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

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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

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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.

Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 21

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! 

Hello, Source readers. I was away for a few days doing the active transportation thing: backpacking into the Hoover Wilderness of the Eastern Sierra. It’s one of the great bargains in California: wilderness permits are free, as are the campsites. Okay, not entirely active transportation as getting to the trailhead requires a long, CO2-emitting drive from L.A., but such are the tradeoffs in life. Interesting factoid: California has 14.9 million acres of designated wilderness (14 percent of the state’s land area) where the only way of getting around is walking or by horse. That’s mighty cool, IMO. Quick Source contest: any Source reader who correctly identifies the lake in the photo below will be hailed as the Most Geographically Adept Source Reader of All-Time in tomorrow’s headlines and on Metro’s social media.

Hint: the lake shares the name of a former resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Hint: the lake shares the name of a former resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Guest editorial: dreaming big about rail lines, grand boulevards, bus rapid transit and Measure R2 (StreetsblogLA)

The activist group MoveLA’s Denny Zane and Gloria Ohland opine in favor of a new half-cent transportation sales tax increase being put to Los Angeles County voters in 2016 to fund transportation improvements. While they say that rail expansion should be the centerpiece of any such ballot measure, they also propose that five to 10 percent of the funds be used for a grand boulevards program “to invest in reviving and reinventing several-mile, multi-community-long stretches of maybe 15-20 arterials around L.A. County as transit-oriented boulevards that promote economic development as they pass through more than one community.”

Zane and Ohland also propose that some of the grand boulevards money be used as a competitive grant program for cities that want to build housing along these streets. The idea, in short, is to bump up bus service on these streets while also adding housing and potential transit riders. Obviously not as sexy as a rail line, but an intriguing idea because it’s a way to bring better transit into more corners of the county — including neighborhoods and communities that may be beyond the reach of rail.

As regular readers know, Metro staff is exploring the possibility of a 2016 ballot measure that could possibly extend the half-cent Measure R sales tax (which expires in mid-2039) or another half-cent sales tax that would help fund new projects. Metro has also asked cities in L.A. County for a wish list of projects they would want funded by such a ballot measure. As Metro CEO Art Leahy has already said publicly, the list of projects is a long one and not everything could be funded. It will be very extremely super interesting to see how this evolves.

An underwhelming sidewalk repair day at L.A. City Hall (StreetsblogLA)

Joe Linton’s take on the sidewalk summit held at City Hall can be boiled down to one word: “yawn.” The gist of it: city staff is working to figure out how to spend $27 million in this year’s budget to fix bad sidewalks around the city of Los Angeles while also exploring long-term options for sidewalk repair.

UCLA’s Donald Shoup also penned an op-ed in the L.A. Times arguing that a point-of-sale program that requires homeowners to fix sidewalks at the time they sell their properties would be a good way to get thousands of miles of L.A. sidewalks fixed. The reason: properties tend to turn over on average once every dozen years, meaning that such a program could result in quicker gains than waiting for the city to have funding available.

Road and sidewalk repair has been an ongoing issue at L.A. City Hall for years. I recall writing a very short sidewalk repair story for the Times back seven or eight years ago that got buried even deeper in the print edition than most of my articles and I still got more readers response than most other stories. So it’s a big issue — and another item that could surface in discussions about Measure R2.

The 10 commandments of transit (transitcommandments.com)

These are great. My favorite: “thy shall keep their shoes on.” There are also helpful suggestions about giving up a seat for those in need and about the appropriate place to break bread (or some drippy mess from Carls Jr.). That place, in case you haven’t guessed, is at home and not the bus or train.

Supporters of closing Santa Monica Airport lose round in court (L.A. Times)

A Superior Court judge upheld a ballot measure that would require voter approval to close the controversial airport. But is this really a loss? I suspect a vote in Santa Monica on closing the airport would be close. I suspect that anyone who lives near the airport would rather it be gone (disclosure: I lived under the flight path for seven years and really disliked the frequent jet noise), but I also could see people voting to keep the airport out of fear that closing it would result in more commercial and/or residential development taking the airport’s place. FYI: the airport is about one mile south of the future Expo Line station at Exposition Boulevard and Bundy Drive. The Expo Line extension, funded by Measure R, is scheduled to open in early 2016.

Why your LA-to-Vegas commute just got slower (vegas seven)

A Caltrans project is underway to improve the 15-215 interchange at the base of the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County. It includes widening the 15 and a truck bypass. But until the project is done, expect delays. Of course, some of you may have no interest in taking the 15 to Unlucky Town, but may have their sights set on other joys further up the 15, such as Zion National Park.

A better Blue Line: 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations in Long Beach to begin Sept. 20

The track switch near Downtown Long Beach Station will be moved so trains can run more reliably. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

The track switch near Downtown Long Beach Station will be moved and renewed so trains can run more reliable service. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Heads up, Blue Line commuters: Metro will start work on station and rail improvements in Long Beach on Saturday, September 20. The work will require a 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations in downtown Long Beach: Downtown Long Beach Station, Pacific Street Station, 1st Street Station and 5th Street Station. Metro will operate free bus shuttles in place of rail service in the Long Beach Loop during the closure.

