How We Roll, Nov. 3: wait until next year ends in 151 days!

From the Dept. of Best Baseball Game Since Game 6 of the ’75 World Series, Game 6 of the ’86 Series and Game 2 of the ’90 Series: 

Why last night was awesome: as has been said by more literary types than me, baseball is a parable for mortality. The season begins in late winter, runs through spring and summer and ends in the autumn. In all probability, your team’s season ends with the vow to wait for next year. And it happens year after year after year, all the while waiting for the one day or night or week all goes right.

One of my younger colleagues this morning alerted me to the Extremely Dismaying Fact that he had never seen the film “Bull Durham,” which neatly sums it up here…

The Dodger Stadium Express rolls to Opening Day in only 151 days! The one-and-done Cubs pay the Dodgers a visit Memorial Day weekend, btw.

Going car free in L.A. has its ups and downs (KPCC Take Two)

Susan Carpenter gives up driving her own car in lieu of transit, ride hailing, walking, biking, etc. This is a very good segment that covers a lot of ground in seven minutes.

As for her month away from her own car, Susan’s some interesting observations:

•She says Metro got her to most of  her destinations but it too much longer than driving.

•She wanted a Metro app that did a better job (“actually works” in her words) predicting when buses and trains would show up.

•She wanted to see Metro partner with ride hailing services to offer discounts for people trying to get to and from transit stops.

•She said more frequent service would help.

•This too got my attention: she said that she spent $600 on ride hailing and car sharing services, mostly to get her kid to and from school — the same as she spends on her own car. I’d love to hear the response to this from the ride hailing apostles who claim self-driving ride hailing will somehow be cheaper.

Finally, Susan recommends that everyone try leaving their car parked for a week to determine when you may have some viable alternatives for some of those trips.

Five things you should know before voting on Measure M (KPCC Airtalk) 

This 27 minute segment — which feels longer — is a debate between Measure M campaign spokesman Yusef Robb and No on Measure M spokesperson Damien Goodmon. Airtalk host Larry Mantle plays referee and does his best to deploy fact-checks against both participants.

Related: the candidates for the fourth country supervisorial district — the winner will also join the Metro Board of Directors — debate Measure M and homelessness. Rep. Janice Hahn is for it, saying it will create $120 billion in funding for projects while Steve Napolitano, a deputy to Sup. Don Knabe, is against, saying it shortchanges cities in the southern portion of L.A. County.

Measure M would raise the countywide sales tax by a half cent and would extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax beyond its 2039 expiration date to fund a number of transit, road, pedestrian and bicycle projects. To learn more about Measure M, click here. To see a timeline of projects and programs, click here and scroll down.

Finish the Line (city of West Hollywood)

The city and advocates roll out a new video supporting an extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line through WeHo and to the Red Line in Hollywood. Interestingly, the news release and video don’t mention that this is a project that would receive funding from Measure M.

Under the project timeline, the project would break ground in 2041 and open in 2047-49. Metro has been seeking possible public-private partnerships (P3s) to accelerate projects and has listed this project as a P3 candidate.

In September, Metro CEO Phil Washington wrote a letter to the city of West Hollywood saying that if Measure M passes, the agency would begin the environmental studies for the project right away. Excerpt:

The steps Washington mentioned include completing a feasibility study that is currently underway by June 2017, proceeding with a study of alternative routes for the northern extension in 2017 and developing an environmental impact report on the preferred route in 2018. The extension would connect the Crenshaw/LAX line with the Hollywood/Highland Red Line station in Hollywood.

Super Tunnel (NOVA)

The cutter head for a tunnel boring machine in London. Photo: Transport for London.

The cutter head for a tunnel boring machine in London. Photo: Transport for London.

The PBS program has an entire episode about the challenges of tunneling for a transit project under the streets of London. Looks interesting but I couldn’t get it to play on my laptop.

America’s road trip: will the U.S. ever kick the car habit? (The Guardian) 

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A Guardian reporter parachutes into three cities — Detroit, Houston and L.A. — to see how they’re doing on the driving, transit, biking and walking front. Detroit is perhaps most interesting because so many people have left the city there is now room on some roads to take away car lanes and add protected bike lanes.

As for L.A., Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has some good observations — arguing (absolutely correctly, I think) that the uptick in cycling goes back to the ’90s and that it was the politicians that basically followed by promising (and actually building some) new biking infrastructure.

