Transportation headlines, Tuesday, March 17

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Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: Get lost? Go shopping, Harding Avenue to Cypress Avenue

2 options considered for reconstructing part of congested 710 Freeway (L.A. Times) 

A good look at the other 710 study underway by Caltrans and Metro. This one is looking at making improvements to the lower 18 miles of the 710 from the ports to the 60 freeway. This is the stretch of road with heavy truck traffic traveling from the ports to the freight rail yards. A draft study was released a couple years ago and two alternatives (along with the legally required no build option) are being refined: a separate freight corridor adjacent to the freeway and adding a lane to the 710 while building a bypass for trucks around the 710-405 interchange. More info on the project page on

Eyes on the street: North Hollywood tunnel construction (Streestblog LA)

A nice look at progress — with some pics — on building the pedestrian tunnel between the NoHo Red Line Station’s mezzanine level and the Orange Line Station on the opposite side of Lankershim Boulevard. A mural in the Red Line Station will have to moved.

Meet Jody Litvak, the most hated woman in Beverly Hills (LA Magazine) 

Nice interview, kind of silly headline. My colleague Jody works in community relations for Metro and works on the Purple Line Extension project. As she notes, there are probably many folks in Beverly Hills looking forward to the subway project and the dream of being to travel between UCLA and DTLA in half-hour is a dream that’s been around for a long, long time.

Streetcar revival is wavering in some cities (New York Times)

The story is mostly keyed to Arlington, Virginia, canceling its streetcar plans and Washington D.C. cutting back their planned routes. As the story notes, many cities are now in the streetcar game with an eye on boosting economic development. But there has been pushback as some question the cost (which is all over the place) and streetcars’ utility as transit. That pretty much sums up the debate here where the challenge is raising the money needed to fund the downtown L.A. project being pursued by the city of L.A.

Condo buyers, in shift, say ‘no thanks’ to parking (Toronto Star) 

Once upon a time, it was difficult at best to sell a condo without an accompanying parking space in Toronto. In a reversal, it’s getting more challenging to sell parking because residents have other mobility options including car-sharing, transit and good ol’ walking. Still, not everyone is keen on high-rise condos without parking — and are forcing building to supply at least some spaces.



In memoriam: Transit advocate Ken Ruben passed away last week at the age of 72.  Ken was a long-time resident of Culver City and a life-long rail and transit fan. He was active in several groups, including Southern California Transit Advocates, Pacific Railroad Society, RailPAC and was a regular attendee and commenter at Metro’s Westside Central Service Council Meetings.

I only knew Ken in passing but I do know he was one of the people in our area advocating for new rail lines long before it was fashionable to do so. He was a big-time proponent of the Expo Line and, as one of his friends noted in an email, it’s a shame that Ken won’t be around — at least in body — to see the line open to Santa Monica next year.

We tend to take some of our new transit projects for granted and forget the wrangling and years of perseverance it took by people like Ken to convince others that they should be built. His enthusiasm for the growing system will surely be missed and my condolences and sympathies to Ken’s friends. And to Ken wherever you are: Metro wishes you much feasting, song, an extremely robust transit network and a bottomless TAP card.