Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 10

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There are many reasons that the Los Angeles Kings are up three games to none over the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals. One big reason is that the Rangers don’t know how to defensively cover the most dangerous part of the ice in terms of allowing opponents to take shots. Top photo is Jeff Carter’s first goal in last night’s game and the bottom photo is Justin Williams taking the overtime winner in Game 1. Notice any similarities?!!! Game Four is Wednesday night in New York and Game Five, if necessary, Friday afternoon at Staples Center, located conveniently near the Pico Station served by the Blue Line and Expo Line and a pleasant stroll from the Red/Purple Line station at 7th/Metro Center.

House rejects cuts to Amtrak (The Hill)

Perhaps the source of the cuts — an outgoing Georgia politician — were the issue. Still pretty amazing, given the un-love that some Congress members have heaped on Amtrak in the past.

Why Chicago’s botched privatization of parking meters is bad for the environment (Next City) 

A while back, Chicago leased its parking meters to a private firm for $1 billion for 75 years. The idea was that the city would get an instant cash shot-in-the-arm in exchange for the revenue stream from its meters. The deal has had its critics and this article certainly takes a dim view of it — including examples of how the deal is getting in the way of other goals. Example: installing bus lanes is now more difficult as it’s more difficult to remove meters.

Eric Garcetti endorses funding mass transit with cap-and-trade revenues (L.A. Times)

Coverage of the media event held at Metro’s Division 13 last week about pending state legislation to use revenue from California’s cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions to help fund mass transit. In related news, the New York Time’s Thomas Friedman published an interesting interview with President Obama about climate change, with the president saying that putting “a price on carbon” is crucially important.

More on the Westwood Boulevard bike lane issue (Biking in LA)

Some interesting background on the bike lanes that the city of Los Angeles is not going to install of Westwood Boulevard. I mention it here because two future Metro Rail projects will have stations on the street: the Expo Line will stop just south of the Westside Pavilion and the Purple Line Extension will stop at Wilshire and Westwood. Bike connections from both stations could help with first mile/last mile issues, I suppose.

No longer for punks, skateboards cater to yuppie commuters (Wall Street Journal) 

Speaking of first mile/last mile…here is how a few people are solving the problem — by riding. The private sector is responding with electrified skateboards to tackle hills, skateboards with fat tires to handle bumpy and rocky city pavement and other contraptions that are skateboard-like. I don’t see a ton of commuters on skateboards but I’ve definitely see more skateboards in bike lanes than in the past.

 

9 replies

  1. Sad to see the lack of bike lanes on Westwood. I frequently travel that route by bike as it is a direct route from where I live in Palms to many commercial locations on Pico (and much lower speeds/traffic volume than Overland). I’m a bit concerned that some simple striping is out of the question to let motorists know cyclists are welcome there.

  2. You’re right about the 1st/last mile connections issues on Westwood Blvd. Once the Expo Line extension opens, there’s going to be a dramatic increase in the number of riders on Westwood Blvd between the station and the UCLA campus and Westwood high-rises.

    Doing nothing is the best way to ensure the gridlock that locals fear.

    • Hi bikinginla;

      It will be interesting to see if there is some type of other viable and nearby north-south bike corridor that emerges. There are certainly some other side streets near Westwood in the area, but I would imagine getting cyclists across Pico, Olympic, Santa Monica and Wilshire would remain as issues.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Skateboards are great for last/first miles. When I was going to CSUN I used to skate to the 741 hookup with the Orange Line and skate out to my work in woodland hills. Makes a 15 min walk a 5 minute skate. + Fun!

  4. “Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) are pushing for the the cap-and-trade revenue — which they say could total between $3 billion and $5 billion a year — to fund mass transit projects in California.”

    Maybe LA can speed up the completion of a rail line into LAX and the subway to Westwood. Or even the funding of a rail line from SFV to West LA.

  5. Hey Steve — 

    That’s exactly the problem. Unless the city wants to install additional traffic lights to cross the major streets you listed, Westwood will remain the only viable alternative for riders, with or without bike lanes. Even then, it would take a major refiguring at Santa Monica to create a crossing anywhere other than Westwood or Veteran — and Veteran is too narrow to accommodate bike lanes north of Santa Monica, and has a steep hill beyond the ability of many riders.

  6. The brilliance of our dear leaders in Sacramento is that they fail to see the logic of CA’s cap-and-trade.

    What stopping these companies to move to TX? Oops, now there’s no money at all to be collected.