Transportation headlines, Thursday, Jan. 10

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.

ART OF TRANSIT: A walkway to the platforms at Union Station. Photo by Jeffrey Bell, via Flickr creative commons.

ART OF TRANSIT: A walkway to the platforms at Union Station. Photo by Jeffrey Bell, via Flickr creative commons.

Transit openings and construction starts for 2013 (Transport Politic)

Yonah Freemark does a great job listing the many transit projects that will either open this year and continue and begin construction. He notes there are definitely metro areas investing a lot in traffic, among them Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, New York and Toronto. The most surprising thing about the list, IMO, is the number of bus rapid transit projects — including one that will help transport workers to the ritzy ski town of Aspen, Colorado. Interesting!

As for Los Angeles County, there are currently two rail projects under construction — the second phase of the Expo Line and the Gold Line Foothill Extension, both of which are funded primarily by Measure R. Three more projects that will receive considerable funds from Measure R are ramping up toward construction — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and the Westside/Purple Line Extension.

Exploring the course of the future Crenshaw/LAX Line (KCET)

Eric Brightwell, with camera in hand, takes a walking tour of the alignment for the future light rail line. Perhaps most interesting was his take on the optional Leimert Park station, which he originally believed was unnecessary because of the stop one-half mile away at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. Excerpt:

Upon arriving at Leimert Plaza Park and the Leimert Park Village area of the neighborhood I immediately changed my mind. The area seems quite distinct from the rest of the neighborhood and is a real gem of the entire region. There used to be a station there one on the E (and later 5) lines before it headed northeast, and it almost feels like there still is — with people casually hanging out and the presence of a small, charming park.

The Leimert Plaza Park reminded my brother of the small town square of Knoxville, Iowa, where we both lived for a few years. Only Knoxville never smelled like incense, wasn’t known for its jazz, blues and hip hop clubs, and didn’t have even one shop selling African goods. The “town square” is dominated by the beautiful Vision Theatre, which opened in 1931 as the 1,123-seat Art Deco “Leimert Theatre.” It’s currently undergoing renovation, and looks a far sight better than the Fox in Inglewood. Surrounding the village there are more treasures waiting to be discovered — including the street on which neighborhood resident John Singleton filmed most of Baby Boy.


The project is currently out to bid and Metro is seeking a contractor that will able to build the Leimert Park station within the project’s current $1.7-billion budget.

Here’s L.A.’s new artist-designed bus (Curbed L.A.)

This one comes from John Baldessari, courtesy of the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education. Their previous efforts included the popular Barbara Kruger bus. Check out the photo. Spoiler: it helps if you like yellow!