Transportation headlines, Thursday, May 20

Here’s a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog. Don’t forget you can also follow the Metro Library on Facebook and Twitter.

A guide to subway safety (Gawker)

For all the controversy about the safety of at-grade light rail in Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget that all rail – even a grade-separated subway like New York City’s – can be deadly. Did you know that in the last six months three people have been killed on the NYC subway system by hopping on the tracks to grab something they dropped?  And that each year in NYC about 90 people are hit by subway trains and about half of those collisions end up being deadly. Gawker provides a semi-serious list of tips on being safe around the subway. Here’s the larger lesson: trains – whether on the streets, in a tunnel or elevated – are big, fast and deadly and it pays to respect this (and stay off the tracks) if you want to stay safe.

L.A. Streetcar announces fundraiser and video campaign (blogdowntown)

The promotional blitz for the proposed Downtown L.A. streetcar has been put into motion. On September 30th L.A. Streetcar, Inc. is planning a fundraiser with some local VIP’s – Councilmember Jose Huizar, philanthropist Eli Broad, popular mall developer Rick Caruso and AEG CEO Tim Leiweke. An ad campaign is already appearing on the streets of Downtown and a promotion video is in the works. Supporters of the project are encouraged to visit the website and sign up to be interviewed for the video. If all goes well, officials hope the $100 million project will be running down Broadway in 2014.

New turnstiles at the Lake Avenue Gold Line Station. Photo: Brigham Yen.

Photo: Brigham Yen.

New turnstiles at Lake Ave Gold Line Station (Pasadena Real Estate with Brigham Yen)

Blog savvy and transit aware real estate agent Brigham Yen reports that turnstiles have been installed at the Lake Avenue Gold Line Station in Pasadena. FYI, the Lake Avenue Station is one of those that’s smack in the middle of the freeway. Brigham snapped a few pictures of the turnstiles, one of which I’ve posted here.

Sidewalk cycling draw frowns from city planners and cycling enthusiasts (Pasadena Star-News)

While it may seem safer to bike on the sidewalks – after all pedestrians are sure a lot less scary than speeding cars – bicycle advocates and urban planners say that’s just not the case. And oddly, even on the sidewalk the biggest danger is still those hulking cars. Most collisions occur when a bicyclist is riding along the sidewalk at a steady clip, crosses an intersection and surprises a driver making a right hand turn – a driver who was paying attention to the road, not the sidewalk. Another more obvious danger is that fact that sidewalks are filled with pedestrians, and although the collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian might not be as gorey or deadly as with a car, it’s still something that should be avoided. The answer to the sidewalk vs. street conundrum? Bicycle lanes. But that takes political will to get the infrastructure completed.