How We Roll, May 3: Azusa parking situation, pedestrian woes, airport lines

Department of I’m Just Trying to Help/Things to listen to whilst transiting: For younger riders scratching their heads at the geezer rock lineup at this fall’s Desert Trip in Coachella, I recommend streaming “Let It Bleed” from the Stones. Consider it a lesson in pop culture history. Here’s the title track performed live. Warning: semi-naughty lyrical references although pretty tame stuff compared to some of the things I’ve heard emanating from riders’ phones and headphones.

Things to read whilst transiting: sales of ping pong tables to tech firms in the Bay Area are dropping, perhaps signaling a tech bubble about to burst, so reports the WSJ. BTW, if you’re not watching “Silicon Valley” on a regular basis, you should be.

Art of Transit: 

It's #BikeMonth! || photo 📷 @ponderossa @dtla_fwd #GoMetro #BikeMetro

A photo posted by Metro (@metrolosangeles) on


Azusa moves to adopt parking restrictions at packed downtown station (SGV Tribune)

Coverage of last week’s City Council meeting where officials approved two new parking permit districts on streets near the station and some three-hour parking limits on other streets. The key excerpt:

The downtown parking structure, paid for in part by Metro, Foothill Transit and the city, allocates a portion of spaces to each agency. Many of the city-owned and Foothill Transit-designated spaces remain vacant on a daily basis.

Macias said the city may try to partner up with Metro to lease some of the available spaces in the garage until additional parking can be secured. In addition, he said the city is discussing opening its transit yard for parking, but they would like Metro to help pay for a shuttle to transport passengers to and from the station.

Metro Spokesman Dave Sotero said the operations department has been in close discussions with the city of Azusa.

“There are things cooking that will help address these parking issues,” he said.

Gentle reminder: the Irwindale parking garage is not filling as quickly as the Azusa garages and there’s often parking available later in the morning rush hour at Monrovia Station. The Sierra Madre Villa garage in Pasadena also has plenty of spaces.

Click here for a map of the area and audio from the Council meeting. And click here for more info about bus connections to all the new Gold Line stations.

Culver City cluster (Let’s Go L.A.)

A good look at the root causes of the awfulness of the intersection of Venice and Robertson boulevards and the missing crosswalk on the west side of the junction. The intersection is next to the Expo Line’s Culver City Station.

Kind of related: The city of Los Angeles was ordered to pay $23.7-million in damages for being liable for a flawed intersection in San Pedro where a man was killed three years ago, reports the LAT.

Sort of Related: As I watched yet another motorist run yet another red light while zooming through yet another crosswalk in Pasadena last evening, I reminded myself that we could likely raise millions of dollars for the public good simply by enforcing existing traffic laws at intersections designed to protect walkers, cyclists and motorists. But no one listens to me.

New York Subway ridership surges (NYT)

Times Square station in March. Photo by Eric Gross, via Flickr creative commons.

Times Square station in March. Photo by Eric Gross, via Flickr creative commons.

Ridership hasn’t been this high since 1948. Crowding has become a big problem, with “platform controllers” deployed to key stations. What’s not really explained is why ridership has grown — my guess is the usual Gothamic reasons: the expense of having a car, the expense of taking a cab or ride hailing and an economy that must be doing well. Or well enough.

As mentioned recently on Streetsblog LA, transit ridership in the Greater New York area is one-third of the nation’s transit ridership. Hmmm.

Resettling the first American climate refugees (NYT)

Flooding has increasingly hit Isle de Jean Charles on the Louisiana coast and the feds have awarded a $48-million grant to resettle the several dozen residents. But not everyone wants to leave. The NYT casts the isle’s tale as a preview of what may come if/when climate change sparks more coastal flooding around the world. Intriguing story, excellent photos.

Dutiful reminder: taking transit rather than driving alone is generally speaking a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. Take it away, Cincinnati Metro:


Catching a flight? Budget hours, not minutes, for security (NYT)

This is why I like road trips. Delays at some airports have reached monstrous proportions due to increased scrutiny of travelers and TSA staff shortages.

Best anecdote in the story: In March in Charlotte, airport officials say it took some travelers three hours — not a misprint — to get through security. The TSA insists that waits never were more than 75 minutes. Well, okay.



17 replies

  1. The City of Azusa is the cause of these problems in their blocking of the Citrus extension road by the APU/Citrus station until it was too late to open it before the Gold Line did. Once that is open, the under-utilized Citrus College parking lot will be a short walk away and on a street that is easy to access from I-210.

    Also, why is Foothill Transit able to reserve spaces for Bus riders versus Train riders? Isn’t one of the points of Transit to offer an alternative to the car? Foothill gets 75% of its funding via Metro Los Angeles

    and really only exists due to past frustrations with SCRTD prior to the merger with LACTC that created Metro:

    Discouraging train ridership on one publicly-subsidized entity to benefit express bus ridership on another is exactly the kind of Brain-dead Balkanization this region does not need.

