State route 710 meeting in Pasadena tonight moved to South Pasadena Library; meeting to begin 6:45 p.m.

To better accommodate as many community members interested in the SR 710 Environmental Study, tonight’s  meeting location for the South Pasadena Community Liaison Council (CLC) Meeting has been moved.

New Meeting Location:
South Pasadena Public Library
Community Room
1115 El Centro St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030

The meeting will also begin at 6:45 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. to allow for any community members who may need to travel from the original meeting location at the Garfield Youth House to the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but we anticipate this last minute change best addresses the interest of the community regarding the SR 710 Environmental Study.

We also have two more CLC Meetings tonight. See details below:

When: Tonight, Thursday, August 9, 6:30-7:30 pm
Where: El Sereno Library, 5226 S. Huntington Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032

When: Tonight, Thursday, August 9, 6:30-7:30 pm
Where: Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016

We hope you can join us for an informal discussion with the State Route 710 Environmental Study outreach team and your neighbors, and we hope you can help us spread the word about these meetings.

Thank you!

The Transit Tourist: Chicago, Ill.

The Transit Tourist takes a look at other transit systems across the globe from the first person perspective of a visitor. What can Metro learn from how these other systems treat the uninitiated – and often bumbling – tourist?

Quiet summer afternoon at Fullerton Station (Chicago, IL) Photo: Joseph Lemon/Metro

This is…The Transit Tourist – Chicago, Ill.

Chicago, Illinois
City Population: 2,695,598 Transit Agency: CTA Miles of Rail Track: 224.1
Density: 11,864 people/sq. mi. Rail Lines: 8 Bus Routes: 140
Area: 234 sq. mi. Rail Stations: 143 Op. Budget: $1.39 bil.

Source: US Census and

Airport Connection

The Chicago “L” — a heavy rail system that runs both above and below ground — runs from downtown to both of the city’s major airports, O’Hare and Midway. The train and area buses are run by the Chicago Transit Authority, the region’s equivalent to Los Angeles Metro.

The Blue Line runs to the airport and takes about 45 minutes to travel to downtown Chicago. The Orange Line runs to Midway and takes about 25 minutes to reach downtown.

There is direct access to the “L” station at O’Hare from terminals 1, 2 and 3 — although like everything at O’Hare, it can involve a long walk.

Here’s a pretty useful web page on the CTA site that explains all the basics about traveling by rail to or from the airports.

Trains at Chicago O’Hare Blue Line Station (Chicago, IL) Photo: Joseph Lemon/Metro

Continue reading

The art of transit, Red Planet edition

Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Maybe it’s not transit as usually portrayed on this blog, but who cares? The photo was taken yesterday by a camera on the Curiousity Rover and posted today. Here’s the description from NASA:

This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The panorama was made from thumbnail versions of images taken by the Mast Camera.

Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.

The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.

California Geological Survey tells BHUSD more work is needed on their study of West Beverly Hills Lineament

The Beverly Hills Weekly has published a story (pdf, pages 4 to 7) today about a California Geological Survey review of an earthquake fault study contracted by the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

The School District has said that the study, done by Leighton Consultants, shows that the West Beverly Hills Lineament is not active under the Beverly Hills High School campus. The Geological Survey letter says that more work needs to be done before that conclusion is justified.

A state lawsuit has been filed by the School District against Metro involving the adequacy of the environmental documents for the Westside Subway Extension. Metro’s studies concluded that the West Beverly Hills Lineament is active in the High School area but can safely be crossed by the tunnels at a near perpendicular angle. Metro’s studies also concluded that the Santa Monica Fault is active along Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City and that a subway station could not be safely built at that location.

Here is the letter (link is here):

California Geological Survey letter

Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 9

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.

State Supreme Court will hear Expo Line case (L.A. Streetsblog)

The case involves the second phase of the project and a lawsuit brought by the group Neighbors for Smart Rail against the Expo Line Construction Authority. Two lower courts have already ruled in favor of the Construction Authority. The legal issue involves whether the Authority could use future traffic projections in determining how at-grade crossings would impact traffic. The Neighbors for Smart Rail group mostly consists of homeowners in the Cheviot Hills area who don’t believe the train should be built at street level in that area — with a particular focus on the crossing of Overland Avenue. In the meantime, construction of phase 2 has been underway since last year.

Worry at both ends of the Long Beach Freeway (NBC L.A.)

A quick overview of two Metro project studies underway on the 710 freeway. In the south, Metro is studying the possibility of widening the freeway to include truck-only lanes to handle traffic coming from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the north, Metro is studying a number of possible projects to help improve traffic created the gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and the 210 freeway in Pasadena. That includes everything from a freeway tunnel to a north-south transit project — or some combination. Here’s a recent post looking at the possibilities.

What will L.A.’s future Union Station look like? (KPCC)

A brief look at the master plan process underway for Metro-owned Union Station. Passengers say they want public address announcements that they can actually understand and point to wayfinding issues. Another concern: how to handle the 1,000 passengers or so that may jump off a high-speed rail train arriving at the station — leaving questions about where to put those platforms and how to get all those people through the station.



Horses and Metrolink trains, oh my

Starting this week, you might see some horses on Metrolink trains. A new train car decorated with a vinyl display of six thoroughbred horses will be traveling across the Metrolink system. The newly-wrapped car is a result of a partnership between Metrolink and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. to promote the return of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to Santa Anita Park and encourage the use of public transportation to go to the event on November 2 and 3.

The Breeders’ Cup wrapped passenger car will appear on trains on the San Bernardino, Burbank-Bob Hope Airport and Orange County lines. For details on Metrolink schedules and connections to other transit systems the weekend of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, visit Metrolink’s website after October 10.

Metrolink connects with Metro Rail at Union Station, and many Metrolink stations are also served by Metro buses.

Date set for Space Shuttle Endeavour arrival at California Science Center … just steps from Expo

Space Shuttle Endeavour/Kennedy Image Gallery via Flickr

We finally have a date for arrival and transfer of Space Shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center, just steps from the Expo Park/USC station.

Endeavour will be flown in to LAX Sept. 20, weather permitting, on top of a NASA Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier. It then will be transferred to a United Airlines hangar where it will stay until final preparations are made for its move on the morning of Oct. 12. The move to the Science Center will take two days, as the 58-foot-tall shuttle is transported under raised transmissions lines and across the 405 Freeway to Inglewood City Hall for an official launch ceremony Oct. 13. It then will be transported to the intersection of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw boulevards for a celebration of Mission 26. The shuttle is expected to reach the California Science Center in Exposition Park that evening.

The route can be accessed on the California Science Center’s website.The public is invited to serve as volunteers along the route. Those interested can sign up on the website as well.