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Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: New museums and old rock-n-roll, Barranca Parkway to Jefferson Boulevard.
New Metrolink chief to focus on customer service, lower fares (L.A. Times)
Outgoing Metro CEO and incoming Metrolink CEO Art Leahy says that he wants to work on reliability of the commuter rail service and perhaps lower fares on some lines as a way to build ridership. Metrolink’s daily boardings have slipped from a peak of about 50,000 boardings per weekday to 41,500.
Sales tax for transit: boon or bust? (All in L.A.)
The post argues against the notion that sales tax increases are regressive because people with lower incomes pay a greater percentage of their overall income. Why? Sales taxes are not imposed on necessities such as food, rent and transportation that make up a significant percentage of household costs for low-income residents who need better transit to connect them to work, school and other important places.
One thing to keep in mind here: The blog is affiliated with Move LA, the group that has supported sales tax increases to fund transportation improvements in Los Angeles County. The group has also been supportive of Metro pursuing a sales tax increase through a 2016 ballot measure. Metro is studying such a ballot measure but no decision has yet been made
Sens. Schumer and Blumenthal introduce rail-crossing safety act (Progressive Railroading)
The bill by the two U.S. senators would boost the number of federal grants available to make railroad crossings safer, as well as provide funds for more education campaigns. There have been several notable collisions between commuter trains and cars and trucks this year, including an accident that killed five people aboard a Metro North train in New York and, of course, the collision between a Metrolink train that hit a truck stuck on the tracks in Oxnard, killing the Metrolink engineer.
Exciting 7th Street improvement project coming to DTLA (DTLA Rising)
As part of the Wilshire Grand Center skyscraper project at 7th and Metro, the developer — Korean Air — will make upgrades to 7th Street from the 110 freeway overpass all the way to 7th and Olive. The blog post by Brigham Yen runs down some of the concept groups of fixes that are being looked at. Among the ideas are protected bike lanes (yeah!), bulb outs to make crosswalks shorter and wider sidewalks. As you probably know, the extremely busy 7th/Metro Center Station sits across the street from the future 73-story tower that will be 1,100 feet high.
Related: Curbed LA has a rendering of a new 33-story skyscraper to be built above the Grand Central Market in DTLA — very convenient to the Red/Purple Line’s Pershing Square Station. Looks like this one is going to be 428 units of apartment buildings whereas the Wilshire Grand will be a hotel along with some businesses and commercial space, so says the developer.
What’s the greenest way to travel? (Grist)
The always awesome Ask Umbra feature tackles a reader question involving long-distance travel. Excerpt of her answer:
Many readers will relate to your dilemma, Kris. Travel is a wonderful way to expand one’s horizons and learn about different cultures, and it’s quite a bit of fun to boot. You’d never get to run with the bulls, see the Mona Lisa, or visit the Toilet Museum if you stuck to Wichita for a lifetime. But no way around it: Moving our bodies (and our luggage) from place to place emits a huge load of carbon dioxide. A full 32 percent of the U.S.’s carbon emissions belong to transportation.
The very best thing, climate-wise, would be never to travel anywhere. But that’s a no-go for most people, including yours truly — how I enjoy a nice getaway now and then. So if we’re going to travel, we can dramatically limit our emissions by booking our tickets carefully, as some modes of transport belch a lot more carbon than others. Your best bet, according to several analyses (including this one by the Union of Concerned Scientists) is taking the bus. (I’m assuming you’re traveling alone for this discussion; the math changes a bit if you’re on the road with a crew.)
Trains are another good option while cars and planes tend to be the most greenhouse gas intensive — although there are some tips to sort of mitigate both. I’ve tended toward taking road trips in my older Subaru in the past, smugly thinking it was better than flying (flying with a dog and kayak is difficult). My smugness, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists report, wasn’t completely out of place — but perhaps was stretching things a bit.
Speaking of road trips, let’s take a quick peek at winter in four Western U.S. national parks to see which actually look like winter:
Need help filling out your bracket? Here is The Source’s official picks. Disclosure: I haven’t actually watched a college basketball game in two years. Which I don’t consider a handicap.
Categories: Transportation Headlines