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.
Carmageddon II requires 185,000 people to park it (L.A. Times)
Caltrans provides the breakdown of what’s needed to keep the 405 and other area freeways clear this weekend when 10 miles of the 405 will be shut down between the 10 and 101. The bottom line: 66 percent of the cars usually on the road need to be parked. The Times also reports helicopters are being discouraged from buzzing the construction area while opining that the Carmageddon warnings haven’t been as dire this time around.
Meanwhile, over at Curbed LA, they’re warning that no one is scared of Carmageddon — based on their reading of the media tea leaves — and that will be our downfall. My sense is that most people are certainly aware of Carmageddon and I think traffic will be reduced from a normal weekend. Enough to keep the freeways moving? I hope so.
KCRW’s “Which Way L.A.?” tackles the complacency question in a segment last night featuring Metro’s Marc Littman, who urged people to avoid the area, take advantage of Destination Discounts around town and to not try to pull stunts such as walking or biking on the 405 because A) it’s dangerous with construction vehicles around, and; B) people will be cited.
One thing that needs to be understood is that there are some events around town that were scheduled before the dates for the 405 closure was announced, among them the Herbralife Triathlon Los Angeles, which will be closing down some streets on Sunday morning. From ZevWeb:
But this time the situation is considerably more complicated. Carmageddon II is falling during the full swing of autumn, not during the summer when schools were out and much of L.A. was on vacation. The weekend will have a lot more going on than just one Westside freeway closure: The Dodgers will be playing the Rockies. Placido Domingo will be singing “The Two Foscari” at the Los Angeles Opera. The Hollywood Bowl will have The Go-Gos on Saturday and Wilco on Sunday.
West Hollywood is expecting 25,000 people to meet Deepak Chopra and Rocco Dispirito at its annual outdoor book fair. The Getty Villa in Malibu will be open. And then there’s Los Angeles International Airport, which is expecting 172,000 passengers, 66,000 vehicles and about 20,000 employees to come in and out.
Still, of all the diversions that have been forced to belatedly incorporate Carmageddon II into their planning, the triathlon has had the most ironic set of challenges. While the rest of Southern California is being urged to stay home and steer clear of the roads on Sunday, the thousands of triathletes and their fans will be out in full force on the pavement, crisscrossing Los Angeles from the shore to Staples Center, first in the water, then on bicycles and finally on foot via a 6-mile loop Downtown.
L.A.’s first official bike street: our review (L.A. Weekly)
Good write-up of Yucca Street in Hollywood by Alissa Walker, who thinks the city of L.A. did a tremendous job in adding cycling amenities to a street that has benefited from mellow car traffic. It won’t be easy to replicate elsewhere, she writes, but there are certainly elements that could be borrowed as the city of L.A. dramatically expands its bike infrastructure.
Louisville wrestles with freeway dilemma (New York Times)
A plan to expand downtown freeways is in the works and the NYT is deeply skeptical it will help bring more urbanphiles to the city’s center, which decades ago was cleaved by a massive freeway system. The Grey Lady also argues that many other cities are removing downtown freeways as a way to promote livability and revive long dormant neighborhoods.
Los Angeles is the future (New York Post)
Now there’s a headline that would never have existed when I lived in the Big Apple in the early 90s and L.A. was enduring earthquakes and riots. The addition of new transit lines gets a shout out at the top of this travel piece, which attempts to steer visitors to four parts of L.A.: downtown, Mid City-West, Venice and Hollywood.
Amtrak testing trains at 165 mph (Metro Magazine)
The runs are in a few relatively short stretches of track along the Northeast Corridor, where trains are limited presently to top speeds of 135 mph. Some of the funding is coming from the federal government’s high-speed rail program.