it moved the ball forward on issues such as bicycle safety, active transportation funding, and clean air. But the most popular legislation was AB 744, legislation that impacts parking requirements for Transit Oriented Development.

Ohland focused on the legislative package of Senator Senator Kevin de León, who authored and backed the popular clean air legislation SB 350 and legislation that will allow Los Angeles County MTA to put a new transportation sales tax on the ballot.

A separate interview with Streetsblog Calfiornia's Melanie Curry will air tomorrow.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 16, 2015

Today #DamienTalks with Jim Beal and Elly Blue with Microcosm Publishing. The duo is producing the eight-part Groundswell Movies focused on community-based bicycle advocacy (as opposed to activist-based bike advocacy) and how it's worked in cities throughout the country.

Streetsblog has helped roll out the series, although we aren't officially part of the project. Streetsblog USA profiled Groundswell last month. Streetsblog L.A. debuted Building Stories: City Planning with James Rojas earlier today.

If you haven't watched any of the movies yet, you're in for a treat. I've found them fascinating. A League of Their Own, the first film in the series, is really must-see for anyone interested in the history of bicycle advocacy.

And, for anyone listening just because they know me, you will enjoy listening to me totally flub a question asked of me about 5 minutes into the podcast.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 8, 2015
Every week, Streetsblog California broadcasts a podcast, #DamienTalks, where I (Damien) interview someone about something in California. Our guest list has included advocates, Assemblymembers, planners and Councilmembers.
 
However, we thought we'd do a special one to honor our former colleague, the great Streetsblog San Francisco editor, Aaron Bialick.
 
I'm not going to try and speak for or paraphrase Aaron, so just click below and give it a listen.
 
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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the #DamienTalks homepage on Libsyn.

Oct 6, 2015

This week, #DamienTalks with Damian Kevitt, the man who went from hit and run victim to survivor to hero.

In the wake of his crash, Kevitt dedicated himself to using his story to create a new movement to fix California's mess of hit and run laws. First came Finish the Ride, an event spearheaded by Kevitt and his friends to raise funds for organizations fighting for policy change and helping crash victims rehabilitate. Then Kevitt was the force behind Streets Are for Everyone (SAFE) which pushes to change policy at the state level.

Following the successful passage and signing of Assembly Bill 8 last week, SAFE is weighing its own next steps.

Finish the Ride's next event will be a "ride, walk and roll" in the San Fernando Valley this December. For more information, click here.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Sep 22, 2015

Today, Damien talks with Romel Pascual, the new executive director of CicLAvia, the non-profit that programs arguably the most popular Open Streets program in America.

Pascual comes to the new position with a strong background in Los Angeles' Open Streets Movement. He served as Deputy Mayor to Antonio Villaraigosa when the first CicLAvia was planned five years ago and has served on its Board of Directors.

For people that believe in the power of Ciclovía-style events to bring change, this is the interview for you.Pascual discusses how CicLAvia helped change the complexion of the streets in Downtown Los Angeles and other communities  from both the perspective of an advocate and the perspective of a former high-ranking city official.

Pascual also answers the growing urban legend that "we got CicLAvia because Mayor Villaraigosa got bike religion after he was forced off his bike."

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Sep 15, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Melanie Curry, the editor of a boutique news website known as Streetsblog California. Melanie has been covering the legislature for two full sessions, with a focus on transportation, urban design, and public health. 

Not surprisingly, we're talking about the just completed legislative session, the legislation passed, and the inability of the legislature to come together over a funding plan to fix the state's transportation funding crisis.

We also have a couple of side bars. Some are goofy. Some are serious. It is a fun and informative interview, what you would expect when two friends get together to talk politics.

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.

Sep 9, 2015

This week, with the legislative session moving faster than my ability to cover them in a podcast, we're taking a little break from the legislative sessions.

#DamienTalks with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett of Modacity. Modacity is a Vancouver based consulting team run by this husband and wife team push back against Bikelash in their home city and throughout North America. They do this by telling the stories of how road safety projects have improved communities, business receipts, travel to school and more.

Chris even tells teh story of a restaurant owner who was scared that a road diet project would cost him his business. Now, with bike lanes replacing car parking in front of his establishment, he has more customers than ever.

Modacity will be presenting what they've learned during a trip to Los Angeles in October. On October 8, they'll be at the Echo Park Film Center. On October 11, they'll be at Santa Monica. You can get more information for these events here: Los AngelesSanta Monica.

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.

