Transportation headlines, Friday, March 16

The Pacific Electric Ivy Station (later Culver City) circa 1905. Photo via the Metro Transportation Library Archives.

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.

My getaway car: War reels, liquor store holdups, and my exploits on the rails (Zócalo Public Square Blog)

Much of my experience of L.A.’s streetcar history has been through poring over maps and photos from the Metro Transportation Library’s archives, so I really enjoyed this first-hand narrative account of riding the rails in another L.A. transit heyday. Manuel H. Rodriguez recounts what it meant to be able to access and experience the city as a young man, especially Hollywood — “a world away,” he says, from his home at 53rd and San Pedro.

A meter so expensive, it creates parking spots (New York Times)

A basic tenet of economics is that if the price of a good increases, demand will typically decrease. It’s an inconvenient truth that this holds true for parking spaces too, especially in the reverse: if it’s free, people will consume a lot of parking (time) and spend extra time circling the block to find a free spot. The New York Times takes a look at San Francisco’s attempt to tame the block-circler by making more parking metered spots available in popular neighborhoods through higher prices.

Developers facing new fee to fund transit projects (Santa Monica Daily Press)

Santa Monica’s planning commission has approved a new fee on real estate developments within the city that would raise a projected $60 million over 20 years. The SMDP reports that

planners estimate the fee would cover $60 million of the $119 million in raw costs of the different transit-oriented projects slated for the next 20 years, including bicycle, pedestrian, parking, public transit, auto network and other traffic demand projects.

Staffers: House won’t pass highway bill this month (Politico)

Sources in the House of Representatives are telling Politico that “the House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest.” The eighth extension of the current transportation bill is set to expire on April 1, so we may be looking at a ninth extension before the House can take up its companion to the Senate’s transportation bill. The L.A. Times has coverage here of the bill that the Senate just passed and its potential implications for Los Angeles County.