Transportation headlines, Wednesday, February 26

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Nice infographic from Fixr: L.A. has four of the top 10 steepest streets in the country, they say.

Click the image to enlarge
Top 10 US steepest streets
Via fixr structural engineering cost guide

Metro takes aim at Orange Line fare evaders (Daily News)

Coverage of yesterday’s media event as part of an effort to lower fare evasion on the Orange Line. Excerpt:

“LA Metro is one of the best buys around, with one of the lowest fares in North America,” said Art Leahy, chief executive of Metro, at a Tuesday news conference. “But we have to pay the bills … so we need people to pay their fare.”

The two-pronged plan focuses on educating riders on how to pay for their fare through added signs at stations and public service announcements on on-board televisions as well as stepped-up enforcement through hefty $75 citations at each of the 18 stations between North Hollywood and Chatsworth.

The Orange Line is particularly vulnerable to fare evasion because, unlike many underground stations in the Metro system, there are no access gates and money is not collected by drivers when riders board a bus, officials and riders said. Instead, passengers purchase or reload a reusable card at self-service kiosks and then must tap the card at a separate free-standing collection machine that deducts the amount needed for a one-way ride, a process some riders say is confusing.

Bottom line: it’s good to see enforcement stepping up. Running transit is expensive and lost revenue ultimately costs riders the service improvements they would like to see.

Cycling on the edge: dodging cars and potholes (L.A. Times) 

Smart opinion article by Paul Thornton who puts it on the record: many of the bike lanes striped by the city of Los Angeles in recent times are also riddled with potholes. That gives cyclists a not-so-fun choice: slam into a pothole and possibly wreck or veer into adjacent traffic lanes and potentially wreck. The challenge is that another city department — the Bureau of Street Services — are responsible for paving streets. My three cents: a lot of the bike lanes in the city of L.A. were done in a rush in order to reach mileage goals prior to mid-July 2013 — and that means there wasn’t always attention to detail.

A Los Angeles primer: Union Station (KCET)

Nice essay about Union Station includes this paragraph:

For all its timeless appeal and admirably vigorous upkeep, Union Station nevertheless suffers a faint but persistent underlying sense of dereliction, or at least uncleanliness. (Sometimes I visit and feel it has finally gone, but then I enter the restrooms too far between janitorial shifts.) One recently attempted solution to the most visible affliction of this or any public space — that of lingering indigent — involved removing most of the seating and cordoning off the rest for ticketed passengers, a measure desperate enough to signal a potentially unsolvable problem. But do airports do much better? Located so far from their cities’ centers and subject to such complicated entry procedures, most never have to face this sort of challenge in the first place. One trip through LAX, though, makes you realize the great advantage of Union Station and its predecessors across America, no matter how neglected: when you walk out of them, you walk straight into downtown.

I think the station is mostly clean, but I agree the restrooms could see some improvement. The issue there is there are only two sets of them, neither very large for the crowds the station sees. As for “straight into downtown,” well…sort of. It’s more straight into the edge of downtown — one reason I’d love to see more development in the northern part of downtown and especially the Civic Center area.

Also, shout out to post author Colin Marshall for his black-and-white photographs.

Two major transit projects break ground in San Bernardino (San Bernardino Sun) 

One project will extend Metrolink service to the University of Redlands, the other will construct a new transit center in San Bernardino that serves area bus lines and Metrolink. Officials say the projects are badly needed as traffic in the Inland Empire is a complete mess. In other words, officials are now trying to cope with the consequence of all those sprawling housing developments they have approved over the years.

Utah makes Google Glass app for bus riders (Salt Lake City Tribune)

The Utah Transit Authority has made a version of its bus-and-train schedule app that will work with Google Glass, although there are (thankfully) still few people wearing the geekware around. I still have a hard time believing anyone would be so amazingly stupid or addicted to the internet that they would need to have a screen on their glasses and if I have a vote, I say no Metro apps for these folks. They can check their phones like the rest of us!

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, February 25

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Rest in Peace, Harold Ramis. Here’s a nice appreciation from the New Yorker. A scene below that Ramis directed from “Caddyshack,” including one of the great lines in the history of cinema: “I didn’t want to do it, but I owed it to them.”

