Transportation headlines, Monday, June 25

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.

Authority puts $1.75 million toward Metrolink station at Bob Hope Airport (Burbank Leader)

The agency that oversees the airport set aside funds for the station that would be located at Hollywood Way and San Fernando Road, which would be convenient for those traveling from the Antelope Valley and trying to reach the airport. The airport’s current Metrolink station is on the Ventura County Line.

Drivers on the 10 get ready to pay for carpool lane (Pasadena Star News)

An overview of the ExpressLanes project that is coming to the 10 freeway’s carpool lanes between downtown L.A. and the 605 freeway early next year. As the article states, many motorists in the San Gabriel Valley try to avoid the 10 because it is often congested but the two carpool lanes in each direction with much lower traffic volumes than the regular lanes may be enough to lure some motorists willing to pay the congestion pricing toll.

Santa Monica traffic, is it really that bad — part 1 (L.A. Streetsblog)

Intriguing post by Gary Kavanaugh suggesting that perhaps the traffic in the Republic of Santa Monica is exaggerated by those living there. As a former seven-year resident, I agree with Gary’s assessment that there are some hotspots that are pretty bad. The bigger problem, I think, is that Santa Monica is also surrounded by other traffic hotspots (example: all of Lincoln Boulevard) that make moving through the area an ordeal at times.

“Straphanger” book review (The Atlantic Cities and Primary Resources)

A new book by Taras Grescoe titled “Straphanger: Saving Our Cities from Ourselves and the Automobile” looks at transit around the world. Primary Resources has a positive review and the Atlantic Cities has an interview with Grescoe.

 

Signing off for now: a note from your humble transit blogger

Here I am at the Expo Line opening. Photo by Steve Bott via flickr.

After a year and a half of writing for The Source, I’m sad to say that I’ll be taking a leave. It’s exciting news though! Over the next year, I’ll be working in L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s office thanks to a fellowship through my urban planning program at UCLA and the David Bohnett Foundation.

Before I sign off, some thanks are due: Thanks to Metro and The Source editor Steve Hymon for giving me a chance to help explain how Metro works and to make the agency more accessible to the public. Hopefully, I was able to shed some light on the process of planning the suite of Measure R transit projects coming down the line.

And a big thanks to The Source readers. One of the most valuable parts of this gig for me was hearing what public transit in Southern California means to you, as well as your hopes and aspirations for what transit can and should be.

So, after 200-plus posts, what perspective did I gain writing for The Source?

Continue reading


The art of transit

photo by Carter Rubin/Metro, via Flickr creative commons

Nice photo of the maintenance yards in downtown Los Angeles for the Red/Purple line subway. The L.A. River is to the right of the yards — one of the bridges over the river is in the top right of the frame — and Metro’s headquarters is in the distance. The photo was taken with the Instagram app for iPhone.

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.

Cheap and tasty eats on the Expo Line from the 99 Cent Chef

Blogger Billy Vasquez — aka the 99 Cent Chef — has a great review of all the delicious and cheap food you can find within walking distance of the Expo Line. It’s a handy guide for those thinking of going Metro to explore some of the newest neighborhoods to have a Metro Rail station.

Here’s Vasquez’s video recap — a montage of scenes from the train ride and the tasty eats that he tracks down.

I’d like to echo the India Sweets & Spices recommendation. It’s some of the tastiest Indian food in L.A., period. Plus you can stuff yourself for about $8! Be sure to try the samosas.

H/T to Culver City Patch.

Study update on Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor; many concepts under review

Click above for a larger chart.

With Ramp Jam likely to trigger a downgrade in the already bad traffic in the Sepulveda Pass corridor, I thought this would be a good day to look ahead — specifically to the day when the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project is built to help better connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside.

As many of you likely know, the project is one of the transit projects set to receive funding from the Measure R sales tax increase approved by county voters in 2008. At the time, the project was a concept yet to be defined. However, a systems study is underway by Metro planning staff to determine some concepts for the project. The study below (pdf here) lists the interim findings.

There are six over-arching concepts offered (shown on the chart above), including bus rapid transit, rail transit and managed and/or toll lanes that could be used by buses and/or rail. Among the concepts: building a tunnel that could be used by both private vehicles and transit. Interesting!

Perhaps most intriguing and heartening, I think, is that the study area is a big, big area — all the way from the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station in the northern San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles International Airport.

Funding will obviously be a challenge, as Measure R is scheduled to provide $1 billion for a project that could potentially cost a lot more than that. Even with the (usual) funding challenges, I’m pleased to see that everything is on the table — as it should be in such an important corridor.

Please give the report a read. There are maps for each of the overall concepts. This is still the earliest stage of project development that precedes the traditional alternatives analysis and environmental impact studies that will follow.

Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor study update


Alternative access to northbound 405 during Ramp Jam

Click above to see a larger version of the map.

The demolition and reconstruction of the northbound entrance to the 405 freeway from westbound Wilshire Boulevard and the northbound exit from the 405 to westbound Wilshire begins tonight. My sympathies to those who will be sitting in excess traffic.

The above is a map showing alternative access to the 405 freeway. There will obviously be traffic issues in the area — there’s no way to close a Wilshire-405 ramp without causing traffic.

Here are a few other resources that may be helpful:

Carpool and ridesharing info for those who want to help reduce the number of cars in the area — or at least share the misery with someone else.

Here’s a link with more information for area employers who want to arrange transit for workers.

•Here is a six-page fact sheet on the Wilshire ramp reconstruction that helps explain why the ramps are being rebuilt and how everyone should benefit.

•And here is yesterday’s post with a video explaining the project as well as the construction notice about the work beginning this weekend.