A new survey by France’s High Council for Equality between Women and Men found that 100 percent of 600 women surveyed in two Paris suburbs said they had been sexually harassed while riding transit. Excerpt:
“The men in Paris take a lot of liberties… it’s like they don’t really care what they say or how it might make someone feel,” she told The Local.
“Sometimes I deliberately change train carriages if there are lots of men. I’d rather not put myself in a situation where I’m alone with only men because I know what would happen.”
She said men on the Paris Metro will often change seats to sit next to her and start a conversation, leaving her feeling cornered.
Obviously this is an interest we’ve been watching. In the latest Metro customer survey, 22 percent of riders surveyed (both women and men) reported some sort of sexual harassment. In response, Metro has launched a new PR campaign aimed at getting riders to mind their own bees wax and to report harassment to authorities. Please see this post by my colleague Anna Chen.
P-32, a male mountain lion, in a photo taken last year in the Santa Monica National Recreation Area. Photo: National Park Service.
Good overview story about the fate of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains. The article was prompted by the recent lion that took refuge under a front porch of a Los Feliz home. Excerpt:
What the lions of the Los Angeles Basin need is new blood, but the man-made barriers around them make immigration unlikely. P-22 was not the first Southern California mountain lion to attempt a freeway crossing, but he is among the very few to have survived one, much less two: in the Santa Monicas and adjoining mountain ranges, twelve mountain lions have been killed by traffic in the past dozen years. During one month last winter, three lion cubs were crushed on freeways. “Sometimes it seems like we’re mostly studying how mountain lions die,” Winston Vickers, a wildlife veterinarian who has tracked lions in the Santa Anas since the early two-thousands, told me. “I’ve seen way, way too many dead lions.”
This is a transportation and urban planning story as much as it’s a wildlife story. Freeways, in particular, have isolated native wildlife populations in our state and there hasn’t been much willingness to spend scarce transportation dollars on helping remedy the problem with safer wildlife crossings — in fact, they’ve even been ridiculed by media when shown to work in many other parts of the world.
I suppose it comes down to this: do we just want to enjoy what’s left of the native landscapes in our state? Or do we want native wildlife to be part of the landscapes or not. If so, keep an eye on a burgeoning yet mostly unfunded project to help wildlife get under the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills to connect habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains to the Santa Susana Mountains.
OK, not transit-related but the old Perris movie house in Perris, CA. Photo: achangeinscenery, via Flickr creative commons.
The California Commute weekly column is devoted this week to Metrolink’s project to add 24 miles of track between Riverside and Perris, including 10 miles of double track. Work on the project began in 2013 and passenger service could begin as early as this October, according to Metrolink officials.
That will make it possible for residents in Perris to ride all the way to downtown L.A. The Riverside-Union Station trip currently takes 78 minutes. It’s 72 miles between Perris and DTLA, with two bad choices for motorists who dislike traffic: the Pomona Freeway or San Bernardino Freeway.
The train reached 366 miles per hour in a test run last Thursday, according to the Central Japan Railway. The previous record was 361 mph, set in 2003. Regular service isn’t expected to begin until 2027 and it’s expected trains will only run 313 mph but will still make the trip from Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes — about twice as fast as current bullet train service. Cray cray!
But wait….this just in…The Christian Science Monitor has an article suggesting that investing in maglev (trains that float on magnets) may not be a wise investment for Japan and its shrinking population.
Rendering of plans for Washington D.C.’s Union Station: Akridge and Shalom Baranes Associates.
A good look at some very big plans for a makeover to Union Station near the U.S. Capitol building. One big part of the plan is to build up and over the railroad tracks at the rear of the station. Plans include adding “1.5 million square feet of office space, 1,300 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, more than 500 hotel rooms, and parks and plazas.”
Interesting side note: Grimshaw Architects is drawing up the plans. Grimshaw also worked with Metro (along with Gruen Associates) to develop the master plan for Los Angeles Union Station. I think the difference between the station plans is this: In D.C., it’s more about adding development to the transit that’s already there. In L.A., it’s more about making Union Station functional for larger crowds of transit users while also potentially adding some new development over time to the 14-acre property.
More here about the L.A. Union Station Master Plan that was approved by the agency’s Board of Directors last fall.
Even Little Rock, Arkansas, has a streetcar — and many other cities want one. Photo by David Wilson, via Flickr creative commons.
With both the Twin Cities toying with the idea of building a modern streetcar, this article ponders whether the streetcar system in Portland that started the modern boom across the U.S. is an anomaly in terms of its success. The antis say streetcars are just expensive buses while the likers say that streetcars attract riders that would never set foot on a bus.
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