Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Feb. 8

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

L.A. County Polling Place (Photo Credit: Southern California Public Radio)

Five new Asian languages, three spoken in India, added for L.A. County voters (KPCC)

It is estimated that more than 200 languages are spoken in L.A. County. To help more of these new Angelenos participate in electoral politics, the Los Angeles County’s registrar-recorder’s office is getting ready to add five new languages to the County’s voter information. The five languages to be added are Hindi, Khmer, Thai, Bengali and Gujarati. According to a news release from the registar-recorder, L.A. County is now “the most linguistically diverse jurisdiction in the nation.” The addition of the five Asian languages reflect a demographic shift in California, where between 2000 and 2010 the growth of the Asian American population outpaced Latino population growth. Within the pool of Asians moving to the U.S., Indian Americans represent the fastest growing Asian group in the country.

California lawmakers to consider Gold Line extension (L.A. Times)

In a sign that may signal just how important transit has become to the region, California State Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona) has introduced a bill that would authorize the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension to go beyond the Los Angeles County line east of Claremont. The measure would also allow Metro to operate part of the Gold Line in San Bernardino County. The bill is necessary because the state law authorizing the line’s extension limits the project to Los Angeles County. Assembywoman Torres hopes to see the line extended from Azusa to Montclair in San Bernardino County. Claremont’s mayor supports the proposed change and wants the Gold Line eventually to connect with Ontario International Airport.

For now there is no funding for additional stations beyond the extension to Azusa currently under construction.

It’s enough to make motorists see rouge! Paris to allow cyclists to run red lights in bid to cut accidents (Daily Mail)

In news that is sure to make Paris bike riders smile and drivers stuck in traffic even angrier, the City of Light is to become one of the first major cities in the world to officially allow cyclists to ride through red lights. The measure, intended to cut down on accidents, is sure to be studied by countless cities worldwide looking to encourage bicycling and get more drivers out of their cars. De toute façon, faites attention…

TSA expands program to speed travelers through airport screening (L.A. Times)

TSA, the air traveler’s favorite whipping boy, is testing a program that allows air travelers who voluntarily offer background information to pass through faster airport security lines. PreCheck has been tested for several months at nine airports, including LAX, and has already been used to screen 336,000 passengers. The program is now scheduled to be expanded to 28 additional airports. To participate, travelers must go to the TSA website, submit background information and receive an identification number which needs to be entered into the reservation when booking a flight.

The Case for Roundabouts: Doing Laps Around the Circle City (Next American City)

Though not very popular in Los Angeles, many cities around the world have long relied on roundabouts as a means of calming traffic while keeping motorized vehicles moving at a safe pace. While acknowledging that roundabouts are not perfect for every intersection, this article argues that roundabouts keep traffic flowing, which is much more energy efficient than stopping, idling and starting at traffic signals. Other benefits are improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists and the opportunity to create aesthetically pleasing center islands.

9 replies

  1. At sixty miles end to end from Santa Monica to Ontario Airport, the concept of a running a single cheap, flat rate light rail system becomes diluted with running commuter rail. This whole “let’s just keep expanding our system beyond our means and let everyone share the cost through taxes” is getting too out of control.

    What’s next? Linking all the way to Las Vegas so a person can go from the beaches of Santa Monica to the Strip for $1.50? Why not link LA all the way to San Diego for a $1.50 too? Running an expanded system for a ridiculously cheap flat price becomes a point of no return.

    There has to be a point where we need to step back and give this a second thought. This is becoming too bizarre.

  2. Another benefit of having a major destination at the end point will be higher utilization of the line for any given amount of service. In other words, farebox recovery could be higher when you have riders going in both directions throughout the day. As for pricing, a ride on Metrolink will be faster and more expensive, so the incentives are aligned correctly. Fukuzawa looks for any excuse to shackle everyone to TAP, which is another story…

  3. Now is a good time to implement a distance based fare! Like the silver line and such!

  4. re anon mike
    yes there is metrolink station in east ontario
    but there is no transit serving that station
    plus that station only get weekday service
    there is no weekend service on that line

  5. @Vito

    I’m a realistic enough to understand that in the long term, this low flat rate fare cannot be sustained. Inevitably, fares, taxes or both have to rise in order to sustain a flat rate model. Just look at the mess they have at NYMTA and Boston’s MBTA.

  6. Why are you so stuck on the rates that Metro charges? Seriously dude, you’re like a broken record. Enjoy the low rate and jump on the train. Don’t look at gift horse in the mouth as they say.

  7. What’s the point of attempting to extend the gold line all the way to Ontario/L.A. Airport, when there’s already a Metrolink nearby?

    • Anon Mike,

      I think it’s always good to keep in mind the differences between a long-distance commuter rail line and a light rail line designed to serve more local trips. They’re apples and oranges.

      While it’s true that Metrolink might be faster from central Los Angeles to Ontario Airport than this potential Gold Line extension, there are millions of residents from Pasadena to Claremont and beyond who would stand to benefit greatly from having improved access to Ontario Airport. In particular, Metro Rail operates more frequently and for more hours of the day than Metrolink.

      After all, the Gold Line Foothill Extension is as much about linking the communities along the San Gabriel Foothills to one another as it is about linking them to Los Angeles.

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  8. One thing that bothers me about extending the Gold Line to Ontario Airport is the long term maintenance costs associated with it.

    How do they plan to fund the long term costs associated with running such a system? With the Regional Connector in mind, that means the Gold/Expo Line will eventually go from Santa Monica all the way to Ontario; almost 60 miles of track on a “light” rail system. 60 miles on light track under a single flat rate fare is becoming too insane; at such distances it’ll be better to run a MetroLink like commuter rail system instead.