The weekly magazine muses about the impact of next weekend’s 405 shutdown on our collective psyches and trots out all the old stereotypes and cliches about life in So Cal. Excerpt:
The anxiety this is causing around L.A. is a reflection of the intimate, love-hate relationship that we have with our freeways. People love their cars in this spread-out metropolis. Public transportation, carpooling and walking are often shunned, which makes the freeways a central part of our lives. Ginger Chan, traffic reporter for local television station KTLA, says she even flirted with someone in bumper-to-bumper traffic once. “I have had that happen to me where some guy is trying to get my attention and we’re both smiling at each other,” she says.
Okay, fine. As per usual in such stories, we don’t hear much from the many people who won’t be impacted or couldn’t care less about the closure. I also couldn’t help but notice a link to another fine piece of journalism from Time in the sidebar: the 10 best bikinis of all time.
Delays for Culver City’s Expo Line station? (L.A. Streetsblog)
Good piece from yesterday about a dispute between the Expo Line Construction Authority — the independent agency building the line — and Culver City. The gist of it: Culver City wants the station built one way with many amenities to the surrounding area, the Construction Authority wants to build it another way. In the meantime, Culver City is withholding money it was supposed to contribute to the aerial station. The Construction Authority has said in the past that the train will open to Culver City in 2012.
The American Public Transportation Assn., which represents hundreds of transit agencies in the U.S. (including Metro), gives a poor review to the six-year federal spending bill proposal released yesterday by House Republicans. As we posted yesterday, the proposal does include elements of the America Fast Forward program needed to speed up construction of Measure R projects that Metro is building. APTA is pleased about that, but not about this:
This proposal would severely underfund critical elements of the federal transit program. The funding will not permit public transit agencies to address the costs of getting the existing systems to a state of good repair, which the U.S. DOT has estimated as a one-time cost of $78 billion, let alone meet the growing demand for public transportation services in the United States. It will severely curtail the purchase of new buses and trains, reduce critical maintenance and safety programs, and could cut operating funds for transit systems in small communities and rural areas.
While we commend Chairman Mica’s efforts to leverage federal dollars through the various financing projects, there is no substitute for actual investment.
Google introduces new trick for Google Maps (Google blog)
When using Google Transit to help get around town, this new version of the software will actually alert you when your stop is coming up or it’s time to transfer. That, Google says, could be helpful if you’re in a foreign country and don’t understand announcements or the maps. The update, however, is only for Android-supported phones. With Android use growing, it will be interesting to see if Google products are also updated for us iPhoners.