Metro sponsors “Glendale: The Jewel City Tour,” led by C.I.C.L.E. and Walk Bike Glendale!

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Join Metro, CICLE and Walk Bike Glendale for a fun-filled ride through historic Glendale on Saturday, September 27. Riders will pedal past the city’s beloved Porto’s Bakery, the iconic and regal Alex Theater and renowned Golden Road Brewing. Enjoy a sweet treat from Porto’s and ride along through history on this delicious, bedazzled ride.

Meet up with the group at the Glendale Metrolink Station, 400 W Cerritos Avenue, Glendale at 9:30 a.m. The ride will leave promptly at 10 a.m and the ride will return to the starting point at 12:30 p.m.

Metro sponsored rides provide an opportunity to practice riding comfortably with traffic, bike safely in a group and become better acquainted with bikeways in Los Angeles County. C.I.C.L.E. rides are leisurely, family-friendly and led by fully-supportive and trained Ride Leaders and volunteers. Prior to the ride, safe street riding and group ride etiquette will be reviewed to ensure smooth sailing.

More information on the ride available at CICLE.org

Join Glendale: The Jewel City Tour on Facebook!

Schedule of public hearings for Gold Line Eastside Extension study

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Here’s the news release from Metro:

A series of public hearings conducted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is set to receive community input to a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on a proposed extension of the Metro Gold Line Eastside light rail system from East Los Angeles to either South El Monte or Whittier. In addition to the two alternatives, the Draft EIR/EIS analyzes a Transportation Systems Management proposal that identifies bus corridor improvements and a no-build option. The environmental document was released August 22, 2014.

Metro will conduct four public hearings during a 60 day public comment period, which is open until 5 p.m. October 21, 2014, each to include a 30 minute open house when the public can view the Draft EIR/EIS, see project display and talk to staff. They are:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pico Rivera Senior Center

9200 Mines Ave. Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Open House: 9 a.m. Public Hearing: 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Monday, September 29, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quiet Cannon Banquet Center

901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA 90640

Open House: 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing: 6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014                                                                                        

Uptown Whittier Senior Center

13225 Walnut Street, Whittier, CA 90602

Open House: 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing: 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  

South El Monte Senior Center

1556 Central Avenue, South El Monte, CA 91733

Open House: 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing: 6-8 p.m.

The Draft EIR/EIS studied the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2, an extension of the existing Gold Line connecting Pasadena and East Los Angeles through Union Station to communities where commuting to work is expected to grow by 32 percent by 2035 and peak period travel times to increase 25 percent in the morning and 34 percent in the afternoon by 2035.

The Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 project includes proposals known as the SR 60 Alternative and the Washington Boulevard Alternative.

The SR 60 Alternative proposes a 6.9 miles extension of mostly elevated tracks running adjacent to the 60 freeway to South El Monte with four proposed new stations in Monterey Park, Montebello and South El Monte.

The Washington Boulevard Alternative would extend the Gold Line 9.5 miles, traveling south in an aerial configuration down Garfield Avenue, turning southeast on Washington Boulevard where it would transition to a street running operation at Montebello Boulevard before ending in Whittier. The alternative would include six proposed new stations in Montebello, Pico Rivera and Whittier.

Each of the two alternatives would begin at the Eastside Gold Line’s current terminus at Atlantic and Pomona boulevards in East Los Angeles.

Estimated ridership for the SR 60 Alternative is 16,700 boardings each weekday with a cost estimate of approximately $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion in 2010 dollars. Estimated ridership for the Washington Boulevard Alternative is 19,900 weekday boardings with an estimated cost of approximately $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion in 2010 dollars.

An EIR is required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and an EIS fulfills requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The laws require government agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects. Information from public comments will be weighed before preparing the final environmental document.

Metro staff is scheduled to present a summary of technical analysis and comments received along with a recommended Locally Preferred Alternative to the Metro Board of Directors in November and the Board will decide how to proceed.

For more information about the project, review the Draft EIR/EIS and submit comments, visit the project web page at www.metro.net/eastsidephase2

New episode of Metro Motion: L.A. Mayor Garcetti shares his vision for better mobility

In the newest edition of Metro Motion, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti explains why he thinks a regional approach to traffic management and business is the best way to lead us into a more mobile and prosperous future.

In another segment, we explore a neighborhood rich in culture and history along the Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line, which is now under construction. Leimert Park was designed as a model community and a center of African American art, music and culture. The artistic center has held and residents still celebrate what has made the neighborhood community strong and distinct.