There’s also an extremely interesting exchange with Seleta Reynolds, the chief of the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation, who brings up the point that both carrots and sticks can be used to change driving behavior. That’s notable as many of her peers don’t like to even acknowledge the stick exists. And there’s this excerpt:

Reynolds is keen to stress there is “definitely not a war on cars”, but she says the reconstruction of the 405 freeway – and the much-feared threat of “Carmageddon” – taught Los Angeles that it cannot simply build itself out of congestion. “There’s a huge latent demand for road space which shows up if you increase capacity,” she says. “Now the 405’s finished, the traffic is just as bad as it was before.”

Just a hunch, but I suspect Reynolds’ inbox has an email about the comment from one or more folks who work at 200 N. Spring Street.

4 replies

  1. If your gonna include a link to Bull Durham today, how can you leave out Annie’s quote about 108 stitches on a baseball. Now that’s Karma!

  2. “This too got my attention: she said that she spent $600 on ride hailing and car sharing services, mostly to get her kid to and from school — the same as she spends on her own car. I’d love to hear the response to this from the ride hailing apostles who claim self-driving ride hailing will somehow be cheaper.”

    Lyft was offering a $20 and $29 pass for up to 20 rides (and $20 max) for rides under Lyft Line in November. This meant not having to drive or use transit to work for at least 10 days out of the month. If you ask me, even if it only for 20 rides total, that’s still a pretty good deal as just 1 lyft line ride from Silver Lake to East Pasadena can go up to $27 during peak. So depending on what the future holds, there may be a possibility of ride-sharing being cheaper in the future. I didn’t jump on the opportunity but will be doing so in December if they decide to continue offering a similar deal.

    “She wanted a Metro app that did a better job (“actually works” in her words) predicting when buses and trains would show up.”

    Use the Transit app instead. Why?? Because the Metro app won’t show me predictions from the other Agencies (looking at Big Blue Bus and Foothill Transit). And if there isn’t “real-time predictions” available from an agency, the “scheduled predictions” will be shown so having to look up a timetable shouldn’t be necessary.

    And I can’t help but to think that by “actually works” she meant just that. Often times I’ve been told by both Metro and Transit apps that my next bus will be showing up in 45 min, then 12 min later, bam! a bus arrives. So there is times where real-time isn’t actually working.

  3. A map of the proposed Crenshaw line northern extension would be helpful. But based on the tiny glimpse of a map provided in the video, it looks to me like it would be just about as useless as the rest of the line: it doesn’t give you a single-seat all-rail ride between LAX and LAUPT; it doesn’t give you an single-seat all-rail ride between LAX and downtown; it just gives you single-seat all-rail ride from not-quite-the-Airport to not-quite-Hollywood-Bowl, on what, if built to that bees-and-flowers alignment, could be MetroRail’s most circuitous route ever.

    Consider Boston: the “T” Blue Line gives you a luggage-friendly single-seat ride from Logan (where it connects directly with the terminal circulator bus) to downtown Boston (where it connects with the Green Lines at Government Center, and the Orange Line at State), with a 2-seat ride to North and Back Bay Amtrak Stations, and a 3-seat ride to South Station. I’ve been to Boston at least three times by air, and every single time, I’ve used it, including one time when, because of poor planning, I had to get into my suitcase at the Government Center Station.

    Consider Chicago: The “L” Blue Line serves O’Hare directly (about a year ago, I took it myself; it’s a long ride, but a relatively direct one, and got me to within luggage-trundling distance of my hotel), and the Orange Line serves Midway. Both provide single-seat all-rail rides between the Loop and their respective airports, and the Clark/Lake Station provides an easy, luggage-friendly, in-station elevator ride between the Blue Line Subway and the Loop Platform. And the Quincy station is within easy walking distance of Union Station.

    Consider Seattle: the “Link” provides a luggage-friendly all-rail single-seat ride between SeaTac (with the station in the main parking garage!) and downtown Seattle, including stations a short walk from Amtrak, Pioneer Square, Benaroya Hall, and Westlake Center (again, I’ve taken it myself).

    For that matter, consider Dallas/Fort Worth. Yes, it’s a royal pain in the butt to get between the terminals at DFW and the DFW Trinity Rail Express station, and the trains don’t run nearly often enough, but from there, you have single-seat rail to both Dallas and Fort Worth, including both Amtrak stations.

    For that matter, it won’t be too many more years before Orlando’s new SunRail provides a direct single-seat all-rail ride between MCO and the train station. (Alas, SunRail direct to Walt Disney World probably isn’t going to happen in our lifetimes.)

    And what do we get? Right. An “Airport” line that doesn’t actually go all the way to the Airport, and that ends 7 miles short of Downtown, and 8 miles short of Union Station, and no plans to ever offer a single-seat airport-to-train-station ride that isn’t a STINKING BUS!