Art of Transit:
From the Department of Heads Up!: The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority is holding a ceremony to dedicate the Monrovia Station at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the station, 1651 S. Primrose Avenue, Monrovia. More details here.
Today’s timewaster: a cool selection of photos from 1960 of Los Angeles, Long Beach, So Cal smog and sprawl and a very empty Disneyland.
Another cool area photo from Days Gone By:
Please slow down around crosswalks:
Time-lapse across North America, including our state and town:
We briefly mentioned yesterday that Metro has expressed interest in a pilot program by the Federal Transit Administration to accelerate construction of the Purple Line Extension to Westwood and the Aviation/96th Street station on the Crenshaw/LAX Line. That station will be transfer point to the future LAX people mover that will run to airport terminals. (Here’s the letter to the FTA about the Purple Line Extension and here’s the letter about the Metro Connector/96th Station).
Reporter Laura Nelson’s story offers more details. In particular, Metro is hoping to use the FTA program to complete the Purple Line to Westwood by 2024. That’s 12 years ahead of the current long-range plan schedule of 2036. The 2024 goal isn’t a surprise with Los Angeles pursuing the ’24 Summer Olympics. From Laura’s article:
Winning the Olympic bid is often a catalyst for new infrastructure projects. Most recently in the U.S., when Salt Lake City won the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics in 1995, the city expedited two light-rail lines, which opened in 1999 and 2001.
Passenger service for the Purple Line would begin May 31, 2024, according to a draft schedule included in the letter. The Los Angeles bid proposes an Olympic start date six weeks later.
Metro has told the FTA that accelerating section 3 so that work coincides with section one to Wilshire/La Cienega and section two to Century City would reduce construction costs, reduce construction impacts and bring transportation benefits to the region more than a decade earlier than planned. Hard to argue with any of that.
Section one is beginning construction and is forecast by Metro to be complete by 2023. Section two is scheduled to open in 2026 under Metro’s long-range plan. The 10-year time gap between section two and three is there for funding and political reasons — Measure R funds need to accumulate over time to pay for this project and others around Los Angeles County (in other words, not all the money can be used on just one project — the funds need to be spread around). But the project can undoubtedly be done more quickly if tunneling machines can be left in the ground and continue to dig instead of sitting idle for years after the Century City segment is finished.
So we’ll see. Also TBD is how Metro’s ongoing work on a long-range plan update and potential 2016 ballot measure to raise funds for transportation projects impacts this. No doubt that 2024 is very ambitious for the subway project.
As for the Aviation/96th project, the current long-range plan timeline has that being done in 2028 although Metro and LAX have been trying to find a way to speed up the project so that it opens by 2023. An airport connection to Metro Rail would certainly be a nice option to provide visitors to our region as well as the thousands of LAX employees who staff the nation’s fourth-busiest airport and must get to and from work each day.
Why LADOT won’t have its portion of Expo Bikeway done anytime soon (Streetsblog LA)
A very detailed explanation by Jonathan Weiss of why the Cheviot Hills section of the bike path — to be built by the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation — is now indefinitely delayed. This is something to keep an eye on, as it’s important to connect cyclists to Expo Line stations and give them other ways to get around town.
Things to read while sitting/standing/stuck on transit: A smart piece on the NYT’s Upshot blog about the folly of predicting what will happen in any given NFL season. As you might know, many predictions by so-called experts turn out to be dead wrong, largely because they’re based on last season’s standings, which often have nothing to do with the next year’s results.
That said, How We Roll can’t help but to run downfield while clutching its crystal ball. After all, in a much earlier form in centuries gone by, HWR correctly predicted that the NFL would embrace the two-point conversion and HWR now proudly considers itself the Father of the NFL Two-Point Conversion.
And thus our pick: the Green Bay Packers, with Aaron Rodgers but minus Jordy Nelson, will avenge their epic collapse in last year’s NFC title game by defeating Tom Brady and his Patriots in the Super Bowl. Choosing the AFC entrant was more difficult as we suspect Andrew Luck and the Colts will pile up the wins, passing yardage and points, respectively, in the weak NFC South.
Although we believe the Pats will win, HWR has decided in the meantime to cheer vigorously for the Buffalo Bills as this column’s Unofficial Favorite Team Who Are Not the Cincinnati Bengals. Why? We like an underdog.
As expected, the group Fix the City filed suit, alleging that the mobility plan recently approved by the Los Angeles City Council would increase car traffic and air pollution by adding bike and bus lanes and possibly reducing car traffic lanes.
The mobility plan says that if enacted many people would switch from driving to walking, biking and taking transit. As for Fix the City, the group has a long history of fighting projects that could add density to the region, arguing the region can’t handle the density it already has.
Of course, many others argue that density can make neighborhoods more livable by attracting more businesses and making them more walkable, more bike-friendly and better supporting transit. On that note, please see this Source post about Metro beginning the process of developing 15 acres of agency-owned land adjacent to the NoHo Red Line and Orange Line stations.
Quasi-related: A lawsuit in San Francisco tried to stop the city from adding new bike infrastructure, alleging that an environmental review was needed to determine impacts on traffic. The review was done and the City Council re-adopted a bike plan it had already approved and bike infrastructure improvements went forward, delayed but not defeated.
As far as can be told, the rideshare services have relatively few vehicles that provide rides for customers who use wheelchairs — and those customers may be charged more for those rides. Such a policy would not pass go in publicly-supplied transit, nor at other private firms, I suspect.
Categories: Transportation Headlines