Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 3

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South L.A. needs trees (L.A. Times) 

The editorial despairs the loss of about 135 trees along Crenshaw Boulevard to accommodate construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line but also says the train is an important project. A city of Los Angeles streetscape plan to follow construction is vital, says the editorial.

Westside subway survives legal challenge from Beverly Hills (L.A. Times) 

Coverage of yesterday’s Superior Court ruling in favor of Metro in a pair of state lawsuits brought by the city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District against the Purple Line Extension. Reporter Laura Nelson this morning tweeted an update: the Beverly Hills City Attorney said a decision whether to appeal is still to come. Here’s our post with the ruling, links to the complaints and background on the issue.

UPDATE: LAT reporter Laura Nelson on Boston radio and on KPCC. And CurbedLA on the news.

Beverly Hills City Council approves two permits for Metro (Beverly Hills Weekly)

Outside of court, life goes on and the City Council on Tuesday approved two permits for Metro to conduct utility relocation work near the future Wilshire/La Cienega station. The city and Metro continue to work on a master agreement that will govern when and how construction is done in the city, according to the Weekly.

Watch the Wilshire bus lane stretching westward to Highland (Curbed LA)

And, speaking of Wilshire Boulevard, city of Los Angeles workers are making progress on the construction of the peak hour bus lane that will operate on parts of Wilshire between the Santa Monica-Los Angeles border and just west of downtown. Rebuilt lanes should hopefully make for a smoother ride for the 20 and 720 buses instead of the sometimes kidney-rattling journey of present.

Metrolink, Metro propose more express trains for busy San Bernardino County line (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Studies are underway to add more express trains — although it would require double-tracking some parts of the alignment. The project is still unfunded. There is currently one express train in each direction between San Bernardino and L.A. with a 65-minute run time compared to the usual one hour, 50 minute run time. The downtowns of the two cities are about 60 miles apart, btw.

Is effective transit possible in a transit-hostile city (Transport Politic)

The city is Nashville, where a big and nasty dispute has erupted over a 7.1-mile bus rapid transit project. Among the fears: the loss of regular traffic lanes. No word yet on where Reyna James, ex-hubby Mayor Teddy and Juliet Barnes stand on the matter.

5 replies

  1. Hmm. By conventional wisdom of the 1980s, Los Angeles was the most transit-hostile city in the world. There were people who said, practically in so many words, that rather than actually build and operate a trolley line that passed through Watts and Compton, it would be cheaper to pay every potential Blue Line rider to drive the freeways.

    Of course, those naysayers all had a stake in keeping people in their cars. Just as the people of Beverly Hills no doubt want to avoid letting in any more “transit-riding riff-raff” than they already have to. And the airline industry doesn’t want to have to compete with a 3-4 hour train ride between LA and the Bay Area (and the petroleum industry doesn’t want fewer people having to drive between those points).

    Of course, perhaps part of the problem in Nashville is that they’re aiming too low, with just a BRT project. Look at the success trolley startups have had recently, not only with four out of six rail transit lines here, but in San Diego, Sacramento, Dallas, Houston, and Minneapolis.

  2. San Diego’s first line coined the Tijuana trolley was a huge success. It was built with no federal funds for under budget and in record time. To bad the MTA and other properties are unable to duplicate San Diego’s success.

    Concerning the Blue Line. It fallows almost entirely the old Pacific Electric route from L. A. to Long Beach. It took Henry Huntington six months to build it double tracked. It took the LACTC close to three years to duplicate the same route.

  3. Concerning the Wilshire Bus Lanes, when will both Beverley Hills and Santa Monica be on board with this important project?

    Concerning the San Bernardino Line, I think Metro didn’t make it double-track on the I-10. Metro also didn’t offer to make the El Monte Station a train/transit transfer point. Other cites such as Burbank and Anaheim are building such facilities. Metro’s missed opportunities on this line actually hinders its ridership growth. This is like a tail is wagging the dog.

  4. Mike Dunn,

    Huntington built it at grade in an area that was mostly open space with no real stations. The modern Blue Line was built with stations, grade separation in portions and gated in many areas. Hardly comparing apples to apples.

    Ivan, Metrolink (not Metro) simply took over the freight lines when it was formed. They didn’t build much and the I-10 line like many is just a single track.

  5. More services on the Metrolink will be great.

    Now if only TAP can be used on it instead of this bandaid solution of giving us these “TAP compatible paper passes.”

    All I ask is one single fare card to be used on all transit services in LA. Many cities are capable of doing this, why oh why is it taking forever to do this in LA?