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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
New fears in Los Angeles as highway closes again (New York Times)
Actually the story goes to great lengths to contradict the alarmist headline, arguing that officials are worried about traffic during this year’s Carmageddon because last year’s went too well — and perhaps not so many people will leave their cars parked. It doesn’t help that this year’s closure of the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass, beginning this Friday night (in case you’ve just returned to Earth) is in September as opposed to July, when L.A. tends to operate in a “lower gear.” Officials again repeat that the chance of the road opening early this year is not very good due to work that has to be done demolishing the north side of the Mulholland Drive bridge. If you’re going to Wilco Sunday night at the Hollywood Bowl, please consider taking public transit or one of the bowl shuttles, please.
The 710: spine of the L.A. freeway system and its missing link (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
A very long story takes a more comprehensive look at the 710 freeway and issues facing it, including two Metro studies underway to improve traffic on the southern end by adding truck lanes and a study in the north end that seeks to improve traffic in the gap in the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena. One big issue: how to cope with freight from the ports? Another issue: not everyone agrees there is a gap, with those opposing a potential tunnel saying it would be a freeway “extension,” not a gap closure. Putting aside arguments over semantics and facts — it’s a fact there is gap in the northern 710 — the real issue being debated is this: can we ever improve freeway performance or is it all for naught because new roads tend to quickly fill up with traffic?
Four candidates for L.A. mayor debate in South L.A. (L.A. Times)
Not surprisingly, the issue of the Crenshaw/LAX Line came up at a debate in South L.A. Wendy Greuel and Kevin James indicated they would try to grade separate more of the line at the urging of community activists while Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry said they needed more information. It’s probably worth noting that about half of the $1.7-billion project will be grade separated and none of the candidates, as far as I know, had anything to say to Metro or the community when the environmental studies for the light rail line were approved last year. The project is now out to bid.
‘Another train coming’ warning signal installed in N.J. (CBS New York)
The new signal is at a pedestrian crossing at the Plauderville station. It uses both video screens and audio to warn people that a second train is about to pass through the crossing. The idea is to prevent people from scrambling across the crossing after one train passes by and then being hit by a second train — which tragically happened to a seventh-grader at the station in 2011.