Transportation headlines, Wednesday, September 7

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.

First things first: Check out this incredible video of Los Angeles circa 1917. Keep an eye out for clips of streetcars and Angels Flight.

California State Assembly joins Senate and says: Give Me 3 (L.A. Streetsblog)

By a 41-20 vote, the California State Assembly approved S.B. 910, a bill that would require drivers to pass bicyclists by at least three feet. The bill was sponsored by Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), but L.A. should get a helping of credit too, says Streetsblog editor Damien Newton. After all, “it was a joint campaign of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Midnight Ridazz and LAPD that adopted the ‘Give Me 3’ postering campaign that became the slogan for S.B. 910 supporters.”

Bill pushes gas levy for congestion relief projects (Riverside Press-Enterprise)

More news from the Capitol: Thanks to existing state laws, raising taxes requires approval from two-thirds of the voters. That’s why Measure R needed, and got, at least 67% “yay” votes to pass in 2008. A new bill, however, proposes allowing regional planning agencies to ask local voters to approve new taxes for specific projects by a 50% margin. The hope is that this would give regions more control over the types of mobility projects they want to do, be they road repairs, bike paths, transit expansion — or anything else. Part of the assumption behind the bill is that citizens tend to be more supportive of taxes when they believe they’ll see immediate benefits.

Gold Line agency poses questions (Inland Empire Daily Bulletin)

The Gold Line Foothill Extension is presently funded only to its Phase 2A terminus in Azusa, though one day it could reach as far as Ontario Airport. If funding ever comes along for that latter segment, the Gold Line Construction Authority wants to have a plan in place and it’s asking Foothill cities to chip in on the planning costs. So far Rancho Cucamonga and Upland have balked, citing the concern that they won’t actually end up with stations in their respective cities — although determining where to put stations would be part of that very planning process.

7 replies

  1. Regarding the Gold Line extension, I believe I’ve seen this debate before, but is there a generally accepted “maximum distance” for a light rail line? Isn’t a ride from Ontario Airport to Union Station better accomplished by a limited-stop Metrolink train than a mode that’s designed for a stop every mile or so?

    What’s the thinking behind the push to extend the Gold Line that far east?

  2. So it’s going to cost only $1.50 for a person to ride 40 mi all the way from Ontario Airport to LA Union Station while another person on the Gold Line riding the 1/2 mi distance from Little Tokyo to Union Station pays the same $1.50?

    Seriously, flat rate is getting to be insane. And Metro wonders why they’re broke and continuously have to ask taxpayers for more money!!

  3. It Was Intresting Looking at a Old Video of Old Downtown Los Angeles If The City Of Los Angeles Would Keep Old & beautiful Historic buildings and Houses with out Distroing it and the Old City Hall back 100 Years ago to Today then The City Of Los Angeles Would Look Very Different With Different Skyscrspers, Light Rails and a Different Look.
    It would Look like Chicago,New York City Or San Francisco.

  4. Alex, I completely agree with you. I think a light rail line all the way to Ontario is not a good idea. People tend to forget that it is light rail, not a subway nor a fast train. It will go on the streets, and go about 55 mph. to go almost 40 miles on just light rail is overkill.

    A metrolink spur from the San Bernardino line is a much better option.

  5. The purpose of the light rail is to revitalize and connect communities. As American its a good question to ask why and for what purpose?

    I spent some time in London recently and what they have is an extensive subway and bus system that connects their entire metropolitan area. The general way of thinking, that we Americans have, is about efficiency, almost to the point where we forget to create options. The light rail is an option that, from a personal perspective, allows people to become part of a community. It is no doubt that neighborhoods will become more prosperous and urban sprawl will be curbed in order to create a better connection between the Los Angeles County area and the Inland Empire.

    I know I would much rather sit on a light rail train going 55mph for however long than have to pay for cab to take me to Los Angeles if I needed to, and I think other people would as well if they had no other options.

    If you’d like some more insight on traveling by rail look up the Pacific Electric Railway and you’ll discover that we have a history of traveling a little bit slower, mostly because you could go anywhere and that’s really all that matters, or mattered.

  6. @Angry Middle Class:

    I’ll be very surprised if LA Metro is still charging only flat fares when the Foothill Extension opens. That’s what the TAP card facilitates.

    P.S. It is really going to be an extension of the Blue Line if the “Regional Connector” is built.

  7. Yes, Ontario to Union Station would be quite far for light rail, but don’t forget the draw that Pasadena has and will have for riders on the extended Gold Line.
    It’s not all about just getting downtown.