Twitter Tuesday: riders praise, vent and take some pretty good pics

You know the drill: To get our attention, tweet us at @MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

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A few photos from yesterday’s CicLAvia on Wilshire Boulevard

Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

No surprise: another big crowd for CicLAvia on Sunday, with cyclists, walkers and others taking over Wilshire Boulevard between downtown Los Angeles and the Miracle Mile. Here are a few pics.

https://twitter.com/MargaretTwitty8/status/451420458899214336/photo/1

Above photo is by Andy Sternberg, via Flickr creative commons. 

 

Go Metro to CicLAvia on April 6 and save 15% on official T-shirts

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Enjoy a car-free day on Wilshire Boulevard at CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard this Sunday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wilshire Blvd. will be closed to car traffic between Downtown L.A. and Fairfax Avenue for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.

Getting to CicLAvia is easy via Metro Rail — there are four Red or Purple Line stations along or very close to Wilshire (7th/Metro Center, Westlake/MacArthur Park, Wilshire/Normandie, Wilshire/Western) and both the Blue Line and Expo Line also serve 7th/Metro Center. Riders can also transfer to the Red/Purple Line at Union Station from the Gold Line — or ride deeper into downtown via city streets and bike lanes. Bicyclists who want to get to CicLAvia by Metro should review Metro’s bike rules.

Metrolink will have two Bike Cars on select Antelope Valley, San Bernardino and Orange County Line trains. Take Metrolink to Union Station and transfer to the Metro Red/Purple Line, or ride your bike directly from Union Station to Wilshire (click for Downtown Los Angeles bike map).

The best part about going Metro to CicLAvia? Saving money on merch! Just show your valid TAP card at the MacArthur Park hub to save 15% on CicLAvia T-shirts.

Finally, if you’re heading to CicLAvia, drop by and visit Metro’s booth and mock subway car — look for it near LACMA. Metro staff will be there with plenty of information about Metro’s current bus and rail offerings as well as the Purple Line Extension project. It is also the gathering point for all Metro employees participating in the CicLAvia Challenge! Be there at 9 a.m. for the team photo.

Bus detours and increased rail service for this Sunday’s CicLAvia

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The spring 2014 edition of CicLAvia will take place this Sunday, April 6, along Iconic Wilshire Boulevard. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the six-mile stretch between One Wilshire in Downtown L.A. and Fairfax Avenue in the Miracle Mile will be closed to cars and open to the bicycling, walking, jogging, skateboarding or uni-cycling public.

Of course, car-free also means bus-free, and though the CicLAvia course has four crossing points for vehicular traffic, Metro customers should expect bus detours and delays, including temporary bus stop relocations along the route. Street closures will impact Metro Bus routes beginning at 9 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday. Impacted Metro Bus lines include: 18, 20, 60, 66, 206, 210, 460, 487, Rapid 720 and the Metro Silver Line.

For more information about detouring on specific lines, visit Metro’s CicLAvia Service Advisory page and scroll to the bottom.

On the rail side, Metro will run more frequent and full platform length trains on Red/Purple Lines, with full-platform-length trains on the Blue, Expo, and Gold lines.

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Show CicLAvia some love and get a free pin!

More details about the April 6 route will be posted here, at The Source, next week. Until then, join us in coveting these little blue guys!

Join us in coveting these little blue guys! Best part? They’re FREE.

If you’re a fan of CicLAvia, you probably already know that L.A.’s beloved celebration of all things alternate transportation returns April 6, with a route that will transform Iconic Wilshire Boulevard into a totally car-free–and completely bike/ped-friendly–environment.

What you may not know is that CicLAvia is currently giving away FREE PINS to those who pledge their support online.

Simply provide your name, address, and email (uncheck the box if you don’t want to receive notifications), and a pin will be mailed to your house or office, while supplies last. Wear it with pride whenever you want to show your love and appreciation for CicLAvia (in other words before, during, and after the event day…)

More details about the April 6 route will be posted here, at The Source, next week.

Transportation headlines, Friday, January 24

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: The abandoned section of Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains as seen from Mt. Waterman. Photo by Steve Hymon.

