Transportation headlines, Friday, June 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. Reminder: the Library is switching over to a new format for its headlines on Monday. No need to act right now! We'll be changing this topper to help guide you straight to the library's new headlines page.

O.C. toll roads could keep fees through 2053 (L.A. Times)

The Foothill-Eastern toll roads have struggled to attract motorists willing to pay the tolls that, in turn, continue to pay for the construction of the new roads. A new bond sale means the tolls could remain in place until the early 2050s instead of being lifted sooner. Bottom line: it continues to be hard to pay for new roads with expected tolls.

Climate change could reduce snowfall in local So Cal mountains (L.A. Times)

A new UCLA study forecasts a 30- to 40 percent decline by mid-century due to global warming. There still may be more precipitation in the region — including more intense storms — that would pose a challenge for the region's stormwater system. Reminder: taking transit, even occasionally, is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Construction Authority Board opposes Measure R amendment (Foothill Extension Construction Authority)

The Board adopts a resolution against the amendment, which is part of a project accleration proposal by Metro staff that is scheduled to be considered by the Metro Board this month. The Construction Authority Board wants the amendment to include the full cost of extending the line to Claremont, which they see as a key step in getting the project funded. An 11.5-mile segment extending the line from Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border is now under construction.

As the release mentions, not all Measure R transit projects are fully funded — i.e. the reason the subway isn't going all the way to the sea and the reason the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor is looking into a public-private partnership. It may also be worth mentioning that Measure R is investing more than $2 billion in extending both legs of the Gold Line deeper into the San Gabriel Valley.

 


In case you missed the signs: gates to be latched at Red/Purple Line at Union Station on Wednesday

vsco_0

We’ll have a big post explaining the ins and outs of gate latching and TAP early next week. The gates will be latched at entrances to the Red/Purple Line in Union Station on June 19th and then at other subway stations over the rest of the summer — followed by some light rail stations in the fall.

For the time being, it was pretty hard for Red/Purple Line patrons on Wednesday to miss the news: there’s signage all over the Union Station platform and mezzanine, in addition to  temporary TAP event staff reminding people as they enter and exit the station.

In other TAP-related news, the new arrays of TAP validators adjacent to the platform for the Blue and Expo lines at 7th/Metro Center are now complete. The new validators make it easier for patrons to tap their TAP cards when traveling between the subway and Blue and Expo line trains.

vsco_0 (1)

Transportation headlines, Thursday, June 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. Reminder: the Library is switching over to a new format for its headlines on Monday. No need to act right now! We'll be changing this topper to help guide you straight to the library's new headlines set-up.



Tow truck driver had checkered history behind the wheel (KNBC)


The tow truck driver involved in the fatal crash early Wednesday with a Metro bus lacked a valid driver's license — it had been suspended four times since 2009 — and a permit to operate a towing company, according to KNBC. The station also reported that the driver had also been involved in a high-speed chase with police in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2008. Yesterday's accident remains under investigation and the tow truck driver remains hospitalized.

Major blowback from City Council members over Leimert Park funding plan (L.A. Streetsblog)

The headline is a bit misleading; two members of the Los Angeles City Council have authored a resolution against Metro's funding plan for the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz don't like the part that would transfer money from other projects to help provide contingency funds for the Crenshaw rail project — they seem especially unhappy over seeing some funds transfered from a pool of money used for smaller projects such as left-turn signals and bike lanes. Will their resolution get the support of the entire Council? Hard to say, given that many Council members have said they want a Leimert Park station. One note: Metro is proposing to transfer money from an older Wilshire bus lane project — not the peak hour bus lanes that are scheduled to fully open next year.

Mayor-elect Garcetti shares his priorities for the city (KPCC)

Good interview with the inbound mayor of Los Angeles. I thought this was an interesting paragraph:

To me, that is the symbol of the decline of Los Angeles. The potholes that we have, our cracked streets. We have to invest in that as well as in public transportation. It's not just for cars — but the bike lanes and the walkable communities, the sidewalks. I was talking to a woman at our forum in South L.A. this weekend and she said, “I can't go for a walk in my own neighborhood. I am disabled and it's literally too dangerous.” That's unacceptable in Los Angeles.

Other cities should do the same. I have a road bike and I've almost been vaulted from the saddle in more than a few places across the Southland. I'll mention two: in the city of Los Angeles, the stretch of 5th Avenue between Dewey and Rose appears to have last been paved in the 13th century. In the city of San Marino, the stretch of Allen between Lombardy and Orlando — i.e. the section right in front of the Huntington — is filled with giant tire-eating cracks and the pavement actually wobbles when you ride over it. And don't tell me you don't have money to fix it, San Marino: many of your residents wheel dumpsters instead of cans to the curb on garbage day!

