The Metro Board last week approved a six month, $44-million extension of a contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to continue policing Metro trains, buses and facilities. Joe Linton takes a good look at the issues on the table as Metro contemplates a more long-term contract with a policing agency or agencies.
An audit commissioned by Metro was critical of the LASD’s performance on a number of fronts (with some issues unresolved) and a future contract, Joe writes, could be divided between different entities. Politics, he writes, will likely be in play. One issue to be resolved is which agency handles fare enforcement; the LASD has suggested that fare enforcement consumes a lot of their resources that might be better spent on other crime-fighting issues.
The traditional approach was to designate occasional sections of the freeway in which motorists are allowed to enter and exit HOV lanes. But officials in the OC believe it’s safer for motorists to be allowed to enter and exit the HOV lanes anywhere and have been replacing the double yellow stripes separating HOV lanes from general lanes and replacing it with a broken white stripe. CHP says there is anecdotal evidence that continuous lanes are safer and motorists seem to like them better.
Silicon Valley: bus rapid transit that is faster than driving? (Human Transit)
A draft environmental study has been released for a bus rapid transit project that would connect Palo Alto and San Jose in the Bay Area. One of the BRT times is estimated to generate transit trips that would actually be faster than driving. Will the local populace go for it?
As usual with arterial BRT in the US, there will be some mixed-traffic segments, and the line will only be as reliable as its least reliable point. Note that the alternatives seem to envision different responses to city limits, as though anticipating that as you get further west (which means wealthier, but also closer to big destinations like Palo Alto and Stanford University), support for exclusive lanes will decline. It will be interesting to see if this is true, in a very educated polity, when the benefits are understood.
In other words, the usual challenge with BRT: will people be willing to lose general traffic lanes to a bus lane? Around the U.S., the answer is often ‘no’ and that’s one reason officials pursue rail projects instead. Rail may be more expensive but in some ways is politically easier.
A recent protest march against gentrification — chronicled in The Eastsider (warning: adult language) — has inspired some debate about the wave of new businesses on York Boulevard and Figueroa and a rise in home prices and rents. Excerpt:
Many business owners and residents argue that, by virtue of being small and independent, these new storefronts create a net gain, bringing greater public safety and infusing capital into the neighborhood. Some say the protesters are focusing on the wrong issues and, instead, should be targeting the area’s fast food establishments and check cashing stores, working to eliminate gangs, or trying to effect change through local government.
One 15-year resident, who wished to remain anonymous, put it this way: “If you’re going to rage against the machine, make sure you’re raging against the right machine.”
Highland Park, of course, is served by a busy Gold Line station one short block from Figueroa and both Metro and city of Los Angeles DASH buses. The neighborhood has been on the upswing for quite some time and I suspect the plethora of transit connecting it to downtown L.A., Pasadena and beyond is one of the big draws.
Categories: Transportation Headlines