Dial M for Metro wifi (ZevWeb)

An update on the project to bring cell service and potentially wifi into Metro Rail’s underground stations — and really there isn’t much new here. The contract was approved by the Metro Board in early 2013 and will likely be finished in a couple of years with perhaps some cell service coming before that, depending on how work goes. It will be up to individual cell providers to decide whether to provide an underground signal.

Do you bike in L.A.? Watch this video to see what concerns all those drivers (L.A. Times) 

Interesting video made from the point-of-view of drivers who encounter cyclists. It’s cleverly packaged with this video showing what frightens cyclists on our area roads.

2013: another year of less driving in the U.S. (Streetsblog Network)

The number of miles that Americans drove last year was more than in 2012 — but didn’t keep pace with the rate of population growth. In other words, on a per capita basis, Americans appear to be driving less, continuing a trend that has been in place for several years. Of course, it depends on what you mean by “less.” The cynical side of me tends to think that driving remains hugely popular, so perhaps rate of growth is kind of a desperate statistic to seize upon.

Inside Amtrak’s plan to give free rides to writers (The Wire) 

The railroad plans to offer residencies to writers who need time to sit and write. Hard to beat a cross-country trip on Amtrak for that — nothing like waiting for a freight train to pass to inspire Deep Thoughts.

Morgan Stanley predicts utopian society by 2026 (Slate)

The prediction is based on their bullish view that self-driving cars will give society a big happy kick in the bum. Because Morgan Stanley did so, uh, well predicting how the housing market would behave….

Historical sea ice atlas now online (Sea Atlas)

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 9.50.51 AM

Very cool new tool that allows you to track Arctic sea ice over the years, funded in part by the U.S. government. The whereabouts of ice was vital to the shipping industry for many years — although nowadays the ice has been retreating due to climate change. There’s an interactive feature that allows you to track the retreat, which is most pronounced in the past three decades. Reminder: taking transit is one way to help reduce your carbon footprint as transit is often more efficient than driving alone.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, February 19

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A CyclingSavvy instructor explains her objections to bike lanes (Biking in LA)

Karen Karabell, of St. Louis, makes a thoughtful, cogent argument against bike lanes, saying that she believes it’s safer for cyclists to be in traffic lanes — where motorists see them sooner and better — than in a narrow lane that is often ignored by many motorists. I agree with her on the issue of sight lines. But I still don’t want to ride in traffic lanes unless I must — I see this as a post for bigger, wider and better designed bike lanes.

Newsom changes mind on high-speed rail (CBS) 

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom says he’s just voicing an opinion privately shared by many Democrats. Although he was ardently backed the bullet train project between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he said that too little federal or private funds have emerged to build a project with an estimated $68 billion price tag. The money, Newsom said, would be better spent on other infrastructure needs.

Obama orders new efficiencies for big rigs (New York Times) 

The President on Tuesday order the EPA to develop tougher new fuel standards for trucks, with a goal of implementing them by 2018. While trucks comprise just four percent of traffic on the nation’s roads, President Obama said they are responsible for 20 percent of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, February 5

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London buses to go cashless (Transit Wire) 

Transport for London says all passengers will have to pay with an Oyster Card, which is similar to a TAP card. This will speed up boarding, officials predict, and reduce delays. And what happens if someone tries to board the bus without enough money on their card to cover the fare? As long as it’s a positive balance, they will be allowed to board.

Repeal of Orange Line rail ban clears Assembly (Building Los Angeles) 

The bill, AB 577, had no problem clearing the Assembly recently and next will be considered by the state Senate. It would repeal SB 211, enacted in 1991, to prohibit light rail from being built along the Orange Line corridor. There is no money to convert the Orange Line to rail at this time, nor is the project even in Metro’s long-range plan. The advantages of rail over bus would be more capacity and perhaps some gated crossings, which hypothetically could make a train faster than a bus that stops or slows for both red and green lights controlled by the city of Los Angeles.

Commuting by bike is an L.A. adventure (L.A. Times)

Columnist Steve Lopez likes the idea of commuting by bike, if not necessarily the reality at times — which he likens to willingly swimming in a shark tank. Excerpt:

As I see it, 5% [of commuters traveling by bike] isn’t a big enough target, and the bicycle plan isn’t grand enough in a city with mostly bikeable terrain, great year-round weather and a health-conscious population.

