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Talking Headways Podcast: Remaking California Transportation

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This week on Talking Headways I’m joined by a big roster of guests to talk able about California’s climate legislation and how it will change transportation policy.

Lauren Michelle of Policy in Motion and Kate White, Deputy Secretary for Environmental and Housing at the California State Transportation Agency, give us the lay of the land when it comes to California’s emissions laws and the state’s array of transportation agencies.

Caltrans Sustainability Director Steve Cliff discusses what sustainability means and how it gets misconstrued as just an issue of environmental stewardship. And Eric Sundquist of SSTI also joins us to talk about how Caltrans will reorganize itself to shift its approach to transportation policy.

The last segment touches on funding and what revenue from California’s cap-and-trade system will mean for transportation. Fred Dock, transportation director for the City of Pasadena, guides us through how his city will be able to access funds by thinking outside the box.

Tune in and hear all about how California is turning the ship around — it’s exciting to think about the bright future ahead for the largest state in the nation.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Indexing Livability for All Ages

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This week we chat with Rodney Harrell of the AARP Public Policy Institute about their new Livability Index Tool. I ask him who the tool was created for and tell him why it should be regarded as more than just magazine clickbait. We talk about the robust policy tools that were included for each section and how the data was collected and at what geographic scale.

We also have a chat about the neighborhood scores and what disappointed us about our neighborhood ratings. Rodney discusses how he’s already used the index to promote investment in his neighborhood and how other neighborhoods around the country are using it too. Finally we discuss which cities surprise him and get into a quick chat about Twitter use among policy wonks and why people who have to take care of family members later in life are more likely to be aware of livability issues.

Join us for a fun data driven conversation.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Missions of San Antonio

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This week we’re joined by Trish Wallace and Jillian Harris, transportation planners at the City of San Antonio. Tune in and hear about the history of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the city’s bike master plan, and the inner workings of the SATomorrow Plan.

Our discussion of San Antonio’s growth leads us to all sorts of Texas planning quirks like extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and municipal utility districts (MUDs). And we dig into the amazing public involvement they’ve gotten for SATomorrow, and why San Antonio is a city on a mission.

For more Talking Headways, you can find us on iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe directly.

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The Subduction Zone(ing), or [Tectonic] Platers Gonna Plate

This week we have Talking Headways alum Tanya Snyder back on the podcast to talk about a few things that were in the news over the last few weeks.

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We talk about all the new streets babies that have been born recently which leads to a discussion about living in cities with kids. We also ponder why people are writing articles about leaving cities like London and Los Angeles.

Traveling to the Pacific Northwest we discuss Seattle’s new Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). We talk about single family zoning in the report as well as changes to parking restrictions. We also discuss the recent New Yorker article on the Cascadia Subduction Zone and how wherever you live in the United States you have to deal with natural disasters.

Join us for a fun discussion on Talking Headways.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Freeway That Never Was  

This week we’re talking with Brendan Wittstruck about St. Louis’s never built freeway, I-755, which he recently wrote about at Streetsblog member NextSTL.

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Brendan discusses the history of the project and how drawing lines on maps can be seductive to planners, who always have to be careful about trying to “fix” cities. He also talks about the racial politics of freeway construction in St. Louis, and how that legacy still shapes the city today. Finally, we chat about what the I-755 story means for freeway teardown movements today in terms of data collection and why this freeway never saw the light of day.

Join us and hear about the teardown that never had to happen, and the freeway that was never built.

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Talking Headways Podcast: High-Speed Rail Lessons from France and Germany

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In France, the high-speed rail system is designed to provide the fastest possible connections to a single city, Paris, while in Germany the rail network has more connections but slower trips. Graphic: Eric Eidlin

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This week we’re joined by Eric Eidlin, a community planner and sustainability lead at the Federal Transit Administration. Over the last few years Eric has also been studying high-speed rail in Germany and France as a fellow with the German Marshall Fund. He recently published a report, “Making the Most of High-Speed Rail in California: Lessons from France and Germany.”

Eric discusses the differences between the French and German systems and what we can learn from each. He delves into the importance of station location, land uses for station areas, integrating walking and biking with stations, and having a 50-year view of planning these projects. And of course, you won’t want to miss lessons for California’s planned system going forward.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Stitcher if you want to subscribe directly.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Building Relationships to Build a Better City

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This week’s guest is Janne Flisrand, an independent consultant and writer at Streets.mn. In her work as a “network weaver,” Janne thinks about how to elevate different voices and make sure everyone in a movement has a place to share their expertise and opinions.

In this episode we talk about the importance of relationships in cities — between neighbors and between elected officials and citizens. Janne shares her thoughts about why people feel a bit powerless to engage in city issues, even if it’s on their own street, and the numerous community meetings on so many different issues that make it hard for even the most dedicated people to participate.

You can find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Charlotte’s Urban Web

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Mary Newsom of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute joins me this week to discuss everything Charlotte, from its beginnings as a crossroads of Native American pathways to its current incarnation as a fast-growing metropolis. The enormous growth of the region, she says, includes a recent surge of suburban subdivisions that were lying in wait during the recession.

Transit is expanding in Charlotte, but the city also just finished a loop highway it began building decades ago, and the street network is not so conducive to urban growth. Tune in and learn all about it, and hear what prompted Mary to get into urban issues.

And don’t forget! You can find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Sharing Economy, Robots, and You

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On this week’s podcast, Brooks Rainwater, director of the National League of Cities City Solutions and Applied Research Center, tells us about their new report, Shifting Perceptions of Collaborative Consumption, which gauges perceptions of city leaders on the sharing economy. What is the “sharing economy,” actually, and are companies like Uber and Lyft really a part of it? Hear what Brooks has to say.

Brooks also shares his insight into the biggest issues cities have with the sharing economy, what they need to do in order to get it right for their residents, and the worker rights issues that are arising in this space.

We also get a bit tongue-in-cheek about automation and the coming of the singularity. Will robots take over our jobs in this sharing economy? Perhaps that’s far off, but we’re watching closely.

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Talking Headways Podcast: St. Louis Is Awesome! You Just Don’t Realize It

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This week we’re joined by Tara Pham, a San Francisco native who took her talents to St. Louis for college and stuck around. She talks about her company CTY, which creates tools for tracking local data, and how living in St. Louis and the perception of neighborhoods led her and her friends to the idea of counting people, not cars.

“We don’t measure people on foot or on bicycle,” she says. “The assumption is that if we don’t have data for it, they must not be there. And that’s just not true.”

Tara says Mayor Francis Slay is appointing more young people in his cabinet who are thinking about civic innovation and how small fixes can address big problems. Hear what she has to say about how innovation doesn’t always have to do with technology, and find out what the deal is with Sloup, the monthly community meal where new ideas get crowdfunded.