HWR, Sept. 29: SFV transit projects, subway goal horn

Art of Transit: 

The view outside the 7th/Figueroa entrance to 7th/Metro Center Station in DTLA. That's a big building, people -- and still to get bigger. Photo by Steve Hymon.

The view outside the 7th/Figueroa entrance to 7th/Metro Center Station in DTLA. That’s a big building, people — and still to get bigger. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Newsflash1!: I know there were tough commutes for Blue Line and Gold Line riders on Monday. On the Blue Line there was a train-person incident that resulted in a pedestrian fatality at Artesia Station during the morning commute; the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will investigate. On the Gold Line, a problem with the overhead wires that power trains developed about 5 p.m. with repairs continuing this morning.

Thank you to everyone for their patience and for riding. As per usual, Metro will take a look at feedback from riders on how the delays were handled. The best way to get frequent service updates is to follow Metro on Twitter. The metrolosangeles stream includes tweets on a wide variety of subjects, including service alerts. The metrolaalerts stream includes only service alerts.

Newsflash2!: Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed vehicles with one occupant to use the carpool lanes on parts of the the 134 and 210 freeways outside of peak hours. As attentive readers know, the Legislature often wants to tinker with various aspects of carpool lanes. Brown’s veto message:

AB_210_Veto_Message

Katz voices SF Valley’s R2 transportation needs and priorities (The Planning Report) 

An interview with Richard Katz, the former Assembly Speaker and long-time member of the Metro Board of Directors. As with yesterday’s Daily News article and our summary/response, the interview involves what the Valley wants in Measure R 2. Unlike Measure R in which Katz was a key player as a Metro Board Member and advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, it’s a little different this time around with Katz on the outside looking in as chair of the Valley Economic Alliance.

Looking down the Orange Line alignment. Photo: Metro.

Looking down the Orange Line alignment. Photo: Metro.

In terms of news about the ballot measure, there are no new details. As I explained yesterday, that’s still to come and Metro to this time has mostly been gathering input from local governments and stakeholders. That said, Richard pushes the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project as a rail line (Metro hasn’t yet decided) with some funding potentially from the private sector.

I think he also has something interesting to say about the Orange Line. Rather than push for a conversion to light rail ASAP, Richard advocates for grade separations that would speed up buses and allow for more buses to run on the busway. The separations, he says, would also be helpful in a future rail conversion. And that’s a key thing to consider in the ballot measure: if there is only so many dollars to go around, should an Orange Line conversion trump the Sepulveda Pass project? Stay tuned.

Related: StreetsblogLA’s post from last year about Measure R highway investments in the SFV. “In the bigger picture, I find it a bit disingenuous for Valley interests to now say they were shortchanged. The way I see it, the Valley has received modest transit investments, because the Valley really prioritized its transportation investment toward car infrastructure,” writes Joe Linton.

Bill signed allowing for hit-and-run alerts on electronic freeway signs (KPCC)

Governor Jerry Brown signed AB8 (by Mike Gatto, D-Glendale), which allows information about vehicles suspected of being involved in hit-and-run accidents to be posted on electronic signs. Unlike Amber Alerts, the information won’t be pushed out as text messages to cell phones.

Seems like a smart idea to me given that many hit-and-run accidents receive inconsistent media coverage. Your thoughts?

Shell exits the Arctic as oil slump forces industry to retrench (NYT)

The Beaufort Sea shoreline in Alaska. Photo by ShoreZone via Flickr creative commons.

The Beaufort Sea shoreline in Alaska. Photo by ShoreZone via Flickr creative commons.

Royal Dutch Shell announced it was ending its nine-year effort to drill for oil in the Alaskan arctic. Excerpt:

The announcement was hailed as a major victory by environmentalists, who had fought the project for years, only to be stymied by pressure inside and outside the industry to increase domestic oil production. 

But at a time when global markets are glutted with oil, thanks to the advent of new drilling techniques, the announcement also confirmed major oil companies’ increasing willingness to turn their backs on the most expensive new drilling prospects in the Gulf of Mexico and suspend plans for new projects in Canada’s oil sands.

