Transportation headlines, Wednesday, May 6

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ART OF TRANSIT: Gold Line train leaving downtown L.A. Photo from Instagram via @jperson111111

ART OF TRANSIT: Gold Line train leaving downtown L.A. Photo from Instagram via @jperson111111

Today’s profile of a Metro rider by Zocalo Public Square: I won a silver medal for a rack of lamb in sweet fig sauce , Santa Cruz Street to Grand Avenue.

LA Councilmembers question ticketing pedestrians for jaywalking (KPCC)

KPCC AirTalk hosts L.A. Councilman and Metro Board Member, Mike Bonin, who co-introduced a motion requiring the LAPD to report on its current policy on jaywalking enforcement. This motion came to the forefront in large part because of the rise in pedestrian activity in densifying neighborhoods such as downtown L.A. and Venice.

Bonin points out that the objective of the motion isn’t to get everyone out of a jaywalking ticket — for example, someone who doesn’t cross the street before the light turns green. But hopefully the motion will encourage officers to use more discretion for things like pedestrians crossing the crosswalk when the hand begin flashing. He also wants to ensure holistic traffic enforcement where jaywalking is heavily enforced, which means making sure officers aren’t ignoring vehicular traffic violations just because pedestrians are easier to cite.

Want to drive California’s most dangerous highways? (Zocalo Public Square) 

Joe Mathews tells us of his journeys on the east and west roads in California as well as the plight of others who have no choice to travel them due to poor infrastructure planning. These roads, which often pass through beautiful landscapes, are also some of the dangerous roads in the state. Excerpt:

California is sturdily and reliably connected from north to south by straight, workhorse highways like the Interstate 5, the 99, and the 101. They can be boring yes, but with multiple lanes, center divides, and the various other protections of big modern freeways, they get us there.

But if you want to travel horizontally in this state, from east to west or back, your task will be harder, your risks higher. If you’re heading between major population centers, you might well find yourself on stretches of interstate that rank high in the rankings of most dangerous in the country—I-80 to Nevada, I-10 on your way east to Arizona, and I-15 in the desert approaching Vegas.

I don’t own a car so it’s tough for me to weigh on this, but I-15 near Vegas seems like an anomaly, since some of the road is straight and open roadway, albeit roadway going to and from a renowned party destination. Most of the other roads mentioned in the article wind through narrow, steep terrain owing to the north-south alignment of many of the state’s mountain ranges.

My colleague Steve Hymon nominates Highway 155 between the Central Valley and Kernville on a foggy night as one of the scariest east-west roads in the state.

Is New York quietly changing its subway lettering? (CityLab)

As Metro and its construction agencies are currently building three new rail lines and extending two others, the NYMTA is working on completing the first phase of the 2nd Avenue Subway, its sole subway construction project. Recent construction photos of the nearly completed station at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue revealed a striking change: the newly installed “Lex/63” station signs markedly differ from the classic New York subway wall-tile station signage used throughout the system. And not in a good way, say critics (and me). You be the judge:

Photo: NYMTA

Photo: NYMTA

U2 plays surprise show on subway platform (Huffington Post)

In non-news that happened to occur on or near transit: the Irish rock band U2 performed “in disguise” yesterday on the Grand Central Station subway platform in New York City. It turns out the stunt was for an upcoming appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Having recently traveled through the station, I can tell you there are probably other musicians there more deserving of the publicity than U2. But hey, I’m not a fan, so of course I’d say that.


Speaking of New York: their pizza is the best in the world. Sorry, Steve.

In Steve’s headlines post on Monday, there was no mention on the type of pizza served at his favorite L.A. pizzerias, but more than likely they serve a hybrid of New York style using gourmet ingredients.

Unless of course they’re closer to Chicago style, but then we’re talking about doughy lasagna, not pizza.  Is it lunchtime yet?

12 replies

  1. How come the 7 line extension doesn’t count as a New York Subway construction project?

    • Hi Reuben,

      As far as I’ve heard, construction on the 7 line extension is ostensibly complete, it’s just not in service yet.

      Writer, The Source

  2. Have you driven on the 120 going out of Yosemite to Mono Lake?
    It is a beautiful drive but its a tiny 2 lane highway caved into the side of a cliff. If you get caught looking at the scenery, chances are you probably are in the canyon by now

    • Hi Joe —

      I’ve driven that road many times! All things considered, I think that road is in pretty good shape and not too scary compared to some of the other Sierra roads — although the dropoffs into Lee Vining Canyon are not to be taken lightly 🙂

      The scariest road from the Sierra high country, for my money, is 9 Mile Canyon Road between US 395 and the turnoff to Kennedy Meadows. Compared to that steering-wheel-clencher, 120 is a day in the park!

      If dropoffs are your thing, then I also highly recommend Kaiser Pass Road between Huntington Lake and either Florence or Edison lakes. The fun part of this road is that it’s often one-and-a-half lanes with a cliff on one side, meaning you sometimes have to back up very, very, very carefully.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • I drove 9 Mile Canyon before they paved it, now that was scary. Those lumber trucks rolling down from the plateau were close to runaways.

    • The drive out of Yosemite Valley toward 41, and up to Glacier Point is also on 2 lane roads carved into hillsides. I was up there last month. Like 120, Glacier Pt road is usually closed through May, but was open in early April due to lack of snowfall. Then it snowed the week before I came. The pavement was wet in places from melting snow, making the drive juust a bit more difficult.

  3. The whole discussion about which city has the best pizza is pointless. No one cares.

  4. re: dangerous highways – I’ve driven on 152 through the Pacheco pass and found myself in fog so thick I couldn’t see 100 feet in front of me. If you get stuck in that, drive carefully and avoid the left lane. The various turns and hills make for very low visibility.

    The article doesn’t mention the interchange between 46 and 41, where James Dean was killed. It still has drivers making a left turn onto 41 against oncoming traffic. I’d avoid going anywhere near that one. If it gets busy enough, I would seriously hope they consider a flyover like they did at 152 and 156.

  5. I fail to understand the whole business of cities claiming to be the custodians of the best pizza, and trash-talking the pizzas of rival cities.

    I find all pizza profoundly unappetizing; to me, pizza looks like (to paraphrase the punchline of an old Norwegian joke) somebody threw up on a big lefse.