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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Urban Planning researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Cover page of Analyzing voter support for California’s local option sales taxes for transportation

Analyzing voter support for California’s local option sales taxes for transportation


Local and regional governments in the U.S. rely increasingly on voter-approved local option sales taxes (LOSTs) to fund transportation capital investments, maintenance, and operations. LOSTs typically present voters with lists of local transportation projects and programs to be funded by a ¼ to 1 percent sales tax increase. Most research on LOSTs are case studies, which make generalizations about LOSTs difficult. We conducted a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional analysis of LOST measures in California, the U.S. state with the greatest number of LOST measures. We examined 76 LOST measures put to voters between 1976 and 2016 to assess factors associated with voter support. LOSTs in California are enacted by counties, which we examined in addition to smaller intra-county geographies using both regression models and case studies. We tested several explanatory variables for association with voter support including macroeconomic and political context, planned measure expenditures, voter characteristics, and spatial distribution of proposed projects. We found that funding dedicated to public transit and returned to local jurisdictions predicts support at the county level, and that LOSTs that create new taxes—as opposed to extending or renewing existing taxes—are less popular with voters, all else equal. Our analyses of sub-county geographies revealed that political party affiliation is the strongest predictor of local voter support for LOSTs and that voters living adjacent to funded projects tended to be more supportive of LOSTs.

COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Predictive, Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision Making.


This article reports the outcome of a project to develop and assess a predictive model of vulnerability indicators for COVID-19 infection in Los Angeles County. Multiple data sources were used to construct four indicators for zip code tabulation areas: (1) pre-existing health condition, (2) barriers to accessing health care, (3) built environment risk, and (4) the CDC's social vulnerability. The assessment of the indicators finds that the most vulnerable neighborhoods are characterized by significant clustering of racial minorities. An overwhelming 73% of Blacks reside in the neighborhoods with the two highest levels of pre-existing health conditions. For the barriers to accessing health care indicator, 40% of Latinx reside in the highest vulnerability places. The built environment indicator finds that selected Asian ethnic groups (63%), Latinx (55%), and Blacks (53%) reside in the neighborhoods designated as high or the highest vulnerability. The social vulnerability indicator finds 42% of Blacks and Latinx and 38% of selected Asian ethnic group residing in neighborhoods of high vulnerability. The vulnerability indicators can be adopted nationally to respond to COVID-19. The metrics can be utilized in data-driven decision making of re-openings or resource distribution such as testing, vaccine distribution and other pandemic-related resources to ensure equity for the most vulnerable.

Cover page of The changing accuracy of traffic forecasts.

The changing accuracy of traffic forecasts.


Researchers have improved travel demand forecasting methods in recent decades but invested relatively little to understand their accuracy. A major barrier has been the lack of necessary data. We compiled the largest known database of traffic forecast accuracy, composed of forecast traffic, post-opening counts and project attributes for 1291 road projects in the United States and Europe. We compared measured versus forecast traffic and identified the factors associated with accuracy. We found measured traffic is on average 6% lower than forecast volumes, with a mean absolute deviation of 17% from the forecast. Higher volume roads, higher functional classes, shorter time spans, and the use of travel models all improved accuracy. Unemployment rates also affected accuracy-traffic would be 1% greater than forecast on average, rather than 6% lower, if we adjust for higher unemployment during the post-recession years (2008 to 2014). Forecast accuracy was not consistent over time: more recent forecasts were more accurate, and the mean deviation changed direction. Traffic on projects that opened from the 1980s through early 2000s was higher on average than forecast, while traffic on more recent projects was lower on average than forecast. This research provides insight into the degree of confidence that planners and policy makers can expect from traffic forecasts and suggests that we should view forecasts as a range of possible outcomes rather than a single expected outcome.

Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11116-021-10182-8.

Cover page of The use of thromboelastography to assess post-operative changes in coagulation and predict graft function in renal transplantation.

The use of thromboelastography to assess post-operative changes in coagulation and predict graft function in renal transplantation.



End stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with elevated fibrinogen levels and fibrinolysis inhibition. However, there is a paucity of data on how renal transplantation impacts coagulation. we hypothesize that renal transplantation recipients with good functioning grafts will have improved fibrinolytic activity following surgery.


Kidney recipients were analyzed pre-operatively and on post-operative day 1(POD1) using three different TEG assays with and without two concentration of tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA). TEG indices and percent reduction in creatinine from pre-op to POD1 were measured, with >50% defining "good" graft function. Follow up was done at 6, 12, and 24 months.


Percent lysis(LY30) on POD1 the t-PA TEG was significantly correlated to change creatinine from pre-op to POD-1(p = 0.006). A LY30 ≥ 23% was associated with good early graft function, and lower creatinine at 24-months(p = 0.028) compared to recipients with low POD1 LY30.


Post-operative tPA-TEG LY30 is associated with favorable early and late outcomes in kidney transplant.

Cover page of Who Profits from Crisis? Housing Grabs in Time of Recovery

Who Profits from Crisis? Housing Grabs in Time of Recovery


In Los Angeles, and across the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded and exposed social and economic inequalities. It has also become starkly apparent that such inequalities are structured through racialized risk, the disproportionate and systematic exposure of working-class communities of color to unemployment, unsafe jobs, eviction, homelessness, displacement, and wealth loss. In this research brief, we draw attention to how crisis serves as the opportunity for housing grabs, by which we mean the unregulated acquisition of residential property by powerful corporate actors. With a focus on Los Angeles, we show how the Great Recession set the stage for a significant expansion of the corporate control of residential property in working-class communities of color and argue that there will be a similar capitalization of distress in such communities over the next few years. Dispensing of the myth of “mom and pop landlords,” we provide the first robust analysis of the different types of corporate landlords active in Los Angeles and the varied strategies of profit-making that they deploy in wealth accumulation.

Cover page of Hotel California: Housing the Crisis

Hotel California: Housing the Crisis


Los Angeles is on the cusp of a surge in evictions and homelessness, with thousands of households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic likely to lose their housing. They will join the many thousands of Angelenos who are already unhoused in what is likely to be one of the largest mass displacements to unfold in the region. Black and Brown communities will bear the brunt of the crisis. Where will the currently unhoused and the newly unhoused go? Given the political failure to enact the tenant protections that would keep people in their homes, what are the plans for housing provision that must be put into place, without further ado, in order to meet this crisis? This report, the second publication in our Housing Justice in the Time of COVID-19 series, answers these pressing questions by laying out a comprehensive framework for the conversion of hospitality properties into housing through the large-scale public acquisition of tourist hotels and motels. We insist on immediate access to housing without conditions and with the guarantees of habitability and tenant rights. In addition, we argue for the conversion of such hotels and motels into social housing. In Los Angeles, publicly subsidized hotel development has mediated an extractive relationship between capital and community. It is time to redirect public resources and public purpose tools such as eminent domain for housing, especially in Black and Brown communities where public investment has primarily taken the form of policing and where the devastation of impending evictions will be most acutely felt.