    • Just an update re. Irwindale Station parking…filling up by 7:45 AM for the past 3 weeks. With parking restrictions in DTA, I would expect this will be the norm or it will fill even earlier. Since many (maybe majority) of riders from new stations end their trip at one of the Pasadena stations, suggesting they park at the “half-empty” Sierra Madre Villa station is of no help.

      • It would be better if Irwindale station was served by transit. As it is there is a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest bus stop to the platform from Foothill Line 185.

    • Hi, Erik. We are required by the FTA to reserve some spaces for our riders. Part of the funding we provided for the construction of the Azusa Intermodal Transit Center was via the federal government. As such, it is governed by Title VI guidelines that work to ensure equitable access to our services. While our Commuter Express Line 496 does serve the Azusa Intermodal Transit Center, so do our local Lines 185 and 280, and local Lines 187 and 494 have stops close by.

      It is in order to make sure it is just as easy to ride the bus as it is to ride the train — not to encourage one form of transit over another — that these restrictions were put in place. That being said, we are well aware of the parking frustrations in Azusa, for our customers as well as Metro customers, and we are working with the City of Azusa and with Los Angeles Metro to find the best solution.

      • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to private car parking? Wow. Thanks for the fascinating answer.

    • The Citrus lot won’t provide any help unless classes are not in session. Students regularly complain about not having anywhere to park. And you need to be enrolled to get a parking permit. This is just a colossal failure to plan. It seems like Metro is not worried about the commuters who will stop using the train when they stop being able to find street parking. And what about people who just want to take the Gold Line into Pasadena to shop or have lunch or something like that? The trains run mostly empty during the middle of the day because no one can park at the stations. I’m so sick of hearing that there are spaces at Irwindale or Monrovia or…if I drive to Irwindale, I might as well drive to work. Not helping, Metro!

  2. Climate refugee, huh? Can I please get California political refugee status for all the numbskulls in office here?

  3. Some people listen to you! I think this is great idea: “we could likely raise millions of dollars for the public good simply by enforcing existing traffic laws at intersections designed to protect walkers, cyclists and motorists.” In some cities (NYC, SF) this has been part of Vision Zero traffic law enforcement efforts. Focus tickets on the traffic violations that are most responsible for killing people. Metro does some funding of pedestrian safety, but it would be great if the agency saw a greater role in keeping Metro riders safe while they walk to/from their transit stop. One thing I’d like to see Metro do is to include in its legislative efforts to work to change state law that penalizes pedestrians – resulting in LAPD stings outside Metro stations

  4. Based on my recent experiences, I don’t blame TSA too much for security delays. Some airport authorities have been horrifically negligent in expanding the inspection queue space. In the morning going through Oakland, CA security was quick and painless whereas Honolulu, HI was a single queue nightmare. Surprisingly I’ve not had major delays at LAX, knock wood.

  5. Regarding the Goldline extension parking situation at Citrus/APU, Azusa, Irwindale, (now Duarte!? OMG), Metro owns the failure to foresee the parking needs/actively deciding to go cheap on parking. Not only is the Irwindale lot now full early, a large number of riders are street parking in the commercial/Industrial area around the station. I wonder how long it’ll be until Irwindale starts cracking down.

    It is such a shame. For people like me who’ve been suffering the commute for years on the 210; yes, solo driving and also taking the 690, the Goldline extension is wonderful …and I’m now only able to ride it on Fridays thanks to the lack of parking. As a previous commenter mentioned, the line runs nearly empty after 8am due to the lack of access. The vast majority of people who live out in the ‘burbs of the 909 HAVE TO drive to take advantage of the train.

    Oh and yes Metro, start charging for parking; chase off the people that financially could most benefit from the train. Great plan! (slow clap)

    • The vast majority of people who live out in the ‘burbs of the 909 HAVE TO drive to take advantage of the train.

      Great you now have an alternative for which you paid nothing to gain it. Its the same complaints for the norwalk station even a larger majority are orange county residents who never had to pay a dime into it

      • So, ben, what’s your suggestion? It may be that the Inland Empire crowd is taking up a significant portion of the whopping 912 parking spots between the Citrus/APU station and Duarte station. Somehow exclude them and you think the station parking situation is reasonable and good planning? I’m in the Claremont, La Verne, Pomona area which is LA County and 909 by the way.

        Foothill Transit establishing a route similar to the morning pickup route for the 690 that then goes to APU/Citrus would be a potential partial solution. Using the 187 to get to APU/Citrus station is not a reasonable solution for anyone commuting to work.

      • Metro did not “Go on the cheap” as the LACMTA DID NOT PLAN AND BUILD the Gold Line Extension. The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority made the decision so as to keep with their manta “On Time and Under Budget”.

    • Parking costs an insane amount to build, something like $30k per spot in a structure, and then even more to maintain and police. It’s an insanely expensive way to boost ridership trivial amounts. That’s money Metro could be spending on, you know, moving people.


      You can blame Metro for not giving you free parking, or you can actually blame the real source of the problem: You. You’re the one that decided to live out there and commute.

  6. How would someone know if I parked in the Foothill Transit space and took the Gold Line instead? Is there a minder to make sure I get on the correct bus?