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The Art of Transit/Remembering:
Metro saddles NoHo station redevelopment with $48 million parking expansion (Streetsblog LA)
Joe Linton doesn’t like the implications of this paragraph in yesterday’s post about Metro beginning the process to develop 15 acres of land on four parcels near the NoHo Red Line and Orange Line stations:
Before we go further, I wanted to address the parking issue, which is very important to many of our riders and readers. The current NoHo lot has 957 spaces and another 194 spaces are in the process of being added on the north side of Chandler Avenue east of the current lot. Parking at NoHo Station is heavily used with most sites taken each morning and many NoHo riders say the parking makes it possible for them to take transit. If the current lots are developed, Metro plans to ask for 2,000 replacement spaces for transit riders in parking lots and/or garages to be constructed in addition to parking needed for residents and retail. That would almost double the current parking available at the station for Red Line and Orange Line riders.
Joe guesstimates that constructing that amount of parking would cost $48 million based on a parking cost formula by UCLA’s Donald Shoup. “It’s better to invest that money in housing, and first/last mile connectivity for walking, bicycling, bike-share, etc.,” Joe writes.
Point of emphasis: the size and form that the NoHo development and parking might take has yet to be determined or designed. Nor has there been a cost estimate from Metro about parking or anything else. It’s also worth noting that many people feel quite the opposite: that parking makes it possible for them to take transit and keeps their cars off the freeways and other roads during peak hours.
Quasi-related to this: thank you to everyone for the number of good comments on the Source post about the NoHo development and, in particular, the issue of parking at transit stations (more about comments below). It’s a controversial topic and I thought our readers made some compelling arguments in support of their opinions.
Although not directly related to the NoHo development process, some of you may be familiar with Metro’s ongoing efforts to develop a parking ordinance. The ordinance — which is scheduled to come soon before the Metro Board of Directors — does two big things: 1) it gives Metro authority to write and enforce rules that are particular to its different parking lots/structures, and; 2) it gives Metro the authority to impose parking fees.
Here’s what I wrote earlier this year about the issue of fees:
If you read the ordinance, you’ll notice that a lot of attention is given to the issue of parking fees. While all non-reserved daily spaces at Metro parking lots are currently free, the ordinance provides guidelines on how the agency may impose more parking fees in the future — should it so desire.
Fees may also help manage demand for parking at some of the most notoriously difficult parking lots in the Metro system in the same way that parking meters and garages with variable pricing helps balance supply and demand. Fees may also be a source of funding expanded parking at the most impacted stations, as well as helping restrict non-transit use at some lots and making lots safer.
I want to emphasize that the Metro Board has yet to approve the parking ordinance. An approval only means that the Board could choose later to revisit the issue of whether to impose fees. The ordinance is not part of the effort to develop the NoNo parcels but I mention it because I think it’s salient to the overall parking issue at Metro in the coming years.
Coming soon to this blog!: an exciting new comments policy. I’m hoping to encourage more people to comment and to encourage more civility, which is very lacking at times. The status quo mostly doesn’t work — it’s the same extremely long comments saying the same thing by the same handful of people. FWIW, I’m using the New York Times policy as a template. As they say, “We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day.”
Gold Line Monrovia Station art (Foothill Extension Construction Authority)
The Construction Authority is holding a station dedication ceremony Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Monrovia. Construction on the project will be complete later this month and Metro plans on opening the rail line in 2016. We’ll have pics and more on Monday. Here’s the location and parking info for those who wish to attend.
Private Metrolink conversation on rail car safety may have violated transparency law (LAT)
The commuter railroad Metrolink recently announced that it was leasing locomotives from the freight railroad BNSF to help shield passenger cars in case of a collision. The article looks at whether a conference call by Metrolink staff and 11 members of the the Metrolink Board of Directors violated the law because it was not open to the public or announced ahead of time.
In response, Metrolink officials say that the conference call complied with the Brown Act and that Metrolink is preparing a response to questions from Los Angeles Times attorneys. Metrolink is funded by five county transportation agencies in Southern California, including Metro.
Travis Kalanick interview (Late Show With Stephen Colbert)
I thought Colbert’s debut show Tuesday was a sad reminder of how funny his show used to be. So while I was watching Larry Wilmore last night, Colbert had an unconventional guest on his new show — the chief of Uber. “Someone makes a tuna sandwich, it goes into the glove compartment of a Buick…” Okay, that was pretty funny.
Spinorama on the Expo Line
From YouTube user reveal vr:
New 7 Line station opens Sunday (CityLab)
It’s the first new segment of subway opening in San Francisco West New York since 1989, says CityLab. The 7,000-foot, $2.4-billion extension of the crosstown subway includes one new station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue on the west side of Manhattan, where there has been — and likely will continue to be — considerable real estate development.
To put it another way, once upon a time in America this neighborhood was Hell’s Kitchen Adjacent. That’s not to be confused with the Lower East Side, the setting for “Once Upon a Time in America.” In any event, now they have a subway with more new subway on the way when the 2nd Avenue Subway project eventually opens.
Traffic volume trends (Federal Highway Administration)
Much has been made over the last few years of the fact that the number of miles driven by Americans peaked in 2007. Until 2015, which looks to surpass the ’07 totals. Check out these two charts from the feds:
Related: A story in the LAT looks at why the number of traffic fatalities has increased this year across the U.S. Part of the answer is likely in the charts above: more driving = more chances to crash. I’m guessing the amount of distracted driving in the U.S. — thank you, smartphones — doesn’t help.
A song inspired by 9/11 that I think captures the sadness and loneliness of that day and the ones that followed:
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Categories: Transportation Headlines
In my personal opinion Metro should not be adding more parking to the Noho Station. What they should be doing is imposing a parking fee at that station like BART in the SF Bay Area to manage the existing spaces during peak times.
Metro could then use the money generated to supply additional local buses to connect to the station.
“It’s also worth noting that many people feel quite the opposite: that parking makes it possible for them to take transit and keeps their cars off the freeways and other roads during peak hours.”
And it seems just as others are getting tired of politicians caving into car drivers’ and big oil’s demands over and over again, and would rather like to see them take a stand that they support public transit by putting their foot down to raze down that parking space and built to transit oriented development specs. You can’t satisfy everybody and that’s one thing politicians have to deal with.
Politicians need to remind themselves why they support public transit. It’s because they want to avoid becoming like Houston:
If we keep building more parking lots for because car drivers demand that they be entitled to parking to use Metro, we’ll become just like Houston.
But let’s look at it from a different angle. Look how much DTLA, Pasadena, Koreatown, USC, Long Beach has changed, and other parts of LA are changing today as we get rid of all those parking lots into dense development. NoHo can become the next area like that. Or, it can become like Houston.
I personally prefer NoHo becoming a lot like DTLA, Pasadena, Koreatown, USC, Long Beach where people can live, shop, eat, and play all within a densely populated area without a need for a car.
Has Metro ever tried to calculate the amount of subsidy per rider for walk-access trips vs. drive-access trips?