Claremont Through the Eyes of Jessica Polzin McCoy

Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy signs free copies of her poster celebrating the city of Claremont on May 31 at an event at the Claremont Public Library.

Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy signs free copies of her poster celebrating the city of Claremont on May 31 at an event at the Claremont Public Library.

Four artists have designed new posters for the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists series highlighting Metro accessible destinations. Below, one of the artists, Jessica Polzin McCoy, discusses her original artwork celebrating Claremont and what she hopes to share with transit riders who see the poster on Metro buses and trains in the coming months.

Now in its tenth year, the Through the Eyes of Artists poster series commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods, as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

The four new posters will bring the series to a total of 29 neighborhoods featured. Explore Through the Eyes of Artists posters.

Claremont poster, the latest in the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists series.

Claremont poster, the latest in the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists series.

Claremont poster spotted on a Red Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

Claremont poster spotted on a Gold Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

You teach in Claremont–how did you choose this imagery to represent the city?

This is a city I walk though every day, but sometimes through that repetition you miss a lot, you stop observing. So it was important to me to take a fresh look and seek out characteristics that define the neighborhood visually. When I photograph a neighborhood, I take hundreds of photos, casual snapshots, and in the end I only use about thirty. It isn’t hard to find beautiful building details or colorful objects in a location, but it is hard to edit them and achieve the essence of a location. I guess I always have in the back of my mind a kind of story about a neighborhood, and I think Claremont has a Secret Garden quality to it.

What defines the experience of living and working there?

The facade of friendliness that I perceive in Claremont is generally how I feel about all of Southern California. And I may be wrong, it may not be a facade, I may have grown up skeptical in the Midwest! I love it here. I especially like working at Pitzer, arguably the most left leaning of the Claremont Colleges, it is a warm and honest community. The people there speak their mind and truly desire to make the world a more accepting and equitable place.

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How do they do that? Measure sound levels in stations

How do they do that? is a series for The Source that explores the technology that helps keep Metro running and passengers and other commuters moving. Some of it applies directly to the trains, buses and freeways and some of it runs in the background — invisible to nearly everyone but essential to mobility in our region.

Sound monitoring microphone.

Sound monitoring microphone.

Buses, trains, cars and construction all make noise. That’s why Metro monitors sound levels at Metro properties and projects.

How do they do that?

Sound level measurements are taken throughout the Metro system … but not everywhere. The measuring can be part of routine maintenance. It can be in preparation for a construction project. Or it can be the result of a question or complaint from a patron or someone who lives or works near a Metro project or facility. Whatever the reason, the analysis is done pretty much the same way.

Typically an acoustical engineer measures noise levels with a microphone connected to a sound level meter or other sound recording device that collects the sounds for later analysis.

Sound level meter.

Sound level meter.

Noise levels measured at a moderately busy downtown bus stop generally are about 70 decibels. The highest noise levels collected at Metro stations are found at trains running down of the middle of a freeway. Those could be 85 to 90 decibels — by far the noisiest places in the system because of the surrounding vehicle traffic but still safe for human ears in part because the sound exposure doesn’t last long.

By comparison, the humming of a refrigerator is 45 decibels; normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels. Noise-induced hearing loss can result from short bursts of sound from firecrackers or small firearms emitting sounds of 120 to 150 decibels. But sounds of less than 75 decibels, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. Since bus and train noise is brief and noise level takes into consideration duration as well as intensity, stops and stations are well below what would be considered harmful to the human ear. And that, of course, is what’s important. 

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Artist Ramon Ramirez to sign Pico Rivera posters June 18

Pico Rivera poster spotted on a Red Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

Pico Rivera poster spotted on a Red Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

Artist Ramon Ramirez will sign free copies of his poster celebrating the City of Pico Rivera on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at the Rivera Public Library. Metro Bus 266 drops off near the library at Rosemead/Mines.

Ramirez was commissioned by Metro Creative Services to create the artwork for the poster series, Through the Eyes of Artists. The program commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods, as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

The poster will be displayed on Metro buses and rail cars traveling throughout Los Angeles County.

