The Orange Line Extension's new bike lane

The view looking north toward the Santa Susana Mountains.

In addition to the new four miles of busway, the Orange Line Extension features four new miles of bike lane and walking path between Canoga station and the Chatsworth train station. Check out this story on Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website.

The accompanying photos were taken by Metro’s Dave Sotero, an accomplished cyclist known for using his folding bike as part of his daily work commute.

The view south.

The view south from Nordhoff station.

Bike lockers at the Nordhoff station.

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The art of transit

photo by Greg Spotts, via Twitter

Art panels being installed along the Orange Line Extension in preparation for its public debut on Saturday.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to sourcemetro@gmail.com or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

Congress may finally have a new multi-year transportation spending bill

The story has been developing throughout the day — it seems the Senate and House have struck a deal to pass the first multi-year bill since 2005. That bill had expired in 2009 and been given a number of short-term extensions while Congress bickered over the new bill.

It’s never over until it’s over, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the new bill includes a key provision of the America Fast Forward plan championed by Metro and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who came up with the idea. The provision would expand the federal loan program known as TIFIA that could help Metro accelerate transit projects by borrowing against future Measure R revenues.

I’ll post more when we get a summary from Metro’s government relations team.

Potholes, what are they good for? Absolutely nothin’!

Photo by autumnlight, via Flickr creative commons

Let’s face the facts. The road conditions around much of Los Angeles County STINK.

When it comes to cycling in the region, there’s nothing worse than knowing you’ll inevitably be encountering one of the many potholes, bumps, cracks, and cratered manholes scattered throughout the area. Too often, they tend to ruin a perfectly good ride. Don’t believe me? Try speeding down Wilshire Boulevard on a bicycle, it’ll feel like you’re sitting on a massage chair … from hell.

In my opinion, potholes and cracks are a cyclist’s worst enemy. Not only do they make it dangerous to ride, but they make it stressful as well. They slow us down, force us to swerve left and right in traffic, and can lead to serious injuries and expensive bike repairs.

Imagine such a scenario: One moment you’re riding down a street with nothing but smiles, then KA-BAM! A wide enough crack on the road sucks your front wheel in and the next thing you realize, you’re flapping your arms like a distorted seagull having been launched into the air like a human cannonball. Then, impact. Ouch.

Fellow cyclist Lynn shows the injuries she received (right) after crashing from a pothole (left) on a night group ride.

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On Transportation column: June 27 edition

Measure R Extension: The big-ticket item at Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting is a scheduled vote on whether the Board wants to ask voters to extend the half-cent sales tax beyond its mid-2039 expiration date.

Metro staff is proposing to extend the tax as a way to possibly accelerate all of the Measure R transit projects as well as help advance the construction of some of the road projects. Here’s last week’s post looking at the staff proposal.

I anticipate a lot of questions from the Board, with most of them involving the following:

•How would a Measure R extension deal with funding gaps in many of the projects? Does it fill those gaps or merely supply the money needed to build projects now instead of many years from now?

•If the Measure R transit projects are successfully accelerated, when would funds be available to begin building other projects in Metro’s long-range plan and which projects would be built first?

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Celebrate the opening of the Orange Line extension on June 30!

Metro will celebrate the opening of the Orange Line Extension with fun-filled family events at two stations on Saturday, June 30. Festivities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include food trucks, live music and much more.

Canoga Station

Chatsworth Station

  • ribbon cutting at 11 a.m.
  • community booths
  • food trucks – Fry Girl, The Lobos Truck, Just for the Halibut
  • petting zoo and pony rides for children provided by The Farm, first 20 children get a free pony ride
  • Iron Horse motorcycle and rider dress up competition at 12 p.m., first prize is a trophy and $100
  • live performances presented by Cowboy Palace Country Gone Awry and Coldwater Canyon – and Metro Express
  • raffle to win bikes hosted by Cycle World
  • free bike valet provided by Cycle World
  • blood drive hosted by the Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Providence Blood Donor Center

Rides on the Orange Line Extension from Canoga Station to Chatsworth Station will be free both Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Regular fares will apply on all other Metro Rail, Metro Rapid and Metro Local lines and the rest of the Orange Line. Buses will only run on the extension from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. this weekend,the regular schedule starts on Monday, July 2.

State bill to allow vote on Measure R extension clears Senate transportation committee

The vote on AB-1446 (by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles) was yesterday afternoon. The state bill is needed in order to put a Measure R extension on a ballot before county voters.

On a related note, the Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on whether to take the issue to voters at their meeting tomorrow. If the Board wants to put an extension to voters in November, they will need AB 1446 to be approved by the Legislature this session and then signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Here is the update on yesterday’s vote by Metro’s government relations staff:

Today, the California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee approved AB 1446 (Feuer) on a 7-2 vote. The Committee asked for an amendment to clarify that the local return sub-fund in Measure R would continue with an extension. The author accepted the amendment, and the bill will now be referred to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee for a vote. We anticipate the bill will be heard on Tuesday, July 3rd.

A copy of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee analysis from today’s hearing is attached for your reference.