Agenda for today’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors

Good morning, Metro riders and stakeholders!

The gavel will soon drop on the Metro Board of Director’s meeting, scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The agenda is above; click here for the html version.

If not in attendance, you can listen to the meeting online by going to this link once the meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. or shortly thereafter. You can also listen over the phone by dialing 213-922-6045.

I know there’s a lot of public interest in the station renaming motions — Nos. 74 and 75 on the agenda — by Board Members Pam O’Connor and Ara Najarian. Those items are currently on the consent part of the agenda, meaning the Board will vote on the items along with the other consent items unless there is a request from a Board Member(s) to publicly discuss them and vote on them individually.

Of course, there are plenty of other items on the agenda, too. Please take a look — even if you don’t link to the accompanying staff reports, the agendas provide a good overview of the many different programs and projects at Metro, as well as the contracts awarded by the agency.

What do you do on your way to work? If you rideshare, the answer is…

…a lot! Because instead of driving, you can use the time to check email, sleep, read, connect with your neighborhood and more.

And don’t forget, during California Rideshare Week, Oct. 6 through 10, Metro will be issuing Get Out of Traffic Licenses to commuters who qualify* at four Metro stations and at the Civic Center Clean Air/Rideshare Fair. To receive a Get Out of Traffic License, be ready to take a photo at any of the following locations:

  • Monday, Oct. 6 from 8 – 10 a.m. at Union Station East Portal
  • Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 8 -9 a.m. at Culver City Station
  • Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 8 – 9 a.m. at North Hollywood Station
  • Thursday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Civic Center Clean Air/Rideshare Fair at Los Angeles Grand Park
  • Friday, Oct. 10 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at El Monte Station

*You qualify if you have tried/will try carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit, walking or bicycling to work!

During Rideshare Week, commuters also will have a chance to win great prizes by pledging to share the ride online at metro.net/rideshareweek. Pledging to rideshare even just one day out of the week will enter you in the raffle. Keep reading after the jump to see what some of the prizes are.

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What to expect from Metro Bus and Rail during CicLAvia this Sunday

CicLAvia - October 5, 2014

CicLAvia, presented by Metro, returns this Sunday with more streets to explore sans vehicular traffic. Heart of LA will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature brand new hubs in Echo Park, the Broadway Theatre district, Boyle Heights and East L.A.!

Though some of the route is new this time around, it’s as easy as ever to Go Metro to CicLAvia. The event is accessible via–count em’–11 Metro Rail stations, and bikes/skateboards/rollerblades/etc. are welcome, provided some rules are observed (more on that to follow).

What can customers expect of bus and rail service during CicLAvia? Metro Rail will follow the regular Sunday schedule on October 5, but with longer, rush hour-length trains during the event and through the evening to accommodate extra bikes, boards, and people.

On the bus side, street closures will impact Metro Bus routes beginning at 6 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. the day of the event. Though the Heart of LA course has numerous crossing points for vehicular traffic, Metro customers should expect bus detours and delays, including temporary bus stop relocations along the route. Impacted Metro Bus lines include: 2, 4, 10, 16, 18, 20, 28, 30, 40, 45, 51, 53, 55, 60, 62, 66, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 83, 92, 96, 460, 487, 720, 733, 745 and Metro Silver Line.

For more information about detours on specific lines, visit Metro’s CicLAvia Service Advisory page and scroll to the bottom.

By the way, if you have your valid TAP card, receive 15% off official CicLAvia shirts at the East LA Civic Center hub!

Also, please remember that bike etiquette in the station and on the train is even more important during a crowded event like CicLAvia. Cyclists planning to go Metro to the route, please review and observe the following rules:

  • When boarding, use entire platform length for more seating and bike space availability. Large groups should separate and enter through different doors to reduce crowding and delays.
  • Board with bikes using doors marked with yellow decals.
  • Always walk your bike within Metro stations or on trains.
  • For everyone’s safety, do not bring bikes on escalators; use the stairs or elevators instead.
  • Elevator priority will be given to passengers with disabilities.
  • Do not use emergency exit gates at turnstiles except during emergencies or unless directed by law enforcement or Metro personnel.
  • Observe all Bikes on Metro guidelines.

Like Metro, CicLAvia offers an alternative way to connect with our wonderful city and each other. To all who attend, have a fun and safe time–if you snap any good bikes-on-transit photos this Sunday, tweet us @metrolosangeles or tag us on Instagram @metrolosangeles! And for those who arrive via our buses and trains: thanks for going Metro.

High Desert Corridor draft environmental study is released

map_corridor_hidesert_eng

Caltrans and Metro today released the long-awaited draft environmental study for the High Desert Corridor project, which contemplates a new 63-mile freeway between Palmdale in Los Angeles County and the town of Apple Valley in San Bernardino County — along with a possible high-speed rail line, bikeway and green energy transmission corridor. The study also considers the legally-required No Build alternative.

The draft study can be viewed by clicking here.

The High Desert Corridor sits north of the San Gabriel Mountains, traditionally the divide between the heavily populated Los Angeles Basin and the rural Mojave Desert. In recent years, however, desert cities such as Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Hesperia, Victorville and Apple Valley have grown tremendously and now have a combined population near 700,000. The study predicts more growth — and more traffic — in coming decades.

Transportation, however, has remained a challenge in the High Desert with Highway 138 remaining the primary east-west option. Highway 138 is narrow — two or four lanes, often with no center divider — and long ago earned a reputation for its safety issues.