That’s not Mowery’s fault. She’s dealing with infrastructure limitations and all the usual political realities. Too many motorists, merchants and homeowners stand in the way of a bold transformation in a city that desperately needs one, and no public official past or present has been brave enough to stand up to them for the greater good. But do they really think we can just go on adding cars to already clogged roads?

If the goal is to get more people to consider commuting by bike, we need more than painted white lines on the road and the rare buffer like the one in the tunnel. We need fully protected bikeways, so people of all ages can go for a ride without fear of getting hit by a bus.

We have dozens of major east-west and north-south thoroughfares in the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles, so why can’t one or two become bikeways at fixed hours?

 

It’s hard to judge a bike network until it’s more complete — and cyclists truly have options to travel to far more places. I certainly see more people biking in the past few years in L.A. and elsewhere, but I also see bike lanes that are getting infrequent use. One issue: some of the bike lanes are hardly inviting with no buffer between heavy traffic and on streets in badly need of repair. Check out the lanes on Huntington Drive and Mission — not exactly ideal.

Pictures from the Super Bowl transit nightmare (Gawker)

Good pics, bad commute — especially for fans who paid a king’s ransom to travel to New York and then watch a terrible game.

A couple of thoughts:

•Super Bowl 50 in 2016 will be played at the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara near a VTA light rail stop — and the light rail connects to both CalTrain and ACE commuter trains. So we’ll see how that works.

•If the Broncos qualify for the Super Bowl in the future, find something else to do that day — like harvest belly button lint, wash your car with a toothbrush or go to Bed, Bath & Beyond with the wife. To wit:

Super Bowl 12: Dallas 27, Denver 10

Super Bowl 21: New York 39, Denver 20

Super Bowl 22: Washington 42, Denver 10

Super Bowl 24: San Francisco 55, Denver 10

Super Bowl 32: Denver 31, Green Bay 24

Super Bowl 33: Denver 34, Atlanta 19

Super Bowl 48: Seattle 43, Denver 8

Of the seven games, the only one that was actually entertaining and close was the game against Green Bay, which went down to the wire. Otherwise, the games involving the Broncos have been total duds. As for next year, I don’t think they’ll be back in the Super Bowl — teams will figure out how to better pressure Peyton Manning, who had all day this year to throw. And I’m not sold on the Seahawks either. The reason I think the Steelers and 49ers will meet in Super Bowl 49 in Arizona next year.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, January 14

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Man dies after stabbing attack on Metro Red Line subway (L.A. Times) 

Tragic news; the male victim died of his injuries Monday night. The attack occurred aboard a downtown-bound train at the Vermont/Santa Monica station at 9:20 a.m. Monday. The victim was in his 30s, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is saying the perpetrator — who remains at large — is believed to be between 18 and 24 years old.

The Sheriff’s Department, which patrols Metro buses and trains, posted the following online on Monday night:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are en route to the LAC+USC Medical Center, 1983 Marengo Street, Los Angeles, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the stabbing death of a male adult that occurred earlier in the day at 9:20AM on the Metro Red Line at the Vermont Station, 1015 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles.

The victim was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead at 6:36 PM.

There is no additional information available at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

Why we should care about what Gabe Klein says (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The former head of transportation departments in Washington D.C. and Chicago is coming to L.A. on Friday to give a presentation at City Hall about his experiences in building bike share systems. Streetsblog editor Damien Newton is very impressed with Klein’s accomplishments across the cycling sphere — Klein also oversaw bike lane expansions in both cities. As readers probably know, there is currently an opening for a full-time general manager of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation.

A map of futuristic L.A. futuristic subway from “Her” (Gizmodo)

I haven’t seen the movie set in the near future about a man (played by Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his computer’s operating system. But there’s a scene in which he’s riding an elevated train in L.A. and then walks by a subway map in the station. Alissa Walker got a copy of the map from the film’s production team and it’s entertaining — and extremely fictional. See if you can find some of the incongruities.

FWIW, here’s the real map that shows what Metro will look like in the future when some of the first Measure R transit projects are complete:

13-2011_map_gm_underconst_may13-1

LADOT releases updated online bicycle map

LADOT bike map

LADOT bike map

If you’re trying to figure out the safest and quickest way to get to a destination and/or connect to Metro Stations on your bicycle in Los Angeles, you’re in luck! The Los Angeles Department of Transportation recently released an update to their online city of Los Angeles bikeways map.