An article earlier this month explains the supply-and-demand issue a bit more, basically explaining that supply has greatly expanded in some places (the U.S. has doubled its domestic production in recent years) while demand has dropped slight, due in part to more fuel efficient vehicles.

If this interests you and you want to keep drilling rigs out of places you already love or may never see — but want to protect — the answer is pretty easy: get a fuel efficient car (some of them are also the less expensive cars) or get a car and still try walking, biking and taking transit some of the time.

The Islanders commissioned one of the most hated organizations in New York to make them a horrible goal horn (SBNation)

The Islanders have moved from Long Island to the extremely transit-friendly Barclays Center in Brooklyn. As part of the move, the team worked with the Gotham MTA to use a subway horn to celebrate an Islanders’ goal. The SBNation article has the funnier headline, while this NYT article actually involves journalism. NYT excerpt:

The horns are activated by a wireless remote when the Islanders score, and the sound belongs to the R160 class of trains, one of the newer models in the fleet. They are featured on at least three of the 11 subway routes that run near Barclays. There is also the Long Island Rail Road, which will have extra trains to and from home games.

Fans who wanted to voice their displeasure took to Twitter shortly after the goal horn made its debut, using the hashtag #KeepOurGoalHorn.

The Islanders play the Kings at Staples Center on Nov. 12 and the Kings visit Brooklyn on Feb. 11. Of the two teams, one went to the playoffs last season while the other, ahem, had a more relaxing spring. Go Metro to the Kings regular season beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7 when the Sharks come to town — the Blue and Expo Lines’ Pico Station is a very short walk to the arena.

All blue skies as city center in Paris goes car-free for the first time (Guardian) 

Paris goes carless for the day #paris #skateparis #carfreeparis

A post shared by Karl Moss (@mossyinsta) on

After being cloaked in smog earlier this year and with an upcoming international climate conference, Paris was under pressure to show it could clean up its act. The result on Sunday: about one-third of the city was declared off-limits to cars — including the Champs Elysees — and in many other districts motorists were limited to driving 20 kilometers per hour.

From the looks of this Guardian video, car free Paris looked CicLAvia-like but with more walkers, better architecture and perhaps more intriguing accents by public officials  🙂

Supermoon eclipse rises over Portland (Oregonian) 

My friend Mike Zacchino took some nice pics of the eclipse over the new Tillikum Crossing bridge — the bridge that carries only trains, cyclists and pedestrians.

Some recent How We Rolls: 

Sept. 28: Lunar eclipse over Metro, the San Fernando Valley wish list of transit projects, things to read on transit (profile of Grimes in the New Yorker) and an update on the five electric buses delivered to Metro earlier this year.

Sept. 25: Regional Connector 1st/Central Station update, Gold Line beyond Azusa, mega-rents in L.A. and mega-drought impacting our native chaparral in the mountains.

Sept. 24: Metro considers bus stop ‘thinning,’ personal pod transit nonsense, things to read on transit, baseball stats and the Dodger Stadium Express.

Sept. 22: New York subway’s ‘pizza rat,’ more on China’s bid to build high-speed rail to Vegas, a motion that seeks to make college/vocational TAP cards easier and cheaper to obtain and books versus tablets on transit.

Sept. 18: My so long to long-time Metro flack Marc Littman, will it take China’s dollars to finally build a train between L.A. and Vegas and a horse rides light rail in Ireland.

Sept. 2: the Summer Olympics 2024 and transit edition.

I’m also on Twitter, Instagram and have a photo blog where I share my non-transportationy stuff. Don’t want to comment but want to reach me? Email me!

 

1 reply

  1. OMG YES! I’ve missed this weeks headlines and going through them now. On Mondays headlines I said something similar. I’m glad the idea is being thrown around: “I think he also has something interesting to say about the Orange Line. Rather than push for a conversion to light rail ASAP, Richard advocates for grade separations that would speed up buses and allow for more buses to run on the bus-way. The separations, he says, would also be helpful in a future rail conversion. And that’s a key thing to consider in the ballot measure: if there is only so many dollars to go around, should an Orange Line conversion trump the Sepulveda Pass project?”. For a while i was all for conversion. Although rail conversion is inevitable as the valley grows and eventually is gentrified (probably a long time from now) rail will be needed but for now improving what is already there seems more economically feasible.