Transportation headlines, Friday, August 22

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! 

An eastbound Gold Line train heads toward its East L.A. terminus on a recent evening. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

An eastbound Gold Line train heads toward its East L.A. terminus on a recent evening. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Metro stays local in hiring (L.A. Register)

A nice look at Ledaya Epps, a 37-year-old Compton resident who was hired as a construction apprentice on the Crenshaw/LAX Line project because of Metro’s novel Project Labor Agreement. The policy ensures that some jobs on the project are set aside for residents of economically disadvantaged areas (it doesn’t target particular localities, which is prohibited by federal law). Click here to learn more about the PLA, including information about how to apply for a job and/or apprenticeship.

Valley has a date with CicLAvia (Zev Web)

CicLAvia comes to the San Fernando Valley in 2015, with a route likely to include Lankershim Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard. The date still needs to be finalized but one thing is for sure: the primary transit access to the route will be the NoHo stations for the Red Line and Orange Line.

New era in safety when cars can talk to one another (New York Times) 

A comprehensive study is underway on computer systems that allow vehicles to monitor the locations of other nearby vehicles — and thus trigger an automatic response (such as speeding up or slowing down) to avoid accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced that it was beginning the process of requiring all cars to be outfitted with the technology. The technology could be used in cars piloted by people.

Los Angeles Times seeks readers’ views on smaller pages (Bloomberg)

The newspaper in a survey apparently asked about smaller page sizes — i.e. perhaps a smaller transit-friendly tabloid format. However, a spokesperson for the Times says that’s not going to happen and that the survey is simply “market research.”

Arrests for transit fare evasion in New York Subway surge in recent years (New York Daily News) 

Arrests increased 69 percent between 2008 and 2013, the Daily News reports, while the number of court summons is down 28 percent in the same time. Of the 120,000 cases that have been resolved, almost one-third resulted in jail time — meaning fare evasion is one of the top crimes that lands people behind bars in Gotham. The New York MTA says that fare evasion costs the agency about $100 million annually. The article includes graphics on arrests by gender, race and age — and also raises questions about whether prison time is doled out fairly to those of different races.

A commuter’s bane — filthy, smelly stairs at BART station stairs (San Francisco Chronicle)

Efforts to keep clean entrances and exits to the downtown Civic Center Station appear to be outpaced by those using the stairs as trash cans and restrooms. While the station is closed in the early morning hours, the stairs remain accessible 24 hours a day. Complicating matters is a significant homeless population that frequents the area.

Wolf pups and the return of wild wonder to California (High Country News)

Nice essay on the gray wolf that trotted into far northern California from Oregon and wandered parts of the state for 15 months without being seen — despite traveling 3,000 miles, crossing roads and coming within howling distance of the 5 freeway. The wolf (outfitted with a GPS collar) has since returned to Oregon and has apparently fathered pups.

Open During Construction: Excel Fashions

Construction continues along Crenshaw Boulevard for the Crenshaw/LAX Line, which means fencing and blocked lanes in order for work to proceed on the underground portion of the rail line. Though the area around the east side of Crenshaw north of Stocker Street may be difficult to navigate, the businesses located there are absolutely open during construction and worth visiting.

Some of the businesses in the area have been around for quite some time and provide important services for those in the neighborhood — and many of the merchants also live in the community. Over the next few months, we’ll be highlighting some of the Crenshaw businesses on The Source. The video below features Excel Fashions, located at 4108 Crenshaw Boulevard.

To access this location, you can park at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. Limited street parking is also available along Stocker Street. Or take transit: Metro Bus 40, 210 and Rapid 710 travel through the area and the stop at the corner of Crenshaw/Stocker.

Related
First Choice Driving & Traffic School
Love’s Furniture
Malai Hair Store
Women, Infants and Children’s Center 

Draft environmental document released for Eastside Gold Line phase 2 project

Eastside Map

Metro released the draft environmental study today for a project that could potentially extend the Gold Line from East Los Angeles to South El Monte or Whittier. In addition, the study also looks at a Transportation Systems Management (TSM) alternative which identifies potential bus upgrades and the legally required no-build option.

Click here to access the entire draft study, which is also known as the Draft EIS/EIR.

Metro will conduct four public hearings during the 60-day formal comment period, each of which will include a 30 minute open house where the public can view the Draft EIS/EIR, see project displays, get more information on the project and talk to Metro staff. Meeting date and times are: 

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Pico Rivera Senior Center
9200 Mines Avenue
Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Open House: 9am
Public Hearing: 9:30am – 11:30am

Monday, September 29, 2014
Quiet Cannon Banquet Center
901 Via San Clemente
Montebello, CA 90640
Open House: 5:30pm
Public Hearing: 6pm – 8pm

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Uptown Whittier Senior Center
13225 Walnut Street
Whittier, CA 90602
Open House: 5:30pm
Public Hearing: 6pm – 8pm

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
South El Monte Senior Center
1556 Central Avenue
South El Monte, CA 91733
Open House: 5:30pm
Public Hearing: 6pm – 8pm

The study process has been closely watched by communities along both potential light rail routes as an extended Gold line would provide an alternative to driving on the frequently congested 60 freeway or traffic in communities along the Washington Boulevard alignment. The two light rail options, shown above, would both begin at the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension’s current terminus at Atlantic and Pomona boulevards in East Los Angeles.

