Transportation headlines, Wednesday, September 10

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

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Photos by Steve Hymon.

Hello folks. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, nice to be back in the headline saddle. I’ll offer up a couple of Art of Transit photos from Redding and nearby Shasta Lake in NorCal. The first is the Sundial Bridge over the Sacramento River in Redding — a pedestrian bridge designed by well-known architect Santiago Calatrava, who has done impressive work on train stations around the world (including the new PATH station under the World Trade Center site in New York).

It’s impressive that a city the size of Redding (about 91,000 at last count) was able to secure Calatrava’s services and get the bridge built. Hopefully Los Angeles’ new Sixth Street Viaduct matches the beauty and impressiveness of the Sundial Bridge, which is helped by the fact that it’s in a park and that the Sacramento River flows well most of the year due to releases from Shasta Dam.

Speaking of…Shasta Dam forms the largest reservoir in California. The reservoir is currently 28 percent filled because of the ongoing drought. That’s more water than during the 1976-77 drought but not as much as the 45 percent filled historical average for this date, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Here’s one view of the lake’s current conditions:

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And, now, onto the headlines. It will probably take me a few days, as usual, to catch up with the news. Thanks for your patience!

Southern California transportation leaders looking toward $2-billion cap-and-trade windfall (Daily News) 

Local transportation officials and politicians used the recent Mobility 21 conference to talk about the best way to spend the money generated by the state’s cap-and-trade system. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is quoted saying he would like to see the funds used to help pay Metro operating expenses to keep fares low in the future (Metro’s fare increase/changes begin Sept. 15 but the Metro Board decided earlier this year to hold off on increases in 2017 and 2020 pending more study). Of course, $2 billion is a lot of money — but there are also a lot of transportation needs around the region and state, as the article notes.

Meanwhile, the federal government is looking into more toll roads as a possible way to deal with a stagnant federal gas tax and a Highway Trust Fund that could be on shaky ground after May, when the latest short-term fix expires, according to USA Today.

Get active, take transit (moving SF)

While I was away, the San Francisco MTA has debuted its new blog. Editor Kristen Holland writes in the first post:

We want to start telling you our story. We want to bring you the insight and expertise of our colleagues. We also want to give you an inside peek into the SFMTA, with the hope of making the transportation system easier to understand and easier to use.

A full 25 percent of our city’s public space resides in our sidewalks and streets. In a dense, rapidly growing city, such as SF, transportation issues are complex. We hope the additional information, discussion and explanation we provide will expand the conversation.

This blog will not be a repository of press releases or official messages, and, indeed, this space won’t be very useful for specific complaints (those need to be tracked through 311, please).

Expect us to evolve over time, but we will strive to be timely, informative and worth your while. We’ll be taking cues from your comments and feedback, so we’re eager to hear back from you on what you want to learn more about here.

I think it’s great. As I’ve said many times before, government should never be the only source of news about government — that’s why it’s important to have a vibrant, well-funded media. That said, I believe the government is obligated to push information to taxpayers and blog such as these help do that.

With Apple pay, a push into mobile payments (New York Times)

The top of the story:

Tech evangelists have predicted for years a world in which people paid for retail goods with the wave of a smartphone, or the push of a smartphone button. For nearly as long, this so-called mobile wallet has yet to catch on.

Now, the biggest technology player of them all — Apple — thinks it has the formula for making it happen.

On Tuesday, Apple announced that it planned to offer its own version of a mobile wallet, teaming up with retailers like Target and restaurants like McDonald’s, as well as the three major credit card companies. That means that consumers will soon be able to buy a Big Mac or a laundry detergent with the tap of a new Apple iPhone or a new smartwatch, also announced on Tuesday.

Additional parking space for businesses on Crenshaw Boulevard now available

Additional temporary parking is now available for customers of the businesses located along Crenshaw Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stocker Street. This new parking lot is located immediately south of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd between Crenshaw Boulevard and McClung Drive — beside M&M’s Soul Food Restaurant.

Designated temporary parking is also available across the street on the 2nd floor of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Enter from Stocker Street and look for the signs. Use these parking areas if visiting any of the following locations:

Healthcare Medical S&E
Excel Fashions
First Choice Driving & Traffic School
Love’s Furniture
Malai Hair Store

A Better Blue Line: 30-day closure of four DTLB Blue Line Stations start next week

Anaheim to DTLB Closure

The 30-day closure of four downtown Long Beach Blue Line stations is set to start Saturday, September 20. During that time, bus shuttles will replace train service at Downtown Long Beach Station, Pacific Street Station, 1st Street Station and 5th Street Station. Above is the route map showing where the buses will stop.

Customers will be able to ride the bus shuttles from Anaheim Street Station to the four stations listed above at no charge. Shuttles will run at the same Blue Line service levels and will be scheduled to meet trains for transfers. At Anaheim Street Station, regular train service will continue northward to Los Angeles. Continue reading

Top 10 popular bikeshare station suggestions

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A few weeks ago we asked for your input on our list of proposed bikeshare stations and suggestions on locations that might make a great bikeshare spot. Thanks to everyone’s valuable feedback, we now have a growing total of 515 suggested locations and over 3,000 interactions within the suggested locations that include ‘liking’ a proposed location and commenting on them.

Here is a list of the top ten most popular bikeshare station locations based on the number of likes:

1) Los Angeles Union Station

Los Angeles Union Station

Continue reading

Service Advisory: Redondo Beach Station closed Sept 12-14 for signals system improvements

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Heads up, Metro Green Line riders: Redondo Beach Station will be closed for signals system improvements starting 9 p.m. Friday, September 12, until close of service Sunday, September 14. During this time, free shuttle buses will replace rail service between Douglas and Redondo Beach Station. Metro Green Line westbound rail service will end at Douglas Station, and all eastbound trains will depart from Douglas.

Customers requiring service to/from Redondo Beach Station will be able to ride the shuttle buses at no charge. Shuttles will depart eastbound from Redondo Beach bus bay 3 and westbound from Douglas Station at the same Green Line weekend service levels. They will be scheduled to meet trains for transfer. Identifying designated shuttle buses will be easy; just look for Metro buses with head signs reading “Green Line Bus.” Customers utilizing the shuttle should please allow a little extra time to connect to their destination station.

Keep reading for more information about the improvements being done. The bus shuttle map is also after the jump.

Continue reading

Construction moves to west side of Crenshaw Boulevard for underground Crenshaw/MLK Station

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A view of the construction currently on the east side of Crenshaw Boulevard near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. (Photo: Jose Ubaldo/Metro)

Metro and Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors (WSCC) have finished construction of the east side wall and pile installation for the underground Crenshaw/MLK light rail station. Construction equipment is being removed from the work zone on Crenshaw Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stocker Street and the final move will take place on the weekend of September 13 through 15. From there, WSCC moves to the west side of the boulevard to continue utility relocation and, later on, underground walls and pile installation.