Transportation headlines, Monday, April 1

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.

Dan Turner dies at 49; Times editorial writer (L.A. Times)

Very sad news over the weekend with the passing of Dan, 49, who wrote about transportation for the Times’ editorial board, among many other subjects. He was a great writer who asked the tough questions of Metro and others while weaving national story lines into the local news. Metro offers its condolences to Dan’s family and colleagues at the newspaper.

Here’s a graph from a blog post that Dan wrote about the Expo Line after taking a media ride in 2012; I think it neatly sums up his talent and interest in transit:

Yes, you could drive that far on the parallel Santa Monica Freeway in less than half the time it takes on the Expo Line, assuming there was no traffic. You could also flap your arms and fly to the moon, assuming your arms were equipped with retro rockets. The 10 is one of the busiest freeways in the United States, and it’s only going to get worse. The train goes to USC, Staples Center and Exposition Park, and it connects to rail lines running to Long Beach, Pasadena or North Hollywood. Its completion makes L.A.’s rail network start to feel almost, well, functional.

Public transportation does relieve traffic congestion, just not everywhere (The Atlantic Cities) 

Transit advocates and opponents have long quarreled over whether building transit can fix traffic. Many people feel it can’t because demand is so high on area roads; I know I generally like to say transit is built as an alternative to traffic. That said, new research shows that during the 35-day transit strike at Metro in 2003, average delays increased across the board with the largest impact on roads that paralleled major transit lines.

I don’t think this is new of the shocking variety. Without buses and trains, many people are left to drive and there’s only so much room on roads.

Minority of L.A. County voters quashed Measure J (L.A. Times) 

Putting aside the headline, the Times’ interactive map of the final results shows the same thing we found in our look at the preliminary ballot count: there was enough falloff in support from Measure R in 2008 to Measure J in 2012 to cause J to lose with 66.1 percent of the vote. Some of the biggest drops came in some of the wealthiest parts of the county: Malibu, unincorporated Santa Monica Mountains, the South Bay and Beverly Hills, where 59 percent of voters still voted for J, which would have accelerated the arrival of the Purple Line extension to their town.

Mother of the Movement: ‘The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,’ by Jeanne Theoharis (New York Times)

A very interesting review of a new biography of Rosa Parks, who in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955 was arrested after famously refusing to surrender her seat on a bus and stand in order to accommodate white passengers. That sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and gave momentum to the civil rights movement that swept the nation in the years to come. The Times calls the book the first comprehensive biography of Rosa Parks’ life and credits the author for pointing out that Parks’ heroics were hardly arbitrary; she had quietly been involved in the civil rights movement and political activism before that fateful day on the bus.

2 replies

  1. Re: Measure J–

    The problem wasn’t the acceleration of the Purple Line, it was how they proposed to do it. You can’t keep jacking up the sales tax rate forever, and extending it 60+ years is madness. There must be other ways to fund these projects.

  2. CA has the highest tax rates in the nation and LA wants to add on top of that?

    And they wonder why businesses are leaving and why year after year CA and LA has funding problems.

    You need businesses to create jobs. These create jobs. Jobs create a strong and large middle class that becomes consumers.

    Increasing taxes do not help businesses nor consumers. Instead, they just push more people off to tax friendlier states like Arizona and Texas.

    L.A. used to be the wonder child of America when it came to low taxes, business friendly environment, having a strong middle class and being a model of American way of life.

    Somewhere along the way we screwed them up badly. We need to get back to what made L.A. great.

    Lower taxes and get those businesses back to L.A. which can start hiring more Angelenos. We can be a great city again. We used to be before.