•The “SR 60″ Alternative would extend the Gold Line for 6.9 miles to South El Monte with four proposed new stations. The train would run adjacent to the 60 freeway, mostly on aerial structures, and include four new stations serving Monterey Park, Montebello and South El Monte.

•The “Washington Boulevard” Alternative would extend the Gold Line for 9.5 miles to Whittier with six proposed new stations. The train would follow the 60 freeway and then turn south, running on an aerial structure above Garfield Avenue until turning east on Washington Boulevard and ending near the intersection of Washington and Lambert Road. This alternative would serve Monterey Park, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Whittier.

Estimated ridership for the SR 60 alternative is 16,700 boardings each weekday with a cost estimate of $1.271 billion to $1.296 billion in 2010 dollars, according to the draft study. Estimated ridership for the Washington Boulevard alternative is 19,900 daily boardings per weekday with an estimated cost of $1.425 billion to $1.661 billion in 2010 dollars.

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Go Metro Weekends, August 22 – 24

Delicious pancakes and more to be had at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast this Sunday--a short walk from Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Image by Janine/Flickr CC

Delicious pancakes and more to be had at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast this Sunday–a short walk from Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Image by Janine/Flickr CC

From music fests to bike rides, theater, and the ultimate pancake breakfast, here’s a sampling of events to fill your weekend with fun and transit!

Friday

Foodies take note! Grand Central Market and KCRW present “Good Food’s Night Out” this Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Good Food hostess Evan Kleiman will be there to talk with guests as they explore the market, recently named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit. The free event includes games, music by KCRW, and expanded menus from vendors such as Horse Thief BBQ, Sticky Rice, DTLA Cheese and more. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station or various Metro Rapid and local buses serving Hill Street and Broadway.)

The Young Dubliners bring their energetic, Celtic-rock sound to the Levitt Pavilion at 8 p.m. in MacArthur Park. The concert is free and seating is open on lawn chairs or blankets. Bring a picnic or enjoy concessions for purchase. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station.)

Want to see some seriously good dancing? Look no further than the J.U.i.C.E Hip Hop Dance Festival, happening this Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheatre. This annual event celebrates the vibrancy of the urban arts landscape with a range of hip hop dance styles, spoken word, graffiti art, multimedia, film and live DJs. Arrive early for a pre-show dance battle and meet-and-greet with Mari Koda of the Step Up movie series. Tickets are $30 for adults, $12 children, and $15 students. Go Metro and save 10%. (Metro Red Line to Universal City/Studio City Station, then catch the free Ford Shuttle to the amphitheater.)

Sunday

Take your brunch plans to the next level this Sunday with the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast 2014! Held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, $35 will get you 40-plus food samples and beverages from these L.A. brunch spots. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station.)

Learn about Santa Monica’s bike infrastructure and creative centers at Tour da Arts vol. 6, sponsored by C.I.C.L.E and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. This 9-mile bike tour starts at 12 p.m. at SMMoA and includes art and performances at each stop. The ride is free, but preregistration is required. Present your TAP card at the SMMoA gift store for 10% off merchandise. (Metro Rapid 704 to Santa Monica/26th, then walk 10 minutes south on 26th Street, or Big Blue Bus 5 to Olympic EB/26th.)

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Service Alert: Green Line running every 15 min due to ongoing signal issue

Final Update: 5:00 a.m.: Automated signals have been restored on the Metro Green Line, and trains will resume running on a normal schedule.

Update 7:30 p.m.: At this time Green Line signal issues remain unresolved, however, trains are currently arriving at stations across the line every 15 minutes.

The Metro Green Line is currently experiencing up to 20 minute delays due to failure of the automated signaling system between Redondo Beach and Hawthorne/Lennox stations. The signal issue began yesterday afternoon, with delays escalating from minor to major as the affected area widened. Unfortunately, we are still working to resolve the issue.

The cause of the signal failure is currently under investigation. Metro personnel have been dispatched to signal points along the Green Line to manually direct train operators through the impacted area. Green Line customers should anticipate delays of up to 20 minutes when traveling between Redondo Beach and Hawthorne/Lennox Station, or, consider alternate routes. Some trains may return to Norwalk from Aviation/LAX to ensure sufficient train capacity on the busiest portion of the line. If traveling to LAX, consider the LAX FlyAway bus from Union Station or Expo/La Brea.

