Five things I’m thinking about transportation, Feb. 8 edition

Having read a lot of the press and comment boards concerning the report by Beverly Hills’ consultants on tunneling safety for the Westside Subway Extension, I encourage those interested to actually read the report itself. Some of the discussion is technical in nature, but I think everyone should make their own decisions about what the report actually says and doesn’t say about Metro’s work thus far on seismic and tunneling safety for the project.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at Tuesday's news conference at Union Station about high-speed rail.

Interesting news conference by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday, with LaHood and Metro officials touting the California high-speed rail project. It’s interesting that even in the face of much criticism from Congress, the Obama Administration is sticking with its high-speed plan. And it’s also interesting that LaHood visited Metro’s largest rail station six days before the release of the 2013 federal budget, which will hopefully include funds for local transportation projects.

As for Union Station, the news conference yesterday was in the old ticket room to the left of the building’s main entrance. Like many others, I can’t wait for the day when the waiting room is open to the public and used on a daily basis. We’ll have to wait and see how Metro’s master plan for Union Station evolves.

Bruce Springsteen in Munich in 2009. Photo by Andres Fevrier, via Flickr creative commons.

Well, I managed to secure a general admission to the Bruce Springsteen show April 27th at the Sports Arena — meaning I could potentially get close enough to be sweated upon by the Boss. Hey, we all have our dreams. Of course, getting a ticket to the big show also means I’ve got some skin in the game as far as the Expo Line opening goes — my goal in life is to never drive to any event in Exposition Park ever again. There’s still no word on an opening date, but pre-revenue testing is ongoing and a lot of trains are zipping along the alignment. Cross your fingers, people.

If there’s any one transportation story to read, I think it’s this one in Salon headlined “Should it take decades to build a subway?” Obviously, writer Will Doig doesn’t think so and he lists seven reasons why it can take decades to build something in the United States that a country such as China could build in a few years. One of them is near and dear to my heart: costly impact studies that take years and millions of dollars to complete and, not always with good reason, study project alternatives that few are seriously interested in building.




4 replies

  1. I hope for your sake that you get to ride the Expo Line to the Sports Arena because if you have to depend on buses to get you home after the show, you may have a long wait. We wanted to take the 81 line to see a concert on Feb. 4 at the Shrine Auditorium but when we realized we would have to wait 45-60 minutes for a bus to get home we drove instead.

  2. Then compare the US to democratic India, which since 1998 has managed to build 6 subway lines and 118 miles of track in New Delhi. I think they had 6 tunnel boring machines running simultaneously.

  3. “a single-party socialist republic.”

    Communist actually. With a heavy dose of Dengism of course.

    To get rich is glorious!

  4. The biggest difference between the US and China is plain simple, we are a democracy with two major parties with opposing views whereas they are a single-party socialist republic. Obviously, it’s much easier, faster, and cheaper to get things done when there is no legal opposition party.