Not only can you find info on existing bikeways throughout the city, you can even browse through the various bikeways currently in development. Pretty cool to browse through and see the development of bikeways in downtown and extending development on Venice Boulevard.

Updates to the interactive bike map include:

  • New Legend and Map Colors
  • New Layers: Bikeways in Development & Long-Terms Bikeways
  • New Details about Bikeways
  • Full Screen Mode

You can find more details about the update here. Check out LADOT’s online map here, and be sure to let the LADOT Bike program team know what you think of their new map.

Be sure to also download Metro’s countywide bike map and check out the Bike Metro website for more info. An updated Metro bike map will be released in Spring 2014. We also recommend using NextBus on your smartphone for real-time bus and train arrival information — it helps when planning trips.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, December 4

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ART OF TRANSIT: Now that’s a well composed photo!

Silver Line coming to Tysons but don’t look for lots of new parking (Washington Post)

A garage at the Washington Metro's College Park station. Photo by Bossi, via Flickr creative commons.

A garage at the Washington Metro’s College Park station. Photo by Bossi, via Flickr creative commons.

The story is about the lack of giant parking garages at four new Washington Metro Silver Lane stations opening soon in Fairfax County, Virginia. Excerpt:

Parking garages — and the large surface parking lots that have long dominated the Tysons landscape and suburban Metro stations elsewhere — don’t fit with the new vision of an area seeking to swap its congested, car-centric image for that of an urban, pedestrian-friendly enclave.

And so Fairfax officials did not include parking garages at the four Silver Line stations in Tysons.

That decision has been cheered by “smart growth” advocates, but some residents are concerned that their streets will become de facto Metro parking lots. And some potential Silver Line riders — accustomed to driving to Metro stations to board their trains — wonder how they’ll get to the new rail line if they can’t drive.

“The plan did not originally include parking because there were advocates that claimed that having parking garages would draw cars into Tysons,” Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) said. “In my opinion, those cars are coming anyway, and they’re going to be driving around looking for a place to park.”

We discussed the issue of parking at transit stations in a post yesterday about a motion to study expanding parking at the Red Line’s NoHo and Universal City stations.

Detroit to study removing freeway in favor of walkable street (Detroit Free Press)

The 375 freeway in Detroit. Photo by gab482 via Flickr creative commons.

The 375 freeway in Detroit. Photo by gab482 via Flickr creative commons.

The mile-long 375 freeway, which sits in a trench, would be converted to a surface street and sit at the same level of surrounding roads and buildings. The idea is to better connect neighborhoods to downtown Detroit but the plan may anger suburbanites who use the freeway to quickly zip into and out of Detroit proper.

Madrid’s big plan to swear off cars (The Atlantic Cities)

Traffic in Madrid in a photo taken last month. Photo by Grey World, via Flickr creative commons.

Traffic in Madrid in a photo taken last month. Photo by Grey World, via Flickr creative commons.

With much of Spain’s economy stuck in low gear, Madrid is updating its general plan to focus on revitalizing the central city. Excerpt:

So the plan calls for 24 major Madrid streets to be radically overhauled, with car lanes removed, bike lanes added and trees planted to make them cool and shady. A new hierarchy will be in place: pedestrians come first, then public transport, then bikes, then cars.

Overall, 66 percent of the affected street surface will be given over to people on foot. The irony is that before car-friendly policies reshaped central Madrid, many of these streets were just the sort of leafy, broad-sidewalked avenues the city wants, but they were remodeled to add extra motorist lanes.

Now chastened by years of fumes and grime, the city is coming full circle back to its old ways. The use of the word boulevard (“Bulevar” in Spanish) may suggest Parisian influence, but the real model seems to be La Rambla, the central pedestrian avenue in Madrid’s great rival city, Barcelona.

Will it work? As the article notes, the city’s last update didn’t really go anywhere and this one is likely to be met with skepticism and opposition. Nonetheless, can you imagine someone marching into L.A. and saying two-thirds of street surface will be given over to pedestrians — i.e. the same pedestrians who are often treated more as annoyances than as people?

