Transportation headlines, Thursday, May 16

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.

Alhambra declares 710 day, reaffirming support for freeway extension (L.A. Times) 

Mark your calendars: the big day will be July 10 to show support for a tunnel that would connect the 710 from its terminus at Valley Boulevard to the 210 freeway in Pasadena. The current connection involves using city streets such as Fremont, Pasadena Avenue and Orange Grove that are also heavily residential. Metro is currently studying a project to help improve traffic in the area; the alternatives include a freeway tunnel, bus rapid transit, light rail, traffic signal and intersection improvements and the obligatory no-build option.

Mayoral candidate scorecard (Crenshaw Subway Coalition) 

The group advocating for a Leimert Park station and the undergrounding of the light rail line in Park Mesa Heights between 48th and 59th issues its grades on where L.A. mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel stand on the two issues. Here is the news release and here are letters from the candidates.

It is worth noting (as the news release does) that it’s still possible that the Metro Board of Directors will select a firm to build the project before the next mayor takes office on July 1; otherwise the decision will be made when the next mayor will be on the Metro Board along with three appointees. Metro is seeking a firm that can build the Leimert Park station within the project’s existing $1.76-billion budget. The Leimert Park station is included in the project’s final environmental study that has been approved by the federal government; the 48th to 59th tunnel is not in the study, meaning the study or a part of it would have to be re-done.

Furthermore, while the candidates have similar views — there is some subtle differences in the language they employ — neither says where the hundreds of millions of dollars would come from to reopen the project’s environmental studies and then build the light rail line underground in Park Mesa Heights.

Portuguese car commercial goes Metro to slam transit riders (LA Streetsblog) 

Hmmm. How shall I spin this? I know–I’ll change the topic and use the video to remind everyone that eating ginormous hamburgers is prohibited on Metro trains and buses! Thank you for your cooperation and helping to keep our local transit system clean and tidy!

Want a subway extension? Here’s what you can look forward to! (LAObserved) 

The recent news that bids came in high to build stations for San Francisco’s Central Subway project lights the fuse at LAObserved with Mark Lacter predicting it’s inevitable to happen here with the Purple Line Extension. Lacter cites a 2003 study that found that rail projects around the world often go over budget.

8 replies

  1. Please tell me you guys didn’t know our Metro system would be used in this way to promote cars and bash public transportation! That’s just an awful ad. Even if the ad is being aired in Europe, did you honestly think we wouldn’t find out? For shame! 😛

  2. Steve,

    Your response is juvenile.

    Please name the shameless self-hating twit in your employ who approved the filming of the SmartCar ad on Metro Los Angeles property?

    Because someone at One Gateway Plaza did.

    And they sure don’t deserve to be on the public payroll anymore.

    The Source, and perhaps Art Leahy himself, needs to explain to us why there is any sort of promotion of public transportation being done by Metro and its “Communications departments”, when images as shown above, are then produced using Metro’s permission on Metro’s facilities and rolling stock; the same ones that were built and paid for in the idea that citizens who were taxed to do so, ought to be using them.

    That Metro operate primarily based on funds generated on the regressive sales tax which impacts the transit-dependent at a much higher rate seems to be lost on many of you there.

    But hey, look at the fat guy with the hamburger! He’s breaking the rulz! Lulz!

    Clowns.

  3. I’m embarrassed and disappointed that Metro would allow it’s property to be used in an advertisement smearing public transit. No shame…

  4. I don’t mind the commercial using Metro rolling stock because 1) It is a revenue source for Metro and 2) Film is a huge industry for LA. Even Grand Central Station in New York used to have cars in their lobby to create ad revenue, so an ad shown on the Iberian Penesula isn’t too bad to keep film jobs and permit fees in LA. However, there are respectful ways for private auto companies to show commercials to transit users, and what comes to mind is the Flexcar campaign of people bringing bulky items onto transit with the tag line “Ride Metro when you don’t need a car. Use Flexcar when you do.”

    That said, if the Daimler AG ad turned you off, simply turn them off and don’t buy or rent cars made by them (Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, Smart, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Setra, BharatBenz, Mitsubishi Fuso, Denza, KAMAZ, Renault-Nissan Alliance) and don’t fly on airliners that use Airbus (they have shares in EADS).

  5. Erik,

    Metro would have no choice. They can’t discriminate by banning certain groups based solely on the content of their message. Otherwise they would be subject to a massive discrimination lawsuit.

  6. There was neither a “Metro”, “Los Angeles”, or any other written or identifiable mark visible in the ad even if the train itself is very familiar to us.

    The point was certainly clear that the bad behavior on display is bad and I am sure the ad company paid to clean up the mess……maybe the expression of annoyance here is that they are selling a car, the antithesis of taking transit?

  7. Paul: Daimler is just doing what they’ve been doing since Karl Benz invented the car; sell them. I won’t disparage them for doing that, it is their job. But Metro doesn’t have to sell itself out.

    Not when it is a stated policy that it will not do so.

    And to be clear, the above is just the Portuguese version, since a blogger from Lisbon tipped the originating Copenhagenize blog off to that one. There are also German-language and English-language versions. It is not just being shown in Portugal (and Brazil?); this ad is being shown all over Europe and probably in many other countries too. And Metro would have known that when they signed the contracts.

    This isn’t just displaying a car in a public space, this is insulting Metro’s customers, while cheapening itself in the process.

    But, hey, anything for a buck, right?