Sep 2, 2015

Maybe you've seen the mailers, or the insanse websites or have heard a rant on talk radio. The petroleum industry is coming for S.B. 350, legislation that would set standards to help the State of California reduce its petroleum use by 50% in the coming decades.

Today, #DamienTalks with Tim O'Connor, an analyst with Environmental Defense, who explains how reducing dependency on petroleum isn't just good for the environment, but will be great for the state's economy. Despite the scare tactics of opponents of the legislation, S.B. 350 is a win for California, for the environment and for pretty much anyone reading these words.

The legislation has been moving quickly, but only has a week left to pass the Assembly before it can head to the Governor's desk for a final signature. It has already passed the Senate and all needed Assembly committees.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Aug 26, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Seleta Reynolds, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation about the City of Los Angeles' recent announcement that L.A. will be a Vision Zero City.

In short, that means that all planning, construction and enforcement decisions that impact the transportation grid will be based on whether or not it helps the city reach a goal of zero traffic deaths.

In addition to being one of the city's leaders and organizers on this issue, Reynolds has some experience with Vision Zero from her time in the Bay area. We ask her about this experience, what L.A.'s plans are, and the uncomfortable question about law enforcement's role.

If you're looking for more, here's some of Joe Linton's recent coverage of Vision Zero in Streetsblog Los Angeles: City Announces Vision Zero Strategy, Council Passes Mobility Plan Including Vision Zero, Sustainable City PLAn Includes Vision Zero, LADOT Focuses on Vision Zero in 2014 Annual Report.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Aug 20, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Asssemblymember Richard Bloom who represents western Los Angeles County in the State Assembly. Bloom is on the Finance Special Session Committee in the State Assembly, meaning that for the next two and a half weeks, the Assemblymember will have a chance to weigh in on any transportation bills before they come to the full Assembly for a vote.

Richard Bloom, via his 2014 re-election campaign website
Richard Bloom, via his 2014 re-election campaign website

Our discussion ends up being pretty far ranging, covering Bloom's proposed diesel fees, to the state funding crisis, to the need for more sub-regional transportation options to Santa Monica's nascent bike share program, to tying all transportation investments to the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals.. This isn't the first time I've had the chance to interview Bloom, although it's the first time for this podcast, and it will doubtless not be the last.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Aug 13, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Jennifer D'Onofrio and Bryan Michaelson of the City of Davis about the new protected bike intersection in Davis, California. The newly-redesigned intersection is the first-of-its-kind in America, and receiving warm reviews from both cars and bicyclists in Davis and advocates around the country.

As you'll see in the middle of the episode, it gets a little complicated trying to explain how the intersection works. D'Onofrio and Michaelson assure me that it's pretty simple when you're actually riding in the street...an opinion shared by my colleague Michael Anderson who wrote of the intersection, "hard to explain, simple to use."

If you have trouble following it, check out Anderson's post, and pictures, at Streetsblog USA.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Aug 4, 2015

Today #DamienTalks with Yvonne Burke, former LA County Supervisor and current commissioner for the California Transportation Commission, about transportation funding issues in California. With the legislature due to come back soon to discuss the ongoing transportation funding crisis gripping the state, Burke lays out the case that California needs to find a way to raise more funds for transportation.

Yvonne_burkeIt’s hardly a secret that California has been retreating from meeting its transportation needs, leaving cities and counties struggling to raise funds to fill the void. The question: is how does understanding that translate to building public support for a funding increase, be it a new tax, a fee, or some other unexplored funding mechanism?

On a personal note, it’s pretty amazing to have a Civil Rights figure such as Burke on our podcast. For anyone that doesn’t know, in addition to being a local political leader, Burke was the first African-American woman to represent the West Coast in Congress.

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.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jul 30, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Brian Addison, the former editor of the Long Beach Post and LongBeachize. Addison was recently named the "Best Online Journalist" by the Southern California Press Club for, in Addison's own words, "writing about the city I love."

Addison DTalks imagePlaced between the shadow of the Los Angeles Megalopolis and the Orange Curtain, Long Beach is often overlooked, despite having a population of nearly half a million people and being the 7th largest city by population in the state...larger than Oakland. Long Beach has made great strides towards becoming a more livable city with better bicycle infrastructure and a rising Downtown. The city even bills itself as the "most bike friendly city in America."

Addison and I talk about how the city is doing under its new progressive mayor and how Long Beach is trying to expand its most-bike-friendly infrastructure from high-visibility areas into residential areas.

