Transportation headlines, Friday, January 24

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ART OF TRANSIT: The abandoned section of Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains as seen from Mt. Waterman. Photo by Steve Hymon.

ART OF TRANSIT: The abandoned section of Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains as seen from Mt. Waterman. Click above to see larger! Photo by Steve Hymon.

Metro shelves directly rail line to LAX (L.A. Times) 

Laura Nelson sifts through yesterday’s marathon discussion by the Metro Board on the Airport Metro Connector project. As the story notes, it’s probably an uphill battle for two project alternatives that would run rail directly into and under the LAX terminals — an expensive and pricey proposition. While that will sure disappoint some, others say the other alternatives that would link the terminals to the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line would be more passenger-friendly and cost far less to build.

Metro considering fare hikes (Daily News)

The story includes some of the public testimony from yesterday’s Board meeting — in which the Board approved scheduling a hearing for the two fare restructuring proposals by Metro staff. No surprise here: the Bus Riders Union is against any kind of fare increases and accuses Metro of spending too much money on rail and highway projects while ignoring bus riders. If the point is that bus riders are more apt to be poor, the average annual household income for Metro bus riders in 2013 was $16,250 versus $20,770 for those who rode Metro rail, according to the agency’s latest customer survey.

CicLAvia announces 2014 schedule (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The Wilshire route returns on April 6 and the “Heart of L.A.” downtown route in October. New is a route for South L.A. on Dec. 7 that will link Leimert Park to the historic Central Avenue business district — a great idea! All three events should be easily accessible by Metro Rail.

In-N-Out Burger: we’re not coming to DTLA without a drive-thru location (DTLA Rising)

Good post by Brigham Yen who got In-N-Out to explain why they won’t consider putting a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles: they want an acre of land, at least 45 parking spaces and room for a drive-thru that can accommodate 15 cars. In other words, In-N-Out only wants to pursue suburban, car-centric locations.

Of course, it’s amazingly short-sighted and a bit stupid, as parking spaces don’t produce revenue and idling cars in drive-thrus are just kind of an out-dated (but perfectly legal) idea in a metropolis with some of the worst air in the nation, not to mention the whole climate change thing.

The worst part about it: an In-N-Out in a growing and transit-centric downtown L.A. would probably do just fine without parking or a drive-thru (imagine if In-N-Out was in Union Station). As Brigham notes, In-N-Outs in two urban locations — downtown Glendale and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco — are apparently doing just fine.\

BTW, about six million people who live in inland parts of Southern California — i.e. the ‘burbs that In-N-Out prefers — are breathing air that still does not meet federal clean-air standards, according to the L.A. Times.

Leimert Park, take II: 1992 (KCET)

An interesting look at Leimert Park Village, which Erin Aubrey Kaplan says remains a bright spot for the African American community but challenges remain in terms of keeping local businesses viable. As she notes, getting Metro to add a Leimert Park Village station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line was a victory for the community.

Mountain lion kitten killed by car (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page) 

Sad news; the kitten was killed on Kanan Road, which runs north-south in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Agoura Hills. However, rangers don’t believe the kitten was the offspring of one of the lions the park is tracking — the implicating being there may be additional lion(s) in the Santa Monica range.

2 replies

  1. Too bad Caltrans can’t re-open the northern stretch of HWY 39 for various reasons. It would be awesome to have a way to access HWY 2 up in the mountains without needing to drive west to La Canada or east to the Cajon Pass.

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  2. Too bad about In N Out. I occasionally east at their Palms location, which shares a smaller lot with a strip mall. It does just fine with that same amount of parking shared with the other businesses, but the drive through was poorly planned and the line can block half the spaces. Incidentally, this one’s only 3 blocks from the Culver City Expo Line station.

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