Some tweets that got my attention….
Whole Foods is now considered vital infrastructure?! Well, their pig bar is pretty awesome (and awesomely expensive).
This is the big environmental/sustainable news of the day whether you agree with it or not. Coal is used to generate about eight percent of California’s electricity, btw — a far lower number than many states. Natural gas is California’s largest source of power at 45 percent. About 18 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewables. Remember: the cleaner our electricity gets, the cleaner Metro’s rail lines get.
Millennials are better educated but are earning less than previous generations. And this:
They are faced with a slow economy, high unemployment, stagnant wages and student loans that constrict their ability both to maintain a reasonable lifestyle and to save for the future.
Longer term, rising federal debt payments and increased spending on Social Security and Medicare will inflict a tremendous financial burden on them, threatening their own prospect of receiving promised retirement benefits.
Who is to blame? The economy, for one — and the tolerance Americans have shown for running up the national debt. The rising cost of education. And, of course, some American industries that have been in turmoil in recent times due to the offshoring of jobs and new technologies.
But here’s my question: we’ve all seen the stories written that millennials are also driving less and have more tolerance/interest in transit, bikes and living in cities. Is that a product of millennials being more enlightened than previous generations? Or a product of millennials not having any money?
I’m an Old Goat and clearly not a millennial. But I certainly see some of the things discussed in the article — I thought buying a home was a stretch for my generation and it seems even worse now, especially in many big cities, L.A. included. On the other hand, I made peanuts (actually less than peanuts) early in my career but managed to get by with cheap rent and utilities. It probably helped I didn’t have to pay a big cell phone and web connection fee every month, although I recall running up some big Ma Bell long-distance bills.
All that said, I think the biggest problem facing millennials comes down to lack of opportunity — there just aren’t the jobs there used to be and older Americans, facing economic pressures of their own, are less willing to move out of the way for them.
Which reminds of a movie that I’m surprised hasn’t been remade as it’s reminiscent of the themes found in Hunger Games and other books/movies of that ilk: Logan’s Run, in which those who are 30 years old are “renewed” to clear the way for younger generations.
Yes, apparently speed skating uniforms are big in the 23rd century — at least according to a Hollywood costume designer on a budget 🙂
Campaign money has MTA Board Members missing votes (L.A. Times)
Reporter David Zahniser takes a look at the reason why Board Members — in this article, mostly L.A. Mayor Eri Garcetti — must recuse themselves from some votes at Metro Board meetings. The big reason: campaign contributions from firms vying for contracts with Metro.
The Mayor’s spokesperson says the recusals are a sign that the Mayor’s office is following both the letter and spirit of the law while one political watchdog says that perhaps it’s better if elected officials didn’t take money in the first place. Another factor: sometimes firms give money to politicians and then later compete for contracts.
Alleviating traffic to L.A. may just be a few light rail lines away (Santa Clarita Valley Signal)
In this op-ed, the president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. (VICA) argues that Santa Clarita commuters would benefit from projects that VICA wants included in a potential long range plan/ballot measure that Metro is looking at. Those include a conversion of the Orange Line to light rail and a rail line down Van Nuys Boulevard that crosses under the Sepulveda Pass to reach the Westside.
All interesting projects, for sure, assuming there’s frequent and fast transit service from Santa Clarita, whether on Metrolink or via bus.
Bay Area’s disjointed transit inspires a call for harmony (New York Times)
The lede sums it up:
One thing is not perfect, though: the daunting nature of the region’s public transportation system, a patchwork of more than 20 operators spread across nine counties and 101 municipalities that have yet to spawn a cohesive map.
As housing costs here continue to escalate, with growing numbers of people moving farther afield in search of affordability, the disjointed nature of the region’s transportation fiefs, each with its own fare structures and nomenclature, has become the topic of increasingly intense debate among transportation policy experts.
This is one of those articles in which everyone agrees there’s a problem but there doesn’t seem to be any solutions in sight. Those quoted also seem to concur that more than 10 percent of commuters in the Bay Area should be taking transit.
Question: is the situation really any better here? Metro is the largest transit provider in Los Angeles County — but there are also 20 or so other muni bus providers. Along my dog walk route in Pasadena I can see buses operated by four different agencies: Metro, the city of Pasadena, Foothill Transit and LADOT. That’s in addition to Metro’s Gold Line.
In a big spread out area, this is how things evolved, for better or worse. I’m not sure what the answer is here or in the Bay Area. Would riders be better off with one giant transit agency? Or are local agencies the best way to tailor service for local residents? Of course, even if ginormous transit agency was the way to go, there are all sorts of funding and legal barriers to that ranging from labor unions to civil rights protections.
The Special Olympics were A-W-E-S-O-M-E (Zocalo Public Square)
Yes they were. And I’d like to extend a congratulations and thank you to the World Games organizers, volunteers and many others who brought the Games to our region and made them a success. The Zocalo gallery is from the Department of Shameless Self Promotion and features some of the photos I shot last week at different events and a short essay.
Categories: Transportation Headlines