Transportation headlines, Monday, August 26

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: Somewhere in the night at this gas station in California; looks like the kind of photos found in old Bruce Springsteen albums. The reader who correctly guesses the location will be showered with praise in tomorrow's headlines. Readers who fully understand the

ART OF TRANSIT: Somewhere in the night at this gas station in California; looks like the kind of photos found in old Bruce Springsteen albums. The reader who correctly guesses the location will be showered with praise in tomorrow's headlines. Readers who fully understand the

Metrolink ridership dips (Rail Passenger Assn. of California & Nevada)

The number of boardings has dipped in 2013, although there are gains on routes between Orange County and Inland Empire and weekend boardings are strong. The writer speculates lack of new jobs in downtown L.A., lower gas prices and fare hikes may have something to do with it — and recommends a new $35 weekday day pass to help lure new riders.

Could a 405 subway/freeway tunnel under the 405 dramatically improve traffic? (FoxLA)

A brief look at the Sepulveda Pass Corridor project, which proposes to connect the Westside to the San Fernando Valley via a new transit project. Metro is currently evaluating whether a public-private partnership is feasible for the project — i.e. a private firm(s) fronts the construction money in exchange for receiving tolls and fares from new underground toll lanes and a rail project. That could speed up the project, which currently isn't scheduled to be done until the late 2030s. But construction starting in two to three years — as the article states — is extremely optimistic.

Reshaping New York (New York Times)

In case you missed it, here is an awesome interactive showing some key changes in development and transportation infrastructure that occurred during the tenure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will soon leave after 12 years on the job. Given New York's reputation as a place in which it's nearly impossible to get anything done…an amazing amount of work has been done with new pedestrian plazas, bike lanes, transit projects underway and one-third of the city rezoned. The question this begs, of course, is whether the nation's second-largest city can (or should) match New York's march forward (assuming you think NY is marching forward. I do.).

Students press schools to drop fossil fuels stocks (L.A. Times)

Activists want the UC system to divest themselves of at least $39 million in investments in fossil fuel firms that are part of the system's general endowment fund. Some smaller colleges around the country have dropped fossil fuel investments, but it's a tougher sell at the big schools which say they need the kind of returns that fossil fuels help generate. My three cents: it's best to keep in mind that fossil fuels still power a lot of transit in the U.S. — in our region, commuter train locomotives and the vast majority of buses, for example.

Study recommends paid parking on PCH in Malibu (Santa Monica Daily Press)

Adding paid parking, bike lanes and safer and ADA-accessible bus stops are among the recommendations in a report commissioned by the city of Malibu on improving safety along the PCH corridor. At present, PCH along the coast is mostly the domain of the private automobile, with cyclists risking their necks in busy traffic and narrow medians and bus patrons sometimes having to reach stops not easily reachable by sidewalk.


7 replies

  1. It isn’t true that there is ONE transit agency for NYC. NYMTA is the funding agency for many transit operators as well as an operator, somewhat similar to LACMTA funding a transit agency and that agency gets an “M” sticker logo.

    How about Metrolink’s current abysmal reliability because of its aging locomotive fleet. Things are really bad out there with numerous breakdowns at Metrolink causing delays and frustrations. Getting to work late more than once can really motivate people to DRIVE to work, instead. And Amtrak is in a similar mess, as well, with barely one loco just being fixed with another waiting to be, a frustrating situation those of remember back in the 1980’s until the bond measure was passed in the 1990’s that allowed for the purchase of an entire fleet of locos for Amtrak California. Yes, Metrolink put in an order for some 14 NEW Tier 4 locos, but they won’t be here until 2015. What about Metrolink leasing what they can until then? I know of a few people who have stopped using Metrolink because of the breakdowns. And why hasn’t Metrolink’s new CEO made himself as available nor articulated publicly what his vision is or his solutions may be, even if temporary those may be? Metrolink CEO needs to be publicly address his customers/passengers. And the return of the 10 Trip ticket would go a long way to get riders back.

  2. “The benefit of having diversification of government is that different cities can choose to be more innovative.”

    Sure, but only if those cities are actually doing something innovative and are honest. You selectively cited “good cities” in your POV like Santa Monica and Pasadena.

    Unfortunately, majority of the cities in LA aren’t like that. What about Beverly Hills? They’re the ones stalling the Purple Line.

    And you have corrupt charter cities like Cudahy, Vernon, Bell, Mayfair, Gardena, Lynwood, South Gate, etc. You don’t believe me? Google up George Perez mayor of Cudahy. And we all know the pig Robert Rizzo and Oscar Hernandez from the City of Bell Scandal which is still fresh in our memory. City of Vernon, their mayor was indicted on voter fraud. Many of these cities have FBI investigations going on which is not what I call a “benefit of having a diversification of government.” It’s a humiliation for the County of LA as a whole that we let these cities even exist.

    Many cities within LA County are corrupt and run inefficiently. If we can merge 88 cities down to 10 cities within LA County, that would do wonders to get things done faster. Less government doesn’t mean we should have 88 cities each with their own mayor, treasurers, city managers and bureaucrats. That doesn’t become less government. Overall, it leads to a bigger conglomerate of small governments all trying to do things their own way, wasting everyone’s time and money to get anything done.

  3. I agree 100% with LAX Frequent Flyer, especially the cities in Southeast LA that are riddled with inefficiencies and corruption. There has to be some way to force them to dissolve their city governments and make a neighborhood district of the City of LA. Just look at the “City” of Vernon. It’s a “city” when there’s barely 120 people living there! And their politicians get tremendous kickbacks at the expense of LA County taxpayers. The fewer “cities” we have in this county, the less government bureaucrats there are and things would go much faster if LA County was one big giant metropolis under one local government instead of a glob of multiple cities each with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

  4. I agree with LAX Frequent Flyer. In addition, I think each of the borough in New York is like a County, so actually in New York City, there are five counties with one transit system; here in LA, we have one county with I-don’t-know-how-many transit systems. I feel the public transportation systems here in LA are really fragmented, and I believe this is also a factor that makes regional transportation planning harder than it should be.

  5. Everyone forgets that New York City is the hub of 20 million people, of which only 8 million live in the city limits proper. This is not much different from Los Angeles’s 4 million people living in 10 million population Los Angeles County. The benefit of having diversification of government is that different cities can choose to be more innovative. Look at Santa Monica with their bike lanes and pedestrian improvements, Lancaster with their solar power mandate, or what Pasadena is doing next to the Gold Line. Having flexibility and choice is a lot better than the command and control structure of New York City, with power concentrated in one person.

  6. I’m very curious to see how the numbers add up to profitability for the private entity involved in the 405 project. $10B is a hefty investment… my back-of-the-envelope calculations predict an ROI after 18 years earliest. Could the same level of mobility be achieved for less by extending the red line up to Sylmar and building the “pink line/crenshaw II” extension?

  7. I doubt it. We’re worse off geopolitically than NYC. They have 5 boroughs working together. We OTOH, have 88 cities in LA County all trying to do things their own way. And I doubt the chances of all 88 cities in LA County dissolving and merging into one big City-County like SF or NY happening in my lifetime.

    Then again, our budget is a complete mess so who knows? Many of the small “charter cities” like Vernon, Cudahy, and Mayfair (and everyone remembers the City of Bell scandal) are riddled with so much corruption, voter fraud, and funneling of public funds that sooner or later, action has to be done to look at dissolving and being usurped by the City of LA.