How We Roll, Dec. 18: in a transit system not so far away…

Art of Transit:

Captain Phasma headed to the subway at Union Station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Captain Phasma headed to the subway at Union Station. Those escalators are very original Star Warsy. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

To quote Liz Lemon, I want to go to here:

Abandoned Star Wars set in the Sahara Desert in Tunisia  by Renee Vititoe on

If you have a Star Wars-inspired pic taken on the L.A. Metro, please share it with us @metrolosangeles on Twitter and @metrolosangeles on Instagram.

Related: my colleague Joe has posted a good list of movie theaters near the Metro Rail system.

Things to read on transit: Is a real light-saber possible?: a new hope in Scientific American. You have to admire any article that contains the following paragraph:

However, there is a physical problem. That kind of power means that the plasma would be incredibly hot, and at a distance of only a few inches from the hand of the sword wielder. And heat is irradiated in the form of infrared radiation. The Jedi’s hands should be essentially instantly charred. So some sort of force field must keep in the heat. And yet, the blades appear to be using optical wavelengths, so the force field must contain infrared radiation, but let visible light through.

The bike, bus and [bleep] lanes (UCLA Center for Health Advancement)

The pottymouth headline on a UCLA web page certainly gets your attention. Fair enough: whoever wrote it is clearly frustrated with the city of Los Angeles’ lack of enforcement of the Wilshire peak hour bus/bike lanes, noting that there are some motorists who are clearly using the lanes to secure a speedier trip.

For bikers, legally using the bus-lane during rush hour, it can be terrifying to have the scofflaws zooming up from behind, because you know that these are the most reckless, least considerate of drivers, and that they’ve placed an obvious premium on speed over the law. Without better enforcement of bus- and bike-only times, these bus/bike/[bleep] lanes could end up being a net negative for bike safety. Public health would be well served by fewer stops for busted taillights, and more stops for dangerous driving.

Attentive readers know that Metro’s very busy 20 Local and 720 Rapid buses use the peak hour lanes. This also isn’t the first time that the blogosphere has written about this issue.

Metrolink cars that derailed in Oxnard had flawed parts, confidential report finds (LAT)

Catching up to this article about the crash in Oxnard in February that killed the train engineer and injured 24 on board the train, which struck a truck that had parked on the tracks. The report by Metrolink cites an issue with the train’s cow catcher and another issue that may have impacted a coupler on a train car. Metrolink declined to discuss the report. The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the accident and could find that the two parts were not an issue.

Metro is one of the five county transportation agencies that funds Metrolink commuter rail service in Southern California. The railroad also receives funding from Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

San Diego adopts ambitious, and legally binding, plan to cut emissions (LAT/Union Tribune)

The plan would allow groups to sue the city if goals aren’t achieved as a way to help curtail the impacts of global warming/climate change. The big ambition: cutting the city’s overall emissions in half in the next 20 years while relying on 100 percent renewable energy. If the plan holds, maybe we’ll soon see what it looks like when nearly every building has solar panels.

Oh wait, then there’s this little issue:

However, when it comes to meeting San Diego’s transportation goals, elected officials may face an even more complicated puzzle. With vehicle emissions representing more than half of the city’s greenhouse gases, the newly minted Climate Action Plan will fail if residents don’t significantly cut back on the number of miles they drive.

In October, the San Diego Regional Assn. of Governments adopted a countywide transportation plan that included millions in infrastructure spending for the city of San Diego. While some of that money went to creating bike lanes and expanding the trolley network, funding was also allocated for widening nearly every major freeway in the city.

Recent HWRs:

Dec. 15more on the Metro bus service changes that began last Sunday.

Dec. 14: how will the Paris climate deal change our everyday lives in L.A. County?

Dec. 11: will we ever have a truly car-free city?

Dec. 10: hey, so when is the Expo Line to SaMo opening?

Dec. 9: Uber’s latest biggish idea, health clinics at transit stops?

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