Transportation headlines, Friday, July 22

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.

Brucker meets with Villaraigosa for MTA talk (Beverly Hills Patch)

The mayors of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles met briefly Thursday to discuss the location of the Century City subway station on the Westside Subway Extension, according to the Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker. Many in Beverly Hills, Brucker, prefer a Century City station on Santa Monica Boulevard that would not require the route to go under Beverly Hills High School. Mayor Villaraigosa told LA Streetsblog on Wednesday that he wants to wait until Metro releases its final environmental report before he decides which one he prefers. According to Patch, Mayor Brucker is attempting to sweeten the pot for a Santa Monica Blvd. station by offering to sites in Beverly Hills for Metro to build a park-and-ride lot for the Century City stop.

The Carmageddon tweet that cost skateboard company $7,000 (L.A. Times)

Lost in the flurry of #bikesvsplane tweets during Carmageddon was this one by the skateboard company Santa Monica Airlines: “SANTA MONICA AIRLINES will give $100 for every MINUTE the bikes beat the plane by!!..DO THIS THING!” Well, as you may recall, the bikes drubbed the plane and finished well over an hour ahead of Jet Blue’s greenhouse gas spewing special flight. But the company’s owner, Anthony Converse, kept his promise and sold one of his cars to produce the seven grand, which he donated to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Why are our bridges made in China? (The Atlantic)

In this editorial, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (former lieutenant’s governor of Maryland) makes an impassioned plea for a renewed national commitment to infrastructure investment. The status quo isn’t cutting it, according to Kennedy: America’s infrastructure quality has fallen to 23rd place in the world, our outstanding repairs budget is $2 trillion and we spend 20 percent less than we did 40 years ago. A good step in the right direction? Create an infrastructure bank to help finance projects based on merit and put unemployed construction workers back to work.

3 replies

  1. I agree with the sentiments of RayS, but the sad, real fact of life is that, to my observation, whenever Metro opens a parking garage (park and ride), ridership increases noticeably. One must consider, and is especially the case in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood area, that many who would like to use Metro rail don’t because they live in an area or enclave or in the hills that makes taking a bus NOT PRACTICAL. Add to that the fact that there is fair degree of inefficiency (some call it time wasted) by taking a bus even if it does run near where these wanna be users live. They support more Metro rail, but, for their own, personal reasons, many prefer the option to DRIVE to a park and ride, and you will NEVER get some of them to take Metro rail otherwise.

    I can tell you that as public transit proponents who want to see rail everywhere, while we lived just a mile from the Wilshire/Western Red Line station and did take the bus or walked to the station when we had the time, whenever we had the opportunity we always DROVE the one-mile to that station (in parking that no longer exists along 6th steer) because Line 16 for 5 blocks and 207 for another 4 blocks was such a long, arduous PITA that sucked up more time than it was worth (mostly 207 was the problem) and doing this is summer heat or at night as we would sometimes return to Wilshire/Western by 9PM and we didn’t fancy waiting in that area for extended periods at night, and piss away the mountain of time it takes to get back with headways being INfrequent. We would be home in less than 5 minutes by car, tired from the day, but glad to be home for more time to relax, snack and wind down to do our things before going to bed.

    I would love it if we could all take a bus to rail, but the Los Angeles area is FILLED with so many hills, and tucked away areas where people live, that the only realistically practical way of using rail is to drive to the station. Perhaps some other time I can tell you of when we lived in South Pasadena and how the only practical way for us to use Gold Line was to DRIVE to Fillmore station for some of the same reasons as in Hancock Park, but with the added burden of NO bus service to the station within our walking distance to buses serving our tucked away location.

    In fact, I am asked constantly by those who don’t have bus service easily accessable to them (older folks, especially) where they can drive to park their car and take the rail because they would LOVE to take the Metro. Alas, no parking options for them. You know what they did? They drove to the destination. So, if we area stubborn about NOT having park and rides, then too many people still spew just as much pollution into the air. But, if we provide the parking option, there will be a significant DROP in such pollution as people would be using rail for the majority of commute.

    Unfortunately, cars are still a fact of life here and we have to do all we can to ENTICE and make ATTRACTIVE and provide OPTIONS to commuters so that everyone can have the opportunity to use Metro, not to adopt a “you should always take the bus to the station” mentality when, often, the bus is not a viable option.

  2. While I understand those who prefer the CC station in the center of CC, I am in favor of the Santa Monica Blvd station option because it will make transferring to buses much easier, and that would serve more people, as one report states. This means that most people using the CC station won’t have the high-paying jobs at Merill Lynch or other investment banks nor the talent agencies nor entertainment law offices that currently infest Century City nor will we see the millionaires who live in Century City condos or apartments ever use the Metro even once in their lives. What we will see is most people using a CC station as a transfer point linking bus and rail and routing buses (such as the Santa Monica blvd. line) into, and then out of the center of CC will cut into efficiency. Instead a Santa Monica Blvd. station could be designed as smaller “Union Station” approach with connecting MTA Santa Monica Blvd. buses just steps away and DASH like bus service shuttling people from the station to the MANY points and buildings in CC, including the entertainment portion located south and quite a long walk away from a proposed center of CC station. The wealthy corporate and residential folks could even build themselves a “streetcar” running from the Santa Monica Blvd. station. If the far less wealthy interests of Broadway can get a streetcar going, CC should be able to do it even better.

    In fact, getting to the entertainment portion, which would be used by more people overall, would have MUCH easier access by taking an MTA bus along Santa Monica Blvd. However, most people would have destinations further along Santa Monica Blvd. in both directions westward up to Santa Monica and eastward to at least West Hollywood.

    Now, a dream, pie in the sky would be if there would be a grade separated busway running above or with underpasses that allow bus lines on Santa Monica Blvd., Melrose, Beverly, and Line 16 to all converge at Santa Monica Blvd. busway providing frequent headways to a CC station at Santa Monica Blvd.

    Simply put, the priority isn’t just about a destination to the ivory towers of the affluent and wealthy, but also, primarily, about the ease of bus transfer and that “last mile” most riders–supporting by Metro’s own reports–need to make an efficient and ATTRACTIVE option. Century City tower workers will still be served by connecting transit or that streetcar taking them steps to their lobby. That’s how it’s done downtown, and it works very well.

  3. A Park & Ride lot to access a Century City station? The whole point of the subway is to get people to travel to Century City by mass transit not invite more cars to drive there.