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SGV Connect

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 Kris Fortin. This feed also hosts SGV Connect's predecessor podcast, #DamienTalks.
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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 19, 2020

This week, SGV Connect talks to government executives that are overseeing some of L.A. County's largest departments as they respond to COVID-19 and do long-term planning for the future.

First, Kris talks to Norma Garcia, the Acting Director of the L.A. County Department of Parks. Fortin and Garcia discuss the county's plans to continue to re-open public space, should the numbers support greater openings, and the experience inside of the re-opened parks and trails last weekend. So far, things seem to be going pretty well. Fingers crossed that the numbers stay low.

Next, Damien talks to Kome Ajise, the executive director of the mammoth Southern California Association of Governments, the regional planning organization for the nine county Southern California region. A little under two weeks ago, SCAG approved it's long-term plan for the region, a document that helps guide development in large cities and small municipalities throughout the region. Efforts were made to change language in the plan around density, citing how overcrowding is partially responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in some cities. However, Ajise and the SCAG staff resisted, and he eloquently describes the difference between density and overcrowding in the interview. That section of the plan remains unchanged from the draft in the fall.

During what is usually a short between-interview segment, Damien asked Kris his take on the SCAG plan. Kris had been engaged with SCAG on behalf of Santa Ana Active Streets, and he surprised Damien with a nearly ten-minute detailed answer. It's as though we had three interviews this week.

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.

May 9, 2020

This week, SGV Connect goes macro and micro with a look at the just started public process on the county's water plan and studies why Pasadena is resisting the call to eliminate pedestrian crossing buttons before allowing people to legally cross the street at most intersections.

Kris spoke with Matt Frary, Acting Principal Engieneer at Los Angeles County Public Works, about the County Water Plan. The board of supervisors decided at last week’s meeting to hire a consultant to develop the plan by 2021.

This plan would try to create a regional approach to water resource management. It would be a practical, policy document, that would help to articulate a shared vision with the more than 200+ water agencies in the County. Frary said.

For folks in the SGV who want to get involved with the development of the County Water Plan, or actions taken as part of the Safe Clean Water Program, there are 3 dedicated Steering Committees focused on this topic.  Each committee is comprised of 17 committee members, five of which are community stakeholders and at least one watershed coordinator to help facilitate additional involvement.  The three committees are as follow:

  1. Upper San Gabriel River Watershed Area Steering Committee
  2. Lower San Gabriel Watershed Area Steering Committee
  3. Rio Hondo Watershed Area Steering Committee

Second, Damien speaks with Misch Anderson, an advocate for safer transportation options in Pasadena. Anderson has been vocal about the city's response to COVID-19, criticizing the city in Colorado Boulevard (not once, but twice) for not turning off the "Beg Buttons" that need pressing before one crosses the street.

Damien and Misch discuss Pasadena's login in not following the example of Los Angeles and other peer cities and make the case that once the buttons are turned off, they should never be turned back on.

Last, we have a programming note on the expanded SGV Connect we announced in last week's podcast. Future podcasts and articles that are written as part of our agreement with Foothill Transit will have a place to signup for the new SGV Connect Newsletter. We're going to launch the newsletter in two weeks, May 22, and we hope to have hundreds of you joining us.

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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