Transportation headlines, Tuesday, August 26

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Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t the only person attending the Emmy Awards on Monday who took Metro to the Nokia Theatre. The above photos were taken at the Pico Station shared by the Blue Line and Expo Line and located one block from Staples Center and L.A. Live. Photos by Josh Southwick/Metro.

Jimmy Kimmel takes the subway to Emmy Awards in downtown L.A. (L.A. Times)

Pretty amazing to see the social media hoo-ha that breaks out when a celeb steps onto mass transit, particularly in a city that (undeservedly, IMO) is not exactly known for its local rail system. That said, it’s a nice shot of free PR for Metro and if Jimmy Kimmel can be an urban pioneer and figure out how to get a TAP card from the ticket machines, so can many others! See our post with his tweets and some reaction from riders.

BART’s early warning earthquake system could have broader applications (San Francisco Appeal)

The system that has been in testing since 2012 provides a 10-second warning that a temblor will occur, which agency officials say is enough time to significantly slow trains to help prevent derailments. Funding a broader system could also help slow motorists, warn surgeons and give just enough time to others to make a difference, say supporters of the system. Seems to me that any kind of warning is better than none.

Reworked projects to bring 320 apartments to the Arts District (Downtown News) 

The development was actually downsized after community members protested that it was too large for the Arts District. If the project near the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and 7th Street gets built, it’s another big boost in the number of people living in the Arts District — particularly with the large One Santa Fe development nearing completion. Reporter and transit activist Roger Rudick responded to the news on Facebook with this: “If we don’t get that subway station in the Division 20 Yards and 6th Street we’re going to be trapped back here.”

As some folks know, Metro’s subway maintenance yards are along the Los Angeles River in the Arts District — that’s where the trains go when they’re out of service at Union Station. There has been occasional talk over the years about building a platform for the subway in the yards to serve the Arts District. Nothing has happened yet but as the neighborhood grows, I’m guessing there will be more demand for subway service — it could be an easy ride through Union Station to the rest of downtown and beyond — along with some inevitable concerns about the subway bringing too many people into the neighborhood. We’ll see… 🙂

L.A.’s demand-based parking moving in exactly the right direction (KCET)

City of Los Angeles officials say that their ExpressPark Program in DTLA is resulting in slightly lower average prices and more parking spaces being occupied. There’s some doubt as to whether that’s because of the demand-based system that adjusts meter prices or a reflection of an improving local economy and more people driving downtown. Nonetheless, the system will soon expand to Westwood and it’s the kind of thing that academics such as UCLA’s Donald Shoup have long been advocating.

Lost in America (New York Times)

Columnist Frank Bruni riffs on recent survey results showing that Americans have record low views when it comes to the federal government. More troubling, Bruni writes, is that Americans no longer believe that their children’s generation will fare better than their own, a reversal of a long-held American dream. Excerpt:

And it suggests that this isn’t just about the economy. It’s about fear. It’s about impotence. We can’t calm the world in the way we’d like to, can’t find common ground and peace at home, can’t pass needed laws, can’t build necessary infrastructure, can’t, can’t, can’t.

In the Journal/NBC poll, 60 percent of Americans said that we were a nation in decline. How sad. Sadder still was this: Nowhere in the survey was there any indication that they saw a method or a messenger poised to arrest it.

It’s a tough one. I’m 48 and feels to me that the world has been in some type of turmoil at very regular intervals throughout my life. On the home front, feels to me that most people I know have very little interest or enthusiasm when it comes to Washington D.C.

5 replies

  1. Earthquake warning systems aren’t new. Japan already has it and it has been proven to be effective.

    Japan has invested heavily in their earthquake warning system that went live in 2007 that in the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, it worked effectively to give their citizens as much as 30 seconds lead time to shut off gas valves, take cover, shut down their bullet train system, and head to higher ground before the tsunami struck that otherwise, would’ve lead to more disastrous outcomes than it would’ve been.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_Early_Warning_(Japan)
    http://www.csun.edu/~mdalessio/japan/JapanEarthquake/EarthquakeEarlyWarningVideos.html
    http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2059780,00.html

    Japan is years more advanced that the US when it comes to uses of technology for the better good, and only now are we tinkering with that idea, all thanks to politicians who waste money on stupid things instead of spending the money where it’s supposed to go.

    It used to be that the rest of the world copied American ideas. Now America is becoming a third world country that we have to learn from others.

  2. “Warn surgeons” ten seconds in advance of an earthquake. Assuming, of course, that the warning doesn’t jar the surgeon more than the earthquake itself.

    And hooray for Mr. Kimmel. As I recall, his show originates just across the street from the Highland station; perhaps he could start taking Metro to work, and/or encouraging his studio audience to take Metro.

  3. “There has been occasional talk over the years about building a platform for the subway in the yards to serve the Arts District.”

    LOL. FYI, during the 1990’s, LACMTA got pretty far along into building a redline subway station in the Arts District. It got as far as a completed design, I do recall hearing at an Eastside Redline extension community meeting in 1996 or 1997. This was just before…well anybody following Metrorail development at the time should know what happened.