Go Metro Weekends, August 8 − 10

Breathing fire for a captive audience at Chinatown Summer Nights. Photo by Salina Canizales via Flickr/CC.

Breathing fire at Chinatown Summer Nights. Photo by Salina Canizales via Flickr/CC.

It’s summer, so take a vacation from traffic with one or more of the following transit-accessible events happening across our beloved City of Angels.

Friday

Join Metro Presents for free live music this Friday evening in the Union Station waiting room. The California Feetwarmers are known for their unique blend of New Orleans Jazz, ragtime and swing. Two free 45-minute performances start at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and dancing is encouraged! (Metro Red/Purple, Gold or Silver Line to Union Station, or various Metro and municipal buses serving Patsaouras Transit Plaza.)

For lovers of horror and film history: don’t miss the Universal Monster Mash triple bill at the Egyptian Theatre! See Tod Browning’s Dracula, Arthur Lubin’s Phantom of the Opera, and George Waggner’s The Wolf Man starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 general admission, $7 for members and $9 for students and seniors with ID. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station, Metro Rapid 780 or Bus 156/656 to Hollywood/Highland, or Bus 212/312, 217, or 222 to Hollywood/Las Palmas.)

Saturday

Discover how summer is celebrated in Japan at the Natsumatsuri Family Festival hosted by the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This free event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is packed with exciting and educational activities for children. (For the full itinerary, visit the festival webpage.) Present your valid TAP card and receive $2 off adult admission and 10 percent off at the Chado Tea Room. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus 30/330 or 40 to Judge John Aiso/Temple.)

Boyle Heights restaurant Un Solo Sol Kitchen has organized a free musical event this Saturday in Mariachi Plaza, in honor of their 4th anniversary in business. The concert runs from noon to 10 p.m. and features DJs as well as local hip hop groups. Food will be offered at the restaurant, across East 1st Street. (Metro Gold Line to Mariachi Plaza or Metro Bus 30 or 620 to 1st/Boyle.)

If you’re seeing Jenny Lewis at the Wiltern (we’re jealous!) don’t forget that the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western is a great way to go! There is no maintenance schedule on the Red/Purple Line this Saturday night, which means trains will run every 10 minutes throughout the evening.

This Saturday is also the third and final Chinatown Summer Nights of 2014. From food to music, art and dancing, there’s something for everyone at this event that is fast becoming a staple of Summer in Northeast LA. Hop on the Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station or various Metro and municipal buses serving Chinatown.

Sunday

Olvera Street hosts the 14th Annual Taste of Ecuador Food Festival this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and features traditional Ecuadorian music and dance, carnival booths, a raffle, and of course, plenty of food and products for purchase. (Metro Red/Purple, Gold or Silver Line to Union Station.)

How has film shaped narratives about veterans’ experiences, and are these representations changing? Celluloid Soldiers: Veterans through Hollywood’s Lens, a panel at the L.A. Central Library, will ask just that question of panelists Kirby Dick, Jean Oppenheimer, and Brayden Yoder. The panel is free to attend and runs from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station.)

After Un Solo Sol’s party on Saturday, Mariachi Plaza will see a second anniversary celebration this Sunday: the Libros Schmibros “Feliz Aniversario” fiesta. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., an entry fee of $5 gets you music, horchata, tres leches cake, a year-long membership to the lending library and three books of your choice to keep. Sounds like fun — and a great deal! Go Metro and receive a free bookmark to boot. (Metro Gold Line to Mariachi Plaza or Metro Bus 30 or 620 to 1st/Boyle.)

All Weekend

Unique LA is back this Saturday and Sunday at the California Market Center in the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles, with their annual summer mart of entirely made-in-LA products. Shop local artists, designers, and vendors. Entry is $10 for both days, and comes with free drinks and snacks from festival partners. (Metro Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station or Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro.)

Theater enthusiasts take note: this Friday and Saturday are the last two days of Redcat’s New Original Works Festival in downtown L.A.. Go Metro and receive 20 percent off tickets. For more info and how to get there, see our earlier Source Post.

Did we miss something? Let us know where you’re taking Metro this weekend in our comments section.

Go Metro to the LA Taco Festival and save on an All You Can Eat Taco Pass

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The LA Taco Festival takes place Saturday, August 16 at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights and we’re salivating already!

From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy live music by local bands, entertainment, and a variety of tacos from the best vendors in East LA–all in one place. The event is open to the public. Tacos may be purchased a la cart for $4 each, or go all out with the $20 All You Can Eat Pass and feast on an unlimited supply of tacos!

And taco lovers who are Metro riders are in luck — show your valid TAP card at the Taco Fest ticket booth and save 10% on the All You Can Eat Pass. Please note that beverages and desserts are not included in the pass.

