Transportation headlines, Monday, October 6

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! 

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ART OF TRAFFIC: A gas station in Hollywood in April 1942. Click above for a great new online tool from Yale University that makes it easier to view photos in the Library of Congress taken across the U.S. between 1935 and 1944 and intended to chronicle the Great Depression and life in America. Photo by Russell Lee/Library of Congress.

Editor’s note: Good morning, readers! As was the case earlier this year, I’m back in Ohio for a couple weeks to deal with some family business. I’ll be doing some posting — but if it sounds like I’m roughly 2,100 miles removed from the local scene, I am. In the meantime, here’s some advice based on an overheard conversation in the Blue Ash Starbucks: never ever begin a sentence with this phrase: “Oh my God, I was walking down Michigan Avenue with one of my bridesmaids….”

And on to the headlines….

Vice President Joe Biden to visit L.A.; road closures to jam commutes (L.A. Times) 

West L.A. is on the docket for later this afternoon and downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for Tuesday morning. Please follow our Twitter account for updates on bus detours.

Metro to rename rail stations after Zev Yaroslavsky, Gloria Molina (L.A. Times) 

Coverage of yesterday’s vote by the Metro Board. A Metro spokesman says the Metro Board has the right to amend an existing station naming policy that discourages facilities from being named after living people.

The High Desert Corridor project’s environmental document was released by Caltrans earlier this week and the cover — as noted by Streetsblog LA and Times reporter Laura Nelson — is a little different than the usual EIR. The study contemplates a new 63-mile freeway between Palmdale in Los Angeles County and the town of Apple Valley in San Bernardino County, along with a possible high-speed rail line, bikeway and green energy transmission corridor. BTW, the federally-threatened desert tortoise lives in the Mojave Desert; the document explains impacts and mitigations for the tortoise.

New AQMD study finds much lower air pollution levels across L.A. County (Daily News) 

Bottom line: cancer causing toxins are down by 65 percent but the air is still often a hot mess of pollutants, with emissions from trucks, ships, trains (most of which are freight in our region) and planes largely to blame.

Bottom up climate fix (New York Times)

Former EPA official Daniel C. Esty helped negotiation the United Nations’ first climate treat in 1992. Now he’s skeptical that top-down agreements will really help lower the greenhouse gases that are triggering global warming. Excerpt:

As one of those who, as an official at the Environmental Protection Agency, negotiated that first United Nations treaty in 1992, I believe we need to shift gears and try something new. Relying on national governments alone to deliver results is not enough, as the last two decades have shown. The real action on climate change around the world is coming from governors, mayors, corporate chief executives and community leaders. They are the ones best positioned to make change happen on the ground. Accordingly, we need to move from a top-down strategy to a bottom-up approach.

Mayors in Barcelona, Melbourne and the Brazilian city of Curitiba, for instance, are trying to expand public transportation. New York City’s former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg worked with pipeline companies to increase natural gas access so residents could shift from dirty fuel oil furnaces to cheaper and cleaner natural gas ones.

British Columbia and Quebec have introduced cap-and-trade programs that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, making it more expensive to pollute and encouraging innovation. California has done the same thing. So have nine states in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic.

You can certainly add the Los Angeles region to the list of places trying to expand transit. Metro currently has four rail lines under construction and a fifth — the first phase of the Purple Line Extension — is soon to begin. If Metro pursues a ballot measure in 2016 to accelerate and/or expand the building of new transportation projects, it will be interesting to see if climate change is part of a political campaign. If memory serves, traffic relief and rail safety were part of the Measure R campaign.

Quasi-related sort of: Is Denver the Houston of the Rockies — again? (High Country News)

Denver has boomed in recent years and behind their 2004 transit sales tax, has been on a rail and BRT building boom. But new economic stats reveal the extent to which the ‘new economy’ in Denver is tied to the fossil fuel industry. Smart story.

New Muni-only lanes streamline bus trips (Streetsblog SF)

Check out the pics of the new lanes, which are painted red. They do stand out. The lanes aren’t very long, but are intended to help buses get through parts of town where traffic has traditionally added unnecessary minutes to bus trips.

Patsaouras Bus Plaza closure from June 21 to 23

A Metro Rapid bus leaving the transit plaza. Metro currently operates the nation's largest clean air fleet.Patsaouras Bus Plaza will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from 1 a.m. Saturday, June 21 through 4 a.m. Monday, June 23 for landscaping renovations. Work being done will address water damage to the plaza and structures underneath and replace waterproofing, landscaping, electrical and irrigation systems.

No vehicles or pedestrians will be able to enter the plaza while work is being done. Metro buses that normally enter the plaza will stop at Cesar Chavez/Alameda to both board and drop off customers.

