Transportation headlines, Wed., March 6: mayoral election thoughts, subway map for pedestrians, LaHood wants new bikeway standards

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.

Garcetti and Greuel head to runoff (L.A. Times) 

As some polls had predicted, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel qualified for the runoff election in May for the job of mayor of Los Angeles — and automatic seat plus three appointments to the Metro Board of Directors. This interactive map from the Times breaks down the geography of the voting totals.

It’s pretty obvious from the map that the San Fernando Valley will be competitive. So will South Los Angeles, which mostly voted for Councilwoman Jan Perry. Traffic and transit remain big issues in both the Valley and South L.A. and there are several big projects planned for both areas — the Sepulveda Pass project in the Valley and the Crenshaw/LAX Line in South L.A. So it will be interesting to see if transportation gets a bigger role in the 10-week runoff.

Turnout was a miserable 16 percent. I blame the increasingly long presidential election cycles and the saturation media coverage they generate in the preceding year; it’s little wonder that the average person has little interest in hearing more campaign-speak by the time the city elections roll around the following winter and spring. The city of Los Angeles could move its elections to November, but I have 100 percent confidence they won’t. Why fix a long-standing problem, eh? Over at LAObserved, Mark Lacter blames candidates for not embracing an issue most people care about — traffic.

Unrelated: in the spirit of constructive criticism, may I suggest the Daily News hire a web designer?

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Sources: AEG’s downtown football stadium a no-go for the NFL (Yahoo Sports) 

This headline is from yesterday. The most interesting part is found in the bottom of the story — with one bidder for AEG proposing to put a baseball stadium instead next to L.A. Live. I’ve long said bringing baseball into downtown proper would be a good move for the city. But I doubt that will happen anytime soon, especially now that the Dodgers have (to their credit) pumped a lot of money into rehabbing the current ballpark.

A subway map for pedestrians (The Atlantic Cities) 


Cool map from the Spanish city of Pontevedra. It looks like a subway map but is actually a map showing walking distances. I could see that being useful for some of our region’s transit hubs.

LaHood announces safety summits to shape new bikeway standards (L.A. Streetsblog) 

With cyclist deaths rising in 2011, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants experts to come up with designs that make for safer bike lanes and other bike corridors. Good move. Just because it’s a bike lane, doesn’t mean it’s safe and too many cities — I’m talking to you, Pasadena — have thrown up ‘bike route’ signs on busy streets over the years without doing one single thing otherwise to help cyclists.

13 replies

  1. I wouldn’t discount on live voter turnout as a basis of apathy to local politics; what’s often missed by local mainstream media is “how many people have begun switching to do mail-in ballots instead.”

    These days, it’s not really attractive to drive to the nearest polling station, try and find parking, (or in the context of Metro, pay $1.50/$3.00 roundtrip for a short ride to the nearest polling station) on a weekday when normally people have jobs between 8-5 and stand in long lines to vote.

    An increasing number of Angelenos like myself, find it much more comfortable to become permanent mail in voters (you have that option at the DMV).

    We receive a ballot in the mail a month in advance (oh so we have an election coming up, didn’t know about that) and start receiving candidacy junk mail.

    When time is appropiate, we choose our favorite candidates and our stance in voter legislative actions in the comfort of our own home. Once done voting, drop it in the mail box and we’re done. Much easier than schlepping over to the polling station.

    Remember, Measure J was looked to be dead and a long shot with live ballots result. But once the mail-ins started being tallied, it was very very close to being passed.

    So in a City of LA which has 3.7 million, saying that there was only “16% voter turnout” doesn’t necessarily mean that only less than 600,000 Angelenos voted. What you don’t know (unless the LA County Registrar has some statistics) is how many more Angelenos did it via mail-in ballots instead?

    • Overall turnout was 16 percent! Not just people who went to polls. The percentage of registered voters who voted was 16 percent!!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Certainly, anyone had little interest on going out to the voting polls to select the next mayor of L.A. Some L.A. resident doubt that either mayor candidate will do little to help speed up some rail projects and deal with crumbled streets. As for the story on the issue of AEG’s proposed Farmers Field, it caused a stir on social media sites, to where Jason Cole (the writer of the story) saying the $1.2-1.4 billion football stadium project is “essentially dead” to the NFL that it’ll be unworkable for any team to play there, due to flaw designs and the deal being too pricy.

  3. Its 2013, lets not forget. if Staples can hosy a Lakers game, a Kings game, and a Clipper game all in the same day; I think AEG could first move the Dodgers, and possibly leave open an option to convert the stadium for football later. Oakland has done it for years, and this would be a chance to do it better.

    To be honest moving the Dodgers makes a heck of a lot more sense. It shames me that it can be quicker to get to Angel Stadium than Dodger Stadium from Union Station on game days sometimes. I could also see potential for die hard Dodger fans from all over Southern California coming in via Metrolink if the stadium were off say Pico Station. We all knew the NFL was a bit of s stretch, so lets break this way in, and make room for a team in the future. Heck, I might even start rooting for the Dodgers since I may be able to take the train to the game and not hike to one.

    Lets also think about how the Downtown economy would boom with possible (authorized) tailgating; something that Lakers and Kings fans seem not to do much. I could see smal events before games being the norm, and people spilling into local bars and things for games. Baseball games are long too, so bartenders would love it. Dodger Stadium now practically sits in an urban desert. I can only really see positive things with moving the Dodgers. Lets go!

  4. We need OPEN VOTING for LA mayor, not just those who happen to live wtihin the weird, torturously-drawn (ie, gerrymandered) city limits.

    I live in LA county, but not within the official city of LA. Mayoral decisions greatly impact my life, but I have no vote and no say. Something needs to change!

  5. If anyone watched the news yesterday, majority of the people who were interviewed in the streets of LA didn’t even know there was an election going on.

    I attribute this to the fact that less people watch TV news anymore. More people are spending their time on the internet watching Hulu, Youtube, NetFlix, and reading wikipedia articles.

    How are you going to get the message out that there’s even an local election going on when no one watches local TV?

    It’s time to get back to the basics on how election campaigns used to be run. Get all the candidates in their own vans, bring them to a place where there’s lots of people (i.e. LA Live, Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade) and do a spontaneous live debate.

    Have all the candidates go on top of their election vans and start debating over loudspeakers.

    THAT’s how you get attention from the people that there’s an election going on and that’s how election campaigns are done over in Asia.

  6. Yeah, love those “Enhanced Class III Bike Routes” in the City of Pasadena. Throw up a sign, put down an edgeline and you’ve got a bicycle facility that tells the novice to ride in the door zone while experienced riders who occupy a safe distance on the other side of the edgeline are perceived as arrogant jerks who don’t follow the rules by motorists on the road. Please, no more of these lousy treatments Pasadena.

  7. Going off of what NYExile said, I believe the urban/political geography of Los Angeles/Los Angeles County is so wonderfully complex, that a sense of civic belonging is lost on the average citizen. Basically, we need to start with teaching local geography in public schools. There’s a lot for Angelenos to be proud of, they just don’t all kbiw it

  8. Hopefully the fact that the AEG proposal is down the tubes means we can look more closely at Grand Crossing again. Dollars for dollars Industry is the best location for a football stadium for the region. More tailgating opportunities, accommodates both cars and transit users (adjacent to Metrolink), and less impact to the region as a whole, while jump starting the stagnant East San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire economies.