Go Metro Weekends, April 13-15

Pig ears from Haven Gastropub will be available at the 626 Night Market. Photo from 626 Night Market Facebook page.

If you’re into movie fashion, take a long lunch on Friday and visit the FIDM Museum, which is currently presenting the 20th anniversary Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. Celebrating the art and industry of costume designers, this exhibition presents more than 100 costumes from twenty films released in 2011, including costumes from all five 2011 Academy Award Nominees for Costume Design: W/E, Hugo, Jane Eyre, The Artist, and Anonymous. Also on display are costumes from last year’s winner, Alice in Wonderland. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Station, exit towards Hope Street and walk south for two blocks. Metro Bus 14 to 9th/Grand.)

Saturday is a great day to visit Pasadena. The Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival starts the festivities and the 626 Night Market will take over the streets once the sun goes down. The Earth and Arts Festival takes place at Memorial Park and the Armory Center for the Arts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, and there will be food trucks, an eco-swap meet, arts and crafts for kids, live music and an outdoor movie screening. Go Metro and receive a free gift; just show your valid Metro ticket or pass at the transportation booth and get a reusable tote bag.

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Transportation headlines, Friday, April 13

CicLAvia isn't just for bikes. Five Angelenos play/perform capoeira, the Brazilian martial art/dance in the middle of Spring Street. Photo by flickr user srd515.

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.

Searching for CicLAvia’s slow gear (Zev’s Blog)

As someone who plans to enjoy CicLAvia on foot this year, I appreciate this call for courteous and thoughtful sharing of the road this Sunday from some of Los Angeles’ foremost bicycle and pedestrian advocates. CicLAvia organizer Joe Linton puts it well when he encourages “all participants…to bring mutual respect, common sense and a willingness to engage with each other.” If you’re cruising around on two legs — as opposed to two wheels — like me, consider bringing a copy of the official CicLAvia architecture guide (PDF) with you.

What will eventually be the northern extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line to Hollywood? (Ride the Pink Line)

When the Crenshaw Line opens to the public later this decade, riders will be able to transfer at the northern end to the Expo Line and head toward the beach or downtown. But what about an extension of the Crenshaw Line further north to Hollywood? Such an extension is listed in Tier 1 of Metro’s long-range plan, meaning it’s currently unfunded but considered a high priority project in the future. Dan Wentzel of the blog, Ride the Pink Line, weighs in on how the Crenshaw Line might proceed from Expo/Crenshaw to Hollywood/Highland. The primary routes Wentzel considers are a combo of San Vicente Boulevard plus La Brea, Fairfax or La Cienega. Wentzel notes that there are some tradeoffs to consider here between going for the most direct route (La Brea) versus one that hits more destinations (Fairfax or La Cienega).

State agency OKs bullet train plan with service to O.C. (L.A. Times)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has signed off on the latest of iteration of the state’s plan to connect the Bay Area to So Cal. The approval included an amendment that will bring Anaheim back into the fold after a one-seat-ride to Orange County had been previously shelved to save costs. The proposal now heads to the State Legislature for approval — where it’s likely to encounter some skeptical members — before Gov. Jerry Brown can sign off on the beginning of construction. The press release from the California High-Speed Rail Authority is posted below.

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Go Metro to CicLAvia!

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will implement many bus line detours and provide longer trains in support of CicLAvia this Sunday, April 15.

The fourth official CicLAvia event in the Downtown L.A. area is designed to celebrate car-free enjoyment of public spaces for pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, skateboarders and others and will take place Sunday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Street closures will impact Metro Bus routes beginning 9 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  Metro bus lines impacted by the CicLAvia route are:  Metro Line 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 18, 20, 26, 28, 30, 33, 37, 40, 42, 48, 51, 52, 53, 55, 60, 62, 68, 81, 83, 84 , 90, 91, 92, 94, 460, 487, 603, 720, 733, 760 and Metro Silver Line.  Metro patrons should anticipate bus detours and delays to service, as well as the temporary relocation of bus stops along the route.  Temporary stops will be located as near to original stops as possible.

The public can more easily attend the event via 14 Metro Rail stations on or near the event route.  Metro Red/Purple Line stations at Civic Center, Pershing Square, 7th St./Metro Center, Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont are on or within three blocks of the route.  On Vermont Avenue, the Metro Red Line Station at Beverly is one block east of the route, and Vermont/Santa Monica Station is less than three-fourths of a mile from the northern point of the route at Melrose and Heliotrope.   The Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station is one block east of the route as it passes from Downtown L.A. to Hollenbeck Park in East Los Angeles and back.  The Pico-Aliso station is also near the route on 4th Street.   Both the Mariachi Plaza and Soto Metro Gold Line Stations also are within three blocks from Hollenbeck Park.