Delta bumps passengers off flight and gives seats to college basketball team  (Gainesville Sun) 

When the University of Florida’s usual plane wasn’t available to them last weekend, Delta decided to use another plane. Another plane with paying passengers, who were given vouchers and booked on other flights. I know there’s a lot of good to be said for college sports, but at times — and often at its highest levels — it really just comes off as kind of a really, really skeezy enterprise.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, i.e. 11/12/13

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ART OF SUNRISE: Nice one a little after 6 a.m. this morning in lovely downtown Montrose, served by the 90 bus; downtown Montrose is where Will Ferrell went streaking in “Old School.” Photo via submission by Maricela Gomez.

Vote on 405 toll lanes in O.C. is delayed (L.A. Times)

The Orange County Transportation Authority will not vote until Dec. 9 on plans to improve traffic on the 405 freeway. Among the alternatives: converting the existing HOV lane to a congestion pricing lane, adding a second toll lane and adding a general purpose lane for 14 miles of the 405 south of the L.A. County line (between the 605 and 73 freeways).

Who knows if OCTA will go for it? The L.A. Times worked the phrase “Lexus Lanes” in the second graph of its article and will likely keep doing so — especially with cities along the route opposing this alternative. Of course, lost in the heat is that no general purpose lanes would be lost and under the controversial option, a general lane would be added. As for carpoolers and who pays tolls and who does not, those decisions have not yet been made.

This staff report from OCTA lays out the different alternatives — see page 3.

The obvious reader question: what does this mean for the 405 north of the O.C.-L.A. boundary? At this point, nothing. The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project, which is nowhere near the O.C. line, is looking at a possible toll tunnel to help pay for a transit project — but that is one of several concepts that have been studied on a preliminary basis. That project is still in its very early phases and will need a lot more funding before being built; that’s the reason a public-private partnership is being explored.

Garcetti seeks to expand Hyperion Bridge deadline (L.A. Streetsblog)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to delay firming up plans to renovate the bridge over the Los Angeles River for more community review of the current plan. Cycling advocates have been very critical of the city Bureau of Engineering’s plans, saying they serve motorists but not pedestrians or those on bikes.

Report from the California bike summit (L.A. Times)

Editorial page writer Robert Greene attended the summit in Oakland and offers a few impressions. Among them: Long Beach is probably tops in building bike infrastructure. Another: Design really matters and that cycling is a vital way of getting around for some low-income communities that have lost jobs and have poor transit service. He also ends his piece with a chide of sorts concerning safety. Thoughtful piece.

Bacon deodorant: coming soon! (JD Foods)

20131112-112931.jpg

I can’t wait for our first complaint about this, uh, exciting new hygiene product. From the product description:

Using POWER BACON will probably make everyone drawn to you like you were the most powerful magnet on Earth. And by everyone, we mean friends, acquaintances, beautiful strangers, dogs, bears, swamp alligators, lions and even pigs. It’s like an aphrodisiac for your armpits. But use your new power wisely, because with great bacon power comes great baconsponsibility.

There’s also this:

Do not eat or hike in the woods without a firearm while wearing POWER BACON.

Before putting bacon deoderant into your grooming lineup, you may want to consider the Metro Customer Code of Conduct, which has this to say on the issue of odors:

6‐05‐160 Odors
A. A person may not be in a Metro facility or vehicle with an unavoidable grossly repulsive odor so extreme it causes a nuisance, unreasonably interferes with the use, operation, or enjoyment
of the Metro facilities or vehicles for Metro representatives or patrons, or creates an unsafe
35 condition.
B. Extreme odors may arise from a variety of sources, including one’s body, possessions, clothing, food, chemicals, or accompanying animals.

Work underway to connect El Monte Transit Center to Rio Hondo bike path

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Some very good news for cyclists from Anthony Jusay with Metro’s Bike Planning staff: the Rio Hondo Bike Path will soon be connected to the El Monte Transit Center. Metro began construction on the project last week and work is scheduled to be completed within 60 days, weather permitting.

The project includes a paved access ramp and gate opening that connects to an existing access point to the Rio Hondo. There will be ADA-accessible curb ramps, shared-lane markings and wayfinding between the bike path and transit center that will also be added so that people biking, walking or rolling can easily navigate their way.

Also in the works is the El Monte Metro Bike Hub, which is anticipated to be open in spring 2014.  A Metro Bike Hub is a secure access, high-capacity bike parking facility — the El Monte Station will have the first one built by Metro.

