Things on Twitter:
— Robert Petersen (@lahiddenhistory) August 5, 2016
— Eve Weston (@eveweston) August 5, 2016
— Laura J. Nelson (@laura_nelson) August 5, 2016
— Woody baker (@baker_ebwb) August 5, 2016
— Tony Scudellari (@tvmxsup) August 5, 2016
— Gabriela (@Cid_Price) August 5, 2016
RIP Jay Nelson Jr., owner/pitmaster of J'n'J Burger & BBQ, LA's best bbq. Walkable from La Cienega Station. pic.twitter.com/FJI9YE80xM
— Expo Line Ledger (@expolineledger) August 5, 2016
Trying out @metrolosangeles' new Expo line to the beach. So far it sure beats the hell out of mind-melting I-10 traffic. 🚃🚃🚃🌴☀️😎
— Dylan John Seaton (@DylanJohnSeaton) August 4, 2016
— Andrew (@andrewveis) August 4, 2016
Expo trains every 6 minutes?
…well alllriiiight 😎 https://t.co/O8lbhRfxat
— Gaseous Clay (@ThatDudeCelo) August 4, 2016
Yes, hopefully in December.
LACMA expansion (LACMA)
LACMA’s $600-Million Makeover Revealed (Urbanize LA)
Pretty exciting and interesting. The new structure would replace a couple of older LACMA buildings and span Wilshire Boulevard. The new south entrance would be two short blocks east of the entrance to the Purple Line Extension subway at Wilshire and Orange Grove. The plan is silent on a possible subway entrance on the north side of the street.
There’s a lot happening in the area. The Petersen got its makeover and the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences is building its new museum in the old May building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. The La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum are next door. It’s a short bus trip or less than a mile walk to the Grove.
As for the LACMA expansion, the museum is hoping to finish the building by 2023, the same year that the first section of the Purple Line Extension to La Cienega is targeted to open. To quote the late Bill Rosendahl, ‘great, great, great.’
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is investigating after Metro was notified of the video by the television station — it doesn’t appear that anyone on the train called authorities during the incident. We’ve had several other inquiries from media, meaning this will be making the rounds on social media.
Riders: if you witness a crime on Metro or see something, then say something. Please either call the LASD’s transit deputies at 888.950.SAFE (7233), call 911 and/or notify the train operator through the intercoms located in each rail car and on every station platform. It’s also a good idea to save the LASD number in your cell phone. Just as a precaution even if you never need it. If on the Red/Purple Line subway, there is cell service available for Verizon and Sprint customers (T-Mobile will soon be able to provide service and negotiations are ongoing with AT&T).
Also, please note that the LASD, at Metro’s instruction, has in recent weeks also been putting extra patrols on Metro Rail trains and in stations.
For media and others who are looking for more publicly online information on the policing of the Metro system, here are two resources: the most recent crime statistics for the Metro system (January through April of this year) and and an audit of safety and security staffing on the Metro system by the agency’s Office of the Inspector General. The audit was released in early January of this year.
TransitCenter’s Steve Higashide writes a smart and provocative op-ed. These two graphs are the most critical:
In short, transit thrives in good pedestrian environments. For all the talk about using Uber, Lyft and bike share to bridge the “first mile, last mile” gap to transit, it’s far more important to put bus and rail stops in places where people don’t have to walk a mile or more to reach them. Transit needs to be in the middle of the action, not sent to the edge of town. New housing, offices, and retail should be concentrated near it.
This means Metro must work with cities — especially Los Angeles — not only to invest in safe crosswalks and sidewalks, but also to reform land-use regulations to nurture inviting walking environments. As another Times opinion piece noted, Los Angeles is a major global city whose zoning codes, parking requirements and development politics treat it like an enormous suburb. For transit to succeed, those laws and attitudes must change.
In plain English: build the projects where the population density already exists. Of course, that’s often challenging because the old rail right-of-ways often run through more industrial areas (see: Monrovia) and rail + density = more expensive rail. That said, there are some Metro transit projects that do dive right into the density — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector, the Purple Line Extension, the transit project on Van Nuys Boulevard in the SFV, the Crenshaw/LAX Line northern extension (a sales tax ballot measure project) and the Vermont Avenue transit project, to name a few.
It’s also worth mentioning that Metro CEO Phil Washington is pushing the agency to not just pursue a few developments on property it owns near transit — rather, Phil wants to see the agency work with cities and develop “transit-oriented communities” in which buses and trains are part of the fabric of the neighborhood.
As Steve notes in his op-ed, there are a couple of other improvements that scored very high in the TransitCenter’s recent survey: bus shelters that shield people from sun, rain and wind and more frequent and fast service. Neither strikes me as startling conclusions and there are challenges involved with both (mostly involving funding).
But transit ridership has been flat across the country and it will be interesting to see how many transit agencies really embrace this type of advice. But I also can’t stress this enough: agencies are mandated to have balanced budgets each year. Not running deficits is a good thing — but until there is an expansion of state and federal dollars to pay for this stuff or cities can find money in their budgets (which have tons of other obligations, such as public safety and pensions), then it’s going to remain a challenge.
And, finally, things to read whilst transiting: A fun article on the National Geo site on Olympic games we no longer play. Excerpt:
In the hoplitodromia, or race in armor, a field of 25 athletes ran two lengths of the 210-yard-long (192-meter-long) stadium at Olympia wearing bronze greaves and helmets and lugging shields that may have weighed 30 pounds. Contestants in the target javelin event hurled javelins at a shield fixed to a pole while galloping on horseback, a standard military practice documented by the historian Xenophon.
I’d probably watch that.
Categories: Transportation Headlines