Unprecedented TV helicopter pool planned over 405 freeway during Carmageddon II

This is great. Wish it happened more often! Here’s the news release from the Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California:

Los Angeles, Sept. 26, 2012: Local television stations are forming an unprecedented joint operations plan to cut down on helicopter flights over Sepulveda Pass homes and businesses during the upcoming Carmageddon II weekend, according to the Radio and Television News Assn. which is coordinating the effort.

“We plan camera pools, year around, for many major court cases and other events in Southern California where cameras are restricted, but it’s always tough to arrange an ‘air pool’ due to technical challenges and the natural competitive urges of TV news departments,” said Rick Terrell, RTNA’s executive director. “This time, however, local TV news directors have made an extraordinary commitment to cut down helicopter hovering and cooperate to get news pictures for their viewers.”

The “pooling” plan calls for a single helicopter from a specific, participating station to make a fly over before the top of the hour when major newscasts are scheduled on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings and Monday morning, when the freeway is expected to reopen. The stations will not fly except for a single status-report video on Saturday and Sunday mornings, unless an emergency occurs.

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LAFD's emergency contingency plan for Carmageddon

Here’s the news release from the city of Los Angeles:

LOS ANGELES — Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and the Los Angeles Fire Department are working together to ensure adequate fire and emergency medical resources are deployed on the Westside during the full closure of the 405 Freeway this weekend.

The closure, which was dubbed Carmageddon II after a similar closure last summer, will shut down the Sepulveda Pass between the 101 and 10 Freeways. Crews say this is necessary in order to finish the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge that started during the first Carmageddon.

The closure will take place from Friday, September 28th at 7:00pm to Monday, October 1st at 5:00am.

The LAFD plans to deploy the same level of increased staffing and pre-deployment of additional resources as occurred last year — like utilizing motorcycle teams that can easily navigate traffic and provide rapid emergency response.

“I’m very pleased that the LAFD has once again committed to increasing staffing levels in my geographically isolated communities to ensure my residents will not be put in peril should a significant emergency incident occur during this weekend closure,” said Rosendahl. “The innovative use of motorcycle teams to respond to emergencies should shave precious minutes off an emergency medical response, and allow for the quick stabilization of a patient prior to the arrival of an ambulance crew.”


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Metro to open new El Monte station to the public on Sunday, Oct. 14

Here's the news release, hot off the Metro presses:

​Metro will officially open to the public a new expanded El Monte Station on Sunday, Oct. 14 having finished construction of the new state-of-the-art transit facility that revamped and expanded the old El Monte Station.

​The upgrade to the El Monte facility, which first opened in 1973, is part of the Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program known as ExpressLanes and is funded by a $210 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

​Metro and Caltrans District 7, along with Foothill Transit, Gardena Transit, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, MetroLink and Torrance Transit are partnering in a one-year demonstration project during which existing carpool lanes on the I-10 El Monte Busway (between Alameda Street and I-605) and the I-110 Harbor Transitway (between Adams Boulevard and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center) will be converted to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes called ExpressLanes.

​The upgrading of the El Monte Bus Station is an essential part of the success of the ExpressLane project in an effort to provide commuters, regardless of income level, with new and better travel options along two of LA County’s most congested corridors. ExpressLanes along the Harbor Freeway will open November 10. ExpressLanes along the San Bernardino Freeway will open in early 2013.

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Metro to hold Westside Subway Extension community update meeting on Oct. 10 at LACMA

The public is invited to attend a community update meeting to learn about next steps for the Westside Subway Extension. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 5th floor Terrace Room of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art West, located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles (90036).

The first phase would extend the Metro Purple Line from the Western/Wilshire Station nearly four miles and add three new stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completed for this section by 2022.

The meeting will focus on the various pre-construction activities that are anticipated to occur over the next 12 to 18 months. This includes advanced soils testing in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits, utility relocation, continued engineering and design, and property acquisition.

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Work on Sepulveda Station parking structure for Expo Phase 2 begins next week

As someone who has received a few parking tickets on the Westside, I can’t say I’m sad to see the West L.A. enforcement center go. Boo hoo!

Here’s the construction notice from the Expo Line Construction Authority that is building the Measure R-funded second phase between Culver City and Santa Monica:

Click above for a larger image.