Once these bike friendly features are complete at the El Monte Transit Center it will be a significant asset to the region as there are numerous bike planning efforts underway involving the cities of El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, San Gabriel, Temple City, Rosemead, Alhambra, Monterey Park, Covina and areas overseen by Los Angeles County.

For more information on current bike planning activities please visit the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Master Plan website.

Recent work taking place at the El Monte Station. Photo by Metro.

Recent work taking place at the El Monte Station. Photo by Metro.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, November 5

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ART OF TRANSIT: You don't see too many AMC Pacers around anymore; I saw this one parked on a local street with an ad in the window offering it for film shoots. Smart! I took the photo with my iPhone and used Snapseed's Retrolux feature to make it look like something shot in the 1970s.

ART OF TRANSIT: You don’t see too many AMC Pacers around anymore; the car debuted in 1975 and was popular for a few years. I saw this one parked on a local street with an ad in the window offering it for film shoots. Smart! I took the photo with my iPhone and used Snapseed’s Retrolux feature to make it look like something shot on cheap film in the 1970s.

And speaking of 1975, and because the week is already feeling long, here’s Linda Ronstadt with a song that climbed the charts early that year:

7th Street bike lane update (LADOT Bike Blog) 

A test spin on the new portion of the 7th Street bike lane in DTLA. Photo: LADOT Bike Blog.

A test spin on the new portion of the 7th Street bike lane in DTLA. Photo: LADOT Bike Blog.

The new bike lanes on busy 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles between Figueroa and Main street have been painted and signage is going up. I’m guessing the new lanes will be useful for cyclists coming and going from the busy 7th/Metro Center station that serves the Red, Purple, Blue and Expo lines.

Not really related: Brooke Shields dressed as a New York CitiBike for Halloween.

Councilman Huizar: downtown Los Angeles streetcar moving forward despite cost controversy (KPCC)

At a community meeting last night, Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar and streetcar officials said that recent city cost estimates were a worst case scenario and better numbers should be available by year’s end. They said the cost of the streetcar line would likely be between $153 million and $162 million — more than the $125 million originally touted and less than the $300 million number used by the city if utility relocations are extensive. As we’ve mentioned here before, this project will live-or-die depending on how much money the federal government is willing to spend.

Is it too late to prepare for climate change? (New Yorker) 

A new United Nations report leaked over the weekend; the report, relying on previously published scientific reports, lists the ongoing and likely impacts of climate change. Excerpt from the New Yorker’s excellent Elizabeth Kolbert:

Promoting “preparedness” is doubtless a good idea. As the executive order notes, climate impacts—which include, but are not limited to, heat waves, heavier downpours, and an increase in the number and intensity of wildfires—are “already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation.” However, one of the dangers of this enterprise is that it tends to presuppose, in a Boy Scout-ish sort of way, that “preparedness” is possible.

As we merrily roll along, radically altering the planet, we are, as the leaked I.P.C.C. report makes clear, increasingly in danger of committing ourselves to outcomes that will simply overwhelm societies’ ability to adapt. Certainly they will overwhelm the abilities of frogs and trees and birds to adapt. Thus, any genuine “preparedness” strategy must include averting those eventualities for which preparation is impossible. This is not something that the President can do by executive order, but it’s something he ought to be pursuing with every other tool. As Obama himself put it in a speech this past spring, “Those of us in positions of responsibility, we’ll need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of posterity. Because you and your children, and your children’s children, will have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

For those interested in reducing their carbon footprint, please consider taking transit instead of driving alone or biking or walking. More on that subject is on the Federal Transit Administration’s website, including this document. On The Source: New UCLA study finds Gold Line and Orange Line produce less smog and greenhouse gas emissions in near- and far-term.

Related: President Obama on Friday issued an Executive Order on increasing preparations for climate change. As part of that, the President created a new task force that includes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Gov. Jerry Brown. The 26-member task force will be looking to improve cooperation between the federal government and communities when it comes to preparing for and mitigating against climate change impacts.

Los Angeles: neighborhood stereotypes (Mapurbane) 

Perhaps not the most politically correct map of all time. I like how Venice has been redubbed “weird people” and Malibu as “expensive traffic accidents.”

Portland’s multi-modal nexus, with a giant bike valet (Streetfilms) 

Wow! I visited the neighborhood in 2009 when it was still emerging and pretty quiet. Looks like it’s getting better and better.