Transportation headlines, Tuesday, March 4

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Blue Line train strikes vehicle–at least 12 injured (L.A. Times)

Initial reports are that a mini-van ran a red light and was struck by a Blue Line train on Washington Boulevard and Maple Street in downtown Los Angeles. Metro officials said that 10 people aboard the train were injured — none life-threatening and mostly described as cuts. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that 12 people overall were hurt. The train runs down the middle of Washington Boulevard and train and car traffic are both controlled by traffic signals. Therefore, there are no crossing gates.

Earlez Grill relocates to make way for Crenshaw/LAX Line (Intersections South LA)

The popular restaurant that used to be a stone’s throw from the Expo Line’s Crenshaw station has to move south. The new address will be 3864 Crenshaw Boulevard, about a half-mile south of the Crenhaw & Exposition intersection and an easy walk.

Los Angeles redoubles its efforts to win 2024 Olympics (Daily News)

The big question among the experts: what the International Olympic Committee will ultimately want from a host city: an effort starting from scratch requiring billions of dollars in investment or a more modest effort using existing buildings and infrastructure? The latter would seemingly favor a bid from the Los Angeles area. As I’ve written before, one thing our area can boast to the IOC (if it comes to that): in 1984 there were ZERO miles of rail serving the area. By 2024, there will be 117 miles of light rail and subways (and possibly more if projects are accelerated by America Fast Forward, etc.) and another 512 miles of commuter rail provided by Metrolink.

How Buenos Aires unclogged its most famous street (The Atlantic Cities) 

The answer: Avenida 9 de Julio saw three lanes of car traffic converted to bus rapid transit lanes in the middle of the street — even with a subway that runs below. A lot of opposition surfaced before the change and apparently melted away after the world didn’t end.

Cities move to help those threatened by gentrification (New York Times)

With cities enjoying a renaisance in some parts of the U.S. and property values rising thanks to new market-priced development, cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and Boston (to name a few) are changing laws to freeze or lower property taxes of long-time residents who stuck out the hard times. The property tax issue is not really an issue in California thanks to Prop 13 which greatly limits the amount that property taxes can be raised year-over-year. That said, there isn’t much in place to regulate the actual price of housing, the reason that affordable housing advocates fret (rightfully, in my view) that some parts of California cities will become off-limits to anyone but the wealthy.

Iron Maiden singer planning on circumventing the globe twice in world’s largest airship (Salon) 

Win 2 tickets for Airlander’s maiden flight! from Airlander by Hybrid Air Vehicles on Vimeo.

Looks like a nice way to travel. Hopefully passengers don’t have to listen to Iron Maiden, a band who reminds me of a broken jackhammer.

Photos from the California drought (PolicyMic)

A little off-topic, but pretty amazing photos of two depleted reservoirs, Oroville and Folsom.

10 replies

  1. For our Olympic bid, instead of investing billions to build stadia, we could instead invest in transit that connects things like airports with our existing stadium infrastructure.

    and I can’t help myself here… “Iron Maiden? Excellent!”

  2. I’m wondering whether Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Wilshire Blvd. would take some examples and lessons learned from Buenos Aires on how to enhance quality of life and mobility in the Wilshire corridor.

  3. Gentrification should be balanced with more investment in public housing projects.

    When gentrification happens, the ones who get hurt the most are renters. A large number of Angelenos will never have the money, more so even save enough money for a down payment to ever buy a home in these real estate prices so they will forever be renters.

    But when rents rise year by year with no increase in paychecks, all it does is hurt those who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

    And no, raising the minimum wage doesn’t do anything because store owners will just find ways to automate everything instead of paying everyone $15/hr. Cashiers can be easily replaced with automated check stands. There is a lack of manufacturing jobs because no one wants to do business here in LA with high taxes. What you end up is more people out of work.

    I agree that what’s needed is a proper balance. They need to balance out new construction along with more public housing. Something like a trade – we’ll be developing a new multi-million dollar condo here, therefore we need you to move out and in exchange, we’ll give you public housing at a low rent rate so that you can save up the money to buy a new home.

  4. Not sure if he’ll be using that blimp to circumvent or circumnavigate the globe, but either way, looks like a fun ride!

  5. off topic, but question about regional conector?

    Now as I understand it the only possible route that wont be possible (without some complicated track switching) is EAST LA to PASADENA and vice-versa (ironically the only one that can be done now) …..

    … and running trains from PASADENA to SANTA MONICA may not make work out if the BLUE LINE already needs more trains in the LONG BEACH portion than PASADENA section….

    .. but since apparently the current EXPO and LONG BEACH BLUE LINE sections will have more frequent trains than PASADENA and EAST LA sections.. there will be some short line LONG BEACH TO DTLA and SANTA MONICA to DTLA trains, correct? definitely the BOTH of these need to short line to Union Station.
    Even thought the SANTA MONICA to EAST LA GOLD LINE, technically doesn’t go to Union Station, any short line from SANTA MONICA to DTLA should go up to UNION STATION instead of ending at LITTLE TOKYO. Is this currently planned?

    Read more: http://transittalk.proboards.com/thread/828/pasadena-culver-city?page=1&scrollTo=12919#ixzz2v21RjoTS

    • Hi Sebastian;

      As for frequency of trains, I don’t think that has been determined yet — we’re talking about a project not complete until 2020. The Azusa-Long Beach route is certainly longer than the east-west Santa Monica-East L.A., so we’ll see how trains are scheduled and run. I think for many people riding to downtown, the Connector will allow for a quicker ride and/or expand the number of locations reached by Metro Rail.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. another thing – in 1984 LA was awarded the Olympics, the only other interested city was Tehran, but because of the political situation, they dropped.

  7. The 2020 Summer Olympics was awarded to Tokyo.

    Hosting the Summer Olympics after the city with the best mass transit systems in the world and one of the greatest examples of a truly walkable city will only put Los Angeles to shame.

  8. The frequent trains and vehicles collusions should serve as a wake up call to Metro. Running trains on streets is a bad idea especially on Flower Street. This could get worse when the Regional Connector is opened because trains will be running more frequently. If Metro corrects the situation by building an aerial structure on both Flower & Washington, maybe the majority of the train delays should be eliminated.

    If there are too many train disruptions near the sporting venues, that will hurt L.A.’s chances to host the 2024 Games. I do not record any Olympic host city to have trains running in traffic near the sporting venues. Metro, you are doing things backward!!