Art of Transit:
Pickup collides with Metro Bus (L.A. Times)
A pickup truck apparently ran a red light and struck a Metro Local Bus on Monday evening in Burbank, resulting in two riders and the bus operator being sent to the hospital. After being hit, the bus also struck a third vehicle. Police described injuries as mild to moderate.
A good look behind-the-scenes of the debate and process leading to the design of the replacement bridge for the venerable bridge by the city of Los Angeles. Key excerpt:
Maltzan had hoped pedestrians could climb to the top of six arches. Now they can climb to the top of only two. He had hoped pedestrians and bicyclists could access the bridge from 23 locations beneath the bridge. Now they can access it from nine points.
Finally, he wanted a bridge under the bridge that would place pedestrians closer to the river. That feature has been removed entirely.
Though the changes limit the number of entry points to the bridge and the space below it, Maltzan believes the original vision — an interactive environment — will be sustained.
As some of you may already know, Metro is studying whether there’s space for a Red/Purple Line Arts District station near the western side of the new bridge. Here’s the most recent staff report. Speaking of….
Metro, Arts District stakeholders at odds over project (Downtown News)
As part of the Purple Line Extension project, Metro needs to expand the subway vehicle maintenance yard in the Arts District — as the subway will be needing a lot more rail cars (assuming everyone wants frequent service). Metro plans to add a new building to the existing yards and that would be just north of the 6th Street Viaduct.
Problem is, some community members say the building would interfere with a planned park under the bridge and could one day interfere with access to the Los Angeles River. Excerpt:
Metro officials considered several sites for the maintenance facility, said David Mieger, the agency’s executive officer for transit corridor planning. Metro needs to build the project so that it can knock down older maintenance buildings near the One Santa Fe apartment complex, he said. The freed space would be used for construction of a “turnback” track to allow trains to flow into the maintenance facility and then reverse course back toward Union Station.
Mieger said that some concessions are being made, including moving the building 28 feet back from the property line and moving the fence back. He also said the agency is willing to collaborate on a more “architecturally sensitive” design on the façade facing the bridge.
Regardless of what changes are possible, pursuing an alternative location for the project does not appear to be in the cards. Metro expects to move ahead soon with its construction bid, Mieger said. In the future, he added, the agency hopes to create a light-rail spur in the Arts District down along the L.A. River. That, Mieger added, could stimulate more growth in the neighborhood.
Bar-Zemer and the others pushing for an alternative site will continue communicating with Metro with hopes of changing the plan.
It’s a tough issue as there is only so much space and moving the Red/Purple Line yards is not an option — and it’s hard to argue the enormous benefits of linking the Arts District to the rail system.
I’m studying Chinese (Zocalo Public Square)
The latest in Zocalo’s ongoing series of Metro rider profiles.
Federal transpo spending bill update (White House)
Congress still can’t agree on a multi-year federal transportation spending bill. As a result, President Obama signed a 60-day extension last week — in other words, an extension of the previous extension. In the White House’s words:
H.R. 2353, the “Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015,” which extends through July 31, 2015: (1) funding for Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs financed by the Highway Trust Fund; (2) authority to make expenditures from the Highway Trust Fund; and (3) authority to deposit tax revenues into, and obligate from, the Highway Trust Fund;
Yes, it’s drier than a drought in the Sahara Desert, but important nonetheless. Metro and other transit agencies rely on federal dollars for a variety of needs, including building new transit projects.
Watch the video, then ask yourself whether Europe and the U.S. actually exist on the same planet.
Categories: Transportation Headlines