Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 2

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Tom LaBonge: Expanding Red Line is key to solving traffic problems (Daily News)

L.A. 4th District city councilman Tom LaBonge pens this opinion piece that basically says L.A.’s rail system needs to be expanded – and he offers some pretty interesting ideas for that expansion. For example: he believes the Red Line should be expanded further north into the Valley, traveling above ground along the 170 Freeway. Another idea: add a spur to the Gold Line that heads west from Pasadena along the Ventura Freeway and serves Glendale, Griffith Park and the Bob Hope Airport.

San Gabriel Valley officials ask Metro to consider extending light-rail line to Industry (Whittier Daily News)

Here’s another idea for rail expansion not currently in plans, this time from San Gabriel Valley officials who’d like to see the Gold Line extended east into the city of Industry – where a proposed NFL football stadium may be built. Officials also note that the city has 2,600 businesses and 80,000 jobs. According to Metro officials, Industry was never included in the project study area for the eastern extension of the Gold Line and that, since it’s a federally funded project, the legality of expanding the project must be investigated.

Today’s musical interlude. A reader recommended this 90’s dance classic, “C’mon ‘n Ride it (the Train)” from Quad City DJ’s. The song is from 1996 and the video features some shots of downtown L.A. and it ends, oddly enough, with a shot of a bus driving through downtown. In ’96 both the Blue Line and Red Line were up and running in downtown – why a bus was chosen to close this video, we may never know.

If you know of a song prominently mentioning a train or bus or transit, drop us an email at sourcemetro@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our list.

Shoup to O’Toole: The Market for Parking Is Anything But Free (Streetsblog)

If you want to read an informative smack-down from a local parking rockstar, look no further than this rebuttal from UCLA’s Donald Shoup, author of ‘The High Cost of Free Parking.” Recently Randal O’Toole, the self-proclaimed ‘anti-planner,’ penned a piece on the Cato Institute blog slamming Shoup’s ideas that free parking is a government subsidy that encourages auto use and all the ills that come with it. Shoup’s response is lengthy, but so chock full of interesting facts that it’s worth the read – and may inspire you to tackle his 733 page book.

What Is It About 20-Somethings and Cars? (The City Fix)

I’m always excited to post something about how cool 20-somethings are – especially as I count down the months until I can no longer call myself a 20-something. According to Advertising Age a key demographic of auto buyers – 21 to 30 year olds – are just not driving as much as they used to. Since 1995 miles driven by this age group have dropped by 7.7%, with the steepest decline happening in the last 10 years. The reason may have to do with technology (we’d rather play with gadgets that cars), economics (we’d rather spend our money on gadgets than cars) and the fact the more young people are living in urban areas and have access to different transportation options. This story does give me a pang of regret for not including a “How old are you?” question in our series of “Why You Ride (or Don’t)” surveys. But feel free to include that information.