Transportation headlines, Thursday, June 18

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Today’s Art of Transit is a video from dancer Phillip Chbeeb:

Interesting chart from a city of L.A. Planning Department report tweeted by Rick Cole, who is leaving his post as city of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation to go to work for the city of Santa Monica:

There are probably several factors in play here, one of which is surely the economy. I suspect that our expanding transit system has also helped with several projects opening either before or during the timeframe above — including the Red Line to NoHo, the Pasadena Gold Line, the Orange Line, the Eastside Gold Line, the Silver Line and the Expo Line’s first phase.

Quasi-related: the LAT’s Patt Morrisson interviewed Cole about ongoing issues in the city of L.A. and Santa Monica. One chronological item worth mentioning: the Metro Board decided to pursue a regional bikeshare program in late 2013 after the city of L.A. unsuccessfully tried to implement bikeshare on their own. Speaking of…

Metro’s Planning Committee approves a bikeshare contract (Streetsblog LA) 

As a result, full Metro Board will consider the contract with Bicycle Transit Systems and Bcycle at their meeting next week. A lot of the discussion involved interoperability with the bikeshare program that Santa Monica is pursuing. As Streetsblog notes, Metro Board Members expressed concern but decided to move forward with Metro staff to work with Santa Monica on said issues. Here’s our post about the Metro staff recommendation.

Where President Obama’s visit will impact traffic and buses (Daily News)

The LAPD provides a list of streets to avoid with President Obama and Hillary Clinton visiting the region today and Friday.

Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan says no to raising the federal gas tax (Washington Post) 

As the Post says, Ryan is holding the keys to the car (so to speak) in the House when it comes to such decisions. However, both Ryan and other committee members agreed that a long-term solution still must be found and that Congress is failing the American people when it comes to finding a source for long-term transportation funding.

You decide whether that means progress.

Should I be drinking local or sustainable beer (Grist) 

The always fun/informative Ask Umbra column tackles a surprisingly tough question: which beer brands are the most sustainable? Ones made locally or ones made in distant locales but using renewable energy?

The answer is tough as some brands are trying different tactics to reduce their carbon footprint whereas others have been relatively silent. Nonetheless, Umbra comes up with this advice:

To figure out which beers best fit your green prerequisites, I highly recommend asking each of your local favorites what it’s doing to clean up its act — bonus points for doing so publicly (thanks, Twitter!) and with groups of friends chiming in. The more brewmasters hear our demands for sustainably produced beer, the less we’ll have to worry about trucking in our ales from across the country. Then buy the ones that are doing the most for the planet – these guys need our support.

And when you’re imbibing, don’t forget about the hefty impacts from glass bottles and aluminum cans we saw in those brand reports. Bike, walk, or bus your way down to that brewery and fill up a reusable bomber (or keg, if you’re in the party mood) whenever you can. You’re slashing impacts from shipping and packaging, and that deserves a toast.

There’s no shortage of local breweries in our region near transit. One of them is near my crib — the Stone tasting room about 15 feet from the train at the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station.

Closing the 710 gap (Marketplace)

The radio program is doing a series on our nation’s infrastructure and this segment looks at the 4.5-mile gap in the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena. The somewhat strange video below teases the text that doesn’t say much but go over the very basics: Caltrans and Metro have issued a draft environmental study that proposes five alternatives: no-build, traffic signal/intersection improvements, light rail, bus rapid transit or a freeway tunnel. The public comment is currently open; here’s the project’s home page.

Redondo Beach bike path opens Saturday (Beach Reporter) 

The bike path between Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach has received a makeover with Measure R tax dollars helping pay. Looks pretty nice — especially the protected bikeway part along Harbor Drive.

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•Things to watch/listen to on transit. I’m often illiterate or slow to the party (if invited at all) when it comes to pop culture and have never heard of Greg Holden. But wow. What a great cover of a great old Tom Petty song:

 

 

6 replies

  1. Re: long term solution for transportation funding

    The simplest of all solutions is that Murica should stop fighting stupid and costly wars and re-direct money back to our own country and start investing in our own infrastructure. Did we really need to spend $600 million dollars in building a new embassy in Baghdad, one with a size of 80 football fields?

    It’s not every day that I agree with Fox News, but even they think that was wasteful spending! http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/05/11/600m-us-embassy-in-iraq.html

    And it costs us taxpayers $1.2 billion a year just to maintain it!
    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2007/05/29/13350/photos-embassy-iraq/

    And this is how our tax dollars were spent:
    http://i.imgur.com/kyMJYeO.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/NCAPIVS.jpg

    Imagine what $600 million dollars of taxpayer money and $1.2 billion per year could do to our crumbling infrastructure if it were used here!

    Of course bringing back money here from stupid wars that waste money is only half the solution. Transportation agencies themselves also need to do their part also to start cutting costs and increasing revenue on their own. If Asian countries are able to show the rest of the world that they can run transit for profit and run them with better efficiency with little or no tax support, Murica transit agencies should start learning from them on how they are able to accomplish that too. Tax dollars would be better spent in sending American public transit agency officials to study abroad in places like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore and have them learn everything they can from these places.

  2. Drink “local” or “sustainable” beer? Wow, must be a really slow news day. The only thing ‘local’ about LACo breweries is the equipment, hops and grain are grown WAY offsite.
    Also correct me, but I thought that customer supplied ‘refillable’ containers weren’t allowed anymore due to nanny health regs. Too bad since recycling a larger container Should reduce the cost of a superior product. I’ll have to ask the folks at my nearby (Three Weavers) microbrewery in Inglewood.

    • Hey Mike;

      I just saw growlers at Stone a couple weeks ago — unless something has changed since then. I certainly hope not.

      Yes, sorta slow news day but nice to mix it up once in a while too.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Thanks for the headsup on POTUS. Saw the C-5 at LAX yesterday and figured he might be coming.

  4. When our city is visited by high level politicians and political candidates, they should be forced to ride our public transit system between fundraising gigs. No more road closures for POTUS.

    • Obama is too stuck up to take the same traffic congested streets as the rest of us. What makes you think he won’t get preferential treatment when riding Metro?

      When Obama rides Metro, they’ll make it certain that that particular Metro line will be off limits to everyone except for Obama’s entourage and they bring in someone from the Army to operate Obama’s Metro Rail.