Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, a weekly feature here at The Source in which we’ll round up the latest Metro related tweets in the Twitterverse. To follow Metro on Twitter just search for @MetroLosAngeles. We recommend adding the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets to get our attention.
And when it comes to complaints, the best way to get them addressed is to use the Customer Comment Form on Metro.net. There you can provide all the detail needed so that customer service reps may best address your problems.
Remember to tag your tweet pics with #artoftransit. This one is courtesy of @inc1979.
This short but tasty blog post explains that the amount of greenhouse gases generated by each person’s activities is a complex thing to calculate. A lot of it depends on not where you live, but on how much goods you consume and where they come from. That said, the post concedes that taking public transit is, in fact, a good way to reduce your carbon footprint, even if you have an electricity-sucking large TV in every room of your house.
Mayor Barry Brucker penned a short letter to Metro CEO Art Leahy saying that the Beverly Hills City Council may soon consider taking a position on the Westside Subway Extension project. Brucker says that public testimony before the Council is pushing them to oppose the entire project and possibly the 30/10 Initiative if an alignment is selected by the Metro Board that would tunnel under Beverly Hills High School. “Please review this new information and call me if I can further emphasize the seriousness of the City Council’s and the community’s resolve,” Brucker writes.
Due to high gas prices, the feds say they’re bumping the mileage deductions for those who use their vehicles for business from 51 cents per mile to 55.5 cents. That, of course, means less money collected by the feds for all sorts of government activities. Including transportation.
The NRDC’s Adrien Martinez writes that he was disappointed to read about $176 million of Measure R money that Metro intends to spend on South Bay road improvements. He also says that he doesn’t anything specific about the improvements, but he thinks they are being pushed by the construction industry and their lobbyists. Okay. He might have added the projects were also approved by the 68 percent of county voters who voted for Measure R.
Baldwin Park Boulevard Bridge spans the I-10. Photo courtesy of Caltrans, District 7
Caltrans announced today that it has completed the reconstruction of the Baldwin Park Boulevard Bridge in order to accommodate new carpool lanes that are being built on the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10).
The Baldwin Park Boulevard Bridge is part of the San Bernardino Freeway HOV project that is adding two miles of carpool lanes, east and west, on a portion of the I-10 freeway from the San Gabriel Valley Freeway (I-605) to Puente Avenue.
Metro programmed $6.3 million to fund the reconstruction of the bridge, a component of the $169 million HOV lane project.
Metro Director John Fasana, a city councilman from neighboring Duarte, said the reconstruction and seismic retrofit of the bridge improved the safety of the bridge, which connects the south section of Baldwin Park to the north section of the city via Baldwin Park Boulevard. The reconstruction provided greater clearance and wider sidewalks.
In a news release announcing the completion of the reconstruction, Caltrans noted the new carpool lanes under construction beneath the Baldwin Park bridge are projected to carry about 1,300 vehicles (or 3,300 persons) per hour during peak traffic times.
This stretch of I-10 is considered a key commuter and goods movement corridor linking Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. More than 240,000 vehicles travel the two-mile section daily.
The Los Angeles County HOV system is part of a larger regional HOV system that serves the five counties of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The system currently covers over 960 lane miles, which represents over 68 percent of the HOV lane miles in the entire State of California.
While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars.
Read that last bit again: Europeans are creating environments that are openly hostile to cars.
In Zurich, pedestrians and trams rule the streets and the private automobile is pushed to the sidelines. (Photo by Torcello Trio via Flickr)
And people aren’t rioting in the streets – in fact more people are choosing to give up their cars. In Zurich, where there’s been a particularly active effort to push cars to the periphery, 45% of households are carless and those that do have cars are driving them less.
Compare that to Los Angeles, where closing down a few miles of freeway for a single weekend has been likened to the apocalypse. Nevermind that the temporary 405 closure is happening in order to widen the freeway to make room for more cars.
In Copenhagen “vast swaths of streets” have been closed to car traffic. In Paris car lanes have been traded for bike lanes. Meanwhile, back in L.A. we struggle to get cars off of a single lane on Wilshire Boulevard for just a few hours each weekday to make room for buses that carry more people than the cars on the same street.
So what do you think? Is European style urban planning – and the resulting inconvenience to drivers – something we should be doing in the U.S. (and in L.A. in particular)? Or is this European social planning forcing people from their cars and into a more inconvenient lifestyle? Read the article and then take our poll and leave a comment.