Also join us for a taste of the Taste of Soul, the family food and entertainment festival (this year, Saturday, Oct. 18) in the neighborhood surrounding Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, where the food is delicious and the welcome warm. Hear what inspired entrepreneur Danny Bakewell Sr. to begin the Taste of Soul, sample some of the best food L.A. has to offer and go away inspired to dine along the line. What do you do on the way to work?

Find out what three creative Angelenos do with the free time they earn away from the drivers’ seat. And then consider making a pledge to give up four wheels in a segment celebrating Rideshare Week, Oct. 6-10.

And finally, Metro Motion’s favorite two wheeler takes us on a tour of the beautiful Long Beach coastline. Find out what to do, where to go and how to pedal the LB coast, even if you don’t have a bike. For these stories and more go to metro.net/metromotion. Metro Motion is co-produced with Santa Monica City TV. It runs quaterly on cable stations throughout L.A. County.

 

Metro staff seeks approval to secure federal funding for Phase 2 of Purple Line Extension subway

Pre-construction is already underway on the first phase of the Purple Line Extension, which will stretch the subway from its current terminus at Western Avenue to La Cienega Boulevard with new stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. Earlier this year, Metro received $2.1 billion in federal grants and loans for the first phase and the agency this summer picked a contractor to build the project.

In the meantime, Metro is beginning to turn its gaze toward the project’s second phase, which will extend the tracks to a downtown Beverly Hills station and a station at Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard Century City. In the above report, Metro staff are asking the Metro Board for approval to seek federal funding for phase two in the form of a $1.1-billion grant from the federal New Starts program and a $307 million low-interest loan from the federal TIFIA program.

The target date for completion, with the federal funding, would be 2025. That’s one year earlier than the original target date for the second phase (the first phase to La Cienega Boulevard is forecast to open in 2023). Pursuing more federal funding as quickly as possible has other advantages — offsetting a higher cost estimate for the project, as the report explains.

The Purple Line Extension is also funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by nearly 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The full Metro Board of Directors will consider the staff proposal for Phase 2 funding at its Oct. 2 meeting.

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Southland’s top traffic reporters honored at this year’s Golden Pylon Awards

Winners of this year's Golden Pylon Awards. Top (left to right): Terry Edwards, Juan Galvan. Bottom (left to right): Alysha Del Valle, Stephanie Simmons, Rebecca Campbell. Not pictured: Kajon Cermak. Photo: Jose Tchouporian/Metro

Winners of this year’s Golden Pylon Awards. Top (left to right): Terry Edwards, Juan Galvan. Bottom (left to right): Alysha Del Valle, Stephanie Simmons, Rebecca Campbell. Not pictured: Kajon Cermak. Photo: Jose Tchouporian/Metro

The coveted Golden Pylon Awards were handed out to the Southland’s top traffic reporters today at Los Angeles Union Station. The awards honor the reporters who keep the region’s traffic moving by promoting rideshare options such as carpools, vanpools, active transportation and public transportation.

The Golden Pylon Awards are sponsored by four regional transportation agencies: Metro in Los Angeles County, Orange County Transportation Authority, San Bernardino Associated Governments and Ventura County Transportation Commission. Nominated by their peers and the transit agencies, six traffic reporters who report on the daily traffic grind for numerous broadcast outlets won this year’s top honors.

  • Alysha Del Valle, ABC 7
  • Stephanie Simmons, CBS 2
  • Rebecca Campbell, KFI, KLAC, MYFM,  KYSR, KEIB
  • Officer Juan Galvan, FOX 11, Univision 34,Telemundo 52, Radio Mexico, La Poderosa, KFRN Family Radio
  • Kajon Cermak, KCRW
  • Terry Edwards, Operations Manager for Total Traffic, promotes ridesharing issues among Southland traffic reporters

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Attend Metro’s Social Media Week event at Union Station September 24

UntitledAttend Metro Moves Forward and hear from the Metro team on how they’re adapting in the age of technology to making commuting easier and more enjoyable for millions of Los Angelenos every single day. The Social Media Week event will take place on Wednesday, September 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Union Station Fred Harvey Room. The event is free to the public, but please RSVP.

Metro staff will conduct a presentation on the agency’s use of app technology and social media. Following that is a roundtable discussion with real transit users on how they’ve incorporated technology in ways that have improved their commuting experience, and how they use social media to engage with Metro, other agencies and commuters.

Discussion panelists include:

Alissa Walker: Alissa Walker is the Urbanism Editor at Gizmodo where she writes about cities, architecture, transportation, and technology. She is on the steering committee of Los Angeles Walks and relishes life in LA without a car. Follow her at @awalkerinLA.

Steven White: Transit User, Downtown Dweller, Content & Media Manager at @BounceAEG. Follow him at @StevenMWhite.

