District Digest Header
Home | About | Join
In This Issue
Board of Directors
Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Vice President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association
Maggie Campbell
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Blage Zelalich
City of San Jose
At-Large Directors
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Byron Best
Walnut Creek Downtown
Jessica Lall
Central City Association
Joseph Mariani
Hollywood Entertainment District BID
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
Liz Studebaker
City of San Diego
Dominic Tartaglia
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Immediate Past President
Kent Smith
LA Fashion District 

Submit News
Have a news story or a project you'd like to highlight in the CDA  District Digest?

CDA Members
Arlington Business Partnership
Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
City of Citrus  Heights 
City of Dana Point
City of Folsom
City of Glendora
City of Lancaster
City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Clerk
City of Monterey Park
City of Ontario
City of Temple City
City of Tracy
County of Santa Cruz - Office of Economic Development
Dinuba Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Long Beach Associates
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Oxnard Merchants Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
Downtown San Mateo Association
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Ironsmith, Inc.
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
MJM Management Group
North Tahoe Business Association
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
South Park BID
The Downtown Burbank Partnership
The Placemaking Group
The River District
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Ukiah Main Street Program
Union Square BID
Urban Place Consulting Group, Inc.
Vista Village Business Association
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Wilshire Center Business Improvement District
July 2017
Road Work Ahead: Speculation on the Uncertainty of Mobility and Transportation

Earlier this year, at the West Coast Urban District Forum in Downtown Long Beach, Gabe Klein asserted " There are no transportation problems - only land use problems." To a large degree, the economic viability and sustainability of our downtown districts are inextricably linked to how accessible they are. This has always been the case, but we are long past the day where the B.I.D.'s approach to access is simply advocating for more parking spaces.

As placemakers, we now understand that the way our cities and transportation systems have been designed are not economically or environmentally sustainable, and are arguably just insane. We cannot support more congestion. Yet, we have a long history of retailers depending on having reliable, accessible and affordable parking.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the future is uncertain. It is, however, fairly certain that there will be some major changes in transportation and mobility in the very near future. The rapid advancement of autonomous vehicles promises to disrupt how we move ourselves around, how we use our roads and how we park. Other technological advancements like freight drones and 3D printing will undoubtedly alter the transportation of goods (a trillion dollar industry) which will have an impact in our districts. Exactly how and when, these changes will happen and how our cities will adapt is highly speculative. What infrastructure investments make sense today? How do we plan for this uncertainty and at what cost?

A very important, and often overlooked part of planning, is to plan on being wrong. This is especially important when planning very expensive transportation infrastructure projects that are intended to last for generations. It's fair to say that as far as planning transportation projects is concerned, we generally don't have a great track record.

Scenario planning is a growing model of projecting numerous future possibilities and informing the decision-making process, not by predicting the future, but by understanding many possible futures. This can inform policies that both respond to and affect the outcomes, while encouraging planning for a flexible future potentially saving millions of dollars.

Finally, it is important to remember that mobility is not the goal. Every transportation system in recorded history was developed to provide access. We mustn't separate transportation planning from land use planning and communications planning. It is also important to remember that considering transportation of goods in our planning process can be as important as, or even more important than, transportation of people. A successful downtown district is one that provides access - access to opportunities, access to goods and services, access to entertainment and culture and access to community. Access is the goal, mobility is a strategy.

Global economics, federal policy, energy costs, political winds, technological innovations and so many other variables will all have a determining role as to the future of mobility and transportation. It's likely, however, that the biggest and most important variable is leadership. As a community of California downtown management organizations, we are uniquely poised, collectively and individually in our own communities, not only to be on the forefront of responding to the imminent changes in transportation, but to significantly shape the policies and directions that will provide effective access to our downtowns and inform the future of transportation. 

Executive Director
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz



AB 1479 (Bonta, D-Oakland) - Civil Liability, Public Records Request Act
The bill would require any public agency to designate a person/persons to act as an agency's custodian of records who would be responsible for responding to any request made pursuant to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Furthermore, the bill allows a court to assess a civil penalty against any agency in the amount of not less than $1,000 to nor more than $5,000, which shall be awarded to the requester, if the court found that an agency knowingly and willfully without substantial justification, failed to respond to the PRA request.

Although recent amendments have improved the bill, the civil liability provisions would still apply to private non-profit organizations which would place extraordinary financial burdens to our Property Business Improvement Districts (PBIDs) that adhere to the Public Records Request Act. The inclusion of a civil penalty provision creates a real economic incentive for those that abuse the Act to seek not only the penalty, but to also seek attorney's fees and court costs. This provision poses a serious threat to the viability of our PBIDs - particularly our smallest members. The California Downtown Association is "opposed unless amended" to restrict the application of the bill to only governmental agencies.

AB 1479 was approved, as amended, in the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 11, and will be heard again in late August when the Legislature returns from summer recess. CDA's advocacy efforts will be seeking amendments that protect PBIDs in California.


SB 611 (Hill, D-San Mateo) - Reforms to the Disabled Parking Placard Program
This bill will implement recommendations of the California State Auditor that are designed to improve oversight of disabled driver placards and plates that enable users to park in more accessible spaces and park free at meters without time limits. Specifically, the bill will, a. require DMV to conduct quarterly audits of applications and work with state health boards in analyzing applications to ensure that information is accurate, b. require DMV to use the Social Security Administration's Death Master File to cancel placards whose permit holders have died, c. require all permanent placard holders (not license plate holders) to reapply every 6 years, d. require applicants to provide proof of their name and DOB through driver's license or birth certificate, e. limit replacement cards per person to 4 every 2 years. The bill has been approved by the Assembly policy committee and will be heard in the Assembly fiscal committee in late August.

SB 2 (Atkins, D-San Diego) - Affordable Housing
The bill would enact the "Building Homes and Jobs Act" and impose a fee of $75, not to exceed $225 per transaction, at the time of recording of specified real estate documents in order to generate approximately $200-$300m annually to fund affordable housing projects. Funds would be deposited in the Housing & Community Development's Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund to support eligible affordable housing projects. The bill was approved by the Senate and now heads to the Assembly where it will be heard in policy committee in August.

AB 56 (Holden, D-Pasadena) - Infrastructure Financing
The IBank is authorized to fund and assist in a variety of projects that help spur economic development. However, the IBank is prohibited from funding housing directly, thus local governments and private developers can run into problems if funds are used to fund housing. AB 56 addresses a "grey area" and clarifies the types of infrastructure-related projects that can be funded by the IBank. Specifically, the bill adds "housing-related infrastructure" to the types of projects under the "public development facilities" definition that could utilize IBank funding - infrastructure like city streets, drainage, water supply, flood control, environmental mitigation measures, power and communications, public transit, sewage treatment and water treatment. Completion of these "public development facilities" are needed in order to incentivize transit-oriented development projects that are so critical to fostering development, growth and revitalization of California's urban regions. The bill has been approved by the Assembly and is now eligible to be taken up on the Senate Floor.

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
July 2017 Legislative Update 

Metro Bike Share Expands to Pasadena
This morning, the city of Pasadena celebrated the arrival of Metro Bike Share. In the city of Pasadena the system includes 375...
Sacramento, Emerging from Bay Area's Shadow, Becoming Booming Urban Alternative
A once-sleepy state capital is now the state's fastest-growing big city.
L.A. Metro Takes Multi-Pronged Approach to Improving Aging Blue Line
The Architects Newspaper
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMTA) is working toward making a series of modest but necessary...

Cambodia Town Blooms with Many Murals
Art has the power to ignite imaginations, evoke emotions and spark creativity.

Vibrant Neighborhoods Create Energetic Business Climate
It's very apparent that Oakland is not the same city it was a generation ago.

LimeBike Bike Sharing Program Coming to Lake Tahoe's South Shore
Tahoe Daily Tribune
Want to avoid traffic and bike to lunch instead? There's an app for that.

What Killed Single-Payer in California?
New Republic
If single-payer can't pass with Democratic super-majorities in the Golden State, that raises serious questions about any national effort.

The Disappearing Roadside Motel
In 1939, when John Steinbeck imagined Highway 66 as "The Road of Flight," he evoked the crushing realities of Depression-era migrants...

Council Votes to Form Paso Robles Tourism Improvement District
Paso Robles Daily News
At the most recent Paso Robles City Council meeting, the council voted to form the Paso Robles Tourism Improvement District.

Downtown Chico Property and Business Improvement District Approved
Property owners approved the Downtown Chico Property and Business Improvement District with a majority vote.

Strategies for San Francisco's Second Biggest Park
"How many of you have been to McLaren Park?" asked Dawn Kamalanathan of San Francisco Recreation and Parks...

Art Lovers can Swarm to New Bumblebee Installation Downtown
Santa Monica Daily Press
Bumblebee's Santa Monica family is growing with a temporary art installation on Colorado near the former Sears building.

A Spreading 'Yimby' Movement
The New York Times
It's like Woodstock, but for housing activists. 

A Generational Failure: As the U.S. Fantasizes, the Rest of the World Builds a New Transport System
The Transport Politic
Tomorrow, two high-speed rail lines open in France, providing new corridors for trains to slice through the countryside at 200 mph.

Giving Away TIGER and Transit Money to Wall Street
The Overheard Wire / Talking Headways Podcast
This week Beth Osborne of T4America and Kevin DeGood of The Center for American Progress join us to discuss infrastructure and...

Over 25 Breakout Sessions have been posted on the IDA Annual Conference & Tradeshow website. Sessions including CDA Members are:    Calculating the Value of US Downtowns and Center Cities , featuring  Steve Welliver , Deputy Chief Executive, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and  NIMBYs, Elites and Socialists, Oh My!: How Downtown Organizations are Navigating New Political Turbulence featuring  John Caner, CEO, Downtown Berkeley Association. Learn more about their sessions and other Conference highlights by clicking here.

Is your entire staff reading this newsletter?
Please forward to your team and ask them to  sign up!

Spread the Word

CDA District Digest Leadership

Executive Editor:
Karin Flood
President, CDA
Allison Shashok
Marketing & Communications Manager, IDA

Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region?
To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact Allison Shashok at [email protected].