Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 11

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. Pick your social media poison! 

Gov. Brown signs bills allowing three-bike racks on transit buses (StreetsblogLA) 

“This new law allows 40-foot-long buses to be equipped with folding bike racks that can carry up to three bikes,” reports Streetsblog, in a bit of good news for some Metro bus riders. A few agencies had previously been using the triple racks due either to loopholes or exemptions in the law.

Efforts to change the law, however, had run into various roadblocks in recent years — including resistance from unions representing bus operators. The bill was authored by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) and pushed heavily by Metro.

About half of Metro’s bus fleet is comprised of 40-foot buses, so hopefully this will help accommodate cyclists using those buses. As the article explains, there are still hurdles to converting to triple racks on longer buses.

Santa Monica Council picks Worthe as developer for Bergamot Station (Santa Monica Daily Press) 

The City Council on a 5 to 1 vote on Tuesday night selected the developer to pursue adding 44,000-square-feet of “creative space” and possibly a boutique hotel to the Bergamot Station arts complex in Santa Monica. The vote followed four hours of public comment that made it clear there was still considerable opposition from gallery owners and residents to further developing the site, where an Expo Line station is under construction (the line is forecast to open in early 2016).

I caught some of the meeting on KCRW on Tuesday night and among the concerns I heard were lack of parking, traffic and rising rents that could eventually squeeze out the galleries. It’s certainly an interesting story, given that the arts complex will include an Expo Line station with relatively easy connections to downtown Santa Monica and points east. The current complex is a very nice public space, although I’ve never been crazy about the big parking lot in the middle of the complex that occupies about half the space.

Bill Boyarsky also offers commentary on the Council vote at LAObserved.

Metrolink goes for animal attraction (L.A. Register) 

Why four farm animals took a ride from Union Station to the Los Angeles County Fair. Hint: it was a promotion to boost ridership! As promotions go, I like it.

Major changes discusses to expand, renew Union Station (Chicago Sun Times)

Chicago's Union Station is a little more workmanlike than Union Station here in L.A. Photo by Jeramey Jannene, via Flickr creative commons.

Chicago’s Union Station is a little more workmanlike than Union Station here in L.A. Photo by Jeramey Jannene, via Flickr creative commons.

I didn’t realize the Sun Times was still around (I worked at the rival Trib many, many moons ago)! Chicago is looking at big changes to its primary downtown rail station — expanding platforms, public space, etc. Denver already updated its Union Station and, of course, Metro is putting the finishing touches on its Union Station Master Plan. I believe there are some other similar efforts underway around the country — nice to see train stations being revived and prepped for a hopefully busy future.

 

Officials celebrate completion of new freeway soundwalls in San Fernando Valley

New SR-134 Sound Wall in the City of Burbank

New SR-134 Soundwall in the City of Burbank.

This morning, representatives from Metro, Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, local elected officials and others celebrated the completion of four miles of new freeway soundwalls on the SR 134 in the City of Burbank and the I-405 in Granada Hills and North Hills.

The project, part of Metro’s Post 1989 retrofit Soundwall Program, also included widened freeway shoulders and the modification of existing bridges within the project limits.

Transportation Officials Celebrate Opening of New Sound Wall Projects in the San Fernando Valley

Transportation officials celebrate opening of new sound wall projects in the San Fernando Valley.

The total $25.5 million cost for both two-mile soundwall projects was funded by Metro’s Prop C 25% funds, and took about three years to build.  The project was designed by Caltrans, managed by Metro, and delivered on time and within budget.

 

UPDATE: Blue and Expo Lines resume normal service

UPDATE: 9:40 a.m.- Blue and Expo Lines resume normal service. Metro thanks you for your continued patience and understanding.

The Metro Blue and Expo Lines are currently experiencing delays of up to 20 minutes due to a train-auto incident near Pico Station.

Trains are sharing the Downtown LA-bound tracks between both Pico to Grand/LATTC stations for the Blue Line and Pico to LATTC/Ortho Institute stations for the Expo Line.

Delays are expected to last through rush hour. See here for alternate service in the area.

Updates will be provided here on The Source, or follow us on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts for up-to-the-minute status updates.


Expo Line resumes normal operations

The Metro Expo Line is currently experiencing delays of up to 20 minutes due to a train-auto incident near Expo/Western Station.

Trains are sharing the Downtown LA-bound platform at Expo/Western Station while we clear the Culver City-bound track for service.

Updates will be provided here on The Source, or follow us on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts for up-to-the-minute status updates.


Deadline extended for public input on potential bike share locations

banner_bikes_600x150

Last month Metro’s Bike Share Implementation Plan team announced it was taking public suggestions for possible Bike share locations in Downtown L.A., Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica as part of a first phase pilot program. See original post here.

To summarize, Metro is developing a regional bikeshare plan where bikes can be borrowed for shot periods of time or short distances.

The original deadline for public input was September 8, but that deadline has now been extended to September 15 so Metro can respond to increasing interest to provide comments.

So, if you haven’t already, visit Metro’s interactive map to make your station suggestions.  You officially have another week!

 

FlyAway bus to begin service from Hollywood to LAX

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.10.41 AM

If you live in Hollywood, you no longer have to travel to downtown to catch the FlyAway bus to LAX. Starting today, FlyAway will run service to LAX from the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue, across the street from the Red Line Hollywood/Vine Station and the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

Service from Hollywood starts at 5:15 a.m. and will run hourly until 10:15 p.m. One-way fare is $8 for adults and free for children 5 and younger.  Airport officials estimate that more than 100,000 people will ride the shuttle in its first year of operation.

New Section of L.A. River Bikeway in the west San Fernando Valley opens

Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Marking another noteworthy achievement for Metro’s Call for Projects Program, transportation officials from the city and county of Los Angeles this morning announced the grand opening of a brand new section of L.A. River Bikeway in the western San Fernando Valley.

Located between Winnetka and Vanowen Streets in the neighborhood of Winnetka, the newly completed half-mile segment of bikeway has an impressive list of amenities, including newly striped dedicated pedestrian/bike path, signage, bridge underpasses, landscaping, drinking fountains, benches, exercise equipment and solar LED lighting.

Continue reading