Transportation headlines, Thursday, February 26

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Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: My baby loves the bus, Jefferson to Eighth Street

Oxnard trail derailment still a mystery to investigators (L.A. Times) 

Three people aboard the Metrolink remained in critical condition on Wednesday, including the train engineer. Investigators, meanwhile, were still trying to figure out exactly how an Arizona man managed to get his pickup truck towing a trailer stuck on the tracks — and why he was found 1.5 miles away after the crash.

The collision occurred at 5th and Rice in Oxnard, which has a gated crossing with warning lights. All were working at the time of the accident. Excerpt:

The location of the crash spotlighted a massive, costly backlog of overpass projects intended to separate rail and street traffic. The crossing near 5th and Rice, on a straight stretch of track where trains travel at top speeds, has a history of deadly accidents and is ranked among the state’s two dozen most dangerous.

Federal Railroad Administration records show that since 1976, the crossing had 13 major accidents before Tuesday’s crash, 11 of which involved vehicles that either stalled in the crossing or had become trapped by the gates.

Darren Kettle, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, said a $30-million to $35-million grade separation project has been proposed for the Rice Avenue crossing for 15 to 20 years.

The problem is that there is no funding dedicated for the project yet and Ventura County has no tax dedicated to transportation, unlike Los Angeles County (Prop A, Prop C, Measure R — each for a half-cent sales tax).

One note I should add to the headlines about this accident: Metro is one of the five county transportation agencies in Southern California that funds Metrolink. The others are Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County.

Two types of affordability (Let’s Go L.A.)

A good, clear and concise at affordability and rents in the L.A. area. The gist of it: many renters can’t afford to move even if they want/have to and rent stabilization — while positive in some ways — tends to suppress the number of units available. The potential solution, according to the post: boost the supply of units enough to satisfy demands and keep rents stable and boost the number of units near transit, in particular.

Great maps: LA/2B’s Wilshire Boulevard (City of Los Angeles/Good)


Click above to see larger version.

Nice infographic from the city of L.A.’s planning department that also serves another purpose: it demonstrates the need for the Purple Line Extension, which will largely follow Wilshire Boulevard between Wilshire/Western and Westwood.

First ever live ride share event trends on Twitter (Move LA)

A good collection of some of the tweets generated from the recent Live, Ride, Share event in Hollywood to look at the growing mobility options in our area, including transit.

Beautiful yet harrowing photos of urban sprawl (High Country News) 

The outlying ‘burbs of Las Vegas as seen from above.


A really nice edit of images from the International Space Station. There’s a bus and train down there somewhere:

2 replies

  1. The Let’s Go LA article supports the case for more construction to create “abundant housing,” but who’s going to invest in property that would be meant to have a high vacancy rate? Would it even play out as predicted, or would demand simply increase and drive up prices? The rental market here is a bit different than in a smaller city like Austin.

    • Hey Pat;

      Good point and good question. That said, I do think there’s enough demand here that developers will build units. The key is to ensure that it’s not all luxury and within reach of the masses.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source