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.
Government and social media (Government Technology)
This blog post urges government agencies to get off their duffs and dive into the world of social media, saying it’s now an expectation — not just a luxury. However, these words of caution:
But even as agencies flocked to social networks, they often struggled to use these new communication channels effectively. And that’s where 2013 comes into play. Going forward, social media use needs to become more sophisticated. Truly engaging with residents means more than simply posting links to press releases — it means two-way communication and keeping social media pages active with current content on a regular basis.
I’m one of the contributors to Metro’s Twitter account, which has seen a very steady increase in followers in the past year. We do try to keep it a two-way conversation, although it’s hard to respond to every question, idea or rumination. We also run Twitter Tuesday on The Source each week which gives me a chance to highlight many of your tweets about the agency and respond to some of them (this week’s edition of TT will post later today).
Highway deaths their lowest level since 1949 (L.A. Times)
The number of fatalities on America’s roads was 32,367 in 2011 — a shocking level of carnage, in my view — but that’s 26 percent below the numbers in 2005. “However, bicycle deaths rose 8.7% to 677 and pedestrian deaths rose 3% to 4,432, the NHTSA said,” according to the article. Many of the cycling accidents were caused by head injuries and the story notes that only one in four cyclists wears a helmet. Here’s a NHTSA publication from earlier this year, which concludes that the drop in deaths is due largely to a decline in the number of fatalities involving younger motorists.
Najarian Metro Board seat in danger over his opposition to 710 big dig (L.A. Streetsblog)
Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian has made it no secret as a Metro Board Member that he is opposed to filling in the gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. Officials from other cities want the issue to at least be studied — a tunnel and other project alternatives are currently in the environmental review process — and have opposed Najarian being selected for another term as a Metro Board Member.
Pols attack Expo mixed-use project on Sepulveda (Curbed LA)
A 538-unit proposed residential development adjacent to the Expo Line Phase 2 station at Sepulveda and Pico is drawing a lot of opposition from pols these days, most recently L.A. Council Members Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl, who say it’s too large. Of course, the default position for westside politicians is to oppose development because of traffic concerns (and hey it’s worked so far!). The site, which is currently occupied mostly by a cement manufacturer is not only adjacent to a future Expo station — making connections to Santa Monica, Culver City and downtown L.A. easy — it’s also next to bus lines running on Pico and Sepulveda boulevards. The nearby neighborhood along Pico is also walkable; the Westside Pavilion is down the street. Will residents of the development have cars and use them? Surely. Will they use them as much as they would if they lived in the ‘burbs or far from transit? Probably not.