Transportation headlines, Thursday, July 11

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

High Desert Corridor concepts unveiled (L.A. Daily News)

Transportation officials unveiled Wednesday various concepts for a proposed High Desert Corridor from the Antelope Valley to San Bernardino County that would allow travelers to bypass some of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles County and potentially link with the California High Speed Rail project to Las Vegas.

Alhambra hosts 710 Day (Glendale News Press)

While anti-freeway activists have dominated the dialogue over efforts to extend the Long Beach (710) Freeway northward, the city of Alhambra launched the first salvo on Wednesday in its campaign to drum up support for the extension.

San Bernardino County officials say bus rapid-transit system nearly completed (San Bernardino Sun)

As Metro works on a BRT down massively jammed Wilshire Boulevard, others are doing likewise. Construction of a $192 million rapid-transit bus system through 15 miles from  San Bernardino to Loma Linda may be completed in a couple months, with service beginning in 2014. Metro’s Wilshire Boulevard BRT will stretch from Valencia Street to Centinela Avenue. The first 1.8-mile segment of peak hour bus lanes on Wilshire opened June 5.

Rail link to Ontario airport studied (Press Enterprise)

San Bernardino County transportation officials agreed Wednesday to spend nearly $600,000 on a study of potential ways to provide rail access to the LA/Ontario International Airport. As most readers know, Ontario has suffered a significant downturn in airline traffic — something a rail link would quite likely positively influence. 

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, July 9

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Mayor Garcetti on Red line in May. Photo: Eric Garcetti for Mayor

Mayor Garcetti on Red line in May. Photo: Eric Garcetti for Mayor

How Mayor Garcetti can keep L.A. County transportation on track (CityWatchLA)

There are a bunch of good suggestions here for our new mayor to consider, as he gets down to the business of continuing to grow L.A. into the 21st century region it needs to be to complete financially and provide a comfortable lifestyle for residents. A few of the suggestions don’t ring particularly true but maybe you think differently. What’s your take?

In Europe, greener transit on existing infrastructure (New York Times)

Now that Metro is venturing into the world of electric buses (see Source post), it’s interesting to note how other cities are approaching the problem of re-charging so that buses with long routes can get from beginning to end and back to the charging station again. Here’s how Vienna is approaching the issue. (Let me be the first to volunteer to check it out.)

Mapping the untold stories of Leimert Park (KCET)

As Metro prepares for construction of the Crenshaw/LAX line, KCET is gearing up to produce a story on Leimert Park — a hub of African American arts and culture — and is asking viewers to send in their stories and ideas about the area. If you want to contribute, fill out the form here. Sounds like fun.

Metro, Caltrans to Hold Public Meetings on High Desert Corridor (HDC) Project

HighDesertBanner_600x150

Here’s the press release from Metro:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Caltrans is holding a series of four public meetings to provide information and seek comment on a proposed new transportation corridor linking Palmdale and Victorville.

The project, called High Desert Corridor (HDC), is a 63-mile-long proposal that may include a highway, energy production and/or transmission facilities for green energy, a bikeway and a high speed rail feeder service line connecting State Route 14 in Los AngelesCounty and State Route 18 in San BernardinoCounty.

“The High Desert Corridor project aims to improve mobility and access for people and goods in the rapidly growing Antelope, Victor and Apple Valleys,” said Doug Failing, Metro’s executive director of highway project delivery. “The focus of the meetings is to provide a project update, share highlights of key findings from the Rail Alternative Analysis, review the refined Purpose and Need statement for the project and discuss next steps in the process,” he added.

Schedule of meetings:

Monday, July 15, 2013 6-8 p.m. at the LakeLos AngelesElementary School, 16310 E. Avenue Q, Palmdale, Calif., 93591

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6-8 p.m. at the Stater Bros. Stadium, Mavericks Conference Room, 12000 Stadium Way, Adelanto, Calif., 92301.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6-8 p.m. at the EndeavourSchool of Exploration, 12403 Ridgecrest Rd., Victorville, Calif., 92395.

Monday, July 22, 2013 6-8 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, Joshua Room, 38350 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, Calif., 93350.

The meetings on July 17 and July 22 will be webcast live at ustream.tv/channel/metro-high-desert-corridor.

Special accommodations and information in alternative formats are available to the public. All requests for reasonable accommodations must be made three working days (72) hours in advance of the scheduled meeting date. Contact the project hotline at 888.252.7433 or call the California Relay Service at 711. Para información en español llame al 888.252.7433.

Transportation headlines, Monday, July 8

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Photo by Pedro Szekely/Flickr

Santa Clarita Summer Beach Bus is back (SantaClaritaTransit.com)

As we approach another set of 100-degree days the timing is perfect for the City of Santa Clarita weekend Summer Beach Bus to Santa Monica, which is back again this year and will run through Sept. 1. It’s a great price ($3 each way) and an excellent way to avoid that tiresome beach traffic and parking place hunt.

Mayor Garcetti rode the bus to work … and other first week adventures  (KPCC)

Riding the bus is important for him to do frequently, he said, as a member of the Metro board.

Ex-rail minister in China gets a suspended death sentence (New York Times)

A court in Beijing on Monday gave former Chinese minister of railways, Liu Zhijun, a suspended death sentence after finding him guilty of taking bribes and abusing his powers. Liu was minister of railways from 2003 until 2011, and under him the ministry championed a high-speed train rollout. A train crash that killed 40 people in July 2011, five months after he was fired from office, fanned criticism that the high-speed expansion had been hasty and ill managed.

