Transportation headlines, Monday, August 5

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

ART OF TRANSIT: The model of downtown Los Angeles in 1940 in the Museum of Natural History's "Becoming L.A." exhibit. Photo by Steve Hymon.

ART OF TRANSIT: The model of downtown Los Angeles in 1940 in the Museum of Natural History’s “Becoming L.A.” exhibit. Nice exhibit, btw, and the Expo Line has two stops — Expo Park and Vermont — that are a stone’s throw from the museum. Photo by Steve Hymon.

BART strike averted, for now (San Francisco Chronicle)

To prevent a strike that would have started at 12:01 a.m. today, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a three man Board of Inquiry to issue a report into stalled negotiations between the union that represents BART employees and the transit agency. The Board has a week to burp out its report; Brown can then use it as basis for declaring a 60-day cooling off period, which would push any possible strike to mid-October.

Trains may not have positive train control by 2015, Foxx says (USA Today)

Despite federal law mandating that automatic anti-collision technology be implemented on trains in two years, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says that may not happen because of the difficulty of the task. Four U.S. Senators have introduced bills that would extend the deadline until 2020. The deadly Metrolink crash in Chatsworth pushed Congress to approve the 2015 deadline and the NTSB says that 15 accidents that have killed 50 since 2005 would have been prevented with it.

Why downtown L.A. growth hinges on water (Downtown News)

The architectural firm Gensler and students from Cal Poly put their heads together and have calculated that if every property in downtown L.A. was built to maximum density allowed under the city’s zoning code, the population of workers and residences would jump from 450,000 currently to 4.3 million. And that, they say, would require serious infrastructure upgrades, especially because water-wise there’s only enough for roughly 1.3 million downtown residents and workers.

Well, okay. Does that surprise you? That a 10-fold increase to downtown’s population would require utility upgrades and finding more water (or conserving better the resources we already have). That a 10-fold increase — which no one is proposing, btw — would stretch any city’s infrastructure? Of course it would!

Here’s the video from Gensler, which is fun and informative. I suppose some people will view it as a cautionary tale about over-development. I view it as a warning that downtown L.A. is dangerously under-developed!

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Hours to go, just to get to work (NYT)

Despite 28 million people in the Jakarta Metro area, the region has barely invested in a transit system, the reason many people sit idling in traffic for hours at a time. Some projects are finally getting underway but read this as a cautionary tale about what happens when a city puts all its transportation eggs in one basket.

1 reply

  1. I am *amazed* that the USA today article names several other less major accidents but makes NO mention of the deadly metrolink crash. It instead lists three crashes, with 2, 0, and 6 deaths, respectively – yet it entirely fails to mention the Metrolink accident which was 100% preventable and took 25 lives.

    If Metrolink can implement PTC on time…. Anything’s possible.