As seen through the eyes of Ramirez, Pico Rivera is depicted with palm trees in silhouette against a glowing sunset sky. A native of the area, the artist has fond boyhood memories of uncomplicated adventure, when the horizon was wide and anything was possible. Keep reading after the jump to see what the artist has to say about his work. A longer interview with the artist is also available on The Source.

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Artist Mary Kay Wilson to sign Metro ‘San Fernando’ poster at the San Fernando Public Library

poster

Swing by the San Fernando Public Library next Tuesday, June 11 to get a free signed copy of the ‘San Fernando’ poster by Mary Kay Wilson. The signing will take place at 10:30 a.m. and you can reach the library by hopping on Metro Bus 234 to Maclay/4th or Metro Rapid 794 to Truman/Maclay. Trip Planner can offer more routes and connections.

The full press release from Metro is after the jump.

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Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy to sign Metro ‘Claremont’ poster this Friday

eyes

Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy will sign free copies of her poster celebrating the City of Claremont at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31 at the Claremont Library.

Polzin McCoy was commissioned by Metro Creative Services to create the artwork for its poster series, Through the Eyes of Artists. The program commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

Beginning in Spring 2013, the poster will be displayed on Metro buses and rail cars traveling throughout Los Angeles County.

Keep reading for more information on the Claremont poster and the Metro Art Program.

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How do they do that? Repair the seats on the buses

How do they do that? is a series for The Source that explores the technology that helps keep Metro running and passengers and other commuters moving. Some of it applies directly to the trains, buses and freeways and some of it runs in the background — invisible to nearly everyone but essential to mobility in our region.

Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

How much does Metro spend each year to repair and recover bus seats ruined by food, drink, gum and graffiti? In 2012, the cost was $865,000 in taxpayer dollars to replace stained, carved, graffitied or torn seat inserts. The covered inserts that fit into the back and bottom of Metro bus seats range in price from $10.44 to $23.46 each. In addition to the cost of the inserts, Metro bus divisions expended $1.5 million in labor, replacing both window guards and seat inserts.

The most common reason that a seat insert is changed? Graffiti.

Last year was not unusual. More than 55,000 seat inserts were replaced … or about one every nine minutes. Bus maintenance works constantly to keep up with seat damage so that the buses look good and we don’t have to sit on dirty or destroyed seats. It’s not easy to keep up.

Each bus has between 40 and 57 seats, depending on the size and the style. And with just over 2,200 buses in the Metro system, that’s 88,000 and 125,400 seats that are targets for graffiti.

It takes less than 10 minutes to replace a bus seat insert but 1 1/2 hours to replace an entire seat section. An insert, which looks something like a seat float (see photo above), can be unscrewed from their metal supports, pulled out and the new insert pretty quickly added and screwed back in. But a seat section installation — replacement of the entire seat — is more complicated, requiring assembly of the seat supports and inserts before the whole thing can be carefully fastened back into the bus. Replacement of the entire seat is only done as a result of severe damage. In 2012 there were 79 seat installations — the whole seat including metal supports for the 2-to-3-passenger covered seats — on Metro buses. The cost, not including labor, was an additional $220,000.

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Metro hosts meeting with mayors

JS_130508_0683One of the seldom seen aspects of Metro’s work is how closely the agency works with all of the cities in Los Angeles County. The coordination covers a broad range of activities such as local permits for work on major transit and highway projects, project planning, providing funding to cities for local street and other transportation improvements, operating Metro buses on city streets and helping secure funding for city-run bus agencies in the county.
As a part of this partnership, Metro CEO Art Leahy hosted a luncheon last week at Metro for Mayors throughout Los Angeles County.

Thirty-two cities from every area of the County were represented at the lunch and were given an overview of Metro’s many activities. Leahy responded to numerous questions and comments from the group. One question was about the inconvenience of the monthly fee for transponders for infrequent users of the new Express Lanes; Leahy explained that the Metro Board had recently voted to suspend the monthly fee on a trial basis. Other attendees asked questions or made comments about Metro’s major projects, bicycle planning, master planning efforts for Union Station, highway maintenance and other issues. As a part of open give and take, the participants expressed an interest in repeating the event on a quarterly basis.