As with other transportation projects, funding for the High Desert Corridor project will remain a challenge. At this time, the project is not funded, although Measure R helped provide money for the project’s environmental studies. Among the alternatives studied is a toll road that could raise funding needed to help finance the project.

The news release from Caltrans is after the jump.

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Crenshaw/LAX Line: Two week full street closure on Rodeo Road rescheduled for Oct. 24

The news release from Metro:

Metro’s contractor Walsh/Shea Corridor Contractors (WSCC) has rescheduled the Rodeo Road two week closure to Friday, Oct. 24.

The full street closure is needed to complete the underground perimeter wall with steel piles for the Crenshaw/Expo station box. The work schedule and the detours remains the same.

Originally rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 3, the two-week full street closure of Rodeo Road at Crenshaw Boulevard will precede excavation of the underground station. Nightly closures are taking place in this location from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day as crews continue to work on storm drains and utilities in the area.

This location is of vital importance for the project since this is where the tunnel boring machines will be lowered to begin digging the southbound tunnel through Crenshaw/MLK station and finalize the Crenshaw/Vernon station. The lowering of the tunnel boring machine is expected to take place next year.

Metrolink’s Angels Express will run for playoff games beginning Thursday

Photo by Ray Smith, via Flickr creative commons.

Photo by Ray Smith, via Flickr creative commons.

The American League West champion Angels open the division series at home on Thursday against the Kansas City Royals, who won a thriller wild card game on Tuesday night.

Thursday’s game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and Game 2 on Friday is 6:30 p.m.

Metrolink’s Angels Express will be running for the post-season with train service between Los Angeles Union Station and the ballpark in Anaheim with stops at Norwalk, Buena Park and Fullerton — there will also be trains between Oceanside and Anaheim. The train station is in the parking lot for the stadium (beyond left field) and is a short walk from the ballpark.

Please click here for schedules. Round-trip is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors/disabled and $4 for those aged six to 18. Kids five and under are free with a limit of three free sprouts per paying adult.

 

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, October 1

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: New Metro Rail light rail vehicles being assembled in Palmdale. In this pic, two halves of a light rail car are being joined together. Photo: Metro.

Art of Transit: New Metro Rail light rail vehicles being assembled in Palmdale. In this pic, two halves of a light rail car are being joined together. Photo: Metro.

Metro breaks ground on key downtown L.A. subway link (L.A. Times)

Officials break ground on $1.4-billion Regional Connector (Downtown News)

Coverage of yesterday’s groundbreaking for the Regional Connector project that will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines in downtown L.A., making for a quicker ride to and through downtown for Metro light rail passengers. Officials emphasized that the Connector will reduce the need for transfer and should hopefully make taking the train into DTLA more convenient and possibly even quicker than driving.

I thought it was interesting that no one at the event noted, however, that the Pasadena Gold Line was originally intended to connect to the Blue Line. That was cut from the project in the 1990s due to budget woes, with officials figuring the subway could be used to bridge the gap between Union Station and 7th/Metro. Complicating matters, the Gold Line platform and subway platforms aren’t exactly adjacent — something I’m not sure you would appreciate unless you’re the one walking it day after day, month after month and year after year.

Metro’s Union Station Master Plan a significant shift (L.A. Times)

Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne takes a look at the Union Station Master Plan that the Metro Board will consider in its October round of meetings (the Board delayed taking action in September). Overall, he likes many elements of the plan and considers some of the challenges — such as how new development adjacent to the station will blend in with the historic station structure. One note from Metro: officials emphasize that raising the tracks at Union Station as part of the run-through project and providing room for the concourse below would not impact nearby bridges over the Los Angeles River.

Making Los Angeles streets safe, zero pedestrian deaths are mayor’s and LADOT’s goal (Daily News) 

LADOT’s bold new strategic vision: eliminate L.A. traffic deaths by 2025 (Streetsblog L.A.)

A look at the “Great Streets” document released by the city of Los Angeles earlier this week. The goal of ending pedestrian deaths and all traffic fatalities in the city by 2025 is certainly commendable — and will certainly be a challenge given the size of the city and the amount of traffic within it. As the article notes, there were 80 deaths last year and that number hasn’t moved much in recent years. My humble request: improving the often lousy pedestrian environment on sidewalks near the Blue Line would be a great place to start.

From Damien Newton and Joe Linton at Streetsblog:

There have long been holistic thinkers at LADOT, but they’ve been in the minority, squeezing in opportunistic improvements in the midst of a departmental culture that prioritized car convenience. In the past half-dozen years, under the leadership of previous General Manager Jaime de la Vega and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LADOT has warmed up to a broader mission that balances the needs of all road users.

But today’s plan is a quantum leap forward.

I couldn’t agree more.

 

The document from the city is below — looks like it has some interesting facts and figures, although I haven’t had a chance to read yet in its entirety.

A high-frequency bus network: is it worth the cost? (Edmonton Journal)

Excellent intro to a longer series about an ongoing discussion in the city: should high-frequency bus service be the goal or should the city continue to spread bus service around so everyone has at least a little service? Transportation planner Jarrett Walker was hired to help city officials make some decisions — see his blog for more coverage.

Of course, this is a hugely relevant conversation in Los Angeles County, where Metro and many other municipal agencies provide bus service. Some of it is certainly high frequency (at times) and much of it dives deeply into the ‘burbs and has low ridership but is obviously critical for the mobility of those who do ride. The catch: funding for bus service is never unlimited, meaning that to some degree the number of high-ridership, high-frequency lines are limited by the number of low-frequency bus lines.