How We Roll, Feb. 16: bullet train versus drought, things to read whilst transiting

Newsflash!: The February Metro Board committee agendas have been posted, including links to staff reports on a variety of issues. You can find the agendas here. A few nuggets of interestingness:

•The headliner this month is perhaps the receive-and-file report on Metro’s proposal to charge parking fees at nine rail stations. Here’s a previous Source post with the staff report and details. The Board is scheduled to consider the item in March.

Here’s a report about leasing the old street-level right-of-way for the Gold Line through Old Pasadena to the city (the train runs underground between Del Mar and Memorial Park stations). This will permit the city to make all sorts of improvements to the old alley way. Possible improvements include a pedestrian and/or bike path, dining and some green space.

Budget parameters with some interesting graphics for those who don’t mind some weed-diving.

•Below is the monthly report on Metro construction projects — it provides a good overview of the many things in the works:

Art of Transit: 

The scene from a kayak yesterday in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. Photo by Steve Hymon.

The scene from a kayak yesterday in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. Photo by Steve Hymon.

The first 100 days of Santa Monica’s bike share neatly summed up in this graphic:


And one notable response from Twitter:

Good point. My hunch is that business will rise after we switch to daylight savings time next month. Plus, we appear to have skipped quickly ahead to summer. To whichever locale that is receiving our spring: enjoy.

Things to Read Whilst Transiting: A juicy read in the New Yorker about TMZ and how they obtain the dirt/gossip they gleefully fling.

Flea market fanatics: good post from my colleague Lily Brown on how to use Metro and your bike to reach some of the larger flea markets around the county. I live near the big monthly flea market at PCC. It’s a five-minute ride max on a bike from the Gold Line’s Allen Station.

Even better: make a day of it and ride another mile south to the Huntington for a nice day strolling around the gardens and galleries. From Huntington, you can ride down to Monterey Road and head west to South Pasadena for dinner at one of several places next to the Gold Line station. (I usually go Monterey to Marengo to El Centro).

Reshaping L.A. (KCET)

A look at old buildings, hills, tunnels, canals and other local things lost to the mists of time. Pretty cool if you have a few minutes to watch. Old streetcar infrastructure is tackled early in the segment and there’s a visit to the city archives, which resemble the warehouse at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Justice Scalia’s irreplaceable views on climate and CO2 (NYT Dot Earth blog)

Scalia was skeptical about the federal government’s legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide, which in his view was not quite the same as the actual pollutants that agencies such as the EPA were created to regulate. As Andrew Revkin writes, climate change is an issue that the courts will likely increasingly tackle with all sorts of new rules and laws in the pipeline, many of them impacting transpo-world.

A grand vision to revive Crenshaw Boulevard (LAT)

The Walmart in Crenshaw Plaza closed last month as part of the company’s downsizing. The article looks at efforts over the years to revive the Plaza including the latest to turn it into an urban village. The Plaza will be adjacent to a Crenshaw/LAX Line Station.

Proposal would shift bullet train funding for use on water projects (LAT)

Raising Shasta Dam has long been sought by agricultural interests. Photo: Wikimedia.

Raising Shasta Dam has long been sought by agricultural interests. Photo: Wikimedia.

Agricultural interests are gathering signatures to put a ballot measure before voters to shift $8 billion in high-speed rail funds to projects such as raising Shasta Dam and both the expansion and construction of other reservoirs. If the issue goes to voters, it would like pit farmers against construction and environmental groups.

It could also be a referendum of sorts on what scares voters the most: more drought or more population growth and more traffic. I don’t know who wins that one or if ‘win’ is even the correct word.

Recent How We Rolls: 

Feb. 12: will pulling up to your hot date on transit ever be the same as pulling up to your hot date in a Ferrari?

Feb. 10: is the future the Hyperloop, self-driving cars and faster/cheaper transit?

Feb. 9: subway lawsuit, parking fees and Americans heart their cars

Feb. 8: ExpressLanes tolls and what went wrong with our Super Bowl pick.

Feb. 5: can personal virtue ever drive up transit ridership?


3 replies

  1. The budget parameters confirm the direction that Metro is going – a slow reduction of service as a result of traffic congestion increase, since service hours are basically flat. While there is more light rail service, heavy rail is also slightly cut for some reason, possibly due to the risk allocation matrix proposal to cut night rail service to 20 minutes and substitute with buses after 12 am. Nevertheless, it is clear that a sort of fare restructuring is needed – a fare increase, or giving into the distance based fare commenters and doing a proper implementation of a “short distance” fare while keeping the maximum to something like $3.00 or $3.50 to not penalize people who have to make long trips.

    • A fare increase is in the cards almost no matter what. First to $2.00 then to $2.25. That was outlaid a few years ago. If Measure R2 doesn’t pass the fare increases will start. They can hold them off for a little while with Measure R2, but not for too long. Distanced based fares are a long term solution, but will be expensive to implement. You are going to need a whole infrastructure including ticket machines and the system will become pretty complicated for many people. Most light rail stations can’t even have gates so there is a major problem right there.

      • I think I’m right in saying that most German cities have distance-based fares – or at least zone-based fares – without ticket gates. Can anyone confirm this, please?