Zwartz Talk

How Mobility Plan 2035 Harms The Environment

Mobility Plan 2035 Ignores The Adverse Environmental Impact that It Will have on the Environment

Wall of America

by Scott Zwartz

September 12, 2015

.     The petition which HELP & CCLA filed on Thursday, September 10, 2015 makes the major charge that MP 2035 violates CEQA by concealing the significant harm it does to the environment.  HELP CCLA v City of LA re MP 2035  While The City claims that MP 2035 is concerned about the impact of Climate Change, those representations are false. The City pretends that the only solutions are to ride bicycles and walk.

.   If The City’s claim were made in 1950, it might have some truth, but the year is 2015, and it is no longer true.  The newest mode of Transportation is Virtual Presence. Cisco has named its version TelePresence©.  Jimmy Kimmel calls his Virtual Presence “The Wall of America.”

.   Before we provide hyper-links to HELP’s and CCLA’s comments on Virtual Presence, you should realize why The City excluded Virtual Presence from MP 2035.  The purpose of MP 2035 is not to improve Los Angeles’s transportation system, but to create a specific type of mass transit which is designed for Transit Oriented Districts [TODs] and population dense mixed-use projects.  In other words, MP 2035’s one objective is to increase the population density of Los Angeles in certain specific areas where the real estate speculators have purchased land.

.    Virtual Presence, however, destroys these land values.  Thus, the billionaires who own City Hall do not want the public to learn about Virtual Presence.  Once knowledge of Virtual Presence becomes widespread, the public will not authorize one more cent on subways.  Without subways, there can be no TODs and there will be no more mixed use projects.

.   In one letter HELP and CCLA explained to The City.

Virtual Presence (VP) is a form of Transportation which has been officially recognized both by the federal government and Los Angeles County. VP is the marriage of Telecommuting and Social Networking made possible by the technological advances in the last two decades. The improved technology allows for two-way visual and oral communication on life size monitors. With the 3-D monitors along with the ability for multi-way televised communication between people miles apart, Virtual Presence is a form of transportation which the EIR may not legally ignore.

The 1993 City of Los Angeles Telecommuting Project (copy submitted herewith) identified and discussed in detail the transportation alternative of Telecommuting. Mayor Bradley commissioned the study in 1989 and the project was run during 1992 and the Study was published in 1993. Thus, the drafters of the DEIR had to be aware of the efficacy of this form of transportation, yet the DEIR fails to consider it. Furthermore, the federal government has published since 2002 (Annual Status of Telework in the Federal Government).

Because Virtual Presence is not confined to the workplace, but is becoming part of social networking, VP will be used for a significantly larger share of transportation in the upcoming years. The vastly enhanced technology makes extended family interactions over a few miles or over thousands of miles far more feasible than a few years ago.

While a lot of VP will be used for national and international socialization, it works just as well within an urban area. The speed of VP is one feature that is making it the preferred mode of transportation.

Right now all the studies show that productivity goes up with more telework. To what extent that is due to being out from beneath the boss’ thumb is not known. Nonetheless, VP does allow the manager to confer one employee or simultaneously with several employees in different departments in different locations for 5 or 10 minutes and then everyone goes back to their projects.

The efficacy of VP as a form of transportation will only increase with technological improvements. No other form of transportation allows people to be in Westwood as quickly they are in Singapore or to be in both Singapore and Westwood simultaneously.

Because the Telecommuting is a viable Alternative form of transportation, Virtual Presence in 2015 is a viable Alternative Transportation which may not be excluded from the CEQA Range of Reasonable Alternatives. As the 1993 Study noted, traffic congestion and need for office space was reduced by 30% – based on 1992 technology.

As will be seen, Virtual Presence satisfies many of the transportation goals of The Mobility Plan 2035 with no adverse environmental impact and with no drain on tax dollars and without the eminent domaining of a single piece of property. VP requires no underground easements beneath private property, nor does it require higher housing density to be cost-effective. It does not cause pollution or bring people into more contact with polluted air as do VENs and BENs.

.   On August 1, 2015, HELP and CCLA submitted a much longer explanation of Virtual Presence.  The City ignored it.  HELP’s & CCLA’s Comment on Virtual Presence

.   As one can see, Virtual Presence is the most climate friendly component of transportation. Not only will including Virtual Presence in MP 2035 save the City at least a billion dollars in infrastructure construction, being first in Virtual Presence brings modern technological innovations not only back to American, but back to Los Angeles.  As all the national demographic studies have proven, Garcetti’s tenure as City Council President and now as Mayor has been a disaster in bringing new business to Los Angeles.  What employer want to come to a city that is looking backwards to the 19th Century with choo choo trains and crowded urban cores?

.   Virtual Presence not only makes Los Angeles more employer friendly by clearing our streets and freeways of at least 30% of the traffic, it allows people to use streets and freeways at non rush house times.  As the HELP – CCLA comment shows, Virtual Presence is the only transportation system which allows one to go from Brentwood to Paris as fast as they go to Van Nuys.  Try riding a bike or walking to Paris; try riding or walking to Van Nuys.  I bet you cannot make it in one second.  Virtual Presence does.

.   Garcetti, The City Council, and the developers want none of the benefits of Virtual Presence for one reason.  They are tied to 19th and 20th Century technologies.  Virtual Presence will result in the dispersal of population far from DTLA, far from Century City, far from Westwood.  The dispersal of the population means economic ruin for the wealthy campaign supporters of Garcetti and the City Council.   The wealth of CIM Group, for example, is based upon increasing the population density of Hollywood to about 66,000 people per square mile.  Virtual Presence will most likely reduce the population density by 30%.

.   The future is coming. The only question is how fast it will get here.  If we implement MP 2035, it will take a long time to arrive.  Instead, the center of Virtual Presence technology and manufacturing will NOT in be Los Angeles, but will be in China or India.  As the saying goes: You Snooze, You Lose.

You Snooze, you loose


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