How We Roll, December 10

Art of Transit: 

Expo Line to Santa Monica should be ready to open in April or May (Curbed LA)

Let’s go to the capitalized-underlined-boldface: METRO HAS NOT YET ANNOUNCED AN OPENING DATE. Anything else you hear is speculation as the project has yet to be handed over from the Expo Line Construction Authority — the state-created agency building the line — to Metro, which will operate it. As soon as we have news about an opening, we’ll merrily share it with you.

In the meantime, testing continues and we urge pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to be careful around trains. An Expo test train was involved in a collision with a truck at Colorado and 7th in Santa Monica on Thursday morning. It appears that the truck made an illegal left turn in front of the train, according to Metro. Here are pics from the Santa Monica Police Department:

Red Line train in Boston travels multiple stops without an operator (Boston Globe) 

No passengers were hurt and MBTA officials stopped the train by cutting power to the third rail. The train left Braintree Station — the end of the line — and passed through three other stations without stopping. Officials say they are investigating whether equipment may have been tampered with.

Not really related but: a self-driving bus is due to begin testing this coming spring in the the Swiss city of Sion.

Distracted walkers pose danger to themselves and others (NYT)

A new study somehow figured out that distracted walkers veer off course 61 percent of the time. Other studies have found that few people are willing to admit they are distracted walkers. Better question perhaps: is there anyone walking or driving who isn’t somehow distracted?

I don’t give a [hoot] if we agree about climate change (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s FB page)

The former California governor writes:

To use one of the four-letter words all of you commenters love, I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change. I couldn’t care less if you’re concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science.
I just hope that you’ll join me in opening Door Number Two, to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.
Let’s face it: no one really knows exactly how much we can mitigate changes attributed to global warming or even the exact impacts global warming will have. But, I think, that doesn’t give us an excuse to do nothing and, besides, why wouldn’t we want to create cleaner and more sustainable energy?
Quasi-related: taking transit instead of driving alone is generally speaking a good way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Fun piece about the old streetcar and rail right-of-ways that slice through our neighborhoods. The tracks may be gone, but the corridors are still there — such as the one in this blog in Hollywood.
Things to listen to whilst transiting: This American Life has a great episode titled “Status Update.” It’s divided into three segments, the first and most scary of which involves some teenage girls talking about the politics of posting pics of themselves on Instagram. As far as I’m concerned, the segment was just further proof that “Planet of the Apes” is more prophecy than fiction.
Things to read whilst transiting: What would it take to turn Blue/Red states Red/Blue? This neat little online tool on the Five Thirty Eight blog lets you play around with 2012 election results and turnout among five distinct voting blocs to see what it would take to change the results of the electoral college. In the very diverse L.A. region, five voting blocs seems too few — but it’s still interesting and a reminder that the winner-takes-all approach approach in the electoral college means that votes from a lot of people don’t necessarily show up in the presidential election results.

Recent How We Rolls:

Dec. 9: Uber’s latest biggish idea, health clinics at transit stops?

Dec. 8: L.A. Weekly’s Purple Line Extension skepticism, smog discounts in Bejiing

Dec. 3: a new name for Pasadena’s bus system, flying versus the environment.

Dec. 2: Monrovia considers loaning 1.5 million to restore Gold Line adjacent historic train depot

Dec. 1: what can you do about climate change?

8 replies

  1. Shouldn’t it be all too apparent to Metro by now that building at grade intersections with surface streets is utterly a stupid idea?

  2. Yeah, Santa Monica’s new city manager speculated in a recent speech that there would be an April or May opening date based on the estimate that progress was two months behind that of the the Gold Line extension. You guys have said the first half of ’16, so… somewhere around there. I don’t think anyone’s expecting a concrete date yet; it’s just the excitement of anticipation, plus an excuse to write more local newspaper articles.

    Looks like the lumber truck was trying to make a left from Colorado onto 7th, implying the driver ignored the no-left-turn sign:

  3. I hope that the truck driver who collided with the Expo test train FULLY PAYS for the damages!
    This kind of driver ‘training’ should Not be paid for by taxpayers. Same with Amtrak, Metrolink, etc.

    On the flip side, ‘distracted’ pedestrians are be coming a real danger to vehicle drivers. Many have a real self-entitled, aggressive attitude and don’t cooperate with drivers wanting to make a safe and legal turn. Because of this, I’ve become a hyper-defensive driver which may be self distracting in a way. Arrggh.

  4. “Expo Line to Santa Monica should be ready to open in April of May”

    Typo found. I’m sure you guys meant April OR May, not April OF May.