Transportation headlines, Tuesday, January 19

It’s hard not to be a grumpy bear when it rains like this, so naturally I started my morning with a story from the San Diego Union-Tribune about the roll-out there of plastic, reusable fare cards that are tapped against machines that read them. Riders don’t seem to like them much and they can only be used to store monthly passes; transit officials say they can be used to track ridership patterns and emphasize they can be reused — just like a credit card. In the meantime, buses and trains still take cash and paper tickets. Sound familiar, anyone? Transit officials say on the Compass Card website that “in the future” riders will be able to add variable amounts, meaning that riders in San Diego will be able to do something you could do many, many, many, many years ago in Washington D.C.

Motorists on the northbound 110 through downtown know the drill: first traffic stacks up on the right side of the freeway due to the congested 101 interchange. Then traffic backs up on the left side due to the congested exit to the northbound 5. The L.A. Times explains Caltrans’ new solution — adding a “dynamic” second lane to the 5 exit that will be activated during rush hours and marked with lights. Sounds smart, but as the story acknowledges there are still some motorists blocking the regular lanes on the 110 by trying to cut into the exit lanes at the last second.

The Pasadena Star News has an editorial that says the Gold Line should be extended to both Whittier and South El Monte — not one or the other. The extension is a Measure R project and is currently under study by Metro officials who have yet to select a preferred route. Both would cost over $1 billion due to the fact there are long stretches that likely have to be elevated; the Star News doesn’t mention where the money would come from to build both lines. Here’s a link to the project page on Metro’s website.

Tired of seeing concrete everywhere you look? The Downtown News has a story about four park proposals in downtown L.A. — which sorely needs greenspace — and the Santa Monica Daily Press takes a look at a plan to build a park over the Santa Monica Freeway in downtown S.M. All still need dollars to become reality.

The rest of today’s headlines, from the Metro library, are after the jump.

Agencies Work Out Kinks In Compass: Transit Card To Get Full Rollout In Spring
San Diego Union-Tribune

Alameda Corridor East Hoping For Federal, State And County Money
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Big Blue Bus City’s Biggest Liability
Santa Monica Daily Press

A Big Train Fan Tracks A Really Big Train: Railroad Enthusiast Joe Perry Got Wind Of An 18,000-Foot-Long “Monster” Freight Train Heading to Los Angeles. He Shot Videos – As Well As What Might Be The Only Still Photo Of The Entire Behemoth
Los Angeles Times

Caltrans Revives Plan For A New 405 Interchange
(at Arbor Vitae near LAX)
Daily Breeze
Environmental documents

Caltrans Takes The Road Less Costly To Ease Gridlock: The Agency Hopes That Lights, Signs And New Lane Flexibility Can Help The Interchange Of The 110 And 5 Freeways
Los Angeles Times

Cities Develop Alternative Bus Networks To Combat Perceived Disadvantages Of Mainline Routes
Transport Politic

City Hall To Take First Step On Freeway Capping Plan
Santa Monica Daily Press

Cleaner Buses Can Create Jobs, Improve The Environment
Transportation For America
Full-text report (34p. PDF)

The Coolest Park & Ride Ever (Portland takes cues from L.A. as an interdisciplinary team of urban designers, architects, and analysts have proposed a neo-retro-futurist scenario for making downtown nearly car-free by 2050)

Cutting Transit Means Cutting Independence
DC StreetsBlog

The Downtown Park Push: Community Largely Devoid Of Green Space Sees Four New Proposed Projects
Los Angeles Downtown News

The High Cost Of Free Parking: The Movie
Human Transit

High-Speed Rail: Toward Least Worst Projections
New Geography

HSR Doesn’t Have To Be Strange And Unfamiliar
California High Speed Rail Blog

Integrating Bus Rapid Transit Into The Streetscape
Transport Politic

Last Year’s Bike Summit Morphs Into This Year’s StreetSummit
LA StreetsBlog

Metrolink Cuts Up To 60% Of Service On Some OC Train Lines; Is OCTA To Blame?
TransitRider OC

Our View: Back The Regional Park-And-Ride
Pasadena Star-News

Our View: Two Tracks For Gold Line East
Pasadena Star-News

Port Chief: Long Beach Needs A New Bridge
Southern California Public Radio

Rosa Parks Gets A Facelift (Community workshops outline improvements for the second most-used station in L.A. Metro’s system where Blue Line and Green Line meet)
Plus Metro

SO.CA.TA Wants Your Help Gathering Signatures To Get Transit Protections On The Ballot
LA StreetsBlog

Speed Sensors On Red-Light Cameras Could Raise Money Fast
Los Angeles Times

The Stigma, Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bus
Riding In Riverside

Updates On SoCal To Vegas HSR
California High Speed Rail Blog

Vaporizing The Gas Tax Myth

Categories: Transportation News