Stepping Up L.A.’s Plan for Safer Streets

Urban Planning chair Michael Manville spoke to Bloomberg CityLab about the passage of a ballot measure aimed at speeding up the addition of hundreds of miles of bike and bus lanes, as well as wider sidewalks, on Los Angeles streets. The vote on Measure HLA served as a referendum on pedestrian and bicyclist safety and revealed frustration at the city’s slow pace of implementing a mobility plan adopted in 2015. “Hopefully, what this does is it lights a fire under the city to take seriously its own law that has been in effect for quite a while,” Manville said. The story also cited Jiaqi Ma, faculty associate director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and director of the UCLA Mobility Lab. “Unintended consequences need to be considered,” including potential increases in congestion, emissions and freeway traffic, Ma said, but he called the measure’s passage a “good step.”


$7.5 Million Federal Grant to Establish Mobility Center of Excellence at UCLA

The Federal Highway Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, has awarded a five-year, $7.5 million grant to establish the Center of Excellence on New Mobility and Automated Vehicles. The award will support research on the impacts of new mobility technologies on the evolving transportation system when deployed at scale. “Digital connectivity, automation and electrification have dramatically changed the way we transport, both in terms of how people travel and how goods are delivered,” said Jiaqi Ma, who will direct the new center. “We will study the impacts of these new technologies and how they can be better leveraged to improve equitable access to transportation and job participation.” Ma is faculty associate director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, where he leads the New Mobility program area. He is also an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, where the new center will be based. Scheduled to launch in November, the Mobility Center of Excellence, as it will be informally known, will assess the anticipated long-term impact of new mobility technologies and services on land use, real estate and urban design; transportation system optimization including resilience, security and reliability; equitable access to mobility and job participation; and the cost-effective allocation of public resources. The center will include researchers from UCLA Samueli, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, along with other universities and government and nonprofit groups.

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