— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) July 30, 2015
— LAist (@LAist) July 30, 2015
The Expo Line extension’s parking situation (LA Magazine)
The first article burps forth from Melbourne, the Australian city that shares some sprawling characteristics with L.A. (putting aside issues of scale). The local transit agency, with the highly original name of ‘Metro,’ wants to build parking garages at rail stations to encourage more people to ride and make some money. Critics say ‘meh,’ arguing that impact on ridership would be marginal, garages are difficult to integrate into neighborhoods and encouraging more people to drive to stations is counterproductive.
The second article — which is very short — simply says that some Metro riders are freaked out by the prospect that the parking lot at the Culver City Station could eventually be replaced by a transit-oriented development (putting aside the fact that development proposals in Culver City can move at the pace of a constipated glacier (see: empty lot across from Trader Joe’s in DTCC).
For those keeping score at home, three of the seven Expo 2 stations will have parking (Expo/Sepulveda, Expo/Bundy and 17th Street/Santa Monica College) combining for about 580 spaces. All six stations on the Gold Line Foothill Extension — in a more suburban environment — will have parking, totaling more than 1,500 spaces. Three of eight stations under construction on the Crenshaw/LAX Line will have parking (Expo/Crenshaw, Fairview Heights and Downtown Inglewood).
There will be no parking at stations for the Purple Line Extension or the Regional Connector. I can personally guarantee at least one reporter will have a TOTAL COW about this when the projects open, although the proper time to have delivered said cow would have been when the Metro Board considered the projects’ environmental studies.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne says the upside of the Sepulveda Pass Improvements project is the expanded public participation. The downside: in his view, a very uneven approach to design with a very uneven appearance along the 10-mile corridor. A sampling:
The concrete is then dyed in a thoroughly unpersuasive attempt to look like rock or match the color of the hill it is holding up. This technique is something like the comb-over of freeway design.
The new sound walls are mostly a beige-colored concrete block. Sometimes these various walls are topped by chain-link fencing, sometimes by iron railings and sometimes by barbed wire.
Senate clears highway bill averting a funding shutdown (Washington Post)
Another yawner about transportation funding, albeit actually important. In one sentence: Congress kicks can down road again on adopting long-term funding bill for desperate transit agencies, Metro included. To quote Miranda Priestly, that’s all.
L.A. Mayor mum on financial pledge for 2024 Olympics (L.A. Times)
With Boston out, should L.A. make another Olympic bid? (KPCC AirTalk)
The news Monday that USOC was dumping Boston as its American bid city inspired a wave of stories about the potential that one of the other U.S. candidate cities — L.A., San Francisco or Washington — could take Boston’s place in the international competition.
The obvious public policy question to be settled is whether L.A. would be on the hook for any cost overruns. The other question is whether any American city has a real chance against other cities vying for the 2024 Games — a list that looks to includes Paris, Rome, Hamburg and Budapest.
I’ll put aside those questions and instead comment briefly on another important question: will L.A. have the infrastructure to handle the 2024 Summer Games? I think it’s a plus that the five rail projects under construction are all forecast to be open by then (Expo 2, Gold Line Foothill Extension, Crenshaw/LAX Line, Purple Line Extension to La Cienega and Regional Connector). In addition, LAX officials have said their new people mover that will connect passenger terminals to the Crenshaw/LAX Line could be open by 2023.
Those project plus the 87 miles of rail lines already in service reach many of the potential venues for the competitions. That’s good. Perhaps the only open question is whether the Purple Line Extension to Westwood could/should/would be accelerated — the current opening date under Measure R is 2036. It’s a significant question as UCLA would be among the venues.
Another question, at least in my view: where is the central gathering place for these Games? I think L.A. has some good public spots, I’m not sure it has THE spot. L.A. Live, Pershing Square, Grand Park, Expo Park….none feel like the one spot that everyone identifies with the region. That, like all things, could certainly change.
As Americans figure out the roundabout, it spreads across the U.S. (New York Times)
The digitized-gray-lady may consider speaking to my domestic partner, who can turn any roundabout into a hair-raising experience. There are about 5,000 across America these days and the feds are pushing for more of them, pointing to increased safety. The article’s kicker inspired me to consider LMAO:
Community and driver objections are beside the point, said Peter Doctors, a traffic engineer and designer of an early roundabout in Santa Barbara, Calif.
“Just because people have drivers’ licenses does not make them traffic engineers,” he said. “Even if people are confused about how to use them, they’re still working.”
Hey kids, there’s Big Ben and Parliament….
Categories: Transportation Headlines