Memo on recent earthquakes in Beverly Hills near subway route

Here is a memo sent yesterday to the Metro Board of Directors from the team planning and designing the Westside Subway Extension on the pair of small but noticeable earthquakes that occurred near Wilshire Boulevard and just east of downtown Beverly Hills earlier this month:

Click above for a larger view.

 

Transportation headlines, Friday, September 14

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.

HNTB's proposal for the new viaduct. Courtesy HNTB.

Visions for the 6th Street Bridge (The Architect's Newspaper)

Check out the renderings for the three finalists competing to design a new 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Memo to city of Los Angeles webmeisters/flacks: unless I was looking in all the wrong places, I couldn't find the renderings on the city's website. I think all three proposals are pretty neat-o and this is a good chance for the city to make a nice architectural statement in a part of town that needs something (actually anything) to spruce it up.

For the sake of comparison, below is the Sundial Bridge that opened in 2004 in Redding. It spans the Sacramento River.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

BHUSD Board opposes Measure J (Beverly Hills Patch)

The surprise isn't that the Board opposed it — it's that it wasn't unanimous. Two Board Members — Jake Manaster and Noah Margo — abstained, saying it wasn't appropriate for the Board to take a position on a ballot measure. Measure J is a 30-year extension of the Measure R sales tax and seeks to accelerate the construction of transit and road projects, including the Westside Subway Extension. It will go to L.A. County voters on Nov. 6 if Gov. Brown signs a bill, AB 1446, in the next few weeks.

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Metro responds to today's protests

The Bus Riders Union and other groups held a protest march Thursday in Los Angeles and made several statements about Metro to the media and others. In the spirit of setting the record straight, here are a few facts about Metro:

•1,222 affordable housing units are either planned, being built or have been completed in transit oriented developments in which Metro is a partner. That number includes the 172 affordable units that just opened this past spring in a development over the Red/Purple Line subway station in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, adjacent to MacArthur Park.

•Metro has never partnered with Walmart in any kind of development.

•Housing units lost to construction of the Eastside Gold Line Extension and for a planned subway station never built in Boyle Heights have since been replaced and there will be 52 affordable units in transit oriented development at First and Lorena streets. That project is expected to commence construction in a year.

•Metro has no plans to kill its rail program. Los Angeles County voters in 1980, 1990 and 2008 approved half-penny sales tax increases to help pay for the expansion of transit, including rail projects. In 2008, nearly 68 percent of voters approved Measure R, which will help pay for bus and rail projects, bus operations, highway projects, as well as return 15 percent of the taxes collected to cities in Los Angeles County for smaller transportation improvements.

Information on Measure J posted to Metro website

A web page for Measure J can now be found on the Metro website.

Measure J is a ballot measure that seeks to extend the half-cent Measure R sales tax for 30 years beyond its mid-2039 expiration date in order to accelerate some Measure R transit and road projects.

It will be on the Nov. 6 ballot in Los Angeles County if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a state bill, AB 1446, that would allow the issue to go to voters. The ballot measure will need two-thirds approval from voters to pass.

 

Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 13

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.

BART turns 40: some history lessons (The Berkeley Blog)

Writer Ethan Elkind has three suggestions for the next 40 years: more development around the stations (meaning some cities need to lift zoning restrictions), more service in the urban core and less service in the ‘burbs.

Reducing vehicle miles traveled: a national perspective (NRDC)

A new survey commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council indicates — and I’m not sure this is shocking — that of those polled, many want to see more investment in transit and still feel somewhat beholden to driving. Support for transit reached across the political spectrum.

Profitable or not, China doubles down on investments in new Metro systems (The Transport Politic)

Ridership has been strong on many of the new Metro systems opened across China — but profits have been in short supply. Nonetheless, the nation has decided to forge ahead and keep building local rail projects in large cities because they’ve proven to be very popular (one reason is low fares). As Yonah Freemark points out, China obviously believes increased mobility profits the nation in other ways, even when the farebox doesn’t cover the entire cost.

Rep. Henry Waxman interview (pdf) (Beverly Hills Weekly)

The long-time Congressman is running for reelection. In this long interview (page 8), he is asked about his history with the Westside Subway Extension. He also indicates support for the project as long as safety mitigations are followed.

5,000th account opened for Metro ExpressLanes

Here is the news release from Metro:

Reaching a significant milestone in an innovative project to ease traffic congestion on two of Los Angeles County’s busiest freeways, Metro today celebrated the opening of the 5,000th FasTrak® account for traveling on the Metro ExpressLanes when they open on the I-110 Harbor Freeway in the Fall and on the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway in early 2013.

Metro ExpressLanes is a one-year demonstration project to expand the capacity along 11 miles of the 110 Harbor Freeway (between Adams Boulevard and the 91 freeway) and 14 miles of the 10 San Bernardino Freeway (between Alameda Street and the 605) by turning the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes into HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes that allow solo drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll.

Carpools, vanpools, motorcycles and buses will continue to travel for free in the lanes, and all drivers will need a transponder to use the Metro ExpressLanes. The project began offering the transponders to the general public on July 25. Since then, more than 5,000 FasTrak® accounts have been opened and FasTrak® transponders sent to the account holders so they can take advantage of the Metro ExpressLanes.

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Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Sept. 12

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.

The cables on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park -- one of the more ways to get from Point A to Point B -- have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Photo: Frank Kehren, Flickr creative commons.

 

Santa Monica bike share program snags big grant (Santa Monica Patch)

The $500,000 from the South Coast Air Quality District will allow the program — set to launch in 2013 — to expand to 350 bikes available at 35 rental stations, including five outside Santa Monica. A $1.5-million grant from Metro is also part of the funding for the project, which will include rental stations at each of Santa Monica's three Expo Line stations.

A photo essay of bus stops that aren't really bus stops (New Yorker)

A haunting collection of five photos of bus stops on the grounds of nursing homes in Germany. Patients suffering from dementia are taken to the stops, where they spend time sitting and waiting for buses that never come.

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@metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, Sept. 11 edition

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, our roundup of the latest Metro related tweets. To get our attention, add the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

If having trouble reading this post on your browser, please see part one and part two on the Storify website.

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Metrolink expands connectivity with bus partnership to Palm Desert

Here's the news release from Metrolink and the timetable is after the jump:

SunLine Transit Agency to implement Commuter Link 220 on September 10

LOS ANGELES – In its continued effort to expand connectivity throughout Southern California, Metrolink is partnering with SunLine Transit Agency, which will operate a new express bus service between Palm Desert and downtown Riverside beginning Sept. 10.

Metrolink passengers who want to travel between the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station and Palm Desert will be able to do so via four total trips; two heading westbound during the morning commute and two heading eastbound during the afternoon.

The weekday service will run from Palm Desert's Westfield Shopping Center and Rancho Mirage to the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station, the Riverside Downtown bus-transit center and UC Riverside, with stops along the way at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, Beaumont, Banning and Moreno Valley.

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