Transportation headlines, Monday, August 13

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.


A great photo of Meb Keflezighi training near Mammoth Lakes. At age 37, he finished fourth in the men’s Olympic marathon in London on Sunday. Photo: NBC/Reuters.

So did London pass the Olympic test? (The Independent)

Most press accounts that I’ve read — including this one — praise London’s public transport system for making it easy to get around the past couple of weeks. As feared and predicted, the Tube inevitably suffered a few breakdowns, but everything seems to have gone smoothly, even the conversion of regular traffic lanes to “Olympic lanes” for use by transit and Olympic officials. As for the games’ budget, that seems to be a bit of a moving target.

Now to Rio, full of 2016 Olympic jitters (CBS News)

In addition to building new sporting venues, the city is promising a $12-billion infrastructure overhaul, including a controversial new Metro line that critics say serves the needs of lobbyists more than residents. There’s also a hotel room shortage — the plan is to offer rooms on cruise ships (yuck!) — and an equestrian venue that will need to be swept for military ordinance. The 2014 World Cup — with some games in Rio — should serve as a good warmup for the big show in 2016.

Meters to lose their heads near Port (L.A. Times)

Six hundred forty five meters will be yanked from the Earth in San Pedro and Wilmington in order to make it easier to park and help local businesses — contrary to a push in the rest of L.A. that has seen increased meter rates and ticket prices.

Temporary use of Rose Bowl for NFL would cause ‘unavoidable’ impacts (San Gabriel Valley News)

A new draft environmental study by the city of Pasadena concludes air quality and noise levels would be impacted by using the Rose Bowl as a temporary venue for an NFL team (should one magically appear in the L.A. area). Apparently, air pollution from traffic and noise from NFL games is somehow worse than air pollution and noise from UCLA games — or, to put it another way, air pollution and noise from UCLA games is okay because the pollution and noise got there first. If traffic is such a concern, why not just vastly limit the amount of parking at the Rose Bowl and increase the number of bus shuttles? The Gold Line is a mile away, people.

If you didn't Go Metro to Jack White at Mariachi Plaza this afternoon, here are a few pics

[UPDATED Aug 13, 4:00pm] Two videos added after the jump. Enjoy!

Much to everyone’s surprise, Jack White played an impromptu 20-minute show at Mariachi Plaza — above the Gold Line station — on this sweltering Friday afternoon. Here are some pics, courtesy of Mark Clifford:

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Go Metro to live music: Fun.

Fun – “Some Nights”

Go Metro to see one of the summer’s hottest bands, Fun., performing live at the historic Wiltern Theatre on three consecutive nights beginning Friday, August 17th! It’s the perfect event to use Metro — the Wiltern is across the street from the Wilshire/Western Purple Line station and adjacent to the Metro Rapid 720 stop.

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Designing a subway to withstand an earthquake

Metro’s subway rode out the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but a section of the Santa Monica Freeway collapsed and other area roads suffered serious damage.

After a pair of 4.5 magnitude earthquakes were felt throughout the Los Angeles area earlier this week, a Source reader asked this question:

What magnitude are the tunnels or stations designed to withstand?

Here is the answer from Metro’s engineering and operations staff, as well as consultants who work with Metro to design projects:

There is no specific magnitude that subways are designed to universally withstand. The strength and flexibility the subway is designed for depends on the characteristics of earthquake faults in the area and their proximity to the structure being designed. In other words, the main question engineers ask is this: how strong is the ground shaking likely to be at the tunnels and stations?

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Transportation headlines, Friday, August 10

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.

Nearly 2,500 drivers hit with Olympics Lanes violations (The Independent)

The 30 miles of lanes were introduced in London to help move fans, athletes and Olympic officials around town. For the most part, other motorists have been staying out of the lanes at the times they’re restricted, but apparently not everyone can resist the temptation.

Gridlock on Avenue 64 (Pasadena Weekly)

West Pasadena residents aren’t happy with any proposals from Metro to possibly link the 210 and 710 freeways, saying even discussing it could harm real estate values. The 710 gap project is funded by Measure R and a number of alternatives for improving traffic in the gap are being studied, with the ideas ranging from a freeway tunnel to improved transit in the area.

$1 gas tax? One auto dealer says ‘yes!’ (National Journal)

Monrovia auto dealer Peter Hoffman is taking a stance unusual for his business: he would like to a see a $1 gas tax imposed in order to make the price of gasoline more predictable. In his view, a more predictable price would give increased comfort to both consumers and automakers about what type of cars to buy and produce — in this case, cars that are fuel efficient. At present, consumers are all over the place — buying fuel efficient cars when gas prices go up and gravitating to SUVs when it drops. Great article.

Go Metro Weekends, Aug 10 – 12

Celebrate Tanabata in Little Tokyo! Photo by waltarrrrr via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s going to be another scorching weekend! If all you want to do is sit and chill under the blast of AC, go check out DocuWeeks, which starts this Friday at Laemmle NoHo 7. You’ll get to stay cool and come away feeling more worldly and educated. Screenings start at noon and continue throughout the day, check DocuWeek’s website for a full listing of titles and schedule. Ticket prices range from $8 to $11. The theatrical documentary showcase will screen 28 outstanding films from all over the world over the next three weeks. (Metro Red Line to North Hollywood Station, Metro Bus 152 to Lankershim/Chandler)

Celebrate the joyous reunion of two star-crossed lovers at Tanabata Festival this Friday in Little Tokyo. Head to the Japanese National American Museum plaza for fun, food and cultural performances. The opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. on Friday, and events continue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus 40 to Judge John Aiso/1st)

Catch Alice in Wonderland on the big screen this Saturday at Expo Park once the sun – and the heat – has gone down. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., performances by Glen Iris and The Rebel Light begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:30 p.m. And of course, there will be food trucks hanging around to keep you fed. General admission is $10, but if you go Metro you’ll get $3 off! (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 102 to Exposition/University)

Olympic Rewind: How Los Angeles transported the world in 1932 and 1984

The Olympics may be coming to a close in London, but the Metro Library’s Primary Resources Blog is serving up a local double-header of Olympics history.

Back in 1932, Los Angeles welcomed the world to a much smaller affair during the Great Depression.  (Only 1,500 athletes from 37 nations took part, with the Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills).

The Metro Library’s Primary Resources blog explores in depth how the the city moved athletes and spectators around 80 years ago — when L.A. was criss-crossed by the streetcars and interurban rail lines of one of the largest transit systems on the planet.

Fast forward a half-century:  Los Angeles welcomes the world back, despite that rail system having been completely dismantled for more than two decades.

How did Los Angeles transport athletes, spectators and millions of local residents through the first Olympics staged in a city without a rapid transit system since 1960?

Primary Resources takes an extensive look at how L.A. managed to pull off a Olympic-sized feat in 1984, greatly reducing traffic and smog throughout the region thanks to a comprehensive transportation plan built entirely around a fleet of buses.