Gann Matsuda: News/Views about the LA Kings and the National Hockey League. Member of Professional Hockey Writers Association, transit rider. Follow him at @frozenroyalty.

Also, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, there’s another panel in downtown Los Angeles (1933 S. Broadway) involving transit: “The Gamification of Transportation: How Mobile Apps and Social Media Incentives Change the Way We Travel.” Among the panelists is Lan-Chi Lam, Metro’s Director of Communications for Web & Mobile. Click here for more info.

To get to Union Station, take the Metro Red, Gold or Purple Line. The station is also served by numerous Metro and municipal buses. Use Trip Planner to find routes and connections.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, September 23

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! 

North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky Station? Stop the political madness! (L.A. Times) 

Op-ed writer Kerry Cavanaugh says renaming two Metro Rail stations after two current Metro Board Members is a sour idea that “smacks of self-congratulatory back-slapping among politicians.” She urges the two Board Members to be honored — Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky — to say ‘no thanks.’

The motions proposing the station renaming are by Metro Board Members Ara Najarian and Pam O’Connor. Read the motions by clicking here. A Board Committee supported changing the station names last week and the full Board will consider the motions at its Oct. 2 meeting.

Portland will still be cool but Anchorage may be the place to be (New York Times)

A variety of scientists take educated guesses about cities that will remain comfortable later this century. No one sounds too optimistic about East Coast cities or Southern California — way too hot, they say. The strip of land along the coast between San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest, however, may remain buffered with cooler temperatures because of the proximity to the ocean and little impact from rising sea waters because of already steep terrain. In other words, Sasquatch and Mendocino may be two big winners!

As we’ve noted before, reducing the number of car trips by walking, biking and taking transit is one way to reduce your carbon footprint — all better than driving alone in the average vehicle.

In other climate change news, I forgot to include coverage of the climate change marches this past week in yesterday’s headlines. Jon Stewart does a funny job catching up with the news and explaining displacement, although I have to offer the usual warning: there’s adult language and Congress is insulted. If those sort of things bother you, don’t click on the link!

And this: the number of wildfires in California is — not surprisingly — up this year, according to the L.A. Times. Fire officials blame the ongoing drought.

Kushner pulls the plug on L.A. Register effective immediately (LAObserved) 

The new newspaper covering Los Angeles croaks before reaching its six-month birthday. Too bad. More eyeballs on our region, the better. That said, the Register’s transpo coverage was mostly a low-grade mix of old news or news releases rehashed in short stories and/or columns and it never looked like the publisher got around to actually creating a plan for what the Register would cover and how it would be covered.

Your electric car isn’t making California air any cleaner (Grist) 

Government subsidies for purchase of electric cars is mostly going to wealthy zip codes in big metro areas, Grist reports — and not necessarily the zip codes where there is the most air pollution (i.e. in the San Joaquin Valley). Fair enough point, but the headline is a bit misleading — seems to me it’s still better to have an electric car on the road than one with a conventional gasoline-powered engine.

A cyclist’s plea to motorists (High Country News)

Good essay by Jonathan Thompson. Excerpt:

Cyclists must take some responsibility here. We need to abide by the rules of the road, not ride like idiots and ride defensively, as if we were invisible. The one time I got hit by a car, it was probably my fault as much as the driver’s. More caution on my end could have prevented the accident. Still, 40 percent of fatal bike/car collisions entail the car hitting the bike from behind. Those bikers, now dead, never saw it coming. They were powerless to save themselves. So, motorists, a plea: Pay attention, slow down and remember that, as annoying and gaudy as those lycra-clad bikers might be, they are dads, moms, daughters and sons. And that car you drive, no matter how much you adore it, is a deadly weapon. Treat it that way.

 

Atomic gaffes (New York Times) 

Review of my next transit read, “Command and Control” by Eric Schlosser on some of the accidents and perils involving America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. I picked up a copy at the great Vromans (Metro Bus 180/181, 256, 687/686 to Colorado & Oak Knoll in Pasadena) over the weekend, largely because I read the first chapter standing in the aisle and it managed to scare the transit pass out of me, so to speak. Feel free to share a transit read recommendation in the comments or on our social media (links above).

I’ll hop right on it as soon as I finish up the excellent “The Lost Dogs” by Jim Gorant on the fate and rehabilitation of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs. Quasi-related: it’s accepted fact that the New York Jets are a historically repulsive enterprise (even worse than the Ravens, Browns and 49ers, IMHO) and the fact that they are paying Vick a lot of Benjamins to hold a clipboard makes them somehow even more unlikeable. Go Patriots, Bills and Dolphins!