“Parking and the City,” the recently published collection of more than 50 articles on parking and parking reform edited by Urban Planning’s Donald Shoup, continues to garner attention, including a review in Parking Today. “Reading a piece by Donald Shoup can be fun, but it will also force you to think about the subject,” writes John Van Horn. “This is a book those in the parking profession should read. It may not solve all of your problems, but it will get you to think about them from a different perspective.”
Brian Taylor, professor of urban planning and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin, is quoted in a New York Times story on the planned use of body scanners to boost security at transit stations entrances in Los Angeles. Taylor commented that a successful security system would help riders feel safer about personal crime while not interfering with their commutes. “Someone has to intervene, stop that person and check out what’s going on,” said Taylor about the technology, which is currently being tested in New York. “That causes delay and it also causes a sense of invasiveness among the passengers.”
Jim Newton, UCLA Luskin lecturer of public policy, commented in the Sacramento Bee’s California Influencer series. “The biggest environmental challenge facing California — and the world — is climate change,” said Newton, who was among experts in public policy, politics and government asked to address the question. “The particular aspect of this challenge for California is defending a solid consensus here against a reckless, anti-intellectual attack from Washington,” added Newton, who also founded and serves as editor-in-chief of the UCLA magazine Blueprint.
Anne E. Brown, MURP ’14 Ph.D. ’18, a researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at UCLA Luskin, authored a Los Angeles Times op-ed about L.A.’s taxi industry and discrimination against black riders. Comparing taxi service in Los Angeles with ridehail services such as Uber and Lyft, Brown writes, “when it comes to timeliness, technology, and – most troublingly – racial discrimination, taxis lag significantly behind their flashy new competitors.” Brown’s findings, published in her doctoral dissertation, come from her groundbreaking equity audit of ridehail and taxi services in the city that compared wait times and trip cancellation rates by race and ethnicity.
Jisung Park, assistant professor of public policy and environmental health sciences, was interviewed by the Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad about his research on the effects of heat on learning and test scores for students in the United States. Asked about the effect of climate change on productivity, Park said, “In a modern economy, schools are the places where the wealth of a nation is created. That is where the knowledge and the skill comes from.” Park suggested that countries with moderate climates, like the Netherlands, adopt heat policies as temperatures climb worldwide. “I think that is why we should be just as concerned about the environment in which a student learns as the environment in which a worker works.”
Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor of urban planning, authored an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times pondering whether L.A. should allow higher-density housing in single-family neighborhoods near rail transit stations. “Higher density will create more housing and increase transit ridership, but many homeowners view higher density as a bad neighbor,” writes Shoup, explaining that a minor zoning change — graduated density zoning — could bring major public benefits. Graduated density zoning allows for higher density, subject to limits, but also protects homeowners from unwanted development.
Luskin Urban Planning’s Michael Manville commented in a recent Boston Globe story on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s rejection of an attempt to alleviate the city’s traffic congestion through a toll discount for off-peak commuters. Baker sent a previously approved pilot provision back to the Legislature to conduct a new study of the growing problem. “Massachusetts is a natural place to try this,” said Manville, who grew up north of Boston. “It’s the kind of place that can be bold and do an experiment like this.”
Lecturer Jim Newton of UCLA Luskin Public Policy was interviewed on KPCC’s “Take Two” about police transparency, particularly police body camera footage released after a recent incident. Newton, who covered the LAPD during his 25-year career at the Los Angeles Times, said, “The new wrinkle here is audio and video obviously, but the tension between the department wanting to contain information and the public, principally the press, trying to seek that information certainly goes back at least to the early ’90s when I was covering the police department full time. … Now we’re coming up in this new technical iteration of it, which is the question of what to do with all this body camera footage that police are collecting and what to do with civilian footage and audio that people just have on their cellphones.”
Professor Michael Storper of UCLA Luskin Urban Planning speaks about the “contest for the heart and soul of the Bay Area” in a wide-ranging interview with Public Knowledge. Storper says the region’s rich history of social connectivity has underpinned its economic success. Now, in the face of rising inequality, “Silicon Valley capitalism must be more than about disrupting markets and daily life.” The Bay Area must draw on its “deep intellectual and humanistic traditions,” he said, “and let’s hope that it is the beginning of a new wave of balancing the advantages of the Information Age with a new public space.”
Juan Matute, deputy director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, commented in a story on the California Air Resources Board’s efforts to reduce daily driving, or vehicle miles traveled (VMT), as a way to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the state. “As electricity becomes cleaner, the proportion of total statewide [greenhouse gas] emissions from transportation is increasing,” Matute said in a story that originated with the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Cars have a long turn-over cycle, and our urban and regional design has an even longer time horizon for change.”
Mark S. Kaplan, professor of social welfare at UCLA Luskin, has researched suicide and written about it from several perspectives. He joined the Scholars’ Circle podcast to talk about some of the potential explanations for the recently reported increase in suicides in the United States. The interview is the first segment of the podcast.
Professor Brian Taylor of UCLA Luskin Urban Planning is quoted in a CNBC web story about Elon Musk’s Boring Company and its contract for a faster transportation link between busy downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport. The plan is opposed by many local transportation providers, including cab drivers whose ridership has declined significantly because of rideshare services. “It’s really not managing the problem. It’s just providing an alternative,” Taylor said. “It’s sort of like when you have an interesting breakthrough in the lab, which might take 10 years to complete.”
Research by Professor Laura Abrams of UCLA Luskin Social Welfare is mentioned in a story that originated with the Chronicle of Social Change and has been picked up by other media outlets, including the Appeal and the Press-Telegram. Senate Bill (SB) 439 would prevent the juvenile justice system from hearing most cases of children younger than age 12. “I think people have an assumption that juvenile court is potentially a helpful intervention for young children,” Abrams says in the story, which notes her analysis of state juvenile justice data. “But in most cases, the charges aren’t sustained or they’re dismissed, so the family doesn’t get any help at all.”
A study by R. Jisung Park, assistant professor of public policy, is cited in the online story that accompanies a recent NPR “Morning Edition” piece about the impact of hot weather on brain function. Compared with a 72-degree day, “taking an exam on a 90◦F day leads to a 10.9 percent lower likelihood of passing a particular subject (e.g. Algebra), which in turn affects probability of graduation,” according to Park. The same quote, plus additional information from the study, is included in a data-driven story by the Washington Post headlined, “Heat Makes You Dumb, in Four Charts.”
“Parking and the City,” a follow-up to Don Shoup’s 2005 publication, “The High Cost of Free Parking” was reviewed recently on the planning-related Planetizen website. “More than just providing an abridged version of ‘The High Cost of Free Parking,’ however, ‘Parking and the City’ passes the torch of parking reform to a new generation of academics, professional planners, and transportation engineers,” writes reviewer James Brasuell. Of the nearly 50 book contributors, 11 are former UCLA Luskin Urban Planning master’s and doctoral students. Meanwhile, other media outlets continue to cite Shoup’s research in stories about the subsidization of parking by cities, including a recent opinion piece by Bloomberg.
In an opinion piece for the political news website The Hill, UCLA Luskin’s Martin Gilens, professor of public policy, joins co-author Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University in proposing a set of reforms that would actually increase democratic responsiveness. They say their research indicates that the most important and most promising changes fall into five groups: 1. Give equal political voice to all citizens; 2. Curb the political power of money; 3. Democratize the electoral process; 4. Improve House and Senate representation of all citizens; 5. Overcome remaining sources of gridlock.