Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Dec. 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.

Bakersfield Council to consider opposing high-speed rail line (L.A. Times)

It’s only a symbolic resolution — but it’s the kind that would get a lot of media attention considering that Bakersfield is the second-largest city in the San Joaquin Valley the project would serve. The city manager is recommending opposing the project for several reasons, including an alignment that would come close to a high school and also require the removal of some businesses and homes. The Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution at tonight’s meeting.

FTA’s compliance review of Metro (L.A. Streetsblog)

Blog editor Damien Newton has a detailed post looking at the FTA’s Civil Rights Compliance Review of Metro that was released on Monday.

Endearing but useless transit (Human Transit)

This post is an outtake from transit planning consultant Jarrett Walker’s new book, “Human Transit.” In the post, he lists seven values that good transit should have:

1.    “It takes me where I want to go.”

2.    “It takes me when I want to go.”

3.    “It’s a good use of my time.”

4.    “It’s a good use of my money.”

5.    “It respects me.”

6.    “I can trust it.”

7.    “It gives me freedom to change my plans.”

And, in addition, Jarrett also offers a good example from California on transit that’s endearing but basically useless to the locals. If you haven’t guessed — hint: Rice-a-Roni — read the post for much more.

Removal of tracks from Alameda (Downtown News)

Looks like some of the old train tracks running down the middle of Alameda are going to be pulled out in an effort to help smooth the ride for motorists on the road. It’s been years since the tracks were used — does anyone in ReaderLand know when they were last used and for what? I’m curious. Comment please.

Adjustable parking rates in S.F. not changing behavior — yet (Greater Greater Washington)

San Francisco has been using the laws of supply-and-demand to adjust parking meter rates. The idea is to use high prices to discourage motorists from all trying to park along popular city streets and blocks while using low rates to encourage motorists to use under-utilized parking rates. Well, despite some seriously different per-hour rates, motorists thus far are following their old habits — popular parking meters remain popular, despite the cost. Hmm.

2 replies

  1. The embedded railroad tracks on Alameda have almost always carried freight trains and their cargo and materials to the heavily industrial areas in that part of Downtown Los Angeles and Vernon. The tracks often have branches off into factories and loading dock areas if you look closely. This activity has been moved over to diesel powered trucks. It is still common practice in some cities to operate freight trains on embedded rail in the middle of the street much like a traditional streetcar. One example: freight trains and Amtrak pull up to Oakland, CA on embedded tracks in the middle of W Embarcadero St..

  2. I believe the tracks in Alameda street are also a remnant of the pre-Union Station days when the main Southern Pacific and Union Pacific train station was on Central and 5th Streets. Passenger trains ran down the middle of Alameda street to access the station. The old station was called “Central Station” and was demolished after the opening of Union Station.