FlyAway will pick up and drop off in front of Union Station West near the Fred Harvey Room.

Megabus.com will operate service from the Amtrak bus pick-up/drop-off location on the west side of Union Station during the plaza closure.

Follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts to stay up-to-date on transit news and service advisories. To see what other improvements are taking place around Union Station, check out this previous post.

This weekend in West Hollywood: bus detours and free Pride Ride shuttle

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L.A. Pride starts this Friday with a stellar lineup of performances, programs, and festivities lasting through Sunday, June 8. Whether you’re headed to West Hollywood for the celebrations or just passing through, you’ll want to be aware of street closures and bus detours in the neighborhood this weekend.

Metro Bus 10, 30/330 and Rapid 705 will detour at San Vicente between Melrose and Santa Monica from approximately 8 p.m. this Thursday until early Monday morning. For further information, see our service advisories page. Metro Bus 2, 4, 10, 30, 105, 217, 218 and Rapid 704 will detour at multiple locations on Sunday for the Christopher Street West Parade. Again, our service advisories page has all the details.

For a list of street and facility closures–including West Hollywood Park and Library–click here.

To avoid traffic and parking congestion during the celebration, use the free Pride Ride shuttle. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes and follow a continuous loop along Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson Boulevard and Fuller Avenue. Shuttles will be brightly marked and feature festive music. There will be a few breaks in service however, so be sure to check the Pride Ride map (see above) for hours of operation.

While at L.A. Pride, look for the Metro booth for free transpo goodies, and have a safe and fun pride celebration!

Patsaouras Bus Plaza closed to vehicle traffic from May 16 to 22

The Patsaouras Transit Plaza and undergound parking structure at the East Portal entrance to Union Station is closed to pedestrians and all vehicles during the daytime hours of Saturday, Dec. 29, for maintenance.

Patsaouras Bus Plaza closed to vehicles from May 16-May 22.

Patsaouras Bus Plaza will be closed to vehicles from 8 p.m. Friday, May 16 through 4 a.m. Thursday, May 22, for renovations. Work being done will address water damage to the plaza and structures underneath and replace waterproofing, landscaping, electrical and irrigation systems.

No vehicles will be able to enter the plaza while work is being done. Pedestrian access between East Portal, Metro Headquarters and Cesar Chavez/Vignes bus stops will remain open.

Metro buses that normally enter the plaza will stop at Cesar Chavez/Vignes to both board and drop off customers. Commuter Express 431, 534 and Bunker Hill Shuttle will pick up/drop off just west of the train tracks outside Union Station in the south segment of Union Station Roadway.

Flyaway buses will pick up/drop off passengers at Union Station West, in front of the Metropolitan Water District building.

Megabus.com will run service from the Amtrak bus pick-up/drop-off location on the west side of Union Station during the plaza closure.

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OCTA bus line 701 will utilize the lot of the 420 Wellness Center–please see the notice.

Follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts to stay up-to-date on transit news and service advisories. To see what other improvements are taking place around Union Station, check out this previous post.

Israeli prime minister visit may delay or detour some Metro buses

Map of expected street closures via KPCC.org

Map of expected street closures via KPCC.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Los Angeles this week and authorities have warned his motorcade may cause traffic flare-ups on the Westside over the next three days.

Unfortunately, Metro buses are not exempt from the rolling closures that could slow traffic, or close streets entirely, as the Prime Minister moves from place to place. Customers traveling through the Westside today through Thursday should allow extra time to reach their destination, as some bus lines in the area may experience delays of up to 20 minutes, or temporary detours. Metro Rail will not be impacted.

While the exact movements of the prime minister’s motorcade are not released ahead of time, the Secret Service has issued a general traffic advisory with areas to avoid during specific times. Here’s the info via the LAPD’s blog:

Tuesday March 4th 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 Freeway and Melrose Ave. 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • 405 Freeway between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Freeway 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Melrose Ave between La Cienega and Van Ness 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday March 5th, 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 Fwy and Melrose Ave 7:30 a.m. – 8:30, & 4:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
  • 405 Fwy between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Fwy 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., & 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • 10 Fwy between 405 Fwy and CA Highway 1/PCH from 6:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
  • CA Hwy 1/PCH between 10 Fwy and Malibu Canyon Rd. 6:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Thursday March 6th, 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 and Melrose Ave 8:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Pico Blvd between Roxbury and Castello 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • 405 Fwy between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Fwy 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

For possible bus detours as motorcade closures unfold, please follow our Twitter feed or visit metro.net.

Go Metro to watch this Sunday’s L.A. Marathon

Fly over traffic on your way to the L.A. Marathon finish line this Sunday, Mar 9.