ART OF TRANSIT: The abandoned section of Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains as seen from Mt. Waterman. Click above to see larger! Photo by Steve Hymon.

Metro shelves directly rail line to LAX (L.A. Times) 

Laura Nelson sifts through yesterday’s marathon discussion by the Metro Board on the Airport Metro Connector project. As the story notes, it’s probably an uphill battle for two project alternatives that would run rail directly into and under the LAX terminals — an expensive and pricey proposition. While that will sure disappoint some, others say the other alternatives that would link the terminals to the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line would be more passenger-friendly and cost far less to build.

Metro considering fare hikes (Daily News)

The story includes some of the public testimony from yesterday’s Board meeting — in which the Board approved scheduling a hearing for the two fare restructuring proposals by Metro staff. No surprise here: the Bus Riders Union is against any kind of fare increases and accuses Metro of spending too much money on rail and highway projects while ignoring bus riders. If the point is that bus riders are more apt to be poor, the average annual household income for Metro bus riders in 2013 was $16,250 versus $20,770 for those who rode Metro rail, according to the agency’s latest customer survey.

CicLAvia announces 2014 schedule (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The Wilshire route returns on April 6 and the “Heart of L.A.” downtown route in October. New is a route for South L.A. on Dec. 7 that will link Leimert Park to the historic Central Avenue business district — a great idea! All three events should be easily accessible by Metro Rail.

In-N-Out Burger: we’re not coming to DTLA without a drive-thru location (DTLA Rising)

Good post by Brigham Yen who got In-N-Out to explain why they won’t consider putting a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles: they want an acre of land, at least 45 parking spaces and room for a drive-thru that can accommodate 15 cars. In other words, In-N-Out only wants to pursue suburban, car-centric locations.

Of course, it’s amazingly short-sighted and a bit stupid, as parking spaces don’t produce revenue and idling cars in drive-thrus are just kind of an out-dated (but perfectly legal) idea in a metropolis with some of the worst air in the nation, not to mention the whole climate change thing.

The worst part about it: an In-N-Out in a growing and transit-centric downtown L.A. would probably do just fine without parking or a drive-thru (imagine if In-N-Out was in Union Station). As Brigham notes, In-N-Outs in two urban locations — downtown Glendale and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco — are apparently doing just fine.\

BTW, about six million people who live in inland parts of Southern California — i.e. the ‘burbs that In-N-Out prefers — are breathing air that still does not meet federal clean-air standards, according to the L.A. Times.

Leimert Park, take II: 1992 (KCET)

An interesting look at Leimert Park Village, which Erin Aubrey Kaplan says remains a bright spot for the African American community but challenges remain in terms of keeping local businesses viable. As she notes, getting Metro to add a Leimert Park Village station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line was a victory for the community.

Mountain lion kitten killed by car (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page) 

Sad news; the kitten was killed on Kanan Road, which runs north-south in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Agoura Hills. However, rangers don’t believe the kitten was the offspring of one of the lions the park is tracking — the implicating being there may be additional lion(s) in the Santa Monica range.

Metro gets a nice cameo in new Alternative Travel Project video on getting around L.A. sans personal car

This video has been making the rounds since being posted earlier this month. It’s the work of the Alternative Travel Project, a group which advocates for — as the name implies — travel by transit, bike and foot. On the local front, the actress Stana Katic has been giving the group a helping hand and the group has been involved in pushing CicLAvia.

It’s a great video with Metro playing a supporting role — and it shows that cars are hardly the only travel choice in So Cal. Share it please.

Why Do You Ride, Walk or Roll? – Active Transportation Booth @ CicLAvia

At the 8th CicLAvia on Sunday, Metro distributed bicycle patch kits, blinkers, and maps while asking passing participants, “Why do you ride (a bike), walk, or roll?”

Some of the answers we received were: “because it’s cheaper,” “’cause it’s cooler than driving a car,” “burn fat, not oil,” “’cause it’s easier than driving through traffic” and “because it connects me to my neighborhood and gets me home quickly.”

Click on the pictures below to see some of the answers we received!

