Metro Presents: contemporary jazz by Mark de Clive-Lowe at Union Station July 31

Don’t miss the next Metro Presents event: jazz and dancing with Mark De Clive-Lowe and his musicians at Los Angeles Union Station on Thursday, July 31. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. inside the Fred Harvey Room and will be free to the public. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes!

The performance is part of Metro Presents, the agency’s ongoing program of arts and cultural events at the iconic station. It is presented in partnership with Mercado La Paloma. Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use Trip Planner for routes and connections. Car and bicycle parking are also available on site.

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Southbound 405 closure between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive planned nights of July 17, 18

Here’s the press release from Metro:

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor is scheduled to conduct nighttime freeway closures on the southbound I-405 between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive on-ramp the nights of Thursday, July 17, and Friday, July 18, 2014 to install electrical loops on the southbound freeway.

Closure information is as follows:

  • Night of Thursday, July 17, from midnight to 5 a.m., Friday, July 18
  • Night of Friday, July 18, from 1 a.m. (Saturday morning) to 6 a.m., Saturday, July 19

Ramp Closures:

Ramps begin closing as early as 7 p.m. and lanes begin closing at 10 p.m.

-         US 101 southbound connector to the southbound I-405

-         US 101 northbound connector to the southbound I-405

-         Southbound Burbank Boulevard on-ramp

-         Southbound Ventura Boulevard on-ramp

-         Southbound Valley Vista Boulevard on-ramp

-         Southbound Skirball Center Drive on- ramp

Detour:

From I-405 south: exit Burbank Boulevard and travel east to Sepulveda Boulevard, and southbound on Sepulveda Boulevard to the southbound Getty Center Drive on-ramp.

From US 101 south: exit Van Nuys Boulevard, south on Van Nuys Boulevard, west on Ventura Boulevard, south on Sepulveda Boulevard to the southbound Getty Center Drive on-ramp.

From US 101 north: take I-405 northbound and exit Burbank Boulevard, east on Burbank Boulevard, south on Sepulveda Boulevard to the southbound Getty Center Drive on-ramp.

What to expect:

Public invited to Crenshaw/LAX Small Business Matchmaking Summit

Metro and the Crenshaw/LAX Community Leadership Council will be hosting the Crenshaw/LAX Small Business Matchmaking Summit at The Proud Bird restaurant on Tuesday, August 7.

The Matchmaking Summit will allow small businesses in the greater South Los Angeles region to network with prime contractors and business resource providers about upcoming contracting opportunities and other resources available to small, women and minority-owned businesses. Aside from one-on-one matchmaking sessions, attendees will also benefit from informative workshops to help strengthen business opportunities. Confirmed prime contractors include AECOM, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Kiewit, Turner Construction, Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors and more.

The business summit will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration will begin at 3:30 p.m. The Proud Bird restaurant is located at 11022 Aviation Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.

Advance registration is required as seating is limited. Click here to register now! Registration ends on August 1.

For questions and more information, e-mail info@metrosummitla.com, call (310) 806-4855 or visit www.metrosummitla.com.

Mayor Garcetti asks public to plan ahead during Century Crunch, recommended detours in LAX area

Here’s the press release from Metro, LADOT and LAWA:

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti has released a public service announcement urging LAX travelers, employees and others to plan ahead, allow extra time or steer clear of airport area traffic the weekend of July 25-28.  A portion of Century Boulevard by Aviation, a major artery leading into the heart of LAX will be closed for 57 hours that weekend as an old railroad bridge is demolished to make room for building a light rail aerial station for the new Crenshaw/LAX light rail line now under construction.

The video public service announcement is available on You Tube at http://youtu.be/iWYAkhgZ-z8 to help businesses, community, travelers and general public alike raise awareness about the upcoming demolition operation that will require street closures.

“Because we planned ahead, Carmageddon never happened on the 405. So let’s plan ahead again, avoid the area if you do not need to be there; and if you must, allow for extra travel time and use public transit,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Century Boulevard will be closed at the intersection with Aviation Boulevard beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, July 25, through 6 a.m. Monday, July 28. The southbound Aviation Boulevard lane will be closed between Arbor Vitae and 104th Street. Motorists are advised to monitor real-time traffic conditions prior to beginning their trips and to follow recommended detour routes.

