Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 18: L.A. air quality improving, roadway air pollution migrates, HSR plan fan no more

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.


Photo by fksr/flickr

Photo by fksr/flickr

Air quality across Southern California better … but challenges remain (Los Angeles Daily News)

The 2012 peak ozone concentrations in our region were the lowest ever measured in the South Coast Air Basin, according to a new report, which further states that in 2000, there were 30 unhealthy days in Los Angeles County versus 11 in 2012. And yet the South Coast Air Quality Management District is (prudently) requesting tougher restrictions on wood burning in open pits and fireplaces as well as cleaner ports and railroads, including emission-reduction strategies such as encouraging the replacement and/or retrofitting of older diesel trucks and buses. Metro, as we like to repeat as frequently as possible, runs only clean-burning CNG buses.

And … freeway air pollution travels farther in early morning (Los Angeles Times)

This study shows that heavily trafficked roadways have a large impact on downwind populations.

One man’s journey from L.A. to Real Madrid (Sports Illustrated)

Here’s a story about following your heart that has nothing to do with transportation, except that the main character is a Metro employee. The piece, originally published in Sports Illustrated but posted this morning on LA Observed, tells us how Metro employee Abel Rodriguez, obviously a major soccer fan, flew to Spain to see a match between Madrid and Barcelona — without a ticket or a place to stay — and ended up the guest of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. It’s a lot of fun and it will make you feel good.

No longer on board the bullet train (Los Angeles Times)

Interesting interview with Quentin Kopp — one-time head of the California High-Speed Rail Authority — in which he criticizes the current version of HSR and talks about why he thinks we ought to kill it. Among his observations is something many Southern Californians would buy: the Central Valley is not the best place to start. The best place would be by building L.A. to San Diego first.

3 replies

  1. San Diego to Los Angeles? Ever heard of the Pacific Surfliner? If we are going to spend money on rail infrastructure it should go towards extending/fast-tracking Metro Rail (Green, Gold, Purple, Red, and Crenshaw lines), BARt to San jose, and the light rail in Orange County. There may be other rail potential in IE, SD, sacramento, etc.

  2. I agree with Quentin Kopp. Each geographic portion of the high speed rail should be operating profitably before we build the next – even if that means we have to connect some cities with less-glamorous bus service.

    I define profitable as providing enough revenue in that leg of the line to pay for operating costs for that leg of the line, AND to service the bond debt for that leg of the line.

    Better to take longer and pay for what we’ve built, than to build miles of unused track and incur a huge debt for future generations.

  3. San Diego to Los Angeles does make the most sense, and would see the a lot of immediate service. The trip is a bit too close to fly, yet far enough for an annoying drive. I could also see business people taking this daily, with their companies paying for the ride, or having it written off at the end of the tax year. So many people already ride Metrolink and Coaster, as well as Amtrak, but that would make sense, and what makes sense does not always pan out thanks to politics.