Transportation headlines, Friday, September 16

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.

Eli Broad calls for changing Regional Connector route (Connector Coalition)

Broad signed his name to a letter from this new group that asks for numerous and serious changes to the Regional Connector’s route — hardly the “modest” changes the letter labels them. Among them: a new station directly accessing Grand Avenue, where Broad is building a new museum for his art collection. He also proposes moving the Connector’s two other stations, changes that he claims would save money and attract more passengers. The Connector is a proposed light rail line that will extend the Blue and Expo line tracks from 7th/Metro Center to the Gold Line tracks in Little Tokyo — meaning that trains can run all the way through downtown. The Connector is in the process of finishing its Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement and studying the changes proposed by Broad would likely mean substantial work and perhaps redoing much of the planning work that has been completed. L.A. Streetsblog just posted an item on this, too.

City agency chugs along to bring WiFi to Gold Line (The Eastsider)

The L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency wants to bring WiFi to Gold Line trains and stations as a way to boost ridership. The next step is contracting with a vendor to draw up preliminary designs for a system. The step after that: putting the actual project out to bid.

Senate approves transportation bill extension (NPR)

A bill passed 92 to 6 to allow federal transportation funding to continue for highway projects and the Federal Aviation Administration, among others. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) had been threatening to block the extension because it included funds for pedestrian and cycling enhancements, which he says is a “state” matter. To get Coburn to stand down, a deal was swung that will consider his objections in the long-term transportation funding bill that the Senate is currently working on. That bill is more than two years overdue, btw, the reason that Congress has to keep adopting extensions. Metro also hopes that bill includes America Fast Forward, the legislation that would allow transit agencies to use federal financing to speed up the construction of transit projects.

It’s parking day in L.A., again (Parking Day LA)

Yep, it’s that day of the year again, when activists taking over metered parking spots and create miniature parks. The point of this annual exercise to show that there’s a lot of other ways to use public space. I like it, I get it and I also think at this point, but I’m not seeing too many cities in the Southland replacing parking with other civic amenities. I do, however, see plenty of major streets going through residential areas that offer parking lanes despite all the homes having big driveways. Those parking lanes could be bike lanes.

Sept. 11th and our oil addition (The Transit Pass)

In this blogger’s view, the 9/11 attacks should have ended our addiction to oil from the Middle East. But little has changed in the past 10 years, he writes. Not sure I entirely agree. I think it’s also worth pointing out that for a number of reasons, there are a lot more fuel-efficient cars on the road and transit agencies across the U.S. are pursuing some ambitious plans to greatly expand transit.

3 replies

  1. Thanks for the link.

    Just a note, the CCC didn’t upload their letter to Flickr. Despite the vast resources, they have yet to make any imprint on the Internet.

    Streetsblog uploaded the letter last night, and we received it from a third party not connected to the CCC.

  2. WiFi is not a way to boost ridership. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Even if Metro adds WiFi to the Gold Line, how much is it going to cost to maintain them? How much is going to cost to use the WiFi on the Gold Line? What’s the revenue plan?

    Pretty much everyone has a 3G/4G wireless data plan these days anyway, there’s no need for WiFi services.

    If they want to boost ridership, they’re better off looking at ways to make the Gold Line cheaper for shorter rides.

  3. I like Broad for what he’s done in the art community, and I like that he’s building his new museum downtown.

    However, this proposal is a couple of months too late and I don’t see how this is any better for Little Tokyo than the current plan. The current plan, by putting the station ahead of the wye, ensures that every train stops in Little Tokyo.

    This proposal would allow just the northbound trains to stop at Little Tokyo. And I’m not crazy about the partially underground idea, either.

    It would be better to have the station be on the parcel directly south of JANM.