Your Friday Send-off: Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods

After having Shake It Off shoved in my face from every corner of the TV, radio and internet, I was ready to write-off Taylor Swift’s upcoming new album. The single is catchy, but pedestrian. However, if Out of the Woods is the song that is supposed to embody the spirit of the album, I might give it a chance after all. (Although I can’t say I like Welcome to New York much either…but I could just be biased against songs about NYC. L.A. all the way!)

If enjoying music on bus or train, please remember to use your headphones. And if you want to tell me what I “should” be listening to, let me know in the comments or tweet me at @metrolosangeles!

Patsaouras Transit Plaza is reopening; no health threats to passengers

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles Fire Department have declared Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station to be free of any health threats, including the Ebola virus.

The Transit Plaza will reopen shortly to regular Metro bus service and bus service by other providers.

Patsaouras Transit Plaza closed at Union Station due to medical situation

Metro buses and the FlyAway Bus are boarding at Cesar Chavez and Vignes Avenue until further notice. Please follow service alerts on the homepage and our Twitter feed for updates.

Here is information provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:

At 1417 hours today, a male approached MTA security at Union Station and stated that he was feeling very ill. The male had just exited a Flyway bus. The male said he had returned from Nigeria three (3) weeks ago. He was with his family on the bus. The status of the other bus passengers is unknown. The bus is holding at Union Station with the driver.

The Union Station bus turnaround area is current closed and LA City Fire is on scene.

This situation is developing and more information will follow as we get it.

The World Health Organization this week declared Nigeria to be free of transmission of the Ebola virus.

Metro Presents: Neptune Winds in Union Station Waiting Room this Friday

Photo courtesy of Neptune Winds.

Photo courtesy of Neptune Winds.

Start your weekend with some classical, contemporary and popular music in the Union Station Waiting Room. Neptune Winds of the Colburn Conservatory of Music will be performing on Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as part of Metro Presents. Drop by and enjoy the tunes!

New Metro video: how to slay Nextrip, sings Rusty Eye

And here is the third of the new videos from Metro’s marketing team, this one featuring Hollywood-based Rusty Eye promoting Nextrip, which allows users to get real-time bus and train arrival information on GPS-enabled smart phones or computers.

The new videos are intended as a fun way to help folks learn to ride the Metro system and remind everyone that taking transit can be fun and/or interesting. Please feel free to share/comment/review on social media using the hashtag #metrorocks. Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The first video featured Galactic Flo promoting Metro’s and Google’s trip planner. The second video had the folk duo Steps of Doe explaining how to reload your TAP card at ticket machines.

One other note: the musicians who appear in the videos (and the firm that made them, Conceptive, Inc.) are entirely local. If you’re a musician and would like to share your song about local transit, you can email us here.

Transportation headlines, Friday, Oct. 24

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  

Basics: the math of park-n-ride (Human Transit)

Boy, Laura Nelson’s article in the Times earlier this week on parking and the lack thereof at some Metro transit stations got people talking. That’s a good thing as parking at transit stations is an interesting public policy issue. The latest to chime in is transportation planner Jarrett Walker who says he doesn’t believe parking is needed in many cases to attract people to transit. Excerpt:

The claim that Park-and-Ride is needed to attract riders is true only in the earliest phases of development, or on transit services with limited utility like peak-only express service.   Once land value rises in response to transit access, the highest source of ridership is also the economically highest use of the land: dense, transit-oriented development around the station combined with good provision for the space-efficient forms of access (i.e. everything but Park-and-Ride).  This is why Park-and-Ride is often a logical interim use of land, but not one that you should plan on having forever.  Once a city has grown in around a transit system, there may be little Park-and-Ride left at rail stations, and only massive, distorting subsidies will make it free.

Read his entire post — it offers more context and there are some situations in which Walker feels that parking is appropriate.

LADOT pilots pedestrian-first signal timing on Broadway (Streetsblog LA)

Some good news: it’s an experiment, but the city of Los Angeles has been tinkering with the timing of walk signals on Broadway in DTLA. The walk signal now comes on several seconds before the green light for cars, the idea being to give pedestrians a head start so they’re more visible to motorists who may otherwise quickly turn right or left into a crosswalk. I think they’ve been doing the same thing in Pasadena near City College and I love it — after spending years avoiding students who are driving too fast or too dumb-dumbly.

Faces of transportation (AASHTO)

The American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials shows off their annual photo contest winners. A few nice pics in there if you’re into this sort of thing. Some even nicer transpo photos on the Mobile Photography Awards’ website — not sure when they were first published, but they’re really good.

Speaking of mobile photography, I’m a big fan of Hipstamatic and have been giving their new TinType app a whirl. It’s designed for portrait photography, but folks I’ve taken pics of say it makes them look bug-eyed. Took this one on the Gold Line yesterday. It’s a little dark, but I do like the effect:

Santa Monica Airport could save us from alien invasion (Streetsblog Lite) 

So says one letter writer in the Santa Monica Daily Press, suggesting the airport could be used for a military staging area to fight the outer-space people/things/creatures. Hmmm. But what if the alien invaders are friendly and just want to borrow some earthling stuff for a while?:

Take note, aspiring directors. It’s hard to do much better than that.


Other actions taken Thursday by the Metro Board of Directors

It was a mostly quiet agenda, but these three items may be of interest:

•Item 20. The Board approved a motion by Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas to provide $2.8 million in funding to continue environmental studies and planning work for a walking and bike path on the Harbor Subdivision right-of-way that Metro owns. The path would run between the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Florence/West Station and the Los Angeles River. The project is not funded at this time. Several Board Members said that they hoped to attract funding by further refining plans for such a project. Here’s more information from a Source post earlier this year.

•Item 7. The Metro Board adopted a Complete Streets policy. Metro doesn’t manage or maintain streets in our area — that’s up to local cities and the county in unincorporated areas. But there are some types of project in which Metro can influence what gets done to roadways and this policy is designed to ensure that safety, pedestrian, cycling and environmental improvements are considered by the agency in conjunction with those projects. Metro staff report

•Item 40. The Board approved a contract amendment with New Flyer to add two video monitors on the final 128 buses on order from the firm. The monitors can show images captured by cameras on board the buses — the idea is to remind Metro bus riders that security cameras are installed on the buses and criminal acts will likely be caught on video at multiple angles. Metro staff report