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.

Work at the four Long Beach stations will include installing new tile, lighting, paint and extending station canopies. Other work will involve replacing a switch between tracks near Downtown Long Beach Station and rail inspection and replacement.

The work is part of the $1.2-billion overhaul taking place on the Metro Blue Line. Some of the updates have already been completed and many others, including major track improvement work, are now underway. Metro will make every effort to minimize disruptions to service while work is being done, but in this case, some disruption is inevitable. While dealing with any kind of service disruption can be a huge headache, please keep in mind that when the work is completed, the Blue Line should have more reliable service.

Buses in Long Beach will be detouring off 1st Street to Ocean Avenue during the closure. First Street will be closed from Long Beach Boulevard to Pacific Avenue during construction. Pedestrian and bicycle access on 1st Street will remain open.

We will continue to update The Source with more information on the project as it progresses. You can also check the Blue Line Upgrades page for rail alerts or follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metrolaalerts to get service advisories.

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Related Posts

A Better Blue Line
Test Demonstration of Track Work

City of Beverly Hills approves MOA with Metro for Purple Line Extension utility work permits

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The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a Memorandum of Agreement and authorized its staff to issue permits to Metro to relocate utilities for the Purple Line Extension’s future station at Wilshire/La Cienega. This clears the way for Metro to move forward with its planned pre-construction work within the city’s borders.

Metro will now be able to relocate water, power, sewer and other utility lines once a contractor for the Wilshire/La Cienega station advanced utility work is selected.   Relocating the utilities now will ensure that area residents and business will be able to continue to receive service once actual construction begins for the Wilshire/La Cienega station.

The Memorandum of Agreement clearly defines how the two parties will work together during utility relocation. The MOA is similar to established agreements Metro already has with other cities throughout Los Angeles County.

The unanimous 5 to 0 vote is the result of months of close coordination between Metro and Beverly Hills. The City Council put the agency’s requested permits as well as its MOA through close scrutiny and public debate over the last eight months. City Council members expressed concerns regarding night-time work, noise, parking and local business impacts, among others.

During the vote, the Beverly Hills Council publicly thanked Metro and its construction relations team for working closely with the city. Council Members reported that Metro came to the table, listened to their concerns and worked cooperatively through their issues.

The approvals are welcome news to Metro and will help keep planned pre-construction work on track. Advanced utility relocation work for the other planned stations in the City of Los Angeles has been going on for the last year-and-a-half.

In July, Metro selected a design-builder for the first section of the Purple Line Extension.  The agency is now in a 45-day protest review period. Following the contract award, major construction would likely start next year.

The first phase of the Purple Line Extension will extend tracks for 3.9 miles from the current terminus at Wilshire and Western to Wilshire and La Cienega. New stations will be built at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The second phase of the project will extend the Purple Line to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City while the third phase will include two stations in Westwood — one at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards, the other at Wilshire and the VA Hospital.

The Purple Line Extension is being funded in part with Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

VIDEO: U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez tours Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project Construction Site

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez toured the construction site of the Crenshaw/LAX Line on Monday, as the above video shows.

Perez was welcomed by Walsh/Shea Corridor Contractors (WSCC) workers LeDaya Epps and James Martinez. After a meeting with elected officials, executives from WSCC and Metro and community members, Secretary Perez was showed the ongoing work at Crenshaw Boulevard and Rodeo Road.

In the run-up to Labor Day on Sept. 1, Secretary Perez is on a nationwide tour of important public construction projects. Los Angeles was his first stop. For more information on the tour here’s the link to Tuesday’s post.

Save up to 50 percent on any-day Los Angeles County Fair tickets with Metro

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Discover the Los Angeles County Fair–the largest county fair in the country–with Metro and Metrolink. The fair takes place from August 29 through September 28 at the Fairplex in Pomona. You’ll be able to enjoy Luminasia, a larger-than-life Chinese lantern festival, Grinding Gears dance club, live animals, a carnival with more than 70 thrilling rides and more!

Discounted tickets to the Los Angeles County Fair are available for Metro riders. Use the exclusive promo code when buying tickets online and save up to 50% on any-day fair tickets.

To get to the fair on weekends, take the Metrolink San Bernadino Line to Fairplex Station. A free shuttle will take you from there to the Yellow Gate Entrance. Metrolink is offering a late-night train service back to Los Angeles Union Station on Saturdays and Sundays while the fair is in session so you can stay and enjoy the concerts, nightclub and evening entertainment.

All San Bernardino Line weekend trains will stop at the Fairplex Station except for trains 351, 352 and 353 on Saturday and train 351 on Sunday. Take advantage of the special Metrolink weekend pass discount for trains that run to and from Union Station.

For weekday service to the fair, use the Pomona (North) Station and transfer to Foothill Transit Bus 197.