Transportation headlines, Monday, September 23

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The Expo Line, from our Instagram stream.

THINGS THAT HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH TRANSIT BUT I WILL MENTION THEM ANYWAY: “Rush” is one of the better sports movies ever made even if you know nothing about Formula One racing. And Happy Birthday, Bruce Springsteen, who will hopefully bring the E Street Band back to the Expo Line-adjacent Sports Arena next year. The dude is equally awesome in Spanish.

Unauthorized bike lanes created in Midtown (New York Times)

In full view of many pedestrians and motorists, bike activists used paint and stencils on Saturday night and Sunday morning to extend the bike lane on Avenue of the Americas (also known as 6th Avenue) from 42nd Street to 50th Street, the southern boundary of Central Park. My hunch is they won’t last long despite the chutzpah behind the effort.

Bad urban planning is why you’re fat (co.exist)

UC Berkeley researchers found that activity levels of kids in “smart growth” neighborhoods — i.e. where it’s easy to walk and bike — were 46 percent higher than kids from conventional neighborhoods. Of course, the ‘burbs have long been accused of promoting too much sitting and driving. On the other end of the spectrum, there has also been a lot written about the lack of parks, sidewalks, bike lanes and decent food choices in low-income areas in cities.

Portland: TriMet’s mobile ticketing app reviewed (Human Transit)

The smartphone app allows bus and train travelers to purchase tickets with their phones, meaning no more paper tickets. Here’s the top of the review:

For as long as I can remember, every bus trip in Portland has started with the counting and recounting of small bills and change held in a sweaty palm, always with the low-level anxiety from the thought of dropping a quarter and being unable to board. Pay your fare at the farebox, recieve a flimsy newsprint ticket. Secret that ticket in a secure pocket, to prevent it from being carried away by a stray gust of wind. If you have to transfer, check your pocket every 30 seconds to make sure it’s still there.

TriMet, the transit agency here in Portland, finally launched their long-awaitedsmartphone app on Wednesday. I’ve tried it out for most of my trips since, after a summer spent jealously reading tweets from people lucky enough to be invited to the beta test. My first impression: this application suddenly makes using Portland’s bus system much more relevant to me, and I suspect to many others.


There aren’t fare cards or turnstiles in Portland, so this is not directly relevant here in L.A. County. The bigger point, I think, is that enabling people to buy fares with smartphones seems like a move that could help boost ridership.

Survey says downtowners have lots of money and are ready to spend (Downtown News)

While it definitely does not sound very scientific, the results seem to indicate that downtown L.A. continues to attract residents with higher incomes that are college educated and mostly employed. And they want more upscale stores, such as the kind found in the ‘burbs. The most requested are Trader Joes and an In-N-Out. The fact that so few local or national chains are downtown shows just how badly the area fared until recently. I always use the Apple store example. No problem finding one in Manhattan or downtown Chicago or San Francisco whereas the closest to DTLA are the Grove or Old Pasadena.

Perhaps the most interesting stats from the survey:

•Twelve percent of downtown residents work on the Westside and six percent in the San Fernando Valley.

•Thirty percent walk to work and 34 percent work at home. In Los Angeles County, only 2.9 percent of people walk to work and 4.7 percent work at home, according to the latest Census Bureau numbers.

It’s great to see all the progress that has been made in DTLA, which remains the number one job center in the region and the area’s transit hub. I think there’s a lot of work still to do to make the area live up to its full potential and there will certainly be challenges — among them preserving and creating affordable housing while hopefully attracting investment in the area, which is a good thing. As the saying goes, if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.

London Tube station record broken (BBC) 

The two blokes visited all 270 stations in 16 hours, 20 minutes and 27 seconds, thereby shaving eight minutes off the previous record. They say there’s a lot of athleticism involved because of the need to run to catch transfers. And please don’t call them trainspotters, they say. Well, okay. Perhaps they can just be called weird.

2 replies

  1. Gotta love it when someone from Berkeley has nothing better to do than figure out why some people are fat. Way to use that upper education Berks.