Bike-Escalators: Should they come to LA?

Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen

“GET OUT OF THE WAY!” A woman yelled at a cyclist while both were going up the escalator. The impatient woman was enforcing the unwritten rule that one side of an escalator should be cleared for those who wished to walk up it. The cyclist with his bike on his left side, now under the pressure from the woman, looked around on the crowded escalator for a way to clear a path for her to move ahead. No luck. The escalator was packed, and the woman would have to wait.

“YOU’RE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO BRING BIKES ON THE ESCALATOR!,” the woman yelled once more before exiting.

As uncivil the woman’s reaction was to the cyclist blocking the escalator, she was in some ways correct. Objects such as strollers and bicycles aren’t allowed on Metro escalators, and cyclists are asked to take the stairs and elevators instead. I have yet to see it done, but I’ve been told that failure to obey such rules can result in a citation.

And, more than a disruption to the flow of movement, bicycles aren’t allowed on escalators for safety reasons as well. There have been cases where bicycles were accidentally dropped on escalators, injuring the people below. And, I’ve witnessed a few times when cyclists walking their bikes up would accidentally hit the face of the person behind them with their bike’s rear wheel by accidentally swinging it sideways.

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Mulholland Drive closure on west side of Mulholland Bridge this weekend to prepare for Carmageddon II

This is it — the last work before Carmageddon next weekend. Traffic is being shifted over to the rebuilt south side of the Mulholland Drive Bridge over the 405 freeway in order to prepare for the demolition of the north side next weekend.

Here’s the construction notice:

Click above to see larger.


Go Metro Weekends, Sept 21 to 23

Autumn Lights at Pershing Square. Photo by johnwilliamsphd via Flickr

Fans of 3D movies won’t want to miss the 3D Film Festival taking place all weekend at L.A. LIVE. The event celebrates 3D filmmakers and content creators from around the world. Catch the 3DFF Horror Show Double Feature on Friday night at Regal Cinemas. Piranha 3DD shows at 10 p.m. and Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation begins at 12 a.m. With Metro running late on weekends, you’ll have plenty of time to catch your bus or train after the gore-fest. Tickets for single movies are $10, show your TAP card at the box office and get 50% off admission. Single-day passes and general admission badges for the whole weekend are also available. (Expo or Blue Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 81 to Figueroa/11th)

Plenty of football is happening this Saturday. After their devastating loss to Stanford last week, USC takes on Cal at the Coliseum at 3 p.m. and undefeated UCLA goes head to head with Oregon State at the Rose Bowl at 12:30 p.m. Metro will be running enhanced service on the Gold Line to accommodate fans going to either game (or both!). Extra service will also be added to the other rail lines. To avoid waiting in long post-game lines at the ticket machines, get a day pass or load up your TAP with cash before heading out. Free shuttles to the Rose Bowl are a short walk from the Memorial Park Station and the Coliseum is well served by the Expo Line.

With the weather cooling off slightly, it’s time to start thinking about autumn, and Autumn Lights LA is a great place to start. Local and international artists will show off their light installations at Pershing Square on Saturday. Go and enjoy live music, interactive blacklight live painting, photo booths and more. The event lights up at 6 p.m. and is open to all. (Red or Purple line to Pershing Square Station, Metro Bus 14 to Olive/5th)

Swing by University High School for ZAMFEST on Sunday. Plenty of kid friendly activities will be offered, so go have fun and get creative. General admission tickets are $8, children 3 and under are free. ZAMFEST lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Santa Monica BBB 2 to Westgate Nb/Texas Ns, check Trip Planner for connections)

Four new "Through the Eyes of Artists" posters coming soon!

Metro Art is excited to announce the four artists selected to create new posters for its award winning Through the Eyes of Artists series. Jessica Polzin McCoy, Ramon Ramirez, Mary Kay Wilson and Wakana Kimura have designed original artworks that celebrate Claremont, Pico Rivera, San Fernando and Inglewood, respectively. Transit users can expect to see the new posters in the coming months.

Jessica Polzin McCoy in her studio. Jessica’s poster will feature Claremont. Photo: Todd Gray.

Now in its tenth year, the Through the Eyes of Artists program commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods, as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

The four latest additions will bring the series to a total of 29 neighborhoods featured. Explore Through the Eyes of Artists posters.

