How We Roll, Wednesday, September 16

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Art of transit:

Community outreach update:

There’s now another way to get information about Metro projects and initiatives occurring where you live. Metro announced earlier this week they’ll begin using the hyperlocal social media platform Nextdoor as another means to send out notifications, alerts and other information related to Metro’s construction projects and planning initiatives. The platform allows users to sign up on their own neighborhood’s social network with a verified address and to receive information targeted specifically to their neighborhoods.

Nextdoor users in neighborhoods near the Crenshaw/LAX project and in the Van Nuys corridor will be the first to see Metro related information on the platform. Metro’s press release is here.

Good info for your weekend plans or elevator small talk: it rained yesterday — 2.39 inches in downtown L.A. to be exact — and it was kind of a big deal.

But it looks like the weather seesaw will tilt the other way this weekend as another warm up is on the way.






For those without A/C, might I suggest a cooling vest?

Ventura County sees a sales tax hike as a fix for transportation problems (L.A. Times)

The Times’ reports on Ventura County seeking a potential ballot measure in 2016 that could raise up for $1 billion to $2 billion for transportation projects in the County. Some of the key projects that could come about because of the sales tax:

Should next year’s transportation proposal win the required two-thirds majority, high on the list of projects are widenings of the 101 and State Route 118, better known as the Ronald Reagan Freeway. The 118 runs east from Saticoy in Ventura County to Lake View Terrace in Los Angeles.

As it stands now, Ventura County lacks funding for a variety of projects. Without a transit sales tax it’s a double-whammy for the county, as other counties with transit taxes have a competitive advantage when seeking out additional funds from the state and federal government.

Early polls show support for such a tax measure, but getting a two-thirds vote to approve the measure will still be a challenge. As you might expect, the polls showed slightly more support — enough to just pass the two-thirds threshold — for a quarter-cent tax increase versus a half-cent increase.

Quasi-related observation: most of the railroad track through Ventura County that is used by Metrolink, Amtrak and freight railroads is a single track. That slows things down and poses safety challenges.

L.A.’s road diet leaves some hungry for workable solutions (L.A. Times)

Columnist Steve Lopez takes a fair look at the pros and cons of Mobility Plan 2035 passed by the L.A. City Council in August.

The plan ultimately aims to improve safety for those commuting in all forms, whether it’s walking, biking or taking a car — and to provide more transit options to Angelenos other than driving in a car. The plan looks to achieve this in many cases by implementing road diets. However, Lopez uses the road diet implemented on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake as an example some of the unintended consequences that well-intentioned road diets can have, like vehicles bypassing traffic by speeding through residential streets.

The question we as Angelenos have to ask ourselves, Lopez says, is what type of L.A. do we want to live in, and what types of compromises can we make to get there. He provides an example of one such compromise between two residents with opposite opinions of the Rowena Ave. road diet:

Courshon and Ward met over a few beers recently to see if they could find any common ground, and they reached a tentative “pact.” It involves taking Rowena off its diet. It would go back to two lanes in each direction between Glendale and Hyperion, but with two additional crosswalks with signals to make the corridor slower and safer. And as a trade, bike lanes would be added to nearby Hyperion Avenue.

Aviation/LAX Station gets a TOD (Urbanize)

It isn’t a Metro joint-development project, but it’s good to see news of high-density residential development near the Green Line. The new six-story, 264 unit complex is expected to be complete in 2016 and will be located just south of the Green Line Aviation/LAX Station.

Transit-oriented development has been sorely lacking along the Green Line, but perhaps the area around the Aviation/LAX Station will be an appealing candidate for more projects like this as the station will become the transfer point between the Metro Green Line and the future Crenshaw/LAX line. Right now the area around the station consists mostly of single-family homes, office buildings and light industry.

Race is on: 5 cities to compete for 2024 Summer Olympics (Yahoo! News)

This just in: the five nominees to host the 2024 Summer Olympics have been announced. As a casual follower of the Olympic selection process, I thought this happened weeks ago as there are no surprises — the media had already correctly focused on these five: Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. Two other potential candidates, Toronto and Baku, Azerbaijan, chose not to bid.

Los Angeles is called out as an early front-runner and if selected, will match London’s claim of hosting the Olympic Games three times. The article takes a brief look at what’s at stake for some of the other cities vying to host in 2024. Hamburg and Budapest also face challenges that could put their bids in jeopardy. The former has an upcoming voter referendum that isn’t guaranteed and Hungary has been criticized in recent days for its position on immigrants and refugees.

A common theme for the four European cities is that compared to L.A., they haven’t hosted the Olympics in a very long time, if ever. Paris hosted in 1924, giving the 2024 Games the potential to be a 100th anniversary coming back to the City of Lights thing. Rome hosted back in 1960. Germany held the games in 1972 , though it took place in Munich, not Hamburg. Budapest was in the Eastern Block of European countries during the Cold War and has never hosted the Olympics.

USA Today takes a stab at ranking the cities and says that L.A. and Paris are the co-favorites with Hamburg next in line. Budapest comes in next and Rome has no chance. Of course, the decision will ultimately be made by the humans serving on the International Olympic Committee. These human beings will presumably visit each city and let’s be real: our hunch is that they won’t make a decision based purely on potential sports facilities and bus lanes if you know what we mean, winkydoodles.

Related: see our recent post about transit and the L.A. bid.

A real plan to replace London’s tube with moving walkways (Wired)

Some say the future of transportation is the Hyperloop. Others say it’s autonomous vehicles. This article says the technology is already here and it’s used in airports everywhere: moving walkways. The concept uses the existing walkway technology (albeit slightly modified) to move commuters through the system and the existing highway model to organize it. Excerpt:

First, you get rid of the tracks and replace them with three adjacent moving sidewalks (which, by the way, Britons call “travelators”). Passengers enter through stations and pay fares the same way (some things never change), but instead of waiting for a train, they step off the platform onto the outermost lane, which moves at 3 mph—a typical walking speed. As on the highway, things speed up as you move to the right (remember it’s Britain, where they drive on the other side). The middle lane’s going 6 mph, and the third zips along at a brisk 9 mph.

Without the need to stop at every station, a person walking at a reasonable pace on this system could theoretically complete a trip on London’s 17-mile Circle Line about five minutes faster the trains currently do. Another added benefit is increased capacity with more than three times the room for people without a bulky train taking up space. Brilliant.


The downsides though, are the potential costs, accessibility issues and the prospect of frequent breakdowns and falldowns resulting from riders/morons switching lanes inappropriately.

Things to read on transit…the Dodgers likely opponent in the National League Divisional Series is shaping up to be the New York Mets, the team the Dodgers vanquished in the 1988 playoffs enroute to their last World Series win. Unlike most N.Y. Times articles about L.A. with condescending tones that show a complete lack of understanding about life in our fair city, this article shows some respect…to the arms of Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

If the match-up actually happens — there are still a few weeks left in the regular season — the two aces are likely to make life rough for the Mets in the first two games of the series and the Mets know it.

Dodgers in four. You read it here first.


These L.A. visitors took the Dodgers Stadium Express on Monday night to see Clayton Kershaw pitch against the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers won 4-1.

2 replies

  1. TOD at Aviation/LAX:

    “The new six-story, 264 unit complex”

    More low-rise APARTMENT complexes which does little to curb real estate prices in LA. And looking at the Urbanize website, seems like zoned only for residential instead of mixed use.

    LA, a city of wealthy landowners against higher density creating artificially high real estate prices, and perpetual indentured servants who can never afford a place of their own. Modern day feudalism is alive and well here in the City of Angels.