Art of Transit:
A good article spurred by the upcoming climate change summit in Paris. Excerpt:
California has perhaps the most comprehensive cap-and-trade program in the world, setting a limit and a price for pollution from factories, utilities and transportation fuels. The state’s 2030 goals of getting half of its electricity from renewable sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels are also among the most ambitious anywhere. [snip]
While the state is a global model for climate policy, however, it also produces more greenhouse gas emissions per person than almost anywhere else in the world, due partly to its heavy reliance on cars. Among the eight largest economies, California is second only to the U.S. in emissions per capita.
As you might have guessed, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gases in California (at 37 percent perhaps owing to the fact that much of our state enjoys a mild climate). If this concerns you, walking, biking and taking transit instead of driving alone are generally speaking a good way to lower your own carbon footprint.
At the very least, I think the above chart is a good argument for expanding our transpo options so people don’t feel they have to drive everywhere all the time.
In this op-ed about the SR 710 North Study, USC transportation engineering professor James Moore argues that none of the alternatives would accomplish what closing the freeway gap would: shift traffic from neighborhood streets back to the freeway and help improve traffic flow on other area freeways. He argues, too, that the latest 710 environmental study considered options that were not good to begin with and that alternative plans pushed by 710 extension opponents would fail to accomplish as much as closing the 710 gap between Alhambra/El Sereno and Pasadena.
The SR 710 North draft environmental study was released by Caltrans and Metro in March. It proposes five alternatives: the legally required no-build option, intersection and traffic signal improvements, light rail, bus rapid transit (both between East L.A. and Pasadena) and a freeway tunnel. The public comment period closed over the summer and Metro is now working on responses to the comments. In the meantime, some local officials have said the potential ballot measure that Metro is considering for next year should not have money in it for any 710 project.
Columnist George Skelton dives into a proposed state ballot measure that would take money from the bullet train project and — although less sexy and headline-generating — make agricultural use the top priority for water use in the state. That could undercut environmental protections that keeps minimum flows in our native streams and rivers.
Skelton suggests that the train and water are two separate issues that perhaps should be decided separately.
Consumers seem to be more keen on electric cars than dealers, who are not-so-keen that people who buy them tend not to get them repaired and maintained at dealerships as much as gas-burning cars. Repairs = Profits at many dealerships.
Sick passengers have accounted for about 3,000 train delays each month this year in New York City, a figure that has grown drastically in recent years, up from about 1,800 each month in 2012, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The authority alerts riders to the incidents on Twitter, and some have responded by voicing frustration over the disruptions.
Yet despite the frequency of these delays, they remain a persistent riddle for many riders who have no idea what exactly the phrase “sick passenger” means.
Officials at the authority say the incidents often involve riders who have fainted or vomited. Other passengers might have had a heart attack or a seizure, or could be unconscious or even dead. A sick customer is not, as some surmise, a suicide on the tracks, which workers are instructed to announce as a “police investigation.”
Of course, Metro also has sick passenger delays although nowhere close as many as New York. Then again, Metro Rail had about 334,000 estimated average weekday boardings in October (the most recent numbers) compared to the six million in Gotham.
The article says that in New York, sick riders are encouraged to get off transit and seek help when possible. Interestingly, the issue was big enough that until 2008 the New York MTA actually stationed nurses in some stations, although that effort ended because of budget cuts.
The best way to learn about delays on our system is to follow our regular Twitter feed or the feed dedicated to only service alerts. Metro typically uses the phrase “medical emergency” to inform riders there’s a sick passenger.
Missed this one, which published earlier this month. A group is considering a ballot measure in Nov. 2016 that would trigger delays to big projects, including ones designed to put more housing near transit. The projects impacted would be ones that require City Council votes to allow more units on a site than the current zoning plans allow.
The stakes for such a referendum would be high. Mayor Eric Garcetti, in an attempt to address the rising cost of rents, has promised to add 100,000 housing units by 2021 in Los Angeles, considered one of the least affordable rental markets in the country. By putting housing near rail and bus lines, city officials also hope to get more Angelenos out of their cars.
It’s important to understand that although the city of L.A. has extensive zoning codes in its community plans, most projects seek exemptions to those plans. The City Council member repping that district often ends up negotiating the changes and getting her/his Council colleagues to approve them.
If this strikes you as a slightly backward way of determing what-gets-built-where, well…yes. The problem is that even updating the community plans in L.A. has proven to be very contentious and slow. Ideally, a city and its residents would figure out what they want and have it reflected in the community plans so voters don’t have to zone at the ballot box.
The interesting thing is that this potential ballot measure could be joined on the ballot in the city of L.A. by a potential sales tax increase ballot measure intended to raise money to build more transit projects. Stay tuned!
The ride operated until 1995. The anonymous buyer purchased from an anonymous seller. One man’s junk…
Nov. 23: Will the LAX people mover be up and running by 2023?
Nov. 20: how to address all the short trips county residents, more reaction to Reason Foundation’s traffic plan.
Nov. 19: the Reason Foundation’s $714-billion plan to fix traffic in Southern California.
Nov. 18: A new mobile fare app in S.F., scramble crosswalks and aerial tram (using airplane bodies) proposed between Vegas and L.A.
Nov. 17: can transit beat traffic, electric cars and total global emissions, fossil fuel programs vs. climate goals
Categories: Transportation Headlines