Crime, safety vests for pedestrians, creating nice bus stops: HWR, Nov. 29

A 51-year-old Commerce man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the stabbing death of Xuezhong Bao, 62, on the Gold Line on Tuesday. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, police were first called when the southbound train was at Irwindale Station and police met the train at Duarte Station. The LASD said a weapon was recovered but have released no other info about motive or what prompted the stabbing.

Metro also released a statement on Wednesday afternoon:

Our thoughts at LA Metro are with the family members of the victim of this tragic attack. While this type of incident is rare in the Metro system, one victim is too many. The safety and security of Metro riders has been and will be our first priority and we will continue to work to enhance security across the entire system.

Metro urges riders to report any threats to public safety on the Metro system by calling Transit Watch at 888-950-SAFE or to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

The most recent crime stats for Metro are here. This was the first homicide on the system in 2018. There were two in 2017 — a stabbing in March 2017 on the platform of the Wilshire/Normandie Station of the Purple Line and a shooting which occurred on the tracks near the Blue Line’s Firestone Station in Oct. 2017.

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For obvious reasons, this tweet is prompting some discussion — and the responses are not all entirely super polite, to say the least. I don’t live in the city of L.A. but I get the frustration.

Sure, jaywalking is illegal. But in my neck of the woods — Pasadena — motorists seem to feel entitled to run red lights, speed through yellow ones and engage in other driving behavior risky to pedestrians. If I saw a ton of traffic law enforcement I would not complain. But I do not. Not in Pasadena and not really anywhere.

Oh, and on that subject…

The LAT has an article with the completely accurate headline “As L.A. struggles to reduce traffic deaths, speed limits keep going up.”

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As has been widely reported, Elon Musk’s planned private Westside tunnel ran/bonked into a lawsuit over the project’s lack of a formal environmental study. So the Boring Co. has heave-ho’d those plans as part of a settlement and says it will instead focus on building a tunnel between a Red Line station and Dodger Stadium.

Metro had said it would work with the company to ensure the Westside project didn’t interfere with its plans to build a rail tunnel as part of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project. That now appears to be a moot point.

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It’s a long read but one I highly recommend. In 2007, Congress passed a law requiring the use of vegetable oils in motor fuels to reduce greenhouse gases that lead to climate change.

What happened next? Environmental catastrophe on Borneo, according to the NYT Magazine and Pro Publica, with tropical rainforests and peatland ripped apart and burned.The punch line, for lack of better term: more CO2 released than biofuels could ever reduce.

The political response to the article? Then and Perhaps Future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands by the bill saying biofuels are important. Then Rep. Henry Waxman — who once represented the Westside — says the law was a mistake.

Quasi-related: the New Yorker has some ideas how to help General Motors, which this week announced plant closures and layoffs. How? More laws to encourage or mandate cleaner vehicles so the U.S. has a strong foothold in the clean vehicle market.

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The LAT’s Carolina A. Miranda has a great story about an anonymous masked gent who is building bus stops in parts of our region where they don’t exist. As she notes, bus stops and benches are largely up to the cities where they are located, not Metro.

Excerpt concerning bus stops in the city of L.A.:

Any street furniture has to first be approved by the Los Angeles City Council. After that, a single bus bench travels through an extensive permitting process, requiring approval from the Department of Public Works, as well as eight — eight! — other city agencies including the Department of City Planning, the Bureau of Engineering, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Bureau of Street Lighting. Nearby property owners also have a say.

TransitCenter put our a report earlier this year on less-than-nice bus stops. The title of the L.A. section:”When Everyone Has a Say on Shelters, Few Get Built.” From the report:

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The city of Albuquerque has returned 15 electric buses to BYD, the Chinese-based manufacturer after running into problems on its bus rapid transit line.

Among other issues, the buses had to be charged more frequently than planned, reports Streetsblog via the Albuquerque Journal. FWIW, Metro has ordered 105 electric buses — 65 from BYD and 40 from New Flyer. Those buses will be used on the Orange Line and Silver Line.

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Looking for gift ideas?

The online Metro Store also has some items that may interest the transit-enthusiast in your life, including leggings, a colorful phone case and coffee/tea mugs.

 

3 replies

  1. Although incidents like this may be rare, I am curious if Metro will be taking any extra steps to ensure the safety of riders?