On Transportation column, April 11 edition

WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING A STADIUM, TIMING IS EVERYTHING: In its $27-million, 10,000-page study of the impact of building Farmers Field, AEG determined there will be traffic impacts in downtown (surprise!) and offered to spend $10 million on a second platform for the Pico station serving the nearby Blue and Expo lines.

AEG also offered to pay for other traffic and pedestrian improvements in downtown L.A. as mitigation for their 72,000-seat football stadium.

Meanwhile, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service between Union Station and the ballpark began running yesterday. The Stadium Express only exists because a state air pollution grant pays for it in an attempt to reduce traffic and auto emissions.

Interesting contrast.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL TO SKIP ANAHEIM: I thought it was a little strange that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s revised business plan, released last week, didn’t come out and explicitly say that L.A. Union Station-to-Anaheim was no longer part of the bullet train plan.

I’m not sure it’s a huge deal as existing Metrolink and Amtrak service in the L.A.-to-O.C. corridor can probably be improved for a lot less than the $6 billion cost of linking the two areas by high-speed rail. If anything, the move reflects the ever-changing nature of the bullet train plan as the Authority and supporters try to find something that can rise above the opposition.

READER COMMENT OF THE WEEK: Take it away, Connor Gilliland…

The Van Nuys corridor project absolutely needs to be tied in with the Sepulveda pass project and it needs to be in the form of rail transit. That’s how it will get the most usage/ridership and will be fastest transit option (due zero mixed traffic operations). Anything less would be a colossal blunder for what could be one of the greatest metro lines in LA’s history. Also, I would add that it should not end at the purple line but at least continue to expo where a transfer could be made to go to very important points west like Santa Monica. Let’s do it right this time, Metro. We DON’T want a north-south version of the orange line bus or a glorified 761 bus! We want true rapid transit! There is certainly more than enough demand for it.

Interesting and important point about tying the Sepulveda Pass project to Expo. I have no idea if it will happen, but it certainly seems worth discussing.

Planning for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is underway and a set of three community meetings begins tomorrow night (details here). The project will look at ways to improve transit on Van Nuys or Sepulveda boulevards. Meanwhile, study of the Sepulveda Pass project is just underway and will consider possible transit options over the Sepulveda Pass.

The black bear tranquilized by state Fish and Game wardens on Tuesday. Photo: DFG.

MONTROSE BEAR: Black bears aren’t exactly strangers to San Gabriel Mountain foothill communities. But the most interesting thing about the bear tranquilized in Montrose on Tuesday morning is that the bear actually managed to get south of the 210 freeway, a barrier of sorts between the mountains and the ‘burbs below.

Freeways are, of course, significant barriers to wildlife and a lot has been written about mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains being hemmed in by the 101 and 405 freeways. Conversely, there are no black bears in the Santa Monicas. It’s not because habitat is lacking. More likely it’s because bears can’t get there.

Obviously garbage-munching bears are not a great idea. Yet, despite all the development in our area, it’s interesting to see that some big wildlife in our area has found a way to persist.