Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: ‘I’m tired of parking tickets,’ Normandie Avenue to Ocean Avenue.
Houston Metro’s transit reimagining plan approved (Human Transit)
Although not a local story, I’m going to lead the headlines with it today because I think it’s important. Long story short: Houston METRO has dramatically revamped its bus routes putting a new emphasis on lines with frequent service. As transportation planner Jarrett Walker — his firm worked on the plan as consultants — explains:
In the history of transit in North America, top-to-bottom transit network redesigns are very rare, particularly for a city of the Houston’s size and national importance. This is a great day for Houston, and will be a fascinating case study for transit in North America.
Over at Vox, Matthew Yglesias writes:
The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there’s “a bus that goes there.” The new plan says that the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders. That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop.
Focusing transit planning on the goal of promoting transit services that are actually used strikes me as common sense. But it’s also the best way to create a virtuous circle of sound urban planning and transportation management. A system with a lot of riders is a system with a lot of advocates for expansion and improvement.
I wanted our readers to see these stories because our social media team at Metro hears a lot about this sort of thing. On the one hand, we have riders grateful that bus routes exist in their neighborhood even if they’re not frequently served. On the other hand, we also have plenty of riders who say they would like to see more frequent buses on the area’s busiest corridors. And, of course, we have a growing rail network that must integrate with the existing bus system as well as bus routes from other agencies in L.A. County that overlap with Metro Bus service.
What do you think, riders? Does our region need to reimagine its bus system, leave things as they are or tweak things? Comment please, one per customer.
Very entertaining story by Laura Nelson on the things that motorists do to avoid overheating (as in stress, not radiator). This would include driving out of the way for relaxing ocean views and teaching yourself to play the harmonica.
The opening anecdote includes a sample of the things one man screams at other drivers, including the phrase “come on grandma,” which sounds like it should be some kind of weird L.A.-centric traffic hashtag (it turns out that #comeongrandma is already a popular hashtag). I don’t need to say it but will anyway: many grandmas are perfectly great motorists!
As Laura also notes, there is one way to reduce stress: don’t drive. If you live near a Metro bus stop or train station, I suggest trying public transit every so often as a way to calm your valves. Here’s the map and timetables page on metro.net for those shopping for a transit alternative.
Gold Line authority makes push for next extension from Azusa to Montclair (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is meeting Thursday to rank which transportation projects it would like to see funded should Metro pursue a sales tax ballot measure in 2016 to fund new projects. The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority wants to see a 12-mile extension of the Gold Line from Azusa to Montclair in San Bernardino County get funding (the Pasadena to Azusa extension is scheduled to open next year and is funded by Measure R). There are also folks in the SGV pushing for funding for an extension of the Eastside Gold Line to both South El Monte and Whittier.
Good article. One thing to keep in mind: Metro is exploring a ballot measure for 2016 but no decision has yet been made by the Metro Board whether to go to voters or not. Nor has a decision been made whether to pursue an extension of Measure R or perhaps a new sales that could projects not funded by Measure R. There is theoretically no limit to projects from any one region that could be funded by a ballot measure, but as one elected official notes in the article, politics do matter.
Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday announced a one-year pilot program that will allow riders of city of L.A. buses to pay fares with their smartphones. The video below explains how it works. As Joe Linton notes, paying fares with a smartphone is on Metro’s radar and the agency is exploring it, but nothing is imminent.
A wee bit of hyperbole in the headline…actually there have been two recent train accidents involving rail cars carrying oil. Still, it’s fair to point out that the number of rail cars carrying crude oil has greatly increased in recent years as a result of more drilling in North America.
A new study burps forth from the Ivory Tower that determines that sprawl is by nature low density communities. And, thus, the L.A. metro area and other big regions (such as New York) aren’t really that sprawling as they’re too high density.
If you can explain to me what this means or why it matters or if I’m too dumb to understand this, please email me with ‘you’re too dumb’ in the subject line. In the meantime, I suggest this: try driving the 121 miles from Palm Springs to Santa Monica on the 10 freeway, leaving Palm Springs at 6 a.m. If, after that, you still believe the L.A. metro area is doing great when it comes to sprawl, then I suggest seeking tenure anywhere that will take you.
Bidders for 2022 Winter Games are melting away (New York Times)
Not a transpo story per se, but more an infrastructure one. At this point, only Almaty in Kazakhstan and Beijing are in the running — and Beijing, of course, just hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The International Olympic Committee has a blizzard of concerns about both, ranging from human rights to lack of snow in the mountains outside Beijing.
I say put the 2022 Games in L.A.! We have enough arenas and infrastructure to handle hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling and the Sierra resorts could host the alpine events (assuming there’s snow). The bobsledders and lugers can take the easy two-hour flight to Utah and use the bobsled track there from the 2002 Games. My three cents.
Categories: Transportation Headlines