Getting to Mariachi Plaza on the Metro Gold Line couldn’t be easier. Just hop on an East LA-bound train to Mariachi Plaza Station and you’re there. Google Transit or Trip Planner can help you find your best route. Make sure to load up your TAP cards with enough cash fare for a round-trip or a Day Pass when starting your trip so you won’t have to wait in line at the TAP Vending Machines later on!

Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 7

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

ART OF TRANSIT: A cyclist on the bike path adjacent to the Orange Line -- this is the stretch just east of Hazeltine. More Orange Line stock photos free for anyone that needs them on our Flickr site. Just click above. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: A cyclist on the bike path adjacent to the Orange Line — this is the stretch just east of Hazeltine. More Orange Line stock photos free for anyone that needs them on our Flickr site. Just click above. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

$11 billion later, high-speed rail is inching along (New York Times) 

The top of the story:

WASHINGTON — High-speed rail was supposed to be President Obama’s signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China.

The article goes on to explain that most of the money was spent on building or planning to increase train speeds on relatively short sections of track around the country. It would still take $15 billion and 26 years to bring the northeast corridor tracks between New York and Washington up to Japanese bullet train speeds, the Times reports. The article also notes that California’s high-speed rail project recently won a key legal ruling but has been controversial.

Bedbugs found on at least three N Line subway trains (New York Daily News) 

Three trains in New York City were yanked out of service and sent to maintenance yards for immediate fumigation. This 2008 article in the New York Times discusses whether bedbugs can survive in transit stations. Short (and unfortunate) answer: yes.

Time to tie pay to Muni’s on-time performance (San Francisco Examiner) 

Fares are soon increasing a quarter on Muni trains and buses to $2.25 and this Examiner editorial proposes two responses: 1) tie the salaries of Muni executives to Muni’s ability to meet a goal of having buses and trains on time 85 percent of the time (it was 57.2 percent in 2013), and; 2) Enforce a 1993 ballot measure that required politicians who oversee Muni to ride it twice a week.

California’s slow ride to transit (San Francisco Chronicle) 

In this op-ed, Ethan Elkind complains that transit projects across the state are taking far too long to plan, bid and build — and he proposes some solutions. Metro’s Regional Connector is one of the examples he uses, comparing it to the time and expense of building a streetcar tunnel in downtown in 1925. Hard not to agree that the environmental review process in California and elsewhere takes far longer than necessary.

Passengers help free man trapped between train and platform (ABC News)

Watch the video from Australia. And let it serve as a reminder that being around things such as train platforms and busy streets — in L.A. and around the globe — demands your full attention. Put down your phones for a moment, people!

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And a little mid-day music courtesy of Spoon, which is playing the Hollywood Forever cemetery on Friday night. For those who want to take the bus to the show, use the Metro 4 Line that runs along Santa Monica Boulevard. The stops at Santa Monica/Gower and Santa Monica/Bronson are both close to the cemetery’s entrance. Red Line riders can transfer to the 4 at the Vermont/Santa Monica Station.

 

4-day closure of Huntington/2nd in Arcadia for Gold Line work begins Friday

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Here is the news release from the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the 11.5-mile addition to the Gold Line between eastern Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border. Yep, it’s another project funded by Measure R:

Four-Day Full Closure of Huntington Dr & Second Ave Intersection Begins Friday Morning, August 8; Followed by Six Weeks of Nighttime Directional Closures

WHO:  Residents / Commuters / Businesses in the Cities of Arcadia.

WHAT: Crews will be performing two phases of work on the light rail bridge structure over the intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave in the City of Arcadia. This work is part of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project. The first phase of work will require a full closure of the intersection to thru-traffic for four days, beginning Friday morning, August 8, to allow crews to install the bridge girders.

Following the four-day full intersection closure, six weeks of nighttime directional closures will begin on Tuesday night, August 12, Sundays thru Thursdays ONLY, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Huntington Dr will be closed to thru-traffic in one direction at Second Ave (either eastbound or westbound; never concurrently), while no thru-traffic will be allowed on Second Ave at Huntington Dr. The directional closures are needed to install the cross beams and deck steel onto the light rail bridge structure.

During these closures, detours and signage will be posted to guide motorists and pedestrians around the work area. Access to all local businesses, including those on Huntington Dr and Second Ave, will remain available.

WHEN:

-        Full Closure:
Friday morning, August 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. thru Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 6:00 a.m.: The intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave will be fully closed to thru-traffic to install the bridge girders. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians (see detour map above).

-        Directional (One-Way) Nighttime Closures:
Beginning Tuesday night, August 12, 2014 for approximately six weeks, Sundays thru Thursdays ONLY, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.: Huntington Dr will be closed to thru-traffic at Second Ave in one direction (either eastbound or westbound; never concurrently), while no thru-traffic will be allowed on Second Ave at Huntington Dr. These closures are to install the cross beams and deck steel. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians during these hours. No work will be performed on Fridays or Saturdays.

WHERE: Intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave in the City of Arcadia.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

•Detour routes will be in place during the closures and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians.

