Transportation headlines, Friday, April 17

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Metro halted construction on Crenshaw/LAX Line after safety violations (L.A. Times) 

Transportation reporter Laura Nelson writes that construction was recently stopped for four days after Metro officials witnessed a series of safety violations, which the article accurately describes in some detail. Metro officials tell the Times that the shutdown was intended to send a message to the contractor hired to build the project — Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors — as heavy construction is ramping up. Officials also said that Walsh/Shea’s injury rate is below industry standards and that the contractor overall has performed well.

Metro starts its ‘off-limits’ campaign (NBC 4)

Hit the link to watch the video — I can’t get it to embed. Friendly coverage of yesterday’s media event to promote Metro’s new campaign against sexual harassment on buses and trains. As the reporter notes, Metro says it was one of the few agencies to survey customers about the issue. That said, it should be noted that there have been other transit agencies that have previously undertaken anti-harassment campaigns, including the MBTA in the Boston area and WMATA that serves the D.C. area.

It will be interesting to see how the numbers change over time with the new campaign underway at Metro. As has been well-reported, 22 percent of Metro riders in last year’s customer survey said they had experienced some form of harassment and Metro said they received only 99 such complaints from riders.

The steady rise of bike ridership in New York City (CityLab)

The latest numbers show that the number of cycling trips is up another four percent with the growth linked to the increasing number of bike lanes — including some protected ones — in Gotham. I’m not sure about the statement that bikes outnumber cars on some streets, which I’ll believe when I see it. If so, then it’s always a good thing when there’s more room on city streets for the Batmobile.

Which begs the question….with New York going increasingly upscale (henceforth to be known as San Francisco East in this column), is there any need for Batman there? Let’s face it, Arkham was closed long ago and probably replaced with a Whole Foods and Waxing Plus. Not really related but awesome nonetheless is this pictorial on the secret life of miniature Batman.

Downtown L.A. revival continues with remake of opulent Gianni building (L.A. Times) 

A new 250-room hotel is coming to the old bank building at 7th and Olive as part of the resurgent 7th Street corridor. The hotel will be a short walk from the busy 7th/Metro Center hub that serves the Red, Purple, Blue and Expo Lines.

After the Regional Connector is constructed to link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines, riders at 7th/Metro will be able to board light rail trains running directly to downtown Santa Monica, downtown Long Beach, downtown Pasadena (and beyond), East Los Angeles and Union Station. In other words, DTLA will increasingly become an attractive place to stay for tourists because of the easy access to attractions in our county. Booya bum diddles!

MacArthur Park’s still waters run deep (Zocalo Public Square) 

A bass angler shortly after a recent sunrise. Photo by Steve Hymon.

A bass angler shortly after a recent sunrise. Photo by Steve Hymon.

If you’ve never visited the park in L.A.’s Westlake neighborhood, here’s a nice photo gallery and some accompanying text from a cough cough ahem brilliant young photographer. BTW, there are largemouth bass in the lake. Anglers can access the park via the Red/Purple Line’s Westlake Station and via buses on Wilshire (20, 720 Lines), 6th Street (18 Line) and Alvarado (200 Line).


Cool time lapse the impact of light pollution on our area and what the skies above L.A. could look like.

FullSizeRenderOn that note, I just spent a couple nights in the Pioneertown area, north of Joshua Tree National Park. While the pollution and haze in the park remains pretty bad thanks to smog from the Coachella Valley and winds from the L.A. metro area, there are still pretty spectacular night skies.

Speaking of which, I had the great pleasure of seeing Jenny Lewis perform under the desert night skies at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown. For $25 I got to see a world class songwriter performing on the back porch of a bar.

Jenny Lewis is, of course, an L.A. native. If looking for something to read while sitting/standing on transit, here’s a good NYT Magazine article about Lewis from last summer before the release of her latest (and extremely good) album “The Voyager.”

Hey, it’s Friday! As benevolent Dictator Lite of this blog, I say let’s play some music. This is one of her older songs, played at the beginning of her show the other night. Coachella-goers: check out her show!