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 onFacebook at StreetsblogCA.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jul 27, 2015

Today, Damien Talks with Graham Wheat our new Central Valley writer for Streetsblog California. Topics include:his life, transportation habits, journalism experiences and future-favorite-writing-projects. The Bakersfield native and resident has a lot of interesting views, including his big hopes for California High Speed Rail and what it can be for Bakersfield and the rest of the world.

Check it out, I can think of no better way to meet someone than to listen to a conversation between that person and me using my "NPR Voice."

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 onFacebook at StreetsblogCA.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jul 22, 2015

This week, DamienTalks with Dave Snyder, the executive director of CalBike about the current legislative session and generally about how things are going in Sacramento. Spoiler: so far, pretty well.

But the biggest fish is still in the sea. The legislature will come back for a special session in August to try and deal with the state's transportation infrastructure crisis...specifically the lack of funds to deal with such a crisis. Snyder and others are pushing for both a complete streets policy for any "fix-it" project, so that with any new asphalt comes improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian grid and increased funding for other Livable Streets projects.

As you'll hear...Snyder is more of an optimist than I am.

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 onFacebook at StreetsblogCA.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jul 1, 2015

Today #DamienTalks with Ethan Elkind, about the efforts to reform how the state measures transportation impacts of a proposed project. Currently, the state measures how a project impacts car travel time, but a change to state law will turn that rule on its head so that we’re encouraging projects that don’t produce more car trips instead of just mitigating the ones that do.

Not surprisingly, there is pushback. Surprisingly, it’s coming from a group that should gain from the change from “LOS” to “VMT.”

Ethan Elkind is the Associate Director of the Climate Change and Business Program, with a joint appointment at UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law. In this capacity, he serves as the lead author of UCLA-UC Berkeley’s grant-funded series of policy reports on business solutions to combat climate change.  He also researches and writes on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), climate change law, environmental justice, and other environmental and energy law topics.  

His book Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City was published by University of California Press in January 2014. 

And we really like Ethan. Jason Islas conducted an interview with him earlier this year for Santa Monica Next: Part 1, Part 2.

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 onFacebook at StreetsblogCA.

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jun 26, 2015

Good Data, it’s the Holy Grail of transportation reform advocates.

Today, #DamienTalks with Richard McKinnon, the head of Safe Streets Santa Monica and a member of the local planning commission, about his organization’s efforts to bring data to an often emotional debate over street safety. Santa Monica is one of the more progressive cities when it comes to transportation planning, yet there is a common belief among many residents that bicyclists are somehow a menace on the streets.

Using TIMS data, collected by the local police and compiled by statisticians at University of California at Berkeley, Safe Streets Santa Monica mapped 9,600 crashes that occurred over the last ten years.

Less than fifty of these crashes were caused by cyclists. McKinnon is sharing this data with his fellow planning commissioners, city staff and the City Council to inform the discussion when issues of traffic safety are brought up.

Want to repeat Safe Streets’s success? Head over to the TIMS website and get cracking.

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 onFacebook at StreetsblogCA.

 

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jun 24, 2015

Today, #DamienTalks with Jim Stone, the executive director of Circulate San Diego, about the recent announcement that the city will pursue a Vision Zero strategy for its transportation planning. Stone discusses the research and politics that happened behind the scene before this week’s announcement and what steps San Diego is taking to create a safe and livable city.

On Monday, the Mayor of San Diego, leaders of the City Council and the SDPD joined Stone to announce the city will create a Vision Zero plan for San Diego. Stone also presented a report by Circulate that details both the need for and some ideas to implement Vision Zero. I covered this story for Streetsblog California, earlier this week. For that story, click here. To read Circulate’s report, click here.

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.

 

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

Jun 10, 2015

Today, DamienTalks with Meea Kang, the founder of the Council of Infill Builders. Meea and I talk about A.B. 744, legislation that has cleared the Assembly that would remove minimum parking requirements for affordable housing near major transit hubs.

This is an interesting interview because Kang has an impressive array of stats and figures about how excessive parking damages neighborhoods and how, as we all know from reading Donald Shoup, the market does a better job determining parking needs of a community than heavy-handed zoning laws.

Also, for our dedicated fans, you can see why I spend more time listening than talking in these as I try to talk about similar legislation I covered a couple of years ago only to discover it is actually the same legislation.

If you’re just reading this introduction, and haven’t listened to the podcast, but want to help get this legislation passed or have some ideas about the legislation contact Lisa Engel (LISA.ENGEL@ASM.CA.GOV) at Assemblymember Ed Chau’s office.

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.

 

Thanks for listening. You can download the episode at the Damien Talks homepage on Libsyn.

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