Transportation headlines, Thursday, December 8

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.

Track work curtails some Metrolink, Amtrak trains this weekend (L.A. Times)

First, a quick heads-up: Some Amtrak and Metrolink trains will be cancelled this weekend so that construction crews can work on adding a second track on a stretch between L.A. and San Diego.

Whatever happened to the downtown people mover? (The Atlantic Cities)

Writer Eric Jaffe delves into the history of the automated downtown people mover, which was, for a time, considered a cutting-edge approach to transportation. But like a lot of ideas from the 1970s — say, disco — it’s now hopelessly passé. So what happened? 38 cities applied for federal funds, but only three systems were ever built in Miami, Detroit and Jacksonville respectively. Check out the story to see why Miami’s has done respectably, while the other two have floundered.

California leads venture funding for electric vehicle technology (L.A. Times)

Given California’s cluster of high tech industries and its car culture bona fides, it seems natural that electric vehicle start-ups would find fertile ground in California. The Times has some figures that show just how much that’s been the case: “Businesses in the state collected $467 million in electric vehicle venture capital investment during the first half of this year, or 69% of the global total.” And don’t look now, but the Los Angeles Business Journal reports that Delorean Motor Co. — made famous by the Back to the Future series — is partnering with Epic Electric Vehicles to produce an electric version of the famous car, sans flux capacitor, I assume.

Urban retailers call for more transit, less parking (Globe St.)

As suburban big box stores wane in demand, major retailers are increasingly looking to adapt to more urban and transit-oriented locations. At a national conference of retailers, a common theme was that stores were overbuilding parking in cities, given that a large portion of their customers were arriving by transit.

3 replies

  1. To further illustrate how big wholesalers work closely with transit stations, here’s a photo that I took of a Costco in Vancouver, right next to the Stadium/Chinatown Station of Vancouver’s Millenium and Expo Line SkyTrain:

    http://i.imgur.com/M41eP.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/iEMgU.jpg

    Note the various methods people use to go to Costco in Downtown Vancouver. Sure there are cars, but some people walk from the train station directly. Others bike there. Some even use the scooter.

    *note to thesource: is there anyway for this comment section to show photos/videos instead of just a link?

  2. Wasn’t there a plan for a downtown LA peoplemover, to the extent that several skyscrapers were designed with a future peoplemover in mind?

  3. The Bonaventure Hotel is the most obvious example of “designed with peoplemovers in mind” architecture in downtown Los Angeles.

    All of those elevated sidewalks and pedestrian bridges on Figueroa are evidence of the aborted peoplemover plan as well.