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 blog.
Eli Broad calls for changing Regional Connector route (Connector Coalition)
Broad signed his name to a letter from this new group that asks for numerous and serious changes to the Regional Connector’s route — hardly the “modest” changes the letter labels them. Among them: a new station directly accessing Grand Avenue, where Broad is building a new museum for his art collection. He also proposes moving the Connector’s two other stations, changes that he claims would save money and attract more passengers. The Connector is a proposed light rail line that will extend the Blue and Expo line tracks from 7th/Metro Center to the Gold Line tracks in Little Tokyo — meaning that trains can run all the way through downtown. The Connector is in the process of finishing its Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement and studying the changes proposed by Broad would likely mean substantial work and perhaps redoing much of the planning work that has been completed. L.A. Streetsblog just posted an item on this, too.
City agency chugs along to bring WiFi to Gold Line (The Eastsider)
The L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency wants to bring WiFi to Gold Line trains and stations as a way to boost ridership. The next step is contracting with a vendor to draw up preliminary designs for a system. The step after that: putting the actual project out to bid.
Senate approves transportation bill extension (NPR)
A bill passed 92 to 6 to allow federal transportation funding to continue for highway projects and the Federal Aviation Administration, among others. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) had been threatening to block the extension because it included funds for pedestrian and cycling enhancements, which he says is a “state” matter. To get Coburn to stand down, a deal was swung that will consider his objections in the long-term transportation funding bill that the Senate is currently working on. That bill is more than two years overdue, btw, the reason that Congress has to keep adopting extensions. Metro also hopes that bill includes America Fast Forward, the legislation that would allow transit agencies to use federal financing to speed up the construction of transit projects.
It’s parking day in L.A., again (Parking Day LA)
Yep, it’s that day of the year again, when activists taking over metered parking spots and create miniature parks. The point of this annual exercise to show that there’s a lot of other ways to use public space. I like it, I get it and I also think at this point, but I’m not seeing too many cities in the Southland replacing parking with other civic amenities. I do, however, see plenty of major streets going through residential areas that offer parking lanes despite all the homes having big driveways. Those parking lanes could be bike lanes.
Sept. 11th and our oil addition (The Transit Pass)
In this blogger’s view, the 9/11 attacks should have ended our addiction to oil from the Middle East. But little has changed in the past 10 years, he writes. Not sure I entirely agree. I think it’s also worth pointing out that for a number of reasons, there are a lot more fuel-efficient cars on the road and transit agencies across the U.S. are pursuing some ambitious plans to greatly expand transit.