Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Aug. 28

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.

Railcar maker to hire 150 in Palmdale (L.A. Business Journal)

Kinkisharyo plans to assemble Metro's next generation of light rail vehicles in Palmdale and is in negotiations with Los Angeles World Airports — owner of Palmdale Airport — for hangar space. “The city of Palmdale and South Valley WorkSource Center are accepting the applications. Qualified applicants must have a valid passport as training will be outside of the country,” states the article.

Union Pacific CEO visits Whittier, faces tough questions (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Jack Koraleski was asked why the UP pays as little as two percent of the costs of separating roads from UP rail crossings. His sort of answer: the company as a whole has spent $100 million on grade separations throughout Southern California. Of course, that's a fraction of the bill for grade separations footed by taxpayers.

Downtown L.A. Pershing Square task force formed (Downtown LA Rising with Brigham Yen)

Councilman Jose Huizar has formed a 21-member panel to consider improving Pershing Square, the block-sized park in the middle of the financial district. Like so many other buildings in L.A., much of the park is walled off from the street. Check out this interesting video from the architectural firm Gensler about the park:



Town Square Los Angeles from Gensler LA on Vimeo.

New York's first speed enforcement cameras go into effect when kids go back to school (Streetsblog)

Although politicians in Albany imposed a lot of restrictions, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg managed to get permission to set up 20 cameras near schools to automatically write tickets to those going 10 mph or more over the speed limit. Such cameras are used in a sprinkling of places around the country, although are usually controversial. I've heard or read a lot of the complaints from anti-camera activists, but as a motorist, cyclist and pedestrian I'm for anything that promotes sane driving and punishes dangerous behavoir. You?


4 replies

  1. Beyond the grade crossings concern, just look how UP/Union Pacific ignores their rights-of-way property. Blue Line runs adjacent to UP’s. Blue Line right-of-way cleaned two times per week. Union Pacific? How about two times per year. Ever tried getting hold of Union Pacific? Good Luck!

  2. Pershing square just needs more grass, and maybe benches to have lunch at. Stuff parks have. This is an opportunity to make a huge fix with little funds.

  3. Tom,

    “The problem is that we do not have a unified vision and renveue flow to sustain our infrastructure–like some European nations, where the rail infreastructure is owned by the public as well.”

    Or we can also model ourselves like Asia where they privatized their mass transit systems to become profitable so that any upgrades would be based on pure profits alone instead of taxpayer money.

    Is Europe really the 100% all-true answer? A lot of people who idolize Europe fail to see that most of Europe is broke and the only ones barely squeaking by are the UK, France, and Germany. Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy, they’re all going down the tank. Europe can be wrong too you know.

    “It is backwards, buit backwards seems to be the new forwards in 21st Century America.”

    I say we shouldn’t just look “forward” across the Atlantic and look at Europe for answers, but we should also look “backwards” across the Pacific for some of their answers as well.

    Face it, we’re not the best and brightest when it comes to running mass transit. Both Europe AND Asia are way better than us. Then why are we just looking at Europe only? Why can’t we adopt some of the ideas and strategies that Asian mass transit systems have implemented? Why just look at London, Paris, and Frankfurt? Why not Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, and Hong Kong as well? Are they not successful mass transit oriented cities as well?

  4. Who should pay the lion’s share of grade crossing protection the railway or the city? That’s is a good question. In many cases the railway was there before the city and even the road. The problem here is that the cities since Prop. 13 have little in the way of revenue sources. The railways, which were the largest land holders in the state, got the most benifit from Prop. 13. Southern Pacific I recall saved the most about $52,000,000 the first year in 1970’s dollars. And the railways have saved such every year, year after year. The problem is that we do not have a unified vision and renveue flow to sustain our infrastructure–like some European nations, where the rail infreastructure is owned by the public as well. Instead, we pass the infrastructure buck to whomever has the least leverage. One thing we can do is change Prop. 13 so it only applies to private homeowners as it was originally intended–not businesses as well. Otherwise we must beg and/or shame the railroads in paying a greater rate and we must do that with uncertain results X the 58 cities in the LA Basin. It is backwards, buit backwards seems to be the new forwards in 21st Century America.