 

Metro bus operator killed in downtown collision this morning

Terrible news. Here is the statement from Metro:

Metro is saddened to learn of the passing of one of our family members this morning as a result of a horrific accident in downtown Los Angeles. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bus operator’s family and friends during this difficult time. A thorough investigation of the accident is underway.

A tow truck collided with a Metro bus that had just gone into service about 5 a.m. this morning at 5th and Broadway. There were not yet any passengers on board the bus.


Metro posts official document inviting construction companies to submit proposals to build first segment of the Purple Line Extension

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 3.24.33 PM

A screen grab from Metro’s solicitations web page. Click above to see the real thing!

Another milestone today for the Purple Line Extension as Metro has officially invited construction firms to submit proposals to build the 3.9-mile first segment of the Purple Line Extension subway between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega. The proposals are due on Dec. 19 from the four firms that Metro deemed qualified in the earlier Request for Qualifications process. They are:

 

•Impregilo S.p.A., Samsung E & C America, Inc., and Salini USA, Inc. (Westside Transit Partners)

 

•Shimmick Construction Company, Inc.; Obayashi Corporation; and FCC Construccion, S.A. (Shimmick / Obayashi / FCC, a Joint Venture)

 

•Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc., Traylor Bros., Inc., and J.F. Shea Construction, Inc. (Skanska, Traylor and Shea, a joint Venture)

 

•Dragados USA, Inc. (DUSA), Southland Contracting, Inc., and Astaldi Construction Corporation (Dragados / Southland / Astaldi (DSA) a Joint Venture)

 

It’s a massive project, obviously — involving tunneling under busy Wilshire Boulevard and the building of three underground stations. Metro is seeking to award the contract in spring 2014.

Utility relocations for the project are already underway as is the construction of an exploratory shaft on the south side of Wilshire across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

ART OF TRANSIT: My awesome new Metro bus piggy bank navigates the kitchen counter. A friend found this in her office and gifted to yours truly. Prepare yourselves dear readers: giant yellow lab toys with bus photos are just a matter of time. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: My awesome new Metro bus piggy bank navigates the kitchen counter. A friend found this in her office and gifted to yours truly. Prepare yourselves dear readers: giant yellow lab toys with bus photos are just a matter of time. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Angelenos get their say about Wilshire subway (KNBC)

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

A brief get-up-to-speed segment keyed to last week’s community meeting on the Purple Line Extension. Unless my eyes deceive, it looks like a quick shot of the Washington D.C. Metro snuck its way into the piece toward the end.

Expo Line Fan’s construction photos (ipernity)

His frequently updated stream of photos of construction on the second phase of the Expo Line has a new home. There’s a whole crop of new photos of work on the bridge that will carry the tracks over Venice Boulevard and toward Palms, West L.A. and Santa Monica.

New transit promotion: North Texans can swap gasoline receipt for transit pass (DART)

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency is trying to lure motorists by offering a weekly regional pass in exchange for their latest gas receipt. It’s part of a promotion for Dump the Pump Day and a weekly regional pass normally goes for $50.

Bullet train agency gives $985-million contract to Tutor Perini (L.A. Times) 

I meant to post this yesterday as it got a little lost in the news. The California High-Speed Rail Agency’s Board, as expected, accepted the staff recommendation and awarded a contract to build 29 miles of track bed, trenches and bridges to the Sylmar-based firm. Ron Tutor appeared before the Board and defended his firm’s work, which has been criticized by some in the past. Before work can begin, the rail agency still must acquire some key parcels and a favorable ruling in a lawsuit brought against the project.

Good food, Grand Park

Photos by Kim Upton/Metro

Photos by Kim Upton/Metro

The great thing about the Grand Park Downtown Farmer’s Market is that the food is better than it needs to be. And it’s such a pleasant surprise to find smack in the middle of the downtown L.A., surrounded by the courts, the LA Times and beautiful City Hall.

Take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Civic Center Plaza (Temple Street exit) and walk down the hill. On Tuesdays the market is open between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It’s small, not fancy. There’s no one with a parrot on his head, like you might find at other markets. Most people are in suits. But it’s a nice place for lunch, a snack or a bag of cookies. Sweet Gourmet Nuts is there, selling delicious cinnamon-and-sugar pecans, walnuts and cashews. Delicious Starry Kitchen is there selling lemon grass tofu with garlic noodles, plus a meat entre or two. PopGram is there with upscale kettlecorn. And there’s a ton of fresh organic produce that is particularly wonderful this time of year.

What’s your favorite farmer’s market near Metro? Write us at sourcemetro@gmail.com. Put RIDE & DINE in the subject field so we don’t miss it and we’ll post on The Source or our Ride & Dine map. Or fill out an easy form.