Transportation headlines, Monday, May 4

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.

Gustaw Laskowicz. Photo by Zocalo Public Square.

Gustaw Laskowicz. Photo by Zocalo Public Square.

Today’s profile of a Metro rider by Zocalo Public Square: I love huevo rancheros, MLK Jr. Boulevard to Washington Boulevard. 

Los Angeles and its booming creative class lures New Yorkers (New York Times) 

Television, film, the arts and technology are exerting a pretty good tug on residents of San Francisco East (i.e. Metropolis/Gotham/Big Apple), who also like the L.A. area for its cheaper real estate, better weather and food scene. There is, of course, a mention of our lil’ traffic issue — never mind the traffic in Gotham — and “limited” public transit, which is a basically the NYT’s way of saying we don’t have as many trains as they do, nor are our trains as clustered together.

Another issue with San Francisco East besides sour real estate prices: it freezes. Photo by Anthony Quintano, via Flickr creative commons.

Another issue with San Francisco East besides sour real estate prices: it freezes. Photo by Anthony Quintano, via Flickr creative commons.

Okay, fair enough. The New York subway has about 230 route miles compared to 87 for our Metro Rail — with another 32 miles under construction here on five projects. Of course, the other thing the New York area has is abundant, frequent and nearly around-the-clock commuter rail to Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.

I’ve lived in Chicago, SF East and L.A. (in that order) and I’m happy to report they’re all terrific. The one way I was able to afford living in Manhattan was not having a car whereas I’m sure some folks moving out there have to absorb that cost — meaning the Echo Park cottage mentioned in the article may not be as cheap as implied. That said, it was nice to read an NYT article that was mostly free of the quota of typical East Coast snobbery that editors must apply to West Coast articles.

One thing that is indisputable: New York pizza is absolutely terrible — a greasy and often tasteless mess of goo only meant to be consumed by late night drunkards who need to fill their stomachs with something semi-solid. Abbott Kinney Pizza (Venice — 33, 733 Bus) or Casa Bianca (Eagle Rock — 81, 83 or 180/181 Bus) easily do better, as do may other places around our region.

Santa Clarita rallies to dump HSR tracks onto someone else (California High-Speed Rail Blog) 

A recently rally in Santa Clarita and other communities near the 14 freeway brought out a big crowd urging the state bullet project project to keep tracks underground between Palmdale and the San Fernando Valley. Excerpt:

It’s not practical to build half the HSR route in a tunnel. Even if it were, it wouldn’t be cheap – and yet many of the critics at this rally cited the rising cost of building HSR as a reason to not move ahead with the project. Which is it? HSR is too expensive, or it’s not expensive enough (because the state won’t spend billions more to build a tunnel under the mountains)?

As the post also points out, there are a lot of folks between DTLA and the SFV who also want tracks underground. The even bigger issue: many billions of dollars in funding still need to be found to get the train to Bakersfield and under the Tehachapi Mountains — not to mention west to the San Francisco Bay area. Stay tuned…

Long Beach residents: OC 405 expansion will cause bottleneck (KPCC)

The news that Orange County plans to add two lanes in each direction to the 405 south of the Los Angeles County border has Long Beach residents fearing motorists will hit local streets to avoid a bottleneck at the county line where northbound motorists will have to squeeze into fewer lanes.

Metro — which provides some funding for freeway projects in the county — says there is no funding or plans to widen the 405 north of the county line, but that it will launch a feasibility study to see if adding a lane or two is even possible between the 605 freeway and Cherry Avenue in Long Beach.


Non-transity things…

If you can guess the name of the city in California where the mural shown below is located, I will post a video to the daily headlines declaring you the greatest transit rider and/or taxpayer of all-time. Email your guess to This column deeply appreciates legally-applied street art and reminders of spring while stuck inside on an otherwise beautiful day.


I’ll even give you a hint. The city is located near the beach where this semi-world famous burger can be purchased:

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Hint number two: if you need a transit angle, the city with the mural is served by Amtrak.

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram for my mostly non-transit blatherings and pics. 

7 replies

  1. Re the Santa Clarita rally, same old suburban NIMBYism. Likewise, many Palmdale and Lancaster residents don’t like Metrolink due to some of the jail visiting patrons. I believe that some reporter uncovered the reason for the AV routing of the HSR: insider Real Estate Speculation – surprise, surprise.
    If HSR spends big for a tunnel, let it be under the mountains between Castaic and Grapevine!! Get lost, NIMBYs!

  2. Hey Steve,

    Best not to put the answer in the name of the photo’s file – Lompoc 🙂

    • Ugh–thought I deleted that!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Well, anyone could’ve just as easily cheated by doing a reverse Google Image search like I did to find the location. I’d never heard of Tom’s burgers, so that would explain its “semi” world fame. 🙂

  3. “One thing that is indisputable: New York pizza is absolutely terrible — a greasy and often tasteless mess of goo only meant to be consumed by late night drunkards who need to fill their stomachs with something semi-solid.”

    That’s a fairly ignorant and generally un-enlightened comment. Pizza is as ubiquitous to NYC as tacos are to LA. To suggest that all NY pizza is “terrible” is to suggest that every place that sells it needs to be gourmet quality (ala the likes of “Abbott Kinney Pizza” or “Casa Bianca” here in LA). I’ve had some amazing pizza in and around NYC, as well as some pretty terrible pizza. Moreover, the quality of pizza that I’ve had from average NYC mom ‘n pop establishments has been unequaled by any outside of NYC. In LA, only the “gourmet” pizza places have come close to offering such quality. Maybe the new “it” parts of NY have upscaled and gone beyond the gourmet pizza restaurant to offer other options in their dining scene leaving only the budget pizza spots holding onto a cheap eats market offering the masses of poor workers and students to eat in an otherwise expensive city. Though, I suspect you are simply not looking very hard to find pizza places in NY that would be the envy of most people in most every world city.

    To drive my point home, I would like to say that I have eaten tacos all over North America (LA, NY, Boston, Chicago, SF, Dallas, San Diego, and Mexico City), and some of my best taco experiences have been right here in LA (along with some of the worst experiences). But I would never go out on a whim and suggest that LA has “terrible” tacos because of these worst experiences.

  4. Television, film, the arts and technology are only a factor in a very small segment of L.A. In most of the county, east Downtown, there is no influence at all.