Wanted!: a good photo of a Metro bus or train with snowy mountains in the background. The Expo Line’s Culver City, La Cienega or La Brea stations may be a good bet. If you get a pic, please share with us on Twitter, Instagram or email me.
Art of Transit:
From the Department of El Nino:
Speaking of weather, here’s our recent post on Metro’s efforts to keep buses and trains moving even when it rains.
From the Department of Rider Questions:
Answer: it’s a new security kiosk for use by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. From the announcement last fall:
Metro has also begun installing security kiosks at nine locations to help Sheriff’s deputies and other security personnel access enforcement tools, such as closed circuit television (CCTV) displays, landline telephones, two-way radios and computer workstations. The kiosks will be installed at the Willow, Crenshaw, Aviation, La Cienega, North Hollywood, Expo Power Sub Station, Wilshire/Western, 7th/Flower and Hollywood/Highland. The kiosks were provided through a $5.1 million California Transit Security Grant.
From the Department of Unscientific Polling:
We posted this yesterday. I was truly surprised that the Rams came out on top — I thought “I couldn’t care less” would be first followed by the Raiders. I’m not sure if the Rams winning is a reflection on the Rams as a still popular football team here in So Cal or a reflection that people like the idea of eventually going to Inglewood instead of Carson.
A question for 2016: who is not in the room (Human Transit)
Each year transit planner Jarrett Walker resolves to ask a different question. This year it’s a really good one: who is not in the room when big decisions are made?
A couple of excerpts:
Why this? Because in many parts of society, including urban planning, the rooms in which decisions are made are getting smaller and less diverse, and that can make for worse decisions, no matter how well-intentioned the people in the room are. What’s more, creating a diverse room is harder and harder, because people are just less interested in spending any time in rooms with people who don’t share their experience — either physically or online.
Like anyone, though, we notice decisions that were made in our absence. Decisions about street design (often arising from small-room project definitions like “add a bike