Detours

Westbound:  For westbound traffic on Century Boulevard heading to LAX, motorists can head northbound on La Cienega Boulevard, turn left (west) onto Manchester Boulevard, turn left (south) on Airport or Sepulveda boulevard, and then turn right (west) on Century Boulevard to enter the airport.

Eastbound: Leaving LAX on Century Boulevard, motorists should turn left (north) onto Airport Boulevard and proceed to Manchester Boulevard.  Motorists can then turn right on Manchester Boulevard to proceed eastbound to La Cienega Boulevard or turn right (west) to proceed southbound to Century Boulevard.

Century Boulevard is a major artery to Los Angeles International Airport with more than 92,000 motorists traveling through the Century and Aviation Boulevards intersection daily

The $2.058 billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is an 8.5-mile light rail line that will connect the Green Line with the Expo Line. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is expected to open in 2019.

For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Century bridge demolition, related street closures and recommended detours go to metro.net/crenshaw or call project hotline (213) 922-2736 or Metro Customer Relations at (323) GO.METRO. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CrenshawRail and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/crenshawrail.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

Follow LAX on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/LAInternationalAirport?fref=nf

Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/flyLAXairport and www.LAXisHappening.com for airport construction and traffic-related impacts.

Just in time for Century Crunch: new FlyAway service between Santa Monica and LAX

Prep work for Century Crunch weekend. Photo: Jose Ubaldo/Metro

Prep work for Century Crunch weekend. Photo: Jose Ubaldo/Metro

Century Boulevard, one of the main access roads to the airport, will be closed to traffic at the Aviation Boulevard intersection beginning 9 p.m. Friday, July 25, through 6 a.m. Monday, July 28 for the demolition of Century Boulevard Bridge. The old railroad bridge needs to be demolished to allow for the future construction of a new Century/Aviation light rail station.

Plan ahead to avoid traffic congestion in the LAX area during the closure. One transit option is to take FlyAway, which will be operating new bus service between Santa Monica and LAX starting tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15. The FlyAway bus stop will be located in front of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1875 Main Street, just north of Pico Boulevard. Bus service will operate hourly from 5:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. daily and one-way fare is $8.

Keep reading for the press release from Los Angeles World Airports:

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Countdown clocks now available for Century Crunch July 25-28

LOS ANGELES (July 11, 2014): In efforts to help individuals, businesses, agencies and other organizations count down to the planned closure of the Century/Aviation intersection at a key entrance to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the weekend of July 25-28, 2014, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has created an official online clock and banner ads that are freely available for public use at metro.net.

The “Century/Aviation Intersection Closed: Plan Ahead to Avoid delays” clock counts down the number of days, hours, and minutes before the planned demolition of the old railroad bridge for 57-hours beginning 9 p.m. Friday, July 25 until 6 a.m. Monday, July 28. An old railroad bridge needs to be demolished to allow for the future construction of a new Century/Aviation light rail station.

Demolition will close a portion of Century Boulevard, a major artery leading into LAX during one of the busiest travel times of the year. It also will restrict traffic on Aviation Boulevard. An estimated 92,800 motorists travel through that intersection on a daily basis.

A selection of countdown clocks and banner ads in various sizes and options are available to help raise public awareness of the operation and resulting closures.  To obtain the Countdown clock and banner ads, visit http://www.metro.net/projects/crenshaw_corridor/webmasters-spread-word-crenshawlax/.

For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Century bridge demolition, related street closures and recommended detours go to metro.net/Crenshaw.  Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CrenshawRail and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/crenshawrail.

Follow LAX on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport, Twitter at www.twitter.com/flyLAXairport and www.LAXisHappening.com for airport construction and traffic-related impacts.

The detour map:

map_proj_crenslax_detour_final

About Metro

Metro is a transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines; a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and; the lead transportation planning agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

Transportation headlines, Friday, July 11

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! 

ART OF TRANSIT: A Metro local bus in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: A Metro local bus in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Guest editorial: don’t destroy the Orange Line, improve it (Streetsblog L.A.) 

Annie Weinstock and Stephanie Lotshaw argue that there is no need to convert the Orange Line to light rail. A state bill was signed into law earlier this week that rescinded the ban on light rail in the corridor. As we have posted before, converting the Orange Line to light rail is not in Metro’s long-range plans nor has the agency studied the issue.