Fly over traffic on your way to the L.A. Marathon finish line this Sunday, Mar 9.

Those participating in or attending the L.A. Marathon this Sunday are encouraged to go Metro to the race. But there will be some bus detours throughout the day due to the marathon. Here’s the press release from Metro:

The Los Angeles Marathon returns on Sunday, March 9 with the ‘Stadium to the Sea’ course running once again from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica and again your best course of action is to use the Metro Rail system to see all the racing action.

Metro Rail service will run as scheduled. Spectators are urged to ride Metro Rail to reach viewing areas and affected bus customers are urged to take Metro Rail to avoid lengthy bus detours and delays.

Metro will run free, non-stop bus shuttles beginning at 5 a.m. between the City of Santa Monica and the Culver City Expo Line Station. Patrons can board Santa Monica-bound buses on Washington Boulevard just south of the Expo Culver City Station. Culver City-bound buses can be boarded on Olympic Boulevard and 11th St in Santa Monica.

There will be interruptions in Metro bus service along the route. Lines normally passing through those areas will be rerouted and many other lines will be disrupted. Patrons are urged to plan ahead and allow for extra time during the race.

Listed here are the Metro bus lines which will be disrupted before and after the running of the Marathon. Affected Metro bus lines: 2, 4, 10, 14, 16/316, 20, 28, 30, 33, 40, 45, 48, 55, 60, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78/79/378, 81, 83, 84, 90/91, 92, 94, 96, 105, 156/656, 180/181, 200, 201, 204, 206, 207, 210, 212/312, 217, 222, 485, 487/489, 534, 550, 704, 720, 733, 745, 754, Silver Line (910).

Regular service on some lines will be restored as the race progresses but full service on all lines is not expected to resume until approximately early evening.

Metro apologizes for any inconvenience you may experience on this day and thanks you for your cooperation. For further assistance, please call 323.GO.METRO.

For Metro Rail route and schedule information visit the Metro Trip Planner at metro.net. Due to technological limitations, short-term, temporary bus detours are not reflected in Google Transit, Metro Trip Planner, or NexTrip real time bus arrivals.

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

President Obama visit may cause some bus detours on Westside and in Glendale

President Obama is due to arrive in Los Angeles late this
afternoon for a two-day visit. That could possibly mean some very
brief bus detours or delays due to the presidential motorcade.
Exact routes are not released ahead of time for security purposes.
Please follow our Twitter
feed
or visit metro.net for service
updates. Here
is the traffic advisory from the Los Angeles Police
Department
:

Traffic
Advisory for Presidential Visit
Los Angeles: Los
Angeles Police Department advises Los Angeles motorists to expect
traffic delays during the anticipated visit of the President of the
United States. On Monday, November 25, 2013, President Barack Obama
will arrive in Los Angeles for two days in order to attend several
functions in the area. Although specific details about his
destinations are not available for security reasons, the following
information is provided to assist community members who may have a
need to travel in areas where the President may be traveling. Every
effort to minimize traffic impacts will be employed while the
President travels through the City. It is anticipated that the
following streets may be affected and may experience temporary
closures to facilitate the safe passage of the President. Motorists
are encouraged to review the following information and make
necessary plans to avoid those areas during time periods where
traffic may be stopped or congested due to the Presidential
motorcade. The dates, times and areas on the second page of this
advisory are provided as a general guide and are subject to change
without notice. It is our intent to provide the best possible
information to the public without compromising the safety of the
President. The public’s cooperation is greatly appreciated. Anyone
with questions regarding the travel advisory may contact LAPD Media
Relations Section at 213-486-5910. During non-business hours or on
weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7
(877-527-3247). Date/Time 11/25/13 4:00 – 5 pm Streets Likely To Be
Affected Streets surrounding Los Angeles International (LAX)
Airport 4:45 – 10 pm Streets surrounding Westwood Area and the City
of Beverly Hills: West to East: 405 Freeway to La Cienega Boulevard
North to South: Santa Monica Boulevard to Venice Boulevard Date/
Time 11/26/13 8:00 am – 10:45 am Streets Likely To Be Affected
Streets surrounding the Wilshire Area of Los Angeles: West to East:
Fairfax Avenue to Western Avenue North to South: Beverly Boulevard
to Pico Boulevard 10:30 am – 1:30 pm Streets Surrounding the City
of Glendale: West to East: Riverside Drive, San Fernando Road and
Grandview Avenue to North Pacific Avenue North to South: West
Kenneth Road to Victory Boulevard, San Fernando Road, 5 and 134
Freeway 1:15 – 2 pm Streets surrounding Los Angeles International
(LAX) Airport