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! 


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.

Metro Podcast: the Hollywood Pantages, California Science Center and DTLA Night Market–all places you can TAP and save

Photos: Aurea Adao/Metro

The second-ever Metro podcast covers the Hollywood Pantages, the DTLA Night Market and the California Science Center‘s Pompeii: the Exhibition. Learn about what’s playing at the Pantages, what kind of food you can expect at the night market,  the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Pompeii and more!


Keep reading after the jump for details on how to save money at–and go Metro to–all three places.

Continue reading

Go Metro and save on Tuesday evening shows to The Lion King

The Lion King will be gracing the Hollywood Pantages Theatre stage from Nov. 20 through Jan. 12. During its run, Metro riders will be able to save 15% on tickets to Tuesday evening shows.

Show your valid TAP card and mention the promo code METRO at the box office when purchasing or picking up tickets to receive the 15% discount on orchestra seats for every Tuesday evening show. Use promo code METRO when purchasing tickets online. Offer is only available while supplies last.

The exclusive discount is part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program and cannot be combined with any other offers. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

To get to the Hollywood Pantages, take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Vine Station or Metro Rapid 780 to Argyle/Hollywood. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Ready or not, here comes Santa Claus…save on grandstand seating with Metro

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving…and the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which takes place Sunday, December 1 this year. The parade will start in front of the TCL Chinese Theatres and travel east on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Vine Street and west on Sunset Boulevard before returning to the starting point. Festivities begin at 5 p.m.

Free curbside seating is available along most the parade route, and the easiest way to get to the parade is on the Metro Red Line. Both Hollywood/Highland Station and Hollywood/Vine Station will put you right along the parade route.

But if you want to watch the pre-parade performances and not worry about getting crowded out, you can buy grandstand tickets. Single-seat tickets start at $45, and you can get a $5 discount with Metro. Just use the code “Santa” when purchasing tickets.

The exclusive discount is part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program and cannot be combined with any other offers. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

Bus detours for the parade will be in effect in the vicinity of Hollywood Boulevard due to set-up and tear down of grandstands as well as during the parade. More details will be posted as we get closer to the parade date. For information on bus detours, check Metro’s Service Advisories or follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles and @metroLAalerts.

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – doing serious advocacy work with serious style

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!

Maria Sipin was nominated by her sister Andrea for maintaining an impeccable standard of style on her 10-mile bicycle commute to and from the Metrolink station every day — “Not only does she ride in her chambray dress and ballet flats with ease, but she makes helmet hair disappear instantly,” Andrea told us.

We’ve always been impressed by Maria’s ability to integrate her passion for bicycling — she is a certified League Cycling Instructor and a bicycle advocate with the Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition — with her work as a disease prevention specialist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where she encourages youth to bicycle for health and independence.

Name: Maria Sipin
Start: Walnut
End: Hollywood
Distance: 5 miles bicycling +  Metrolink + Metro (one way)
Time: 1 hour (including time on the train)

Maria poses with her bike at Venice Beach.

Maria and her hybrid city bicycle at CicLAvia to the Sea in April.

Maria tells us more about her bike advocacy (and shares some fashion tips with us — we can always use those at Metro) after the jump. Continue reading

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, September 17

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed. Have a transportation-related article you want 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: A foggy Arroyo Seco and Pasadena Freeway as seen from the Gold Line this morning.

Gas prices surpass $3 a gallon for 1,000 consecutive days in longest streak ever (AAA) 

The national average has not dipped under $3 since Dec. 22, 2010, and AAA writes, “AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3.00 per gallon for at least another thousand days barring a major economic recession.” The current national average is $3.52 and the average has been above $3.50 during most of the 1,000 days,
AAA notes. Of course, gas prices are always higher in California because of the special blend used here to reduce smog. Need a more fuel efficient car? Study the numbers for different models at and reduce your gas use and car depreciation costs by using transit, a bike or your feet every so often.

25 skyscrapers set to alter the city’s skyline (Curbed LA)

The headline is a little misleading: as the article notes, plans for some of the planned buildings in our region have been around for many years and there’s little sign they’re going forward. Of the 25 buildings that on paper are 20 stories or more, 14 are in downtown L.A., four in Hollywood, four in Century City, two in downtown Santa Monica and one in Koreatown.

Only a handful are under construction. Good news: as far as I can tell everything on the list is close to a current or future Metro Rail line and numerous bus lines.

Union Station: a half-baked master plan (Steven White: the Accidental Urbanist) 

While he believes there are some good ideas in the ongoing master plan process, Steven writes that he was hoping for a few more details and particulars than drawings showing the orientation of a future bus terminal, passenger concourse and other development. I totally understand the desire for more details, but I think it’s important to understand that the master plan at this time is trying to work out the big stuff — the basic concepts about what-goes-where on the Union Station campus.

SEPTA warns of major cuts unless state hands over money (WCAU-Philadelphia)

The agency that serves the Greater Philadelphia says it will have to cut nine of 13 rail lines and truncate some of the others in the next decade unless state lawmakers agree to $500 million in desperately needed funding for maintenance and repairs. The funding was agreed to in Pennsylvania’s Senate, but the House so far has refused. A Republican spokesman accused SEPTA of using the cuts as a PR stunt and said the funding shortfall is a local, not state, issue.

Transportation headlines, Friday, Feb. 22

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.

ART OF TRANSIT: A Gold Line train bound for East Los Angeles crosses the 1st Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River on Wednesday afternoon. Click above to see larger. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: A Gold Line train bound for East Los Angeles crosses the 1st Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River on Wednesday afternoon. Click above to see larger. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Where the Los Angeles mayoral candidates stand: transportation (Los Angeles Times) 

Best breakdown I’ve seen yet on where the major candidates stand on a variety of issues, including project acceleration, lowering the voter threshold for transportation tax increases,  rail versus buses, the route for the Westside Subway Extension in Century City (i.e. should it tunnel under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus), a 710 tunnel, adding more toll lanes in Los Angeles County and moving the north runway at LAX, among other questions. While the candidates often agree, there are certainly differences. Put down your jelly donuts and read this, people and/or voters!!

Mapping the end of the road on the 405 (ZevWeb) 

Good piece on Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website about the Sepulveda Pass project on the 405. The gist of it: many elements of the project will be finished this year but one challenging section around Montana Avenue and Church Lane will see work carry over into 2014. In that area, utility relocations have been particularly problematic.

Motor vehicle fatality estimates: 2012 sees five percent increase (National Safety Council) 

These are early estimates — usually the federal government takes about a year to compile all the information and come up with a firmer number. California fared worse than the nation with the state seeing an estimated seven percent increase in deaths from 2011 to 2012, with 2,994 fatalities. 

Five ways to make public transit awesome (Mother Nature Network) 

Writer Chris Turner says it’s no surprise transit often fails to capture the public’s imagination — too often bus stops and train stations are designed as little more than an afterthought. His suggestions include making the bus stop a sanctuary, a cafe and/or a community gathering place. Check out a very cool photo with the post of a transit line and green space in Germany.

The mayoral candidate video series: Eric Garcetti (L.A. Streetsblog) 

The fourth part of Streetsblog’s interviews with the five leading mayoral candidates is with Councilman Eric Garcetti, who discusses the Metro Board and busways.