How We Roll, Feb. 24: how long does it take to drive from SaMo to Pas at rush hour?

Traffic today doesn't look much different than traffic yesterday on the eastbound 10 from SaMo.

Traffic today doesn’t look much different than traffic yesterday on the eastbound 10 from SaMo.

So….I did something I rarely do on Tuesday and drove to the Westside. I was taking photos of Expo Line train testing and wanted to shoot from a number of locations.

My last stop was at the corner of Colorado Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, where the Expo tracks cross Lincoln. After grabbing a meatball hoagie at Bay Cities Italian deli, it was 3:45 p.m. — already more than 90 minutes into rush hour when everyone starts leaving SaMo and West L.A. and headed east.

I did the same. I decided to try surface streets to get past the 405 — Broadway to Ohio to Santa Monica to Westwood to Pico to Overland to the freeway entrance. I then took the 10 to downtown L.A. and switched to the northbound 110.

By the time I pulled into Chez Steve on the east side of Pasadena…


The answer is at the bottom of this post.

Which reminds me: Metro CEO Phil Washington will announce the opening date for the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica after tomorrow’s Board meeting — a good alternative to the hell that is the Santa Monica Freeway. I’ll post the news tomorrow along with a whole mess of exciting new train testing pics and other nuggets of light rail wisdom.

Do you ride-hail to Metro stations? In yesterday’s poll, nearly 62 percent of readers said they had. Interesting.

Streetcar proposed by Mayor de Blasio may require two new bridges (NYT)

The proposal burped forth earlier this month for a $2.5-billion, 16-mile route along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront. It sounds like a hybrid streetcar-light rail line that would certainly be the nation’s most elaborate streetcar-type thing.

Perhaps most interesting is that the project was proposed by the city of New York — not the New York MTA. Which raises another set of questions: who is going to pay for it and would it have a separate fare system than the New York Subway (overseen by the MTA)?

L.A. officials ponder bond or tax measure to help the homeless as budget shortfall looms (LAT)

It’s far from clear what the city of Los Angeles may do: but Mayor Eric Garcetti says that some type of new revenues are needed to tackle the city’s share of our regional homeless problem.

Thus, the city could pursue a bond, a sales tax increase or new document fees. Each has its own challenges. As for sales tax increase, attentive Source readers know that Metro is also considering a long-range plan update and potential ballot measure to help pay for the plan’s projects and programs. Stay tuned.

How WeHo is fighting for its own subway (LA Magazine) 

WeHo residents have always been supportive of transit and now the city is making a more concerted push for a northern extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line that would swing through WeHo and end at the Red Line in Hollywood.

San Diego is ready to go big on biking and walking (Next City) 

“The mobility plan calls for 9.3 miles of protected bike lanes and 5.5 miles of pedestrian greenways in the roughly two-square-mile downtown core,” reports Next City.

Interesting nugget: the city will consider building the lanes all at once in order to create a network, rather than put the lanes together piecemeal. DTSD has wide roads and officials say they’ll either take a lane from car traffic or perhaps go with narrower lanes. Currently, DTSD has very little in the way of bike infrastructure.

To quote a famous San Diegan, don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Cash flow is a problem for ‘Lexus’ lanes on L.A.-area freeways (Los Angeles News Group) 

The LANG newspapers don’t like the ExpressLanes concept, period — as this editorial makes clear. They’re especially unhappy these days that single motorists are allowed to use them at all, saying the ExpressLanes should be used only to get carpoolers moving again.

The Metro Board in January approved a slight increase in tolls during peak hours to help keep traffic in the lanes moving at a minimum of 45 mph. Here’s the staff report. As for the ‘Lexus Lanes” label, that’s an old one and Metro has found customers from all sorts of communities are using the lanes.

Reading this while you drive could increase your risk of crashing by 10 (NYT)

A Virginia Tech study analyzed three years worth of data and found that dialing a cell phone increases the chance of a crash by a factor of 12, reading or writing by 10 and texting by six. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is still much more dangerous, but researchers found that distractions played a role in 70 percent of serious crashes they studied.

Good see numbers attached based on research but not much here we don’t already know, eh?

CORRECT ANSWER: It took me two hours, 12 minutes. The most grueling stretch, as it turned out, was the 110 through DTLA. I probably would have been better off winding through DTLA and taking Huntington Boulevard to San Marino to Pasadena or staying on the 10 to the 5 to the 110.

