NoHo ped tunnel construction underway, to connect Orange and Red Lines (Streetsblog L.A.)
A good overview by Streetblog’s Joe Linton of Metro’s $22-million project to build an underground pedestrian tunnel between the Metro Orange and Red Line Stations in North Hollywood. Construction on the project is starting this month.
Currently, the North Hollywood Red Line Station has only one entrance on the east side of Lankershim Boulevard, so transferring between the two lines requires riders to use a crosswalk on the heavily trafficked street, meaning they have to wait for a green light. The underground tunnel and additional entrance will allow pedestrians to access the Red Line Station from the west (Orange Line) side of the street, making transfers between the two lines much faster and safer.
Joe likes the project but also writes that he hopes the existing crosswalk across Lankershim on Chandler North sticks around to serve cyclists and those transferring from the Orange Line and other buses. Metro’s answer is that the crosswalk will remain permanently.
Your commute may be hazardous to your health (L.A. Magazine)
Some good reasons you might want to consider public transit over driving. Whether or not all the negative impacts the article attributes to tedious commutes — like higher divorce rates for long-distance commuters — would hold up to more study, one fact does: the longer or more stressful the commute, the less happier and healthier people are. Excerpt:
Other research has linked the duress of driving to diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, reduced sleep quality, and poorer job performance—as well as to a higher risk of accidents. At the same time your lifestyle goes downhill (surprise!): Researchers at UCLA and Cal State Long Beach have found evidence that greater time in the car means less time, say, jogging around the Silver Lake Reservoir and a greater likelihood of relying on “nongrocery” foods (like those KFC meals that fit in your cup holder)—which ups your odds of becoming obese.
The article goes on to suggest mass transit as one option for those willing to change their mode of transit and to “start using that time for things like reading, catching up on work, or just spacing out.” Ultimately though, the article ends by focusing on meditation and relaxation methods as a way to make the daily drive a little more tolerable — good luck with that.
So how did the article’s author adjust to his new daily 100-mile commute? He now carpools and telecommutes.
How can getting around Los Angeles get easier? (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
More highlights from last week’s Zocalo Public Square panel on whether L.A. is mobile enough to be a global city. With ample discussion over the importance of the convenience and experience of mobility, the action for improving L.A. boiled down to making incremental changes and “tinkering” within the existing environment:
We won’t be seeing roller coasters up to the top of Bunker Hill or Metro Rail yoga cars. Instead, the answers are more simple, as in using the single-occupancy cars already on the roads and making it safer to walk from your house to the market, panelists said.
Uber backtracks after jacking up prices during Sydney hostage crisis (Washington Post)
It’s becoming a weekly trend now: I present you your weekly ride-sharing company — ahem, Uber — PR fiasco. This time it was the ride sharing’s automatic surge pricing algorithm that caused the cost for a ride to reach exorbitant prices during Monday morning’s hostage situation in downtown Sydney. The surge pricing is generally based on supply and demand and thus Uber’s initial response on Twitter to the hike was this:
Public backlash followed, and the company later offered free rides from the affected district as well as offered refunds to riders who rode during the surge period. What will be interesting to see is if Uber begins to lose ridership to other ride-sharing services or transit because of the company’s recent string of controversies. According to this article, at least one other company might be squandering its opportunity.
Categories: Transportation Headlines