From the Dept. of Grizzly Adams: I had the good fortune to spend the last few days active transporting around the Eastern Sierra. In this day and age, it’s pretty nice to be a few miles from the nearest road and to have no cell/internet access. Guess the name of this pass (email me) and I’ll declare the first person who gets it right to be the Greatest Transit Rider of All Time For One Day.
This just in: Source reader James Bourne is the Greatest Transit Rider of All Time until 12:01 a.m. Friday — as benevolent dictator of this blog, I have granted him an extra day to enjoy the throne. Excellent geographical awareness, James! That’s Pine Creek Pass below. The photo was taken from the French Canyon side looking back toward the Pine Creek side. If anyone is planning a trip in the area, feel free to email me questions!
County Supervisors approved Metro sales tax for ballot measure (Streetsblog LA)
As was expected, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to officially place Metro’s sales tax ballot measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. The Metro Board, which includes the Supervisors, had previously approved the sales tax measure at their June meeting by a vote of 11 to 2. Although Supervisor Don Knabe voted against the plan as Metro Board Member, as a Supervisor he did vote to allow the issue to go to voters.
Metro has asked the County Registrar to call it Measure M. It will need two-thirds support from voters to pass and would raise the base sales tax rate in the county from nine to 9.5 percent; if approved it would raise the sales tax rate to 10 percent in a few cities. Here’s the current list of sales tax rates across the county.
Click here to learn more about the the ballot measure — called the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan. As reporter Laura Nelson notes, “County voters will also be asked to approve a parcel tax for parks and a community college bond measure” and city of L.A. voters will consider a $1.2-billion bond measure to build housing for the homeless. Over at Streetsblog and the Trib, Joe Linton and Steve Scauzillo, respectively, have a roundup of early proponents and opponents around the county. The big question, as Steve notes, is how much voters are swayed by local officials.
Three months ago, the media was suggesting that having parking at only three of the seven new stations was blasphemy. Excerpt:
According to Metro, the three new stations are all more than half empty (or, as an optimist would say, less than half full). The Sepulveda Station, which has 260 parking spaces, is averaging a 38 percent utilization rate; the Bundy Station, which has 217 spaces, is averaging 30 percent; and the Santa Monica station at Colorado and 17th Street, with its paltry 65 spaces, is averaging 49 percent.
Unlike the vast majority of Metro’s 26,000 parking spaces, these three lots are not free — they cost $2 a day, about as cheap as anywhere in the city.
What’cha think, readers? Is the demand for parking low because riders are finding other ways to the train? Or do you think a small fee helps discourage some people who would otherwise gobble up free parking? I pay $2 to park at the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station and there’s always spaces available — I suspect because of the fee.
Will California lawmakers make it legal to roll through red lights (Streetsblog LA)
SB 986 would permit motorists to turn right on red without first stopping — although they would have to yield to pedestrians. Hmmm. No, make that double hmmm.
Okay, let’s face it. I’m not sure how many motorists even know they are supposed to stop under current law. What I do know: I almost never in my 22 years of living in California have seen the current law enforced. Thus, this. Hmmm.
An interview with I sat down with Ashley Z. Hand, the Transportation Technology Strategy Fellow for the city of Los Angeles. She is about to hand over a document that she describes this way: “It’s intended to be seen as a manual of data-driven innovations, best practices of what’s happening elsewhere (like the redefining of Right of Way in NYC with Times Square), a ton of recommendations, policy and administrative shifts, core ideas and strategy to put them into place.”
Two questions: 1) what will she recommend, and; 2) will the city actually implement them? Stay tuned.
Should a bike-share ride cost the same as a bus? (Next City)
Josh Cohen likes an ongoing trend: pay-per-ride bike share, which Josh says will help attract riders — especially those who may not want to buy the different types of passes sold by bike share places around the country.
Speaking of, Metro Bike Share is now open to walk-ups and you can ride for $1.75 for 30 minutes. You will need a TAP card. If you buy the annual or flex pass, you can then link a TAP card to your account and use the TAP card to take out a bike. All the details here.
Presidents, Congress and infrastructure investment gridlock (American Prospect)
As a colleague who donated this headline summarized, “in short, they’re not hopeful” — mostly because of Congress. Bring it, mayor of Tampa:
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn offered a revealing observation about what infrastructure-obsessed municipalities are up against: lawmakers who see no benefit, electoral or otherwise, in sending scarce funds to cities. “Convincing legislators that mobility options are important, I have found to be a frustrating and not a very productive discussion,” said Buckhorn to applause from the forum audience. “They just don’t get it; they don’t want to helpful to the urban areas for a lot of different reasons, most of which are not altruistic.”
Well, this is the exact reason that so many cities/regions are seeking their own funding for transpo. In fairness, the feds have been good to Metro — we received giant grants to help build the Purple Line Extension and Regional Connector. But Metro has done well because we used the local dollars as a lure for the bucks from D.C.
Categories: Transportation Headlines