Metro Board approves $3.7 million in grants for ‘Open Streets’ events around L.A. County

The $3.7 million in grants awarded by the Board helps cover the expense of 12 ‘open streets’ type events in the next two fiscal years. These are events in which streets are typically closed to motor traffic and opened, as the name implies, to pedestrians and cyclists. In other words, events similar to the CicLAvia events that have been very popular in L.A. the past few years.

Events in the following cities received funding: Carson, Culver City, Downey, El Monte Huntington Park, Lawndale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Pasadena, Santa Monica and South Pasadena.

The staff report below shows the 12 cities/jurisdictions that were awarded money. Although advocates for Long Beach asked for funding for a second event, Metro officials noted that guidelines prioritized funding one event per city before funding multiple events in the same city.

Transportation headlines, Friday, June 13

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! 

Metro is running longer trains than usual this evening to serve those headed downtown to attend or watch Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Kings and the Rangers and the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game. If the Kings win tonight, the Stanley Cup sticks around Southern California for an extended stay. If not, the Cup catches a flight back to New York for Game 6 on Monday night. That is not a highly desirable proposition :)

Editorial: Bullet train scam is a bad budget deal (Oakland Tribune)

“Scam” is a pretty strong word, but the Trib’s editorial board doesn’t like the budget deal that would allocate 25 percent of the state’s future cap-and-trade revenues to the high-speed rail program. Their big beef: they don’t believe the bullet train would help cut California greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as is the goal. Excerpt:

Even the most starry-eyed believers in the bullet train would not claim it’ll be running in six years, let alone producing cost-effective environmental gains. Using cap-and-trade revenues for this purpose is legally questionable at best. Critics from the start said the revenue would just become a slush fund, and Brown wants to prove them right.

The Legislature should set rigorous, performance-based standards for the use of cap-and-trade dollars to achieve the goal by 2020. Fortunately, there are plenty of feasible projects that would, for example, increase affordable housing near employment centers to cut long commutes and expand cities’ public transit. Both could swiftly produce gains.

The budget deal reportedly would send only 15 percent of the cap-and-trade money to local transportation projects, 20 percent to affordable housing and the remaining 40 percent to a combination of energy and natural resources projects. All of these could pay off by 2020.

Actually, even getting local transit projects that aren’t funded built by 2020 is probably a stretch given the time it takes to do environmental studies, planning and construction these days. That said, this editorial hits a good public policy question: is money better spent on connecting cities by rail or on rail projects that serve daily commuters?

New CicLAvias to hit the road (ZevWeb)

A look at Metro’s Open Streets grant program to help cities in Los Angeles County cover the expense of CicLAvia-type events. Applications have been turned into Metro and, ZevWeb reports, events in the next couple of years are planned for Santa Monica, Long Beach, Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley.

BART sets fare at $6 for new airport connector service (KTVU.com)

The BART Board voted to impose $6 fares on the new airport train connecting BART to the airport terminals. It was the most expensive of the options considered. Officials say they may offer promotional fares. BART projects that about 3,200 people each day will use the service at about a $5 million annual loss to the agency.

The ridiculous politics that slow down America’s best BRT project (Streetsblog USA) 

The 7.1-mile Healthline in Cleveland takes about 44 minutes to cover that distance despite being called bus rapid transit. Why? Poor signal timing overseen by the city of Cleveland. It’s proven to be a popular bus route but is only marginally faster than the route it replaced.

Brazil averts transit strike on eve of World Cup (Associated Press) 

Union officials got cold feet, saying they may not be ready for a confrontation with police.

How airlines are sticking it to travelers, in six charts (Atlantic CityLab) 

No news here if you’ve been flogged by the airline industry recently. I recently paid United Airlines $25 to keep my bag at LAX while I flew to Cincinnati — after checking in curb-side 75 minutes before my flight. To United’s credit, they refunded me the 25 clams after it took 24-plus hours for my bag to catch up with me.

 

Metro Bike Night at Union Station: it’s a wrap!

From the Snap Yourself Bike Night photo booth, check out more photos from the event here!

Metro hosted its first-ever Bike Night at Union Station last Friday and more than 750 people came to check it out. Thanks to all who attended–we hope you had a great time! And if you weren’t able to come, here’s a sample of what you missed:

 

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.

[View the story "@Metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, April 8 edition" on Storify]

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

untitled

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

ciclavia_map_2014_0406

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.

Continue reading

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.