Ramon Ramirez in his studio. Ramon’s poster will feature Pico Rivera. Photo: Todd Gray.

Mary Kay Wilson. Her poster will feature San Fernando. Photo: Todd Gray.

Wakana Kimura. Wakana’s poster will feature Inglewood. Photo: Todd Gray.

Transportation headlines, Friday, September 21

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.

The Endeavour taking off from Edwards Air Force Base at 8:17 a.m. today for its flight north and then back south to LAX. Photo: NASA.

Transit diaries: riders sound off on L.A. area buses and trains (Neon Tommy)

Reporters from USC hit the streets and rode the rails, talking to three dozen Metro passengers to get the low-down on area transit. There’s some kind words, some not-so-kind words — and many would like to see the bus and train system expanded. The story is actually a Google map that allows users to click on the locations where riders were interviewed. Clever. And here’s our post — in graphical form — from earlier this week on the results of Metro’s own survey of its riders.

High-speed rail on federal fast track (San Francisco Chronicle)

The White House is expected to announce today that it will speed up the permit review for the first segment of the California high-speed rail project between Madera and Bakersfield. This means that construction could begin next year on a 24-mile stretch of track between Fresno and Madera. When actual trains will run on the first segment or any segment is still to be determined.

Cheaper tolls not enough to pay for Seattle tunnel (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

A new tunnel is being built for Route 99 in downtown. The challenge: finding a toll that will help pay for the tunnel’s construction and maintenance without pushing too many drivers seeking to avoid the toll onto downtown streets. The problem, in short, is that the lowest tolls result in more people using the tunnel but revenues are needed to make the project work. The tunnel, btw, is replacing the old Alaskan Way Viaduct that was torn down because it was an eyesore that separated downtown from the Puget Sound waterfront.

Washington Metro’s SmarTrip campaign rolls out slowly (Washington Post)

The agency in D.C. is trying to move all riders over to plastic Smart Cards to pay fares (sound familiar?). As an incentive, they’ve been charging a $1 surcharge to riders who continue to use paper fare cards. Problem is, not all stations have ticket machines issuing the new fare cards because the machines didn’t comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Hmm.

Sermon on the No. 2 train (New York Times)

How to properly respond to annoying preachers on trains. Great punchline.

The future of driving (The Economist)

A slew of statistics in this article, which tries to figure out whether Americans will pile up the miles behind the wheel when the recession is over — or whether current trends of driving less will continue. Smart piece. Hat tip: Carter Rubin.


Metro Board committees tackle TAP issues, Expo safety and phone theft

A few notes from today's committee meetings of the Metro Board of Directors:

A contract that would pay Metro with $110 million in exchange for allowing ads from CBS Outdoor to be placed on Metro properties was moved to the full Board of Directors for their consideration at their Sept. 27 meeting. The item was moved without discussion or a recommendation, as frequently occurs.

•Metro TAP officials told the Board that they are working on allowing day passes to be sold online at the website. Currently, TAP card holders have to wait at ticket machines at rail stations to buy a day pass — readers have complained this negates some of the convenience of having a TAP card.

In addition, Board members and TAP officials discussed some of the other issues that have received a lot of attention, including: the appropriateness of charging tourists and others $1 for a TAP card they may only use once or a few times; confusion at ticket machines when customers initially buy a TAP card and want to buy a round-trip (two single rides), and; the need for more signage and possibly staff at times to help riders use the machines.

The takeaway here: the legitimate issues that many readers and riders have raised with TAP cards have not fallen on deaf ears. Metro staff and the Metro Board is aware of it and they are working to resolve some of the issues.

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What are you doing during Carmageddon II?

Carmageddon 2011. Photo by Paul Lovine via Flickr

Tell Zev what you’re doing for Carmageddon II during his live internet chat tomorrow at noon … right here at Or send in your great ideas and questions in advance to

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky will be here to talk to you about the 405 Sepulveda Pass closure next weekend, Sept. 29-30, and about plans for the future of the Sepulveda Pass corridor. 

Ask him about the chronic Sunset Bridge traffic backups. Ask him about the Wilshire ramps project. Ask him what he’s doing during Carmageddon. Ask him live during the internet chat from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow. Or send in a question NOW to