Excerpt:

First, simply increasing bus frequency would be an obvious improvement. While there have been concerns that increasing frequency will cause bunching at intersections, this appears to be due to a signal timing issue which favors cross street traffic over public transportation on the Orange Line corridor. Timing traffic signals to favor automobiles shows an outdated mode of thinking. It would take some political will on the part of the city to change the signal timings, but it is a simple solution, far cheaper and faster than upgrading to light railwhich would still be faced with signal timing problems.

Then, by raising the boarding platforms at stations to the level of the bus floor, buses could complete the boarding process more quickly, further increasing capacity by allowing more buses to pull into the station more quickly. The system could also phase in more passing lanes at stations, allowing for a quadrupling of capacity and a mix of service types.

In addition, changing the intersection regulations, which currently require buses to slow to 10mph from 25, would increase overall speeds along the corridor. The reduction in speeds was initially implemented because of several accidents which occurred at the start of operations in 2005. But most systems experience problems in the early years, particularly where new signals have been introduced. Now, after almost 10 years of BRT operations as well as extensive signage and education done by Metro, these restrictions are obsolete and only make the system less convenient for passengers.

This is just an excerpt — please read the entire editorial for discussion of other salient points about bus rapid transit in the U.S. and the Orange Line. As for the issue of signal timing, the traffic lights are controlled by the city of Los Angeles.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti supports Gold Line Whittier route, Azusa-to-Claremont extension (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

(UPDATE, JULY 17: Mayor Garcetti told the Metro Board’s Executive Management Committee that the Tribune article was in error and that he did not say which potential alignment he supported at the meeting — and that a tape of the meeting shows that he did not state a preference).

At a transportation forum with San Gabriel Valley and San Bernardino County officials, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he supports the Gold Line being extended to Whittier and that he would like to see it extended to both Whittier and South El Monte if funding can be found to build both. Metro will soon release the draft environmental study for the project; one alternative extends light rail to Whittier, another to South El Monte. Cities along both routes support the project.

Important note: an extension of the Eastside Gold Line is a project to be funded by Measure R and under the current schedule would be completed in 2035 unless funds are found to accelerate the project.

Garcetti also reiterated that he would like to see the Gold Line Foothill Extension built from Azusa to Montclair (something he said earlier this year) and would like to help find funding for the project whether or not it’s added to Metro’s short-range plan. The Pasadena-to-Azusa segment is under construction (it’s a Measure R-funded project) and scheduled for an early 2016 opening. Funding would need to be found for the Azusa-Montclair segment.

The greater context here is that Metro has been discussing a possible sales tax ballot measure in 2016 that could possibly be used to accelerate current projects or fund new ones. The Metro Board of Directors has not made any decision yet whether to take anything to Los Angeles County voters. But the agency is seeking feedback from cities in the county on what type of projects they would like to see funded. If — and it’s still a big ‘if’ –the agency seeks a ballot measure, the big decision to be made is whether the ballot measure would extend the current Measure R sales tax (which expires in mid-2039) or whether it would add an additional half-cent sales tax.

Work on big Pershing Square mixed-user to begin in mid-2015 (Curbed LA) 

The 600-unit residential building with commercial space would occupy the parking lots on the north side of Pershing Square and help densify a section of downtown L.A. that should be dense. The site, of course, sits adjacent to the Metro Red/Purple Line Pershing Square station and is a short train ride or walk to the 7th/Metro Center station that will eventually host trains headed to Long Beach, Santa Monica, Azusa and East Los Angeles.

Times intern recounts traffic challenges on way to Dodger Stadium (L.A. Times) 

It took Everett Cook 90 minutes to travel the two miles from the Times (at 2nd/Spring) to Dodger Stadium on Thursday thanks to traffic en route. “For what it’s worth, the vast majority of the traffic police and Dodgers employees were as helpful as can be. There might not even be a solution to this — too many cars in too small a stretch will be a problem anywhere,” he writes.

As I’ve written many times before, ballpark traffic is the price everyone pays for the decision in the 1950s to build the stadium atop a hill and away from the city grid — and the transit that goes with it. No one wants to move the ballpark into downtown, so it’s likely that traffic will remain an issue. The Dodger Stadium Express provides bus service between Union Station and the stadium is an alternative to driving. It’s free for those holding game tickets.

ART OF TRANSIT 2: There are many reasons why a train may go out of service, including the planet being taken over by apes. Credit: 20th Century Fox.

ART OF TRANSIT 2: There are many reasons why a train may go out of service, including the planet being taken over by apes. Credit: 20th Century Fox.