Metro apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates your patience as we work to restore the Green Line’s full signaling system as soon as possible. For minute-by-minute service updates, follow us on twitter @metrolosangeles and @metrolalaerts.

Go Metro to Tour da Arts for car free fun and save on gifts with TAP card

banner_tourdaarts_600x300

Enjoy Santa Monica’s sights and sounds at Santa Monica Museum of Art’s (SMMoA) sixth annual Tour da Arts on Sunday, August 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. SMMoA’s cultural bicycle festival and tour is a car-free community event for riders of all ages.

The free all-day event offers art, music, performances, and sustainable transportation advocacy. The festival kicks off with a 9-mile bike ride that will stop for screenings and performances by local artists. Registration is required at SMMoA.org.

Show your valid TAP card at reception and save 10% on purchases at the SMMoA’s gift store GRACIE.

To get to SMMoA, take Metro Rapid 704 and exit at Santa Monica Boulevard and 26th Street. Enter Bergamot Station from 26th Street (the south east side of 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard). For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Construction: Mountain Avenue & Duarte Road intersection closed this weekend

Below is the work notice from the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the 11.5-mile project that will extend the Gold Line from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. The project, funded by Measure R, is currently scheduled to open in early 2016. The work notice:

WHO:  Residents / Commuters / Businesses in the Cities of Monrovia and Duarte.

WHAT: Construction of the new light rail street-level grade crossing at Mountain Ave just north of Duarte Rd will be completed this week, two months ahead of schedule. Crews will be transitioning work on Mountain Ave to the second phase, which will require a full closure of the southern half of Duarte Rd on Mountain Ave for approximately three months. The second phase of work is needed to realign the intersection to improve visibility for the traveling public and future trains, as well as install new storm drains, traffic signals, sidewalks and crosswalks.

To prepare the two streets for the second phase of work, a full weekend closure of the Mountain Ave/Duarte Rd Intersection will take place this coming weekend – Friday, August 22 at 9 p.m. through Sunday, August 24 at 9 p.m. (24-hours a day). The intersection of Mountain Ave and Duarte Rd will be fully closed to traffic in all directions during this weekend’s closure.

WHEN:

-        Full Weekend Intersection Closure:
Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. thru Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:00 p.m.: The intersection of Mountain Ave and Duarte Rd will be closed to thru-traffic to reconfigure the traffic lanes and prepare for the second phase of work at the intersection. On August 24 at 9:00 p.m., the northern portion of the Mountain Ave/Duarte Rd intersection will fully re-open, as will one lane of traffic in each direction on Duarte Rd. The southern portion of the intersection will be closed, for approximately three months.

-        Three-Month Closure of Mountain Ave South of Duarte Rd:
Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. thru November 2014: Mountain Ave will be closed to thru-traffic from the center of Duarte Rd south through the intersection. Duarte Rd will remain open, one lane of traffic in each direction. The approximate three-month closure will be in place 24-hours per day, seven days per week. Crews will work extended work shifts from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, Monday thru Friday, in order to expedite this work. Occasional work on weekends may be performed. Construction schedules are subject to change.

WHERE: Mountain Ave, at Duarte Rd in the cities of Monrovia and Duarte.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

-        Detour routes will be in place during the full weekend intersection closure and the following three-month closure of the southern portion of the intersection; signage will be posted to direct motorists.

-        Pedestrian access will be available thru a temporary pedestrian crossing adjacent to the work zone.

-        Another full intersection closure will take place at the end of the second construction phase to realign the traffic lanes in their final configuration.

-        Access to all local businesses on Mountain Ave and Duarte Rd will remain open at all times during the street construction.

-        Bus stops in this vicinity may be temporarily relocated. For information about:

o   MTA bus services call (323) GO-METRO (323-466-3876) or go to www.metro.net

o   Foothill Transit bus services call (800) RIDE-INFO (800-743-3463) or go to www.foothilltransit.org

o   Duarte Transit local services call (626) 358-9627 or go to www.accessduarte.com

o   Monrovia Transit local services call (626) 358-3538 or go to www.cityofmonrovia.org/planning/page/monrovia-transit

FOR MORE INFORMATION

-        Visit www.foothillgoldline.org

# # #

About the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority: The Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from Union Station to Montclair, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority built the initial segment between Union Station and Pasadena and is underway on the Foothill Gold Line. The Foothill Gold Line is a nearly $2 billion extension that will connect Pasadena to Montclair in two construction segments – Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair. The 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa segment is on time and on budget, and will be completed in late-September 2015 when it will be turned over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. It is fully funded by LA County’s Measure R. Metro will determine when the line will open for passenger service. Three design-build contracts, totaling more than $550 million, are being overseen by the Construction Authority to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The Azusa to Montclair segment is environmentally cleared and is undergoing advanced engineering and design. It will be shovel-ready for a design-build contract in 2017. The $1 billion segment is currently unfunded for construction.