Transportation headlines, Monday, Nov. 29

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 blog.

Bus-only lanes proposed for Wilshire Boulevard (Los Angeles Times)

L.A. Times reporter Martha Groves takes a look at the current status of the Wilshire BRT project and does a good job of getting up to speed for anyone who hadn’t heard about the bus lanes yet. Importantly, she notes that Wilshire Boulevard is the busiest transportation corridor in the county and that the peak-hour bus lanes would cut travel times 10 to 15 minutes from trips along the length of Wilshire.  The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on moving the project forward on Dec. 9, at which time it will weigh in on a requested exemption for a nearly one-mile stretch of Wilshire east of Westwood Village.

In Los Angeles, Big Step Ahead for Mass Transit (New York Times)

The Times’ California reporter takes an East Coast eye view of Measure R transit expansion in Los Angeles County. Attentive readers will recognize many of the topics that he touches on: the Crenshaw Corridor, tunneling in Beverly Hills and 30/10 Initiative financing.   Robert B. Cervero, director of the University of California Transportation Center, makes the point that the key factor in transit ridership is really how long one’s trip takes on transit. If bus or rail is quicker than driving, then people will opt for transit. A trip from Westwood to downtown L.A. would be twice as fast on the proposed subway than the same trip by car at rush hour.

Time for L.A. to pay the toll? (Daily Breeze)

The Daily Breeze editorial board weighs the pros and cons of L.A. County’s ExpressLanes project that will allow single motorists to use carpool lanes on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways for a toll.  While ultimately offering support for “any attempt to speed up the region’s traffic,” they express reservations about a system that might end up being a providence only of the wealthy. In regards to the ExpressLanes (also known as HOT lanes in many quarters), it is important to keep in mind that every driver currently driving on a congested freeway is forced to pay for that trip with his or her own time — time that could be spent working to earn more money or spent with friends and family. With a system of HOT lanes, drivers of all income levels will have the option to pay money to save time.  And by its very nature, time is the least renewable resource we have.