Transportation headlines, Monday, July 18

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.

“Mission Accomplished:” L.A. survives Carmageddon (L.A. Times)

I have to admit I winced a little when I heard a certain mayor utter the “mission accomplished” line — perhaps not the association we want, sir! Anyway, this is a nice wrap-up story of the planned 53-hour closure of the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass that turned into a closure of about 35 1/2 hours when contractors finished work early and were rewarded with an extra $300,000 in incentive pay. The kicker quote comes from a gent in Westwood who looks at the empty streets there and predicts “Monday is going to be hell again.” Yep.

Carmageddon creates jobs (L.A. Observed)

While many folks were focusing on when the 405 would reopen, the writer Bill Boyarsky saw the work on the Mulholland Bridge and saw jobs — jobs badly needed in L.A. County where unemployment is running at 12 percent.

With few funds, what are transport agencies to do (Transport Politic)

Yonah Freemark surveys the proposed U.S. House transportation bill and comes away a wee bit underwhelmed, if not downright despondent — it’s just another hit for the nation’s transit agencies, he believes. What can the agencies do?, he asks. Excerpt:

There is no easy answer to this question, but one almost inevitable fact is that transit agencies have four basic choices: Reduce service, increase fares, ask for new revenues, or attempt some combination of the aforementioned three. These are all bad options: The first will make public transportation less convenient for everyone who relies on it; the second will increase its cost; and the third will demand sacrifice from either taxpayers or other public services. With a flustered economy and limited likelihood of quick growth in the near future, however, these are what is available.

Lawmakers push for electronic ads on Santa Monica buses (L.A. Times)

At the request of Santa Monica officials, state lawmakers are pushing legislation to allow electronic ads on buses. Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) introduced the legislation and says it’s a way to help transit agencies struggling to raise revenue. However, one critic of the idea says it’s just creating a different kind of distraction for drivers — who, of course, are not supposed to be playing with their own electronic devices while behind the wheel.