Transportation headlines, Thursday, Dec. 6

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.

60 freeway to be closed this weekend, as bridge is demolished (Los Angeles Times)

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. Thursday — Caltrans just announced they will re-open the 60 freeway by Friday evening commute.

The 60 Freeway is expected to remain closed this weekend in both directions between the 605 and the 710 freeways as work crews demolish the Paramount Boulevard Bridge, following a Wednesday fuel tanker fire that ignited as the tanker was heading east on the freeway. The vehicle, which was carrying 8,800 gallons of gasoline, eventually came to a stop under the bridge, where it burned for several hours. The bridge sustained significant damage and will need to be rebuilt. Thankfully, the driver and a passenger were able to exit the truck without injury. About 220,000 motorists use the freeway daily, according to state transportation officials.

Chandler Boulevard bike lanes rolling our way soonest (LADOT Bike Blog)

Excellent news for Valley bike riders. Chandler Boulevard will soon be getting bike lanes to fill the gap between Leghorn Street and Woodman Avenue … possibly this weekend. The project will extend the existing Chandler Boulevard Orange Line bike lanes for about one mile, creating a continuous 4.8 mile east-west lane between Van Nuys Boulevard and Vineland Avenue. (2.7 miles from Vineland to Leghorn and 1.2 miles from Van Nuys Blvd. to Woodman.) As anyone who bikes in the Valley knows, tree-lined Chandler Boulevard is a beautiful place to ride and this new lane is going to make the experience safer and better.

TriMet says crackdown on fare cheaters is a success, even if it hasn’t quite paid for itself (Oregonian)

The problem is universal: How to get everyone who rides transit to pay for that ride. In Portland,OR the transit agency’s four-month crackdown on fare cheaters has been a success, even though it isn’t quite covering the cost of the crackdown, according to TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. 

Downtowns where parking lots thrive (Skyscraper Page)

This quirky collection of aerial photographs of U.S. cities shows how much of some urban centers are dedicated to parking. Alas, Los Angeles isn’t in there but assuming the little red squares pointing out the parking lots and empty spaces in other cities are accurate, it’s pretty interesting to compare, say, Boston, which is known for embracing mass transit, with Houston, which tends to rank toward the top on the Texas Transportation Institute “worst traffic” list. The page doesn’t say which came first — lots or transit — but ongoing studies indicate that cities with limited and expensive parking encourage mass transit commuting, while cities with an abundance of low-cost parking tend to encourage driving.

Transit researchers have a brand new tool (Metro Transportation Library Primary Resources Blog)

Times change and so does technology.  After 11 years on the previous system, the Metro Library has rolled out a new online public access catalog tool. So now transit junkies (like us) can more easily research questions about L.A. transit and transportation projects and programs, as well as a wide array of historical information on transit. Check it out.

3 replies

  1. One third of downtown Los Angeles real estate is parking. Does that put the city on the side of encouraging driving or encouraging transit?

  2. Wish Metro, Metrolink, Caltrans, and other transit agencies had better informed the public about options and alternatives.
    In the future, Metro should deploy special temporary bus routes for a closure such as this. Running any available Rapids, OrangeLiners, SilverLiners, and FTA’s SilveStreaks in the gap area. A united press confrence with details about the special lines (running to and from the GoldLine Eastside, El Monte Sta., Montebello’s important locations, the Punte Hills mall, etc.) would have held big time.

    There was no mention of the closure on Metro’s home page for hours and hours. 🙁
    This has been a missed oppoutunity for Transit.

  3. Trying to catch fare evaders by hiring more fare inspectors is a huge waste of taxpayer money. You can’t keep on hiring more cops forever at the expense of taxpayers more so if citations doesn’t cover the cost of more officers.

    As gas prices rise and more people take to public transit, sooner or later the number of transit riders start to overwhelm the fare checking ability of officers. Per every officer, how many fare evaders can they catch? In addition, what’s the number of fare evaders that get away while a cop is writing a citation for another person? How do you deal with a situation where an officer is busy writing citations when a mugging is going on the other end of the platform. What’s the solution then, add more officers? Overall it starts to become a cat-and-mouse game that’s totally inefficient. What are you going to do; station hundreds of police officers at 7th/Metro to deal with hundreds of thousands of riders per day? Well I certainly didn’t see thousands of officers checking fares in Shinjuku Station where they have MILLIONS of people going through that station every DAY.

    The simplest solution is to just add fare gates. Leave the redundant task of checking fares to machines. For what it’s worth, the honor system was a joke to begin with and now we’re paying billions in more in taxpayers dollars trying to fix this headache.