•Access to all local businesses, including those on Huntington Dr and Second Ave, will remain available at all times during the construction.

•Bus stops in this vicinity may be temporarily relocated. For information about:

Foothill Transit bus services call (800) RIDE-INFO (800-743-3463) or go to www.foothilltransit.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION

-        Visit www.foothillgoldline.org

# # #

About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority: The Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from Union Station to Montclair, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority built the initial segment between Union Station and Pasadena and is underway on the Foothill Extension. The Foothill Extension (now known as the Foothill Gold Line) is a nearly $2 billion extension that will connect Pasadena to Montclair in two construction segments – Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair. The 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa segment is on time and on budget, and will be completed in late-September 2015 when it will be turned over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. It is fully funded by LA County’s Measure R. Metro will determine when the line will open for passenger service. Three design-build contracts, totaling more than $550 million, are being overseen by the Construction Authority to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The Azusa to Montclair segment is environmentally cleared and is undergoing advanced engineering and design. It will be shovel-ready for a design-build contract in 2017. The $1 billion segment is currently unfunded for construction.

Go Metro Gold Line to Rihanna and Eminem!

Eminem and Rihanna bring their “Monster Tour” to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Thursday, August 7, and Friday, August 8. As always, you can take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station to reach the paid Rose Bowl Shuttle at the Parsons parking lot in Old Pasadena.

At Memorial Park Station, turn right when exiting the station and walk two blocks west on Holly Street to reach the Parsons parking lot.Shuttle pick up point is at Union & DeLacey.

After the concert ends at 11 p.m., customers should return to the shuttle stop immediately to ensure making the last train home. Customers should also load fare on their TAP card in advance to avoid long return lines and missing the last train. One way fare is $1.50 per line or $5 Day Pass (valid until 3 a.m.). Each customer must have their own TAP card to ride.  Customers must validate their fare by tapping their TAP card before each boarding (including when transferring lines) on faregates or standalone validators located near each station entrance.

Last return train with connecting service to all other lines departs Memorial Park at 12:25 a.m. on Thursday night and 1:25 a.m. on Friday night. Last Union Station-bound train without connecting service departs Memorial Park at 1:05 a.m. on Thursday night and 2:16 a.m. on Friday night. Last Sierra Madre Villa-bound train departs Memorial Park at 12:33 a.m. on Thursday night and 2:33 a.m. on Friday night.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, August 5

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

ART OF TRANSIT: The Orange Line crosses the Sepulveda Basin. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: The Orange Line crosses the Sepulveda Basin. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Does hosting the Olympics actually pay off? (New York Times)

Probably not, says writer Binyamin Appelbaum. Host cities end up spending far too much on new stadiums and venues that are often under-used once the torch moves on. The 1984 games in Los Angeles, however, are cited as an example of a lean Olympics effort that turned a profit. It’s a relevant topic, given the interest show by L.A., San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston in possibly hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. My prediction: there is a -100 percent chance that D.C. will get the Games based on world politics + humidity.

Is that all they want? Millennials and bike lanes (National Journal) 

Some cities view bike lanes for millennials as an economic development tool as millennials are more likely to live in cities and want alternative means to travel to work. The blogger says “interesting,” but not a substitute for other economic tools that cities should supply businesses.

Porn out, real estate in as Sunset Boulevard is reborn (Bloomberg) 

Looks like more luxury hotels are coming to the venerable Sunset Strip. Traffic concerns by neighbors are only briefly mentioned, perhaps a sign that it’s hard to get too anxious about traffic in a part of town that has seen heavy traffic congestion for 50-plus years.

A sky-high view of the Figueroa-Riverside bridge demolition (Eastsider L.A.)

Cool pics taken with a camera mounted on a quadcopter. These things are great for some really unique vantage points photo-wise. In case you’re thinking how these might capture images of the natural world, perhaps think again — the National Park Service (wisely, IMO) banned the drones earlier this year citing existing federal law.

BLM, local law enforcement tensions near breaking point in the West (L.A. Times) 

As is often the case in local-federal conflicts in the West, one of the disputes involves the right to drive on roads that had previously been closed to protect the environment.

Broadway is reined in by a lower speed limit (New York Times)

The new limit from 59th Street to 220th Street is lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph. As a former resident of Gotham and based on several long ago cab rides, I had no idea that there was any speed limit on Broadway.

Go Metro to KTOWN Night at Levitt Pavilion and save on tasty Korean BBQ

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This Friday, August 8, Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park hosts KTOWN Night featuring Mike B. as part of their free summer concert series. The event also includes KRNFX and DJ Zo.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m., come early to grab dinner at the Kogi BBQ food truck. Show your valid TAP card to the food truck cashier and save 10% on your bill! The concert begins at 8 p.m.

To get to Levitt Pavilion, take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Use Trip Planner for more routes and connections.

P.S. If you are attending that other hallyu event at the L.A. Coliseum over the weekend, the Expo Line might come in handy!