Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference wrap-up

A bike rack in bike-friendly Long Beach. Photo by Marie Sullivan/Metro.

Just before eight on Thursday morning, a few shamed drivers walked from their cars, past a sizable bike corral and into the Long Beach Convention Center for the last of three days of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012 conference organized by the Project for Public Spaces. The 800-plus “zealots” sported a decidedly more casual dress than most professional convention goers. Messenger bags replaced briefcases and bike lapel pins adorned nametags on many of the attendees.

Work group sessions included speakers from bicycle advocacy groups, bike and pedestrian coordinators from municipalities across the country, directors of Safe Routes to School programs and traffic engineers.

Long Beach's success with expanding bike infrastructure was featured prominently in the conference, in addition to the city's new general plan. The plan used decreased parking requirements to lure business downtown and increase density, at a time when density was a dirty word. It looked to cities like Vancouver and Tacoma for inspiration, and called for the first “parklets” – which are street parking spaces converted to parking spaces – south of San Francisco (Long Beach now has three).

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Metrolink names new CEO

Here's the news release from Metrolink, the commuter rail agency funded in part by Metro:

Los Angeles – At its monthly meeting, the Metrolink Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Michael P. DePallo, a veteran transit leader with over 30 years of experience, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). DePallo currently serves as Director and General Manager for the Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH), a heavy rail subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that transports over 250,000 passenger trips a day between Manhattan and neighboring New Jersey.

“After a thorough national search, I am confident Michael is the right person to lead Metrolink as it continues to build on progress made in recent years. He has a proven record on safety, leadership and has recently overseen his agency's efforts to modernize their fleet of railcars,” said Metrolink Board Chair Richard Katz. “He is familiar with the complex issues that a commuter rail provider faces; that safety is foundational, customer service, funding issues, connectivity and security. In his current role, he is overseeing projects very similar to Metrolink's Positive Train Control, Guardian cars, locomotive upgrades and fare media issues. We look forward to his leadership.”

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Metro bus involved in accident this morning

A Metro bus on the 2 Line was involved in a collision with a private automobile about 5 a.m. Friday morning at the intersection of 2nd and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Authorities told media and Metro that the driver of the car allegedly ran a red traffic signal while texting and hit the bus. Nine people were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital and County-USC Medical Center, including the driver of the car. Injuries to those on the Metro bus are reported to be minor.


Go Metro Weekends, Sept 14 – 16


Celebrate bicycles at Tour de Fat! From Tour de Fat Official Facebook page

Start the weekend with some laughter at the Orpheum Theatre. Aziz Ansari, star of TV show Parks and Recreation, will be there to tickle your funny bone. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets range from $25 – $45. (Metro Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station, walk four blocks south on Broadway, Metro Bus 30 or 40 to Broadway/8th)

On Saturday, give up driving for riding at the L.A. stop of Tour de Fat. The bicycle celebration takes place at the Los Angeles State Historic Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes live performances, a bike parade, food, general merriment and good times. It’s free to attend, but you do need to register if you want to participate in the bike parade. Bikes are allowed on all Metro buses and trains, so if it’s a little far for you to bike all the way to the park, let Metro get you part way there. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 76 to Chinatown Station)

Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. Over 200 vendors will be on site for all comic book, pop culture and gaming enthusiasts. Go meet Felicia Day, Norman Reedus and other celebrities, or participate in the zombie apocalypse (finally, all my training will pay off!) Tickets are required for the zombie apocalypse and start at $30. A one-day pass to the expo starts at $20. Comikaze goes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. (Metro Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 30 or 81 to Figueroa/Pico)

On Sunday, take the family to the Japanese American National Museum and enjoy Umai 2012. Nine participating restaurants, including Torihei and Meiji Tofu, will be serving up delicious dishes, and the event includes entertainment for all. Tickets for adults are $25 online and $30 at the door. Entry also includes vouchers for all nine restaurants as well as admission to the museum. (Metro Bus 30 or 40 to Judge John Aiso/1st, Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station)

Memo on recent earthquakes in Beverly Hills near subway route

Here is a memo sent yesterday to the Metro Board of Directors from the team planning and designing the Westside Subway Extension on the pair of small but noticeable earthquakes that occurred near Wilshire Boulevard and just east of downtown Beverly Hills earlier this month:

Click above for a larger view.


Transportation headlines, Friday, September 14

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.

HNTB's proposal for the new viaduct. Courtesy HNTB.

Visions for the 6th Street Bridge (The Architect's Newspaper)

Check out the renderings for the three finalists competing to design a new 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Memo to city of Los Angeles webmeisters/flacks: unless I was looking in all the wrong places, I couldn't find the renderings on the city's website. I think all three proposals are pretty neat-o and this is a good chance for the city to make a nice architectural statement in a part of town that needs something (actually anything) to spruce it up.

For the sake of comparison, below is the Sundial Bridge that opened in 2004 in Redding. It spans the Sacramento River.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

BHUSD Board opposes Measure J (Beverly Hills Patch)

The surprise isn't that the Board opposed it — it's that it wasn't unanimous. Two Board Members — Jake Manaster and Noah Margo — abstained, saying it wasn't appropriate for the Board to take a position on a ballot measure. Measure J is a 30-year extension of the Measure R sales tax and seeks to accelerate the construction of transit and road projects, including the Westside Subway Extension. It will go to L.A. County voters on Nov. 6 if Gov. Brown signs a bill, AB 1446, in the next few weeks.

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Metro responds to today's protests

The Bus Riders Union and other groups held a protest march Thursday in Los Angeles and made several statements about Metro to the media and others. In the spirit of setting the record straight, here are a few facts about Metro:

•1,222 affordable housing units are either planned, being built or have been completed in transit oriented developments in which Metro is a partner. That number includes the 172 affordable units that just opened this past spring in a development over the Red/Purple Line subway station in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, adjacent to MacArthur Park.

•Metro has never partnered with Walmart in any kind of development.

•Housing units lost to construction of the Eastside Gold Line Extension and for a planned subway station never built in Boyle Heights have since been replaced and there will be 52 affordable units in transit oriented development at First and Lorena streets. That project is expected to commence construction in a year.

•Metro has no plans to kill its rail program. Los Angeles County voters in 1980, 1990 and 2008 approved half-penny sales tax increases to help pay for the expansion of transit, including rail projects. In 2008, nearly 68 percent of voters approved Measure R, which will help pay for bus and rail projects, bus operations, highway projects, as well as return 15 percent of the taxes collected to cities in Los Angeles County for smaller transportation improvements.