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.
As Grand Park thrives, county buildings are in the crosshairs (Downtown News)
Real estate developer Dan Rosenfeld and former deputy to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas writes about the two large and old county buildings on either side of the top of Grand Park: The Hahn Hall of Administration and the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Both have deficiencies and there has been some buzz about what to do: renovate, replace or demolish them and move elsewhere?
The County’s options will then fall into three groups:
1)Replace the buildings on site: This is not an attractive option because of the need for a “double move,” forcing thousands of County employees to leave for several years while work takes place, and then to head back to a modernized building. Such a tactic was necessary for the renovation of City Hall because of its iconic value, but it added considerably to the cost.
2)Replace the buildings at another site: This option creates several intriguing possibilities for reuse of the existing site. For example, tearing down the aged structures means one could expand Grand Park or bring high-density housing into the Civic Center. This would activate the park and the surrounding cultural amenities.
If the buildings are relocated, there are available sites in the Civic Center, although none seems to offer the stature and quality the County deserves. Relocating to the vicinity of Union Station, on the other hand, would squarely endorse the County’s commitment to public transit. It is worth noting that Metro is currently looking at what to do with the station and its many acres of surrounding property.
3) Repair and remodel: The County should carefully study the true costs of bringing the existing buildings up to contemporary codes, modernizing them where necessary and preparing them for another 50 years of public life.
Read the entire article because there is a lot of interesting info in here — for example, the Hall of Administration offers far more space per employee than comparable new buildings.
Because of the cost involved with any of these, I doubt any decision is imminent. I actually like the buildings where they are — but both buildings’ exteriors could use a re-imagining for starters. The problem with the Civic Center is that for every interesting building (City Hall, LAPD Headquarters) there are two or three buildings or public spaces that look awful (City Hall East, the Criminal Courts building) and there has been a tendency to build big blocky structure walled off from the street (Caltrans building and even the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels) or allow parking lots or empty lots to languish for years or decades.
The new app for Android and iPhones is set to debut next week and replaces the need to purchase paper tickets to ride buses and trains in the Portland metro area. TriMet, the transit agency that serves the area, had earlier decided to forgo smart cards similar to TAP cards, calling them first generation technology.
To put it in plain English, TriMet is pursuing an electronic fare system that’s not dependent on a single device — i.e. a plastic card — but rather could allow fares to be stored and purchased on different devices.
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I bet one of our readers will comment about this. That’s fine, but please read the stories first so you’re better informed.
The geometric shapes of transit’s success (Human Transit)
Using Vancouver as an example, transit planner and blogger Jarrett Walker demonstrates that when it comes to bus lines, “All other things being equal, long, straight routes perform better than short, squiggly and looping ones.”
Check out an awesome infographic by TransLink in Vancouver on bus performance that is posted after the jump….
Categories: Transportation Headlines