Recent How We Rolls: 

Feb. 23: how many readers have used ride-hailing to get to and from Metro stations? And, a new bike path to connect the Duarte/City of Hope station to the San Gabriel River Bikeway.

Feb. 22: another L.A. rail dreams map, sales tax increase proposal in Long Beach.

Feb. 19: is there funding to get the bullet train to either Nor Cal or So Cal?

Feb. 18: of density, traffic and transit in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Feb. 16: bullet train versus drought, roundup of new Metro staff reports.


9 replies

  1. Steve,

    Not sure if I am more disappointed in you for not going with the signature Godmother at Bay Cities or trying to drive out of the Westside after 3:30 on a weekday. I think now you can see why everyone is eagerly awaiting the Expo Line in these parts.

    • I was hoping to get to SaMo earlier in the day in order to flee by 2 p.m. — the usual point of no return. I normally would have stayed and made a day of it but my beer league hockey team had a playoff game last night so needed to be back to walk the dog first and purchase the post-game refreshments.

      I know. TMI.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. So why exactly were you not on a bus? This is a major issue, with the City of Santa Monica requiring employers to reduce driving trips and at the same time exempting itself from those rules. I take the bus 20 percent of the time. Do you? Was Metro paying for your drive from a photo shoot on the westside to Chez Steve, in a Metro car or on a Metro expense account?

    • I wasn’t on a bus for the reason that I explained: I had two DSLRS and several lenses with me and had to shoot from a variety of locations, not all of which were on the same bus lines. I certainly don’t shy away from taking transit, but I can’t — like many people — always take transit. And yesterday was one of those days whereas today I was back on the Gold Line to work.

      This blog has always been consistent in its messaging: we’re not telling people they always have to take transit. We’re telling them that there is a transit alternative if they want to use or must use it.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Steve, I must take you to task on your implied equivalence of the Gold Line and Uber on your multiple-choice chart. The former is public transit (and would have been much faster), the latter is private, car-based transportation. As well, you suggest a short-cut through Downtown. While you may, and I emphasize ‘may,’ save a smidgen of time cutting through Downtown, isn’t that the kind of thing we should be discouraging as we work together to make our neighborhoods more pedestrian-friendly?

  3. Steve, by any chance do you know if at tomorrow’s Metro Board Meeting will a decision regarding the proposed 190/194 and 170 lines transferring to Foothill be announced? Two reasons why I ask. One. Up until recently I used to live in Compton but now live in Baldwin Park and so that’s something that concerns me. Two. My wife works as a driver for Foothill. If you have any information. I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Hi Rogelio;

      They just wrapped up the public comments earlier this month and there’s nothing on the agenda for tomorrow. But let me check in the a.m. to see what the timing is concerning the changes.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Enough with Metro upping sales taxes, the most regressive tax of all! Lower incomers and many bus riders actually pay a greater % of their income on sales tax than the better-heeled in places like So. Pasadena. Speaking of So. Pasadena, “stay tuned” because the taxpayers there and in Pasadena, Sierra Madre, La Canada-Flintridge and Glendale, are already circling their wagons if Metro allows new sales taxes to be used on the 710 toll tunnel to nowhere (Alhambra.) So for once, Metro’s board should think smaller. The taxpayers are already paying Metro’s generous salaries and pension checks (postpaid to Blue Heaven, Idaho) while being left in this Basin of Smog.

  5. It takes me 55 min reverse-peak to drive from Pasadena to Santa Monica. I work in East Pasadena during the day and attend class in Santa Monica in the evening twice a week (I won’t get into why but I expect to finish up in PCC in Fall). Yet, when I took Transit last week, it took me 3 HOURS to get to Santa Monica (Departed 2:31pm, Arrived 5:25pm). Did I mention this was reverse-peak??

    Don’t worry, the culprit was not Metro, but rather it was my regretful decision to wait for Foothill Line 187 instead of walking to Sierra Madre Villa. What was supposed to be a 3-5 min wait turned in into 25 min, resulting in a really horrible domino effect of missed transfers from Pasadena to Santa Monica.

    This fine example is exactly why the Expo Line was desperately needed and I am really happy it’s finally here!!! While it appears that it may not make a Downtown to Santa Monica commute any faster than Rapid 10 outside peak hours, for further traveling from one end of the county to the other, the time savings definitely become bigger.

    I haven’t had a reason to drive PM peak direction from Santa Monica to Pasadena. But driving to Downtown and Silver Lake, it wasn’t so bad the few times I did it (45-60 min). It wouldn’t be something I would do everyday though.