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It's official: We're a franchise.

The Open Planning Project is proud to announce the launch of Streetsblog Los Angeles, our first new edition beyond the borders of the five boroughs.

LA.Streetsblog is edited and run by Damien Newton, formerly the New Jersey Coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and a recent LA transplant. With his New Jersey experience, Damien is well versed in the policies, politics and problems of suburban sprawl. He's also got a pretty good sense of the solutions. New Jersey, it so happens, is fortunate to have one of the most progressive State Departments of Transportation in the nation. Thanks to people like Gary Toth, currently working for Project for Public Spaces, New Jersey is way ahead when it comes to smart growth, context-sensitive design and viewing transportation policy as something more than just a way to move cars and trucks. 

You'll probably notice that LA.Streetsblog's archives go back a few months. Damien actually started blogging back in October as Street Heat LA. In just a few short months Damien has done a great job of networking and making himself a meaningful part of the local transportation policy scene out there. In the coming months, as the 2009 federal transportation funding campaign heats up, we expect LA.Streetsblog to emerge an important part of the push for sustainable transport, smart growth and livable streets policies on the federal level.

In the meantime, if you know anyone out on the west coast who is interested in these issues, point them Damien's way and wish him good luck in his new job. In his own words:

For this blog to work, I'm going to need your help with story ideas,comments and events... Ifyou see or hear something you think I should write about, let me know!Even if I can't make the event, I can at least put it in the calendarsection or even solicit a post from the event organizers.

Oh, and if you already write about or work on the kinds of issues we cover and you're interested in opening up a McStreetsblog franchise in your own city, drop us a line.

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