Happy Halloween, everybody. Below is a screen grab from one of the scariest scenes filmed on transit; I remember watching this from under my seat at the Carousel Theater on Reading Road in Cincy thirtysomething years ago. Elder Source Readers should be able to name this classic movie and they likely recall that the dude below is correct. Things are about to get even less amusing for him. Please feel free to nominate other Halloween-worthy transit scenes in the comments section!
Trains are not the silver bullet (Zocalo)
In advance of Monday night’s Zocalo Public Square forum on “Are Trains the Future of L.A.?,” Zocalo asks five local transportation experts for their opinion. There seems to be consensus that trains certainly can’t and won’t be the only mobility option around — and shouldn’t be seen as such. Streetsblog editor Damien Newton sums it up nicely:
The future is going to require us to provide more choices as a growing population makes car-driving-for-everyone impossible. A transit system—with trains as its backbone—will also encourage more busing, biking, and walking for anyone who needs to get from one place to the other.
Not everyone will choose to ride a train, even if the stop is right outside of their front door. The key is providing a lot of transportation modes so that people can make choices. Many will still choose to drive. That’s OK too. But I choose a future that doesn’t require me to get on the 10 to get downtown or the 405 to get to my brother’s house. I suspect that many people will join me.
It’s a good topic as four Metro Rail lines are under construction and a fifth will soon join them, thanks to Measure R funding. For those scoring at home, the quintet are Expo Line Phase 2, the Gold Line Foothill Extension, the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and the Purple Line Extension subway. Which reminds me: I have some nice photos from the Expo Line Construction Authority of recent that we’ll post next week :)
Gold Line an economic catalyst for San Gabriel Valley (SGV Tribune)
Gold Line Foothill Extension CEO opines that the 11.5-mile Foothill Extension to the Azusa/Glendora border isn’t just a plus for mobility in the Valley — it will boost the economy throughout the corridor. Excerpt:
The Gold Line is a true example of how public investment in transportation creates bigger opportunities for our region as a whole. Since the project’s first phase, to Pasadena, opened 11 years ago, more than 1,800 residential units and 175,000 square feet of retail and commercial space have been built within an easy walk to Pasadena’s six stations. In South Pasadena, the Gold Line has helped transform the downtown into a vibrant shopping district, filled with higher density housing, restaurants and boutiques.
Similarly, the 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa, which is on budget and more than 80 percent complete, offers built-in economic development opportunities between and around its six new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa.
My three cents: There are a lot of good opportunities remaining along both the existing and future Gold Line tracks — I’m talking to you, downtown Arcadia! :) And it has been great to see South Pasadena take advantage of the existing Gold Line, something which took a while to come to fruition.
The fault under a proposed 16-story building near the Hollywood/Vine Red Line stop is deemed inactive and, thus, poses no danger to the future structure. That could have implications on the nearby Millennium development, where a pair of skyscrapers are proposed and investigations are underway as to whether the Hollywood Fault runs under the site.
57/60 freeway improvements on the way (Press Telegram)
Another opinion piece on another San Gabriel Valley topic: the dreaded 57-60 interchange in Diamond Bar, where the 57 from Orange County blobs into the 60, creating one of the big freeway messes in the country. There’s a project being planned to fix the interchange — which just received $10 million from a federal grant. This is one of those freeway corridors beyond the reach of regional transit.