The L.A. City Council yesterday went ahead with the contentious plan for the Glendale-Hyperion bridge between Atwater Village and Silver Lake. The unanimously approved plan calls for one sidewalk and four vehicle lanes on the bridge once the $50-million retrofit is complete. Opponents of the plan had proposed an alternate with sidewalks on both side of the bridge, leaving room for only three vehicle lanes.
Advocates of the approved plan were concerned about the increased congestion that the alternative plan might create. Opponents were against the plan primarily over concerns of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. On the council’s decision:
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents Atwater Village, said it was “completely unnecessary” to reduce the number of car lanes because the city was still providing an uninterrupted sidewalk for pedestrians. He added that a new pedestrian bridge was being created nearby.
“We don’t want to push for a road diet when one isn’t needed,” O’Farrell said.
According to the city staffers, another reason the plan was pushed forward in its current form was because pedestrian traffic on the bridge didn’t warrant the additional sidewalk. Opponents argue this is because the bridge in its current state is unsafe for pedestrians.
Though the plan was approved, the advocate’s fight may not be over. The Times hints that they may pursue litigation on how the plan will affect accessibility. Somewhat related, there are also plans in the works for a pedestrian and bike bridge south of the Hyperion Bridge.
OCTA Board approves $1 billion balanced 2015 – 2016 budget (Orange County Breeze)
Always fun to see what other transit agencies are up in their spending plans. Our neighbors to the south, the Orange County Transportation Authority, approved its annual budget on Monday. At $1 billion, it’s less than one-fifth the amount of Metro’s $5.6-billion budget the Metro Board adopted last month.
Interestingly and perhaps unsurprisingly, OCTA’s budget allocates nearly the same amount for street, road and highway improvements combined than it does for bus operations and maintenance. The remaining $130 million goes to rail operation expenditures — i.e. its share of paying for Metrolink, which is also funded by four other counties (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura).
How our cars, our neighborhoods, and our schools are pulling us apart (Washington Post)
Emily Badger from the WaPo Wonkblog adds more evidence to the decades-old trend of decreased civil engagement and social isolation that was most famously brought to light by Robert Putnam in his book “Bowling Alone.” The result of this trend is seen in a growing divide between individuals and a decline in trust, social capital and ultimately the power to unite around common objectives. Excerpt:
This familiar argument is particularly relevant now to many of the bitter debates we’re having around racial unrest and even poverty. If rich and poor, black and white, don’t share the same commons — if they attend separate schools, live in separate neighborhoods, swim in separate pools, rely on separate transportation — then there’s little reason for them to mutually invest in any of these resources.
Our transit choices aren’t helping to mitigate this trend either. Emily notes that in 1960, 63 percent of Americans got to work via private automobile. That number is now 85 percent with about 75 percent of commuters driving alone.
77 ways to design the letter “M” (CityLab)
CityLab looks at the design of 77 public transportation logos throughout the world and groups them into a handful of categories ranging from basic to abstract. L.A. Metro’s logo is in the “slightly tweaked” category. With its distinctive diagonal line in the middle of the “M” being the only difference between it and other simple Metro logos, it looks like the right categorization.
Metro logos worldwide range from the standard M to the abstract, often signifying something deeper and symbolic. For the latter, take for example the Tokyo Metro heart logo that serves to remind the agency “that we serve the heart of Tokyo with thoughtful, heartfelt service.” Fair enough, I suppose, but I thought it was a teddy bear resting on a heart-shaped pillow. Sure, I might have had to stare at the logo like it was a Magic Eye book, but how’s that for abstract?
Anyway, of the logos in the article, which one speaks to you?
Every neighborhood has a different cast of public transit characters (Zocalo Public Square)
The latest from the Zocalo rider series.
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Categories: Transportation Headlines