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.
Climate of Doubt (Frontline PBS)
Curious why climate change has been almost completely absent from this year’s presidential race? This excellent report from Frontline looks at the groups that have spent considerable sums of money and effort to raise doubts about the science behind global warming — and to instill fear in legislators, even Republicans, who dare to believe the Earth may be warming. If you have 53 minutes, I strongly urge you to watch this program. And I’ll include my usual notation that taking transit is a good way to lower your carbon footprint.
Developer in Gold Line dispute releases letter (Monrovia Patch)
The developer has sued the city of Monrovia, alleging that land near the future Monrovia Station for the Gold Line Foothill Extension that was entitled for a large residential development project will instead be used as a parking structure for the station. I certainly don’t know the details on the dispute; I do know the area and hope that the future station has both adequate parking and needed development.
Work begins on L.A.’s tallest tower (Curbed L.A.)
Demolition of the Wilshire Grand is underway to clear the way for a 70-story office and hotel at Wilshire and Figueroa, a transit adjacent site, thank you. The new building will be the second-tallest in downtown Los Angeles — U.S. Bank Building still will hold top honors — and will include high-speed elevators to whisk visitors to a hotel lobby in the sky near the top of the building. Interesting. In related news, Curbed L.A. has the news of new renderings of the proposed office and hotel towers that would be on either side of the Capitol Records building, near the Red Line’s Hollywood/Vine station. The development is controversial but would certainly help with Hollywood’s revival — something I think is far from complete.
SFMTA combines contracts for Central Subway project (San Francisco Examiner)
After originally proposing to put four bids out — one for each of the three stations and a fourth for operations system management — the MTA decided to combine the four contracts into one. There was some speculation that perhaps this was done after Tutor-Saliba received the highest score for one of the station contracts — the contractor and the city have had legal disputes in the past — but officials say the move was done to save $20- $30-million.
Beverly Hills Council votes ‘not to take position in support of Measure J’ (Beverly Hills Courier)
The top of the story:
After almost three hours of deliberation, the Beverly Hills City Council failed to take a formal position to back the Board of Education in its opposition of Measure J, voting 4-1 to “not take a position in support of Measure J” at its study session on Tuesday afternoon.
The vote on the symbolic resolution was 4 to 1, with Councilman John Mirisch opposing and saying “Not supporting something is not the same as opposing it.” The vote was hardly surprising; the city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District have sued Metro in an attempt to stop the Westside Subway Extension from tunneling part of the Beverly Hills High School campus.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is that it lacks the usual editorial comments inserted into the news by the Courier’s editors and/or publisher about the subway and positions that politicians should take. The Courier promises more coverage of the vote on the symbolic resolution in its print edition.
Another pro sports team gets transit-friendly (New York Times)
The New York Islanders are leaving their current arena on Long Island — the one surrounded by acres of parking lots and not terribly near transit — and moving to the new Barclay Arena in Brooklyn. That means the Islanders new home will be a stone’s throw from multiple subway lines connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan and Queens, as well as a Long Island Railroad hub. Sounds like a smart plan. Ebbetts Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was located near the Prospect Park subway station. Meanwhile on the Left Coast, CBS Sports reports that the NFL wants a new stadium to be in Chavez Ravine and its acres and acres and acres of parking lots. It should be noted the CBS Sports story relied only on “league sources,” none of whom were named.