Transportation headlines, Monday, March 22

Here’s a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog. Don’t forget you can also follow the Metro Library on Facebook and Twitter.

How does a busway down the middle of Van Nuys sound to you? LAist reports that the city of Los Angeles’ transportation department thinks that may not be a bad idea, along with rail service linking the North Hollywood subway station to the Sylmar Metrolink station. The first one is intriguing as Van Nuys Blvd. certainly seems wide enough to host a busway. The second one is an idea that has been around for years because it would partially fix one of the big gaps in the region’s transit system. At present, there’s no convenient way for passengers on Metrolink’s Antelope Valley or Ventura County lines to transfer to the subway in the Valley.

Should the city of Los Angeles be thinking that big–or about transit? Damien Newton, of Streetsblog Los Angeles, attended a lecture at Occidental last week featuring alum Janette Sadik-Kahn, who is the New York City transportation chief. The underlying theme of the lecture, Newton reports, is that the Big Apple is thinking a lot more big than the city of L.A. when it comes to improving mobility — creating new bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and trying (albeit failing) to implement congestion pricing. Excerpt from a very riled up Mr. Newton:

But the real message of the evening was that Angelenos, especially our government leaders and transportation buerocrats, shouldn’t be so damm terrified scared of trying something new.  After all, the transportation planning for Los Angeles up to now clearly hasn’t worked, so why not try something new?  If you try pilot programs and they don’t work, there’s no lasting harm.  It’s not like what we’re doing now is working wonderfully.

There’s a good dispatch at Curbed LA on last week’s community meeting to discuss whether a station should be built at Crenshaw and Wilshire on the Westside Extension Subway (here’s a recent post at The Source looking at some of the issues and here’s a follow-up with reader responses). From the sound of things, it’s still a divisive issue in the community, with some thinking a transit stop would be a great assett and others fearing the development and traffic it would bring. Metro officials made it clear that it’s a big decision — if the subway is built without a Crenshaw station, it’s extremely unlikely they could ever go back and add one and keep the system operating.