Transportation headlines, Tuesday, April 7

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram


Today’s profile of a Metro rider by Zocalo Public Square: My fellow passengers become characters on my screen, Pine Avenue to New Hampshire Avenue.

More lanes on the 710 means more trucks: more trucks means more pollution. Get it Caltrans (Streetsblog LA)

Roger Rudick argues that widening the southern end of the 710 near the ports or filling the gap between Alhambra and Pasadena would only attract more trucks to the freeway at a time when the Alameda Corridor freight railroad is still operating at well under capacity.

As the article explains, there are actually two 710 projects under study — one for the south end (which does look at widening the freeway and other options) and the SR-710 North project, which looks at improving transportation in the area around the 710 gap between Alhambra/El Sereno and Pasadena. Both projects are in the draft study phase and no decision has been made about what will — or will not — be built.

As for the 710 North end, two reminders: 1) There are five alternatives under study, including a freeway tunnel — the other options are no-build, light rail, bus rapid transit and traffic signal and intersection improvements, and ; 2) the first community meetings for the SR-710 North Study are this Saturday in El Sereno and next Tuesday in South Pasadena, respectively. More info here.

Here are the home pages for the 710 South and SR-710 North Study.

See the first Metro train to ever travel to the Westside (Curbed LA)

The clearance testing that began Monday on the second phase of the Expo Line has generated some enthusiasm. “Expo has been a long time coming and, as the first rail line to reach the transit-starved (or is it transit-averse?) Westside, it’s arguably one of the most important,” writes Ian Grant.

I would argue “averse” but now “starved” when it comes to rail. On the bright side, as work on the Expo Line is wrapping up, work is just beginning on the Purple Line Extension that will push the subway from its terminus at Wilshire/Western to Westwood eventually. Work on the first section to Wilshire/La Cienega is just getting underway — check out the parking-lot-turned-construction-staging-site on the southwest corner of Wilshire and Crenshaw!

Start-ups offer Bay Area travelers alternative to crowded bus system (L.A. Times) 

A good look at two private firms offer bus service that route-wise resembles municipal bus service except for higher fares, fewer riders, more spacious seating, wifi and juice offerings. Interestingly, local transit officials say they’re good with the private firms because their buses are already too crowded at rush hour.

But here’s the graph that kind of jumped off the laptop and squirmed around my desk for a while:

Officials at Leap and Chariot say they are interested in expanding to L.A., but are not yet sure how it would work here or what routes would make sense.

If I’m guessing correct, our pro-free market readers are about to hit the ‘comment’ button.

Quiz: can you identify these cities only by looking at their bike lanes? (Washington Post)

Not an easy test, but I scored 10 of 11. Bow before me, map nerds!

Mass transit isn’t necessarily the answer to lower carbon emissions (Quartz) 

A new study finds that per capita emissions of carbon dioxide go down when cities are dense and go up when cities sprawl. No surprise there, but Quartz points out that that per capita emissions have gone up even in some transit-friendly cities such as Denver — because they are still sprawling even while the city core gets denser.

Fair enough to point that out. But…. wouldn’t carbon emissions go up even more if there were no viable transit options?