Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
Toll lane transponder fees suspended for L.A. County residents (L.A. Times) and A monthly toll road fee exits early (ZevWeb)
The Metro Board of Directors voted 7 to 4 to approve a motion by Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky to suspend the $3 account maintenance fee for ExpressLanes users who used the lanes three times or less. Metro officials say this may encourage some motorists to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 who wanted to get transponders for occasional use but didn’t want to pay the fee.
A lot of people certainly complained about the fee in the comments section of The Source and other publications. We’ll see if losing it for six months makes a difference and, if so, whether it inspires the Board to revisit the issue.
Mapping the screens at 7th/Metro Center (Steven White: The Accidental Urbanist)
Great post by Steven on the location of TV monitors at the intensely busy 7th/Metro station in downtown L.A. that serves the Blue, Expo, Red and Purple lines. The gist of it: Steven believes many of the existing monitors are in places that are difficult to see and that many of them don’t display information useful to riders — i.e. train schedules for people departing the stations.
Even better, Steven took the time to map the station and show where the monitors are versus where he thinks they should be based on the flow of people in the station. It’s obvious he spent quite a bit of time and thought assembling this post and I hope Metro takes a good hard look at it.
Your thoughts, Metro riders?
Will the Casden development be L.A.’s traffic Bermuda triangle? (LA Weekly)
A look at the proposed Casden West development at Sepulved and Pico of a 638-apartment building and retail outlets — including a grocery store and ‘national retailer’ — that will be adjacent to the Expo Line’s Sepulveda station. The site has been a concrete plant for many years.
But residents and even transit advocates say the building is too big and will add too many car trips to streets already clogged, thanks in part to the adjacent 405 freeway. Bolstering their point: the developer’s website says the project will have an underground garage with 1,795 parking spaces, including 1,155 for residents.
On the pro side, the developer and at least one L.A. planning official (among others) say this is the kind of transit-oriented development that the region needs and that new residents will likely use their cars less than existing residents of the area.
Good article. One issue not mentioned that I think is important is the current state of Pico and Sepulveda boulevards in the area. Sepulveda is not what I would describe as pedestrian oriented; Pico has been nudging in that direction for a few years — especially east of Sepulveda. The Little Tokyo West neighborhood along Sawtelle Boulevard is on the other side of the 405, about a half-mile walk from the Expo station.
My long-winded point: I think if the area was more pedestrian-oriented, it would give new residents less reason to drive; having more than 600 parking spaces for retail seemingly gives people plenty of reason to drive to the site. It certainly makes sense to put stores and residences near transit, but the question here: can you really call something with 1,795 parking spaces transit-oriented? I don’t know.
Underground cell service expands but some call for quiet (New York Times)
Those with AT&T or T-Mobile devices can now get service at 36 subway stations in Manhattan and some folks are finding they can even get a signal in the tunnels. Gov. Cuomo says one reason for the expansion of service is safety because it gives subway riders the ability to call 9-1-1 pronto in an emergency. Some customers were ambivalent, telling the Times they enjoyed the time away from their cell devices and one subway musician said that too many customers with cell phones was hurting business.
The Metro Board approved a contract earlier this year with a firm that will be wiring all underground stations for cell service. Metro staff said at the time that it would take two years to install all the equipment in the subway, the challenge being that the subway runs 20 hours a day.