Art of Transit:
Metro takes control of Expo Line to begin pre-revenue service (Santa Monica Next)
Metro can now justly say “my precious” about the project’s mainline tracks between Culver City and Santa Monica. The Expo Line Construction Authority handed over the 6.6-mile tracks on Friday, a big step forward for the project.
The rail yard in Santa Monica still must be handed over to Metro. After that happens, Metro can set an opening date for the extension and its seven new stations.
Testing will be ramping up. Please see this post for more information about the ongoing schedule. Bottom line: expect to see trains throughout the day and night.
Self-professed transit geek David Kipen offers a quartet of ideas, including:
•a bike ferry across Marina del Rey to better connect the beach bike path that runs from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica.
•An improved and better defined walkway from Chinatown to Dodger Stadium.
•A Summer Olympics bid with events throughout California for 2028 — if the L.A. 2024 bid fails.
•Additional track for the Regional Connector that would permit trains to run directly between East Los Angeles and Pasadena (and soon Azusa).
Interesting stuff. My three cents, starting with the one about Connector as it’s directly-related to Metro:
•At this point, the operating plan for the Connector is to run trains between East L.A. and Santa Monica and another set of trains between Azusa and Long Beach. Trains would be able to run between East L.A. and Azusa, but Metro has chosen an operating plan that it believes will benefit the most riders — while keeping the system easy-to-use for customers while also keeping train schedules manageable.
The obvious upside: passengers going to/from East Los Angeles don’t have to transfer to reach the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Under the current arrangement, East L.A. passengers must transfer at Union Station to reach the heart of DTLA.
As for those traveling between stations on the Azusa arm of the Gold Line and those on the East L.A. side: they can transfer between trains by walking across the platform at the new underground Little Tokyo Station.
All in all, I think the Connector will benefit riders on the East L.A. side and save time for them. It’s probably how the Eastside Gold Line would have been built if there had been funding and more political support at the time.
•Fancy walkway to Dodger Stadium with great lighting, design and security: love it.
•My hunch is that the bike ferry wouldn’t save many cyclists that much time, if any. I do like the idea of a traditional ferry running along the coast from Redondo to Santa Monica although have no idea if there is enough demand for such a service.
•I have no idea if L.A. will get the 2024 Games but I love the idea of an all-California Olympics. I don’t think it’s viable, though, until we have a bullet train — and the San Francisco to Los Angeles leg is still many billions shy of being funded.
Huge crowds on Monday for the opening of the new eatery that is .3 miles east of the Blue Line’s 103rd Street/Watts Tower Station. As KPCC reports, “The idea is to bring fresh, healthy and local food to Watts where residents have had little access to that in the past.”
How frozen Minneapolis became a biking mecca (Des Moines Register)
Infrastructure, infrastructure and more infrastructure — such as a 5.5-mile bike expressway of sorts. Excerpt:
[Mayor] Rybak said that means more than simply painting bike lanes on streets; it requires strategizing how and where to place infrastructure to create a network connecting people to places.
“Paint is cheap. Bollards are cheap, too, and bikers deserve a little bit of protection,” Rybak said. “Every budget I developed, even during the toughest times, had some room for biking improvements.”
Of course, numerous cities here and elsewhere struggle just to find the money or will to paint bike lanes. But going the extra step seems to be where the dividends are really found.
India’s super-rich have supercars, but nowhere to drive (Wall Street Journal)
What do you do with a Lamborghini or Ferrari in India? Not much, due to crowded streets and lack of wide-open freeways sucha s the 395.
A corner of Europe frozen in time (New Yorker Photo Booth blog)
A road trip in the remote area near the Lithuania and Belarus border. Good gallery for thumbing through whilst transiting.
More things to read whilst transiting: Glenn Frey, the voice that launched a million tequila sunrises, in Rolling Stone. “He played lead, rhythm, acoustic, electric, and slide guitar; he doubled on keyboards; he co-wrote or curated most of the band’s best songs, sang lead on many of them, and maybe most crucially, helped arrange their take-no-prisoners group harmonies,” writes Will Hermes.
Like David Bowie, who passed away last week, the Eagles were a staple of ’70s radio (and well beyond). On the one hand, there were the British bands — Beatles, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Kinks and Wings that got a ton of plays. And then there were the bands/solo artists from this side of the pond: Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Boston, Rush, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and, most of all, the Eagles, who were doing the alt-country thing a long time before Uncle Tupelo came along.
Recent How We Rolls:
Jan. 15: big cars, electric cars and self-driving cars.
Jan. 14: A look at Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles’ attempt to do something about traffic and more on the Rams move to the Coliseum and then Inglewood.
Jan. 13: The Rams aren’t here yet but concerns over game day traffic are. Plus concerns over getting to the APU/Citrus College Station in Azusa.
Jan. 12: more on the relationship between rail transit and pro football.
Jan. 11: plugging the gaps in our regional transportation system.
Categories: Transportation Headlines