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, October 8

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!

Processed with VSCOcamI had a chance to tour the Hercules Campus at Playa Vista last night with the Westside Urban Forum. This is the old Hughes Aircraft Company site near the intersection of Jefferson and Centinela, including the hangar (above) where Hughes built the Spruce Goose. The hangar is looking for tenants as the big budget movies that have rented the space in recent years are increasingly filming outside California.

I love the campus — it’s a really nice mix of old buildings that have been renovated, some new structures and open space. It’s a little reminiscent of the Presidio, the old army base in San Francisco, except the Presidio is on a much larger scale.

The challenge, of course, is connecting the entire Playa Vista development — the commercial and residential second phase is now being built — with the city around it. There are certainly Metro buses and Culver City buses in the area. As Playa Vista grows, however, I think it would be interesting to see, at the least, really good peak hour service between Playa Vista and the Expo Line’s La Cienega station — it’s five miles between the two on Jefferson. 

There is a bike option. The Ballona Creek bike path runs just north of Playa Vista and can be used to ride to the La Cienega station. But it can be a little creepy and isolated in the flood control channel if alone and the path is decent, but I wouldn’t call it great and it’s not something I would recommend for anyone after dark.

Hitting CicLAvia on a pedicycle (L.A. Times)

An editorial board member with a busted foot gets a lift on a pedicycle and decides there’s no better way to experience the sights of DTLA. Excerpt:

Then I hobbled back to my car and drove home to the Westside. Within half an hour, I was weaving my way through Sunday afternoon traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard, gunning my car around slow drivers and shooting up Centinela looking for a faster way home, fuming at ill-timed traffic lights that seemed determined to make me trudge all the way.

What happened to my CicLAvia mellow? I thought back on all the slow-traffic-is-better talk I had heard and realized: I want to go as fast as I can in my car. Period.

OK, so I’m still struggling with the idea of Los Angeles melding cars and bikes. But I’m not alone, and the important thing is for us all to have this conversation about bikes and cars and sharing the road. Because we’re all here to stay.

Seems to me it’s been a pretty one-sided conversation for the past seven or eight decades. Cars get all the road space and pedestrians and cyclists could pretty much buzz off. Of course, we know how the region’s attempt at putting all its eggs in the car basket worked out — sort of badly, IMO.

More than 50 percent of city freight could move from truck to bike (Treehugger) 

As long as distances are reasonable and payloads are less than 400 pounds or so, according to new research from Europe. Hmm, this one sounds like a bit of a stretch to me, although fewer trucks certainly sounds appealing. Then again, a fleet of Costco bikes hauling millions of rolls of T.P. around town would be interesting.

Another reason not to build the hyperloop (The Atlantic Cities) 

The hyperloop is Elon Musk’s proposed substitute for high-speed rail in
California that would whisk people between L.A. and S.F. in 35 minutes. Excerpt from this article:

At a wide-ranging CityLab panel on the future of urban infrastructure, Sir Edward Lister, London’s deputy mayor for planning, spoke of the perils of chasing the next big thing. Responding to a question from transit consultant Jarrett Walker about generating support for a new infrastructure project, Lister cautioned against letting official eyes wander too far from the present.

“The trouble we always have, especially when dealing with government and trying to negotiate funding packages, is you always get this argument: you don’t want that scheme because this next scheme is going to be more modern, much faster, much cheaper,” he said. “Therefore you kill off the current scheme but you never quite get to the next scheme because another few years have rolled by. That is a danger. I’ve come to the conclusion that it almost doesn’t matter what you build, just build it. It always gets used and it gets used very quickly and fast becomes overcrowded. In any kind of mass transit operation, get moving with whatever you’ve got, which is current technology.”

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with high-speed rail technology. Trains are nice. They can be fast. The issue here involves the routing and politics — i.e. how much we’re willing to spend to make the train go really fast. If you can get me to San Francisco in five to six hours aboard a train, I’ll leave the Subaru at home.

CicLAvia on Instagram

A few photos from Metro’s Instagram stream and others; we’ll have some other photos later. Enjoy!

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