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A.M. Brief: Congestion Pricing Considered For L.A. Roadways

February 10, 2021 by Brian Champlin
Traffic in L.A. on the 101
Typical day-time traffic on the 101 moving through DTLA. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Are you ready to pay for the privilege of driving at rush hour? A new pilot program is coming later this decade. Also this morning: A teacher vaccination dilemma, the L.A. County Fair is cancelled (again), and an earthquake strikes SoCal on the 50th anniversary of Sylmar’s big one. It’s Wednesday. Here is your news brief. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

Congestion pricing on L.A. roads? On Tuesday, Metro announced a new pilot program that aims to implement the idea on at least one highly trafficked corridor by 2025. Officials are currently examining areas for the pilot test, including several portions of road and/or freeway adjacent to downtown L.A. and another area near the Santa Monica Mountains between Interstates 405 and 5. Joshua Schank, chief innovation officer for Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation, called congestion pricing “a very powerful tool” that has not been tested on L.A.’s roads. [Spectrum 1]

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Based on state reopening guidelines, steadily shrinking COVID-19 case counts may make elementary schools technically eligible to resume in-person learning in the near future. Only problem? Even as schools approach the threshold to reopen, teachers haven’t been vaccinated and may not be phased into vaccine distribution for several weeks. Complete vaccination of LAUSD’s teaching staff could take months. [L.A.Times]

For the second year in a row, the L.A. County Fair is canceled, organizers said Tuesday. The ongoing uncertainty over COVID-19, including the possibility of emerging new strains, prevented planning efforts. Hope remains for a “smaller celebration,” but no details have been released yet. [NBC Los Angeles]

50 years to the day after the tragic Sylmar Earthquake, SoCal got a shaky reminder in the form of a 3.8 trembler just southeast of the Salton Sea. More than a dozen smaller aftershocks were measured later in the day, an earthquake swarm pattern that has previously been observed in the area. [ABC 7]

The J. Paul Getty Trust, in collaboration with the California Community Foundation, will administer a new $38.5 million L.A. Arts Recovery Fund to aid arts nonprofits in Los Angele and across the country that have faced financial hardship due to the pandemic. The Getty previously created a $10 million COVID-19 relief fund for small and mid-size museums this past April. [L.A. Times]

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