Arte de Día de los Muertas:
If you haven’t had the chance yet, make sure to take a stroll in Grand Park through November 2 to check out the Day of the Dead altars. There are about 40 of them scattered throughout the park. Grand Park is accessible via the Metro Purple/Red Line Civic Center/Grand Park Station so it’s a quick and easy jaunt for those who work in or near downtown. Walking tours are being offered during the lunch hour this week.
A+ Metro Riders:
Letter to editor: bullet train project actually on track (Sacramento Bee)
After a number of media outlets reported that the California bullet train was already projected to be over budget and delayed, the CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Jeff Morales, responded via a letter to the editor in the Sacramento Bee.
In his letter, he argues that the project is making “steady progress” and that many of the existing construction contracts came in hundreds of millions under original estimates. He also addresses one of the latest concerns about the project: tunneling through mountain ranges — like the San Gabriel Mountains as reported by the L.A. Times. He says the project consists of a staff of world-leading tunneling experts who are “confident of [the Authority’s] ability to construct the needed tunnels.”
Why people don’t ride public transit in small cities (The Atlantic)
The new mayor of Nashville is hoping to alleviate the city’s traffic by building its transit network. The problem she faces — aside from the the lack of any dedicated transit funding source — is one facing many small to medium sized cities looking to wean themselves off complete automobile reliance. Excerpt:
Like most Americans outside the biggest cities, people in Nashville are accustomed to using their cars. According to Census data from 2009, fewer than 3 percent of workers in the Nashville metro area used public transit to commute to work, making the city less public-transit-friendly than Houston, Richmond, Memphis, Tampa, and Kansas City, to name a few.
In most metro areas of less than 1 million people (Nashville has roughly 659,000), just 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent of residents use transit, according to David Hartgen, a emeritus transportation professor at UNC Charlotte. Many of these places have tried to increase the share of their population that use transit, but few have succeeded.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is cited as an example of a city of comparable size that has invested in both transit and road infrastructure, which has resulted in slow rise of transit ridership. Meanwhile time stuck in traffic has also decreased.
The lesson perhaps is that it might be best to spend money on improving existing road infrastructure and bus service, instead of spending a billion or more on a rail line, at least at first. Transit planner and blogger Jarrett Walker points to Portland as an example that cities can follow to cultivate transit culture over time. Facing exceptional growth decades ago, the city limited road expansion, improved its bus system and as bus ridership climbed, it built its rail lines.
Waze, the navigation app, has released the three most dangerous intersections for bicyclists and pedestrians in Los Angeles, San Fransisco and Boston.
Accident data provided by LADOT shows that the most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles are Eagle Rock Blvd and W Avenue 41 in Eagle Rock, W. Olympic Blvd. and Bonnie Brae St. in Pico-Union and W. Temple St. and N Beaudry Ave near downtown L.A..
The L.A. Times also ran a story this summer highlighting the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in L.A. County.
Even bike lights are getting the smart tech treatment. The “smart light” in this article can use sensors to detect a variety of things that are useful to bicyclists — whether that means texting an alert when your bike is being tampered with or making the light brighter as you approach an intersection.
Perhaps the most promising aspect of the technology is that the data it gathers could also be used to help planners and city officials make bicycling better — and safer — for bicyclists. For example, some of the data that could be compiled include intersections where near-misses are common and road conditions. Even better: the sensor data could also potentially be used for bicyclist traffic signal prioritization.
A PSA about biking to work that needs no translation (Streetsblog USA)
As someone who walks, bike or takes transit to work everyday, the thought of driving to work can ocassionaly sound appealing — gasp! Yes, the grass is always greener and all that — though I think mostly it’s misguided nostalgia for NPR or Kevin and Bean — but this Spanish PSA is an excellent reminder of the daily grind commuting by car really is.
Things to read on transit: With Halloween and the Day of the Dead fast approaching, it’s a suitable time to recommend this New York Times piece published last week on the process and all the people that are involved when a person dies in New York City. It’s a long read, but worth it.
About 50,000 people pass away in New York City every year, and the process to close out all of the deceased’s loose ends can either go quickly, or take months or years depending on how much information is available. Those who live alone are the most difficult. The article follows the postmortem proceedings for one New Yorker who passed away alone and in relative obscurity in his apartment in Queens. The author interviews public administrators who handled his estate and contacted next of kin, the apartment cleaners, the estate auctioneers, the mortician, and many more who have a hand in taking care of his estate, all the while piecing together his life through those who were touched by his death.
Recent How We Rolls:
Oct. 27: melting ice and record heat, Metro weighs Metrolink station relocation, 710 opposition at Board meeting, Chewbacca arrested in Ukraine.
Oct. 26: Can American reinvent its infrastructure? It has before.
Oct. 23: Social media reaction to announcement of Foothill Gold Line opening, Denver’s rail line to airport set to open in April, funny things to listen to while riding transit.
Oct. 21: Back to the future edition, i.e. what Los Angeles County transit officials of the past century got right and wrong about your transportation future.
Oct. 20: CicLAvia gives the air a good scrubbing, L.A. to legalize locking bikes to parking meters, millenials versus the driving habits of Americans.
Categories: Transportation Headlines