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What's happening at other transit agencies?

One of many transit lines in the growing system for the Salt Lake City basin. Photo by Nancy White, via Flickr.

This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.

Opening soon(ish)

Utah Transit Authority to open new commuter-rail line in December

A 45-mile extension of the Salt Lake-area’s FrontRunner commuter rail line will open later this year to Provo, Utah, the home of Brigham Young University. The line is one of several that have opened in the last few years — or will open soon — as part of Salt Lake City’s locally funded transit expansion program, FrontLines. Progressive Railroading has additional details on the commuter rail line here.


$196.6 million Tucson streetcar project breaks ground

Tucson, Ariz., broke ground this week on a 3.8-mile streetcar line that will connect downtown Tucson to the University of Arizona and a variety of other activity centers along the way. This press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation notes that 85,000 residents live or work within walking distance of the line. Most importantly, the line is expected to substantially improve transit trip times along the corridor. $63 million of the project’s cost is coming from USDOT’s competitive transit grant funding program TIGER.

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"Play Me, I'm Yours" now at Union Station

A passing commuter decides to give the new piano at Union Station a whirl just minutes after it was installed.

Turning your life into an impromptu musical has just gotten easier. Thirty pianos – one of which is located inside Union Station by the Starbucks - are decorated by local artists and community arts organizations. The pianos have just been placed throughout neighborhoods of L.A. County as part of the “Play Me, I’m Yours” installation presented by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

The piano at Union Station is designed by the Los Angeles Music and Art School and hosted by Metro. All 30 pianos are free for everyone to play and enjoy, so if you’re passing through Union Station take some time to give the piano a little love.

Play Me, I’m Yours” launched today with a simultaneous play-in of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Preludes at all 30 pianos. The performer at Union Station was Raymond Lowe, who was extremely well received by the crowd of travelers that gathered to watch the event. Immediately after Lowe finished his performance, others jumped in for the chance to play. Check out the YouTube video Metro staff made of the performance at the top of the post.

The "Play Me" piano was intalled Wednesday afternoon at Union Station.

The “Play Me, I’m Yours” installation by artist Luke Jerram is a celebration of pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane’s 15th anniversary as LACO music director. Los Angeles is the 23rd city to host the art project. “Play Me, I’m Yours” began in London in 2008 and has since spread to over 20 cities around the world, including Cincinnati, New York, Barcelona and Sydney.

The 30 pianos will be in town for just three weeks, so take some time and try to visit each one! Go to the L.A. “Play Me, I’m Yours” website for photos, videos, a list of the piano designers/decoraters and a map of where all the pianos are located. Many are located close to Metro bus stops and stations, such as the ones at El Pueblo (Union Station), L.A. Live (7th/Metro or Pico Station) and Santa Monica Pier (Rapid Bus 720 to 4th/Colorado).

Light rail car contract to be considered by Metro Board at special meeting on April 30

The Metro Board of Directors will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 30, at Metro headquarters to consider a contract to purchase new light rail vehicles.

The Board’s regular monthly meeting is at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 26, also at Metro HQ. That meeting already has a couple big issues on the agenda — namely consideration of the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report for the Westside Subway Extension and the Regional Connector.

Metro staff have recommended a $299-million contract with Kinkisharyo International, LLC, for the purchase of 72 new rail cars, along with four options for the purchase of an additional 157 light rail cars for $591 million. After protests from other light rail car manufacturers, the Metro Board decided in March to postpone their vote for one month.

Here’s an earlier post on The Source with more renderings and information about the new rail cars.

Reminder: Expo Line Farmdale station won't be opening April 28

While the Expo Line is opening on April 28 between 7th/Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles and the La Cienega/Jefferson station, one station in between won’t be making its debut quite yet: the Farmdale station adjacent to Dorsey High School.

Trains will pause at the station but passengers will not able to board or depart trains. Work is still being done on communications systems at the station, among other things. The Farmdale station may not open until the Culver City station opens, which is likely to happen this summer.

Why the delays? The big reason is that the Farmdale station was added to the project after construction had begun as a result of an agreement between the state, the Expo Line Construction Authority and the Los Angeles Unified School District.