Transpo headlines; good morning from Sierra Madre Villa

GoldLine23June2015 (48 of 93)

Same pic as above but in color. Can’t decide which I like better in this case. Your suggestions welcome!

GoldLine23June2015 (83 of 93) GoldLine23June2015 (34 of 93) GoldLine23June2015 (48 of 93)-2 GoldLine23June2015 (73 of 93) GoldLine23June2015 (82 of 93) GoldLine23June2015 (93 of 93)

Good morning. I’m out and about talking pics today — starting this morning at the Gold Line’s Sierra Madre Villa Station. I was happy with a few of the photos, so thought I would share before moving west.

A real quick stab at headlines….

Some perspective on how Angelenos are driving less (Streetsblog LA)

Joe Linton takes a very thoughtful stab at trying to understand the chart tweeted last week by outgoing L.A. deputy mayor Rick Cole — a chart that showed the number of miles that Angelenos are driving has been decreasing since 2002. He also ruminates on reasons for the decline.

I think Joe’s educated guesses are on target — probably a combo platter of things perhaps accelerated by the Great Recession and, as commenter Dennis Hindman writes, perhaps a shift in the way we shop.

Related: I don’t think there’s any reason to not believe the stats on vehicle miles driven posted by the city or any other agency. But we should acknowledge, too, that such stats are inferences are based on samples, and thus may not reflect entirely what’s happening out there.

I do think that the L.A. of 2015 is noticeably different than the L.A. of 1994, when I moved here. There’s more of everything that matters when it comes to mobility — more pedestrian-oriented areas, more rail transit, more bike lanes (and cyclists) and more people willing to not always drive everywhere.

Good post and I encourage everyone to take a look at it. This is an important topic, given that most of us acknowledge the best way to combat car traffic congestion is diversify the ways that we get around. If the chart is correct, there are lessons we should be learning from it.

Addendum: For those interested in Metro’s role in this: the Pasadena Gold Line opened in 2003, the Orange Line to Warner Center in 2005, the Eastside Gold Line in 2009, the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth in 2012 and the Expo Line to Culver City in 2012. Metro light rail, heavy rail and bus ridership was 441 million in 2002 and was 464 million in 2014.

The argument against cars (EfficientGov)

Another interesting post that should have used the word “arguments” in the headline. The big takeaway here are the observations — as obvious as they may be — about what cars have done to cities.

Funding and travel-time concerns impede L.A. downtown streetcar (L.A. Times) 

It has been 2.5 years since voters in downtown approved a tax hike to pay for the streetcar. But a $220-million funding shortfall remains and questions have arisen about the route, the streetcar’s expected average speed of 3.5 mph to 4.5 mph and why anyone would wait to take something so slow.

Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro

 

 

8 replies

  1. “It has been 2.5 years since voters in downtown approved a tax hike to pay for the streetcar. But a $220-million funding shortfall remains and questions have arisen about the route, the streetcar’s expected average speed of 3.5 mph to 4.5 mph and why anyone would wait to take something so slow.”

    How’s that any different from most Metro buses that end up going 3-4 miles in gridlock, and the majority of Metro bus riders that wait for them to travel a paltry 3-4 miles on average?

    Fast isn’t the issue here, and trams aren’t meant to go fast either. It’s the cost of transit and the ability to move many people over a short distance in one shot. Go to any city in the world with trams and they all don’t go that fast, their main use is to transport many people over SHORT distances.

    Manchester
    https://youtu.be/n0NJLAYN2Kc

    Prague
    https://youtu.be/rL8qr79tFvw

    Berlin
    https://youtu.be/5R1Q8okhmS0

    Amsterdam
    https://youtu.be/5JeWED7Zilo

    Hiroshima
    https://youtu.be/Ij-htVFChfA

    Kumamoto
    https://youtu.be/EZ84WEbEIH4

    Kagoshima
    https://youtu.be/XEQukAOxj0M

    Sapporo
    https://youtu.be/GIkwvKXjz2A

    Perhaps if funding is an issue, LA might consider asking these guys to build it and operate it for them?

  2. I don’t think the monochromatic look adds anything to these kind of subjects – use it on some historic buildings or freight train operations. Bring back full color!

  3. How exactly are we to take the MTA seriously concerning using public transit when they ignore the largest grid lock in the Los Angeles area in favor of building Light Rail through areas already served by freeways and empty roadways? Yes, there are bus lines but those buses on those lines are stuck in grid lock as well. The high rises were built in anticipation of a proposed and planned freeway only to have that freeway cancelled by Jerry Brown.

  4. I think Mr. Hymon makes an even better point than just what the Streetsblog LA story suggests. The steady decrease of Angelenos driving since 2002 has more to do with L.A. residents having more and better choices in getting around Los Angeles than what the numbers indicate (just as in baseball where sometimes a player’s worth goes beyond what you read in the boxscore). By 2002, the full length of the Red Line to North Hollywood has been in operation for two years, the Blue Line was well into its second decade of serving Long Beach and South (Central) Los Angeles and the Gold Line to Pasadena was a year away from (finally!) coming to fruition.

    • Hi Martin:

      I just added this graph to the post:

      Addendum: For those interested in Metro’s role in this: the Pasadena Gold Line opened in 2003, the Orange Line to Warner Center in 2005, the Eastside Gold Line in 2009, the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth in 2012 and the Expo Line to Culver City in 2012. Metro light rail, heavy rail and bus ridership was 441 million in 2002 and was 464 million in 2014.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. Just built the sepulveda rail from Lax to Sylmar, that should take about 10 million cars a year. lol. stop everything else. Also take off every carpool lane out and replace it with a rail line instead. We can use our freeway as long distance rails as long as it has a intercity rail connection. example. A rail down the 405 in the carpool lane that make a stop with orangeline, purpleline expoline and green line.