Transportation headlines, Tuesday, October 11

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.

Model Street Manual: A road map to sustainable transportation planning (L.A. Streetsblog)

Progressive transportation planners heralded the launch last week of the Model Streets Manual for L.A. County. Funded by a grant from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the manual will serve as a guide for cities that want to create safer and healthier streets for their cities. L.A. Streetsblog has an in depth look at who’s behind the manual and what’s in it. Two particularly noble looking objectives: “Provide transportation options for people of all ages, physical abilities, and income levels,” and “Enhance the safety and security of streets, from both a traffic and personal perspective.” The manual is free to download in PDF, Word or Adobe InDesign format here.

Should California put hybrids back in the carpool lane? (KQED)

Talk about unintended consequences! A UC Berkeley study found that, when hybrid vehicle drivers lost the perk of driving in the carpool lane, traffic got worse for everyone — even carpools. Apparently, when non-carpool lanes slow down — as they did when hybrids were reintroduced — the adjacent carpool lanes slow up too, because cars have to slow down and speed up more to get in and out of the carpool lane. The percentage of L.A. County motorists carpooling also dropped in the past decade. Related phenomenon? And here’s a related post: Another look at how we get to work in Los Angeles County.

Packed parking lots pinch [D.C.] Metro riders (Washington Examiner)

Here’s the crux of the problem: “[D.C.] Metro has 58,323 parking spots, but an estimated 80,000 riders out of the peak rush of 250,000 seek parking each weekday morning.” Building more parking garages for suburban stations would cost D.C. Metro about $25,000 per space – a pretty typical figure nationally. On top of that, some transit officials argue that scarce real estate should be used for transit oriented development, not storing people’s cars. One more reason that transit planners everywhere are looking to enhance pedestrian, cycling and bus connections to rail.

4 replies

  1. The story about limited parking spaces on the DC Metro is a problem that we have here too.

    The solution to this situation is simple Economics 101: supply and demand. Obviously demand will be high and supply will be limited if you charge nothing for parking.

    Start charging for parking space and demand will lessen (people will find alternative methods to get to the station, like biking) and parking space supply will open up.

    It costs money to maintain “free parking” anyway. Why give away such limited real estate just for parking cars when they can become a real revenue source? Even a $1/day parking fee would make a huge difference.

    An even better idea would be to start converting parking space to park multiple two wheelers. You could probably fit three to four bicycles, motorcycles or scooters in the same amount of space it takes to park a single car.

    Like

  2. If parking spaces at transit stations charged anything near the real cost of providing the parking space, more people would drive the rest of the way to work than would bike to the transit station.

    Like

  3. @Rita

    I wouldn’t see that as a bad thing at all. The less cars in the lot, the more better use of land space I say. The cars in the lot just take up precious land space that would be better off for more bicycle stalls or retail space.

    If they don’t want to pay $1/day for park-and-ride, then they are more than welcome to continue dealing with the stress of sitting in bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic, dealing with ever increasing gas prices, and pay for more expensive parking at the destination.

    Like

  4. WMATA does charge for parking at their stations, $4.75 a space per day.

    There is some serious revenue to be made from our free parking lots even if we just charge $1 a space per day.

    Come on Caltrans fork over the remainder of the parking lots to Metro so they can roll out paid parking ASAP

    Like