Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave his second State of the City address last night at Cal State Northridge, where he laid out a his vision for a safer, cleaner, app-ier, more drought-resistant Los Angeles. Details are scarce for all these big plans (he only had an hour, after all), but here are his five biggest announcements, from LAX rides to street trash:
1. Uber and Lyft at LAX
Unofficial, app-based cabs are banned from picking up people at the airport because LAX thoroughly regulates even official taxi pick-ups, but that of course hasn't stopped drivers from doing it anyway. Who knows if the mayor will settle the big issues like insurance liability and fair labor practices, but he is at least going to give the people what they want (cheap, convenient rides).
2. Enforce hotel taxes on Airbnbs to fund affordable housing
As the Los Angeles housing crisis continues, the mayor hopes to more thoroughly levy the hotel tax on Airbnb rentals (short-term rentals are subject to taxes already and some Airbnbers do pay), and the receipts would go into an affordable housing trust fund—the mayor has big plans for building more housing. Airbnb still seems cagey on this one ("[W]e're continuing to have productive conversations with officials in Los Angeles," per the LA Times), but cities including San Francisco and Malibu have recently struck tax deals with the tech company. No word in the speech, however, of better regulating Airbnbs, which have made things extra difficult in the regular LA rental market.
3. Data sharing between the city and navigation app Waze
The city and Waze will begin sharing data, giving the former solid info on traffic patterns and the latter realtime updates on street closures and city construction projects.
4. LA will meet half of the statewide goal for drought-resistant plants on its own
Governor Jerry Brown wants 50 million square feet of water-hungry turf replaced with drought-resistant landscaping. Los Angeles is poised to meet half of that goal—25 million square feet!—all on its own by the end of the year.
5. 5,000 New Trashcans!
An easily-forgotten issue, but one that will make an enormous difference in the pedestrian experience across the city. LA just doesn't have enough trash cans, and that means litter on the street. LA's 5,000 new cans, to be installed over the next four years, will go a long way toward keeping the streets clean. —Ian Grant
· UberX and Lyft Are Banned at LAX, But That's Not Stopping Them [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles's Big Plan For Pulling Out of Its Housing Crisis [Curbed LA]
· Westsiders Freaking That People Are Driving By Their Houses [Curbed LA]