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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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damientalks's podcast
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Now displaying: 2020
Mar 24, 2020

This week, SGV Connect continues our coverage of the Coronavirus and our regional response.

First, Kris speaks with Laura Raymond of ACT-LA and Jessica Meaney of Investing in Place about transit agencies' (especially Metro) response to the Coronavirus. Like many groups and organizations, transit agencies find themselves learning as they go along and trying their hardest to react to and learn from what other agencies are doing. The role of advocates, to point out some things the agencies may be missing can help save lives.

In the interview, they discuss a letter sent by ACT-LA and Investing in Place for things agencies should be doing to protect riders and drivers. That letter can be read, here.

In our second interview, Damien talks with Eli Kaufman, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition about how people can stay healthy and safe while bicycling during the "Safe at Home." The conversation swerves into a discussion of the River Ride (get up to date information, here) and what we, as a society, can learn from our time sheltering in place.

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

Mar 14, 2020

Following Damien's interview with Foothill Transit earlier today, Kris speaks with Rick Jager at L.A. Metro about the region's flagship transit agency's response to the Coronavirus.

As we heard with Foothill Transit, Metro is working to transit clean and service running on time. There has been no talk of discontinuing or modifying service, although things remain fluid.

Metro holds dozens of public meetings every month, but those are on hold for now as well. Cancellations include meetings for the NextGen bus reorganization, although you can still provide feedback online. Metro has also cancelled all events at Union Station for 30 days.

To keep up to date on any changes, be sure to follow Metro on Twitter or check their newsblog The Source.

Mar 13, 2020

Earlier today, I spoke with Felicia Friesema, a spokesperson with Foothill Transit about the agencies response to the Corona Virus. As you will hear, the agency has been proactive and plans to continue service to those who need it while maintaining as clean an atmosphere as possible to slow the spread.

She also stresses that things are extremely fluid, and that passengers should double check that there has not been a change in service during this crisis. Riders can get more details at the Foothill Transit website, a special "Footnotes" page setup for Corona Virus update, or join one of their battery of social media outlets that can be found on their webpage. A special link to sign-up for email updates can be found at the bottom left corner of the webpage.

Kris Fortin is completing an interview with Metro later today similar to the one above. When it is posted, we will update this post with more information.

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

Feb 28, 2020

This week, SGV Connect checks in with two old friends about two of our favorite projects in the pipeline: The Gold Line Foothill Extension's next phase and the Puente Greenway Project.

First, Damien speaks with Albert Ho, a spokesperson for the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. In advance of outreach meetings in Glendora, La Verne, Pomona and San Dimas in the next couple of weeks. The outreach meetings will include information on the stations that will be built in each city, the construction schedule and a chance to meet the artists who will be customizing each of the stations.

For more information, visit the meeting announcement, here.

Second Kris speaks with David Diaz, the executive director of Active SGV about progress made on the Puente Greenway Project. Diaz gives us an update on where the project is in the pipeline and what progress has been made since we last checked in last July

Also, a quick note...Ho and I joke about how he has "caught back up" to David Diaz for "most appearances on the show." When we recorded this interview, we didn't know that our other interview was going to be with Diaz.

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

Feb 7, 2020

Metro is conducting outreach on two programs that could dramatically change the way people move about the San Gabriel Valley and all of L.A. County: the Metro Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 and the Next Gen Bus Plan.

The last of the outreach meetings for the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 is tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, from 10 to noon at the Ark Montebello (details). To get you all the details about the ways the Gold Line might grow, Kris interviews four members of the outreach team: David Mieger, Jenny Cristales-Cevallos, Lauren Cencic and Lillian De Loza.

If you can't make the meeting, but want to learn more about the project and options being considered, visit the official website, here.

Metro is also holding meetings for its Next Gen Bus Study that will revamp the way the agency schedules and manages its gigantic bus fleet. After their initial outreach last year, Metro is holding meetings on proposed changes throughout the entire county, including a meeting at the El Monte Bus Station Monday night. Damien gets the rundown with Stephen Yu, the Director of Service Planning at Metro.

For a full list of meetings, click here. For more on the Next Gen Plan, click here.

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.
Jan 21, 2020

After a holiday break and a look-ahead episode, SGV Connect returns to its regularly scheduled programming: looking at the issues and programs that impact the present and future of the San Gabriel Valley.

First, Kris Fortin talks to Kome Ajise, the executive director of the Silicon Valley Association of Governments. The two discuss the Multimodal Regional Corridor Plan for Arrow Highway and how people can get involved in the plan to make a car-centric freeway more appealing to road users who aren't traveling by car.

To leave comments for the project, visit their official website. Comments are due by the end of the month.

The two also discuss "Connect SoCal" the long range plan SCAG is developing that will guide planning for housing, transportation, planning and public health within the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.

For more information, or to submit comments on the plan, visit SCAG's website

Later, Damien speaks with Joe Linton, the editor of Streetsblog Los Angeles about a discussion happening in Pasadena around transportation planning. In 2014, the city changed how it reviews transportation projects from the car-centric Level of Service to a more people-centered metric called "Vehicle Miles Traveled." When the city council asked for a report on how the change is impacting the city, local media reacted by implying that the city might be backing away from the metric. 

Linton explains that changing back to LOS is no longer possible under state law, however Pasadena can tinker with its goals and projections, something that some Council members seem keen on doing.

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.
Jan 14, 2020

Welcome to the first episode of SGV Connect in 2020! This week's episode features Francisco Ojeda of Active SGV and Melanie Curry of Streetsblog California discussing the big stories of 2019 and what we can look forward to in 2020.

First, Kris Fortin interviews Ojeda with Active SGV. The two discuss a wide range of issues that Active SGV is engaged with, including its roots in bike advocacy but also a wider discussion of climate change and social justice.

After that, Damien Newton and Curry discuss some of the big stories of 2019 and how they will bridge into the issues of 2020. Of course, there's a long discussion of how we measure transportation impacts in the state, but also super-commutes and S.B. 50. (Note: the conversation between Newton and Curry happened before Senator Weiner reintroduced S.B. 50).

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 episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.
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