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.
Julian Burke dies at 85; former MTA chief (L.A. Times)
Mr. Burke was widely credited with stabilizing the young agency that was facing a consent decree over its bus service, construction issues with its subway and bad publicity on several fronts. Excerpt:
In 1997, the MTA was in turmoil, with a deficit of at least $29 million and a vacancy in the chief executive’s office for several months. One chief had been fired and another had resigned.
Riordan asked Burke to assist with a task force on the agency’s finances and soon, Riordan recalled, “he came back to say it was just about in bankruptcy.”
A short time later, Riordan asked him to step in as interim chief. “I got snagged into this job,” Burke told The Times in 2000. “I thought I was here for four to six months.”
As chief executive, he put more buses on the streets, and by the end of his second year, he had closed the agency’s considerable budget gap, Lipsky said.
He also won the respect of labor leaders at the height of the 2000 walkout, which left 450,000 riders stranded. Originally paid $180,000 a year, he had taken a voluntary pay cut in 1998, when the agency was eliminating some jobs.
To fight gridlock, a city synchronizes every light (New York Times)
The NYT parachutes in on the news earlier this year that Los Angeles completed its three decade effort of putting every traffic light in the city on the same computerized synchronization program. But will it solve traffic? Nope but it will likely increase the capacity of roads and speed travel times.
Garcetti comes out against LAX runway plan (L.A. Times)
The L.A. mayoral race takes a turn into transportation policy. Councilman Eric Garcetti says he’s against moving the northern runway 260 feet to the north, which would put it closer to Westchester homes. Controller Wendy Greuel has yet to take a specific position for or against.
The runway move is part of a series of projects that LAX wants to build, saying it will be safer and make the airport better able to handle larger planes such as the Airbus A-380. Other airport projects include a people mover and consolidated rental car facility. The runway issue doesn’t involve Metro, but it is highly contentious. The agency is obviously watching the people mover issue as the agency is currently studying a project to determine the best way to hook up the Crenshaw/LAX Line with the airport terminals.
L.A. Councilman and Metro Board Member Jose Huizar says he would be in favor of replacing a traffic lane with a bike lane on busy Colorado, which would reduce the number of car lanes from three to two in each direction. Makes sense to me; there’s no need for Colorado to be so wide as it parallels the 134 freeway. My issue with the proposal: the bike lane would be between the car lanes and the car parking lane. How about swapping them so the bike lane is next to the curb and protected by the parking lane?
Categories: Transportation Headlines