Want cleaner air? Repave the streets (Los Angeles Times)

Scientists from the Netherlands have developed what they say is smog-eating pavement that can cut air pollution in half. But there’s still that other half to consider so no excuse for a return to gas-hog cars.

Burbank will get $4.4 million bike trail connecting to Metrolink (Curbed LA)

Burbank is preparing to build a bike lane connecting the Lake/Alameda bike patch with the downtown Burbank Metrolink station.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 3

Los Angeles Traffic. Photo by Jeff Turner/Flickr

Los Angeles Traffic. Photo by Jeff Turner/Flickr

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

California highways among worst in nation (San Jose Mercury News) California’s highways continue to rank among the worst in the nation — a  distinction we’ve held for more than a decade. The system is ranked 47th out of  50 in overall highway performance and efficiency. North Dakota, Kansas and Wyoming have the best. So why is it that states with huge temperature fluctuations — so hard on roadways — are doing well? It may have something to do with traffic. (We have the most.) And a massive highway system. (We have the largest.) Is there hope?

New Flyaway service from Expo LaBrea Station begins … just in time for holiday travel  (LAWA)

Headed to the airport? New FlyAway bus service linking the Metro Expo Line La Brea Station and LAX started Monday. To encourage ridership there’s a special introductory one-way fare of $6 in effect through Dec. 31. (On Jan. 1 it will increase to $7.) Also on Monday, the one-way fare between LAX and the Van Nuys FlyAway increased $1 to $8.

Mike Bonin new transportation committee chair (LA Streetsblog)

Council Member Mike Bonin will replace Bill Rosendahl as Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee. The Westside’s Council District 11, which Bonin represents, is home to two of the largest infrastructure projects in the region, the 405 Widening through the Sepulveda Pass and Phase II of the Expo Line.

Slightly fewer of us will travel this Fourth of July weekend (Daily News)

The Automobile Club predicts that fewer of us will travel this year over the Fourth of July weekend because the holiday falls on a Thursday, rather than on a Wednesday as it did last year. What that means is a very slight decrease of half of one percentage point to about 2.32 million of us on the roads. This will be enough to make getting out of town this afternoon a challenge, of course.

 

Summer Metro Motion celebrates the season with a bus and then a bike ride along the beautiful Pacific

Metro Motion — Metro’s popular quarterly cable TV show — has just been released. The newest edition celebrates summer with a breathtaking ride along the beautiful Pacific. All we need to do is take the Metro Rapid 720 to Santa Monica, hop on a bike and pedal the South Bay Beach Trail all the way to Redondo Beach. It’s a great bike path — partially funded by Metro — and the perfect highway for a gorgeous sea-side excursion.

Another Metro Motion piece takes us on a day trip to explore a few fascinating offerings in Metro’s Destination Discounts program. It’s a reminder that Metro riders with valid TAP cards can get special offers for great shopping and dining, museums, sporting events and more. Tag along and sample a couple of participating locations along the Gold Line in Chinatown. There might just be an experience in it for you.

In another story we explore Metro’s growing highway program and answer the questions: Are freeways free? Have they ever been free? Find out how highways are evolving and HOT lanes are helping Metro relieve traffic and may one day even speed up construction projects.

Finally, take a walk through Metro’s new gate-latching system and see how easy it is. And watch a demonstration of Metro’s innovative new hands-free system for unlatching the gates so that people in wheelchairs don’t need to do it themselves.

Metro Motion runs quarterly on cable stations throughout Los Angeles County.

Diane DuBois becomes new chair of Metro Board of Directors

New Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois

Diane DuBois

As many of you know, the position of Chair of the Metro Board rotates between directors each year to enhance representation of all L.A. County geographic areas. Today Diane DuBois, from Lakewood in the Gateway Cities, becomes chair for fiscal year 2013-14. Here’s the release:

City of Lakewood Councilmember Diane DuBois has taken over as chair of Metro’s Board of Directors, effective July 1. She replaces outgoing Board Chairman Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

“I look forward to a successful year as Chair of the MTA,” DuBois said. “We will concentrate on continuing to design and implement Measure R projects and grow the transportation opportunities in Los Angeles County for accessibility to all corners of the region.”

A Councilmember for the City of Lakewood, DuBois was elected to the Metro Board of Directors in 2009, where she represents the 28 cities of southeast Los Angeles County collectively known as the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.  She also serves on Metro’s Executive Management and Audit Committee, as well as the Planning and Programming Committee.

DuBois became involved in local government through her appointment to the City of Lakewood Planning and Environment Commission, where she served for 28 years before being elected to the Lakewood City Council in 2005. She served as Mayor in 2008 and 2012.

In addition to her city responsibilities, DuBois has a long history of civic service. She has been a board member and volunteer of Lakewood Meals On Wheels, a board member of Lakewood Regional Medical Center, a member and past president of Soroptimist International of Lakewood/Long Beach and Board Chair of Pathways Volunteer Hospice. She was appointed Community Outreach chair by the Board of Trustees for the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House and served on the founding Board of Directors.

Metro is the third largest public transportation agency in the United States. It has a $5 billion annual budget and more than 9,000 employees. It operates approximately 191 bus routes serving 1,433 square miles of service area and six subway and light-rail lines.