Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 14

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.

First up, a hilarious musical diversion to start your day – but it’s transportation related and hits close to home. It’s a Snoop Dogg style rap song based on that Westside phenomenon, the Whole Foods parking lot. Cameos include: hybrids battling it out for spots, mini shopping carts, guys with clipboards, girls in yoga pants, dudes with iPhones and other spot-on observations of L.A.’s somewhat odd culture.

In decades past, Angels Flight ran like clockwork (blogdowntown)

After last week’s closure of Angels Flight due to mechanical issues with the wheels, blogdowntown’s Eric Richardson decides to take a look at the history of the railway’s mechanical problems. Turns out that for the most part the funicular ran trouble free for years. Built in 1901 the line didn’t have its first fatality until 1943 when a sailor tried to walk on the tracks while the trains were running. It wasn’t until a full century after its opening that Angels Flight had its second fatal accident that shut it down for nearly a decade.

DesertXpress: Is this train ever going to leave the station? (Vegas, Inc)

This is a rather lengthy and interesting look at the potential of bringing high speed rail to Vegas and the problems that are keeping that potential from being realized. The  DesertXpress, a high-speed train connecting Vegas and L.A., is a good idea in theory but it’s limited by the geographical reality. The Cajon Pass is simply too steep for high speed rail, so as a compromise the train is meant to stop in Victorville – not exactly a tourist hot spot, and at least an hour and half drive from L.A. A glimmer of hope was the it would connect with California High-Speed Rail in Palmdale, but political and planning issues with that line are clouding that plan as well.

Research finds 30% of passengers take longer routes as London’s famous Tube map misrepresents distances between stations (Mail Online)

London’s subway map is world famous, has inspired countless copycats (including our own Go Metro rail map) and as it turns out, is so stylish that it leads riders astray. Researchers from NYU have discovered that up to 30% of London’s Tube riders – even experienced ones – take longer routes than they need to. Researchers place the blame squarely on London’s iconic map. The reason many riders take longer journeys is precisely the reason the map looks so good – to make it easy to read the designer (Harry Beck) placed each station equidistant and use only straight and 45 degree diagonal lines to represent a system that in reality winds like spaghetti. Click here to see the iconic map and here to see the map if it was rendered with geographic accuracy.

1 reply

  1. @Research finds 30% of passengers take longer routes as London’s famous Tube map misrepresents distances between stations:

    In LA there is a lot of cases, but the most extreme one:
    Civic Center and Little Tokyo are half a mile (12 minutes by foot) apart, yet it seems on the map that they are MILES apart, requiring a transfer!