Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 3

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South L.A. needs trees (L.A. Times) 

The editorial despairs the loss of about 135 trees along Crenshaw Boulevard to accommodate construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line but also says the train is an important project. A city of Los Angeles streetscape plan to follow construction is vital, says the editorial.

Westside subway survives legal challenge from Beverly Hills (L.A. Times) 

Coverage of yesterday’s Superior Court ruling in favor of Metro in a pair of state lawsuits brought by the city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District against the Purple Line Extension. Reporter Laura Nelson this morning tweeted an update: the Beverly Hills City Attorney said a decision whether to appeal is still to come. Here’s our post with the ruling, links to the complaints and background on the issue.

UPDATE: LAT reporter Laura Nelson on Boston radio and on KPCC. And CurbedLA on the news.

Beverly Hills City Council approves two permits for Metro (Beverly Hills Weekly)

Outside of court, life goes on and the City Council on Tuesday approved two permits for Metro to conduct utility relocation work near the future Wilshire/La Cienega station. The city and Metro continue to work on a master agreement that will govern when and how construction is done in the city, according to the Weekly.

Watch the Wilshire bus lane stretching westward to Highland (Curbed LA)

And, speaking of Wilshire Boulevard, city of Los Angeles workers are making progress on the construction of the peak hour bus lane that will operate on parts of Wilshire between the Santa Monica-Los Angeles border and just west of downtown. Rebuilt lanes should hopefully make for a smoother ride for the 20 and 720 buses instead of the sometimes kidney-rattling journey of present.

Metrolink, Metro propose more express trains for busy San Bernardino County line (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Studies are underway to add more express trains — although it would require double-tracking some parts of the alignment. The project is still unfunded. There is currently one express train in each direction between San Bernardino and L.A. with a 65-minute run time compared to the usual one hour, 50 minute run time. The downtowns of the two cities are about 60 miles apart, btw.

Is effective transit possible in a transit-hostile city (Transport Politic)

The city is Nashville, where a big and nasty dispute has erupted over a 7.1-mile bus rapid transit project. Among the fears: the loss of regular traffic lanes. No word yet on where Reyna James, ex-hubby Mayor Teddy and Juliet Barnes stand on the matter.

Reminder: Metro hosting community meetings this Thursday to discuss ongoing and future work on Wilshire/La Cienega station

SubwayMtg1

Subway Mtg2

Metro is holding a pair of community meetings on Feb. 13 to discuss utility relocation and other work that needs to be done in preparation for construction of the Purple Line Extension’s Wilshire/La Cienega station.

Metro has a “Master Cooperative Agreement” with the city of Los Angeles that governs how Metro and the city will work together during subway construction, including each parties’ responsibilities, timelines and how Metro will reimburse the city for its time.

Metro is hoping to also get such an agreement with Beverly Hills. In the meantime, the Beverly Hills City Council has required that they review each permit request. The Feb. 13 meetings are being held to help inform the public about the work that needs to be done.

Here’s the latest presentation given to Purple Line Extension’s Advisory Group with updates on current work

The Advisory Group of the Purple Line Extension had a community meeting last night for the latest update on the project that is extending the subway for 3.9 miles from Wilshire & Western to Wilshire & La Cienega.

The presentation is posted above. Updates were provided on current work on the project (including utility relocations and the exploratory shaft), systemwide station design principles and Metro’s art program, including upcoming workshops for artists who may want to be considered for Metro art opportunities on the subway project or other projects.

Sewer relocation work continues along Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor

Continued Relo Sewer 59th Pl 4.22.13

Regional Connector crews uncover streetcar rails on Spring Street

Photo: Metro.

Photo: Metro.

Check it out: While doing utility relocation work for the Regional Connector on Thursday in downtown L.A., crews found some old (presumably) streetcar rails between 1st and 2nd streets. There are still a lot of railroad tracks embedded in streets on the eastern and more industrial side of downtown, but I can’t recall seeing rails in downtown proper.