Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
With the world possibly ending in about five hours, let’s sneak in one last peek at the headlines!
Light rail to LAX: a questionable proposition? (The Transport Politic)
With all the media and blogs we have in the region, it’s somewhat remarkable that the best analysis of extending transit to LAX comes from a national blogger, the always interesting Yonah Freemark. In this post, he takes a hard look at the three locations that Los Angeles World Airports is proposing for a possible light rail station near the airport and concludes that the likely best solution is for the Crenshaw/LAX Line to have a transfer to the people mover at the Aviation/Century station.
Even then, Freemark isn’t very impressed with the transfer proposed by LAWA; it would require passengers to take an elevator to an overpass that would carry them to the people mover platform on the other side of Aviation Boulevard. That, he suggests should be reworked.
Excerpts from the post:
The fundamental difficulty is that the airport authority — Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) — seems awfully reluctant to allow trains into the main terminal area. While Metro’s spring proposals suggest a light rail loop, an elevated line, or an underground tunnel directly adjacent to the central areas of the nine-terminal complex, the closest LAWA is willing to come is an “on-airport” station at the far eastern edge of the terminals area (see image (1) below). A station there, built as an extension of the Crenshaw Corridor, would be more than a half-mile from the international terminal at the western edge of the complex. Yes, light rail would get customers closer to check in areas, but few would be within comfortable distance walking, particularly with heavy bags… [snip]
If we are to take it as a given that LAWA absolutely must have a people mover and that it is reluctant to allow light rail into the main terminals area, its third proposal (see (3) below) comes across as more appealing. The light rail station at Crenshaw and Aviation, on the main trunk of the Crenshaw Corridor, would provide a bridged transfer to the people mover system, which would then offer a link to all of the airport’s terminals…[snip]
Requiring passengers to transfer to a people mover from the trunk of the light rail line has the added benefit of putting the onus of financing the rail connection in the hands of the (relatively more wealthy) airport authority, rather than Metro. This is perhaps the most important point of all. Though Metro has allocated $200 million to this project, it would need far more than that to complete the branch extensions envisioned in the first or second proposal presented above. But the third proposal, which would build off the already funded Crenshaw Corridor using only the airport-desired people mover, could — and should — be funded by LAWA, perhaps with only a small contribution from Metro. This would allow the transit authority to avoid spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a project that would benefit few passengers and force the airport’s users, the people who would be using the rail-airport connection, to pay for it.
Read the entire post — it’s a very interesting analysis.
The latest analysis of the mathematics of traffic show that limiting the number of cars coming from some neighborhoods can help reduce key bottlenecks that slow everyone down. The policy implication of the study is that getting people out of cars and into transit should be targeted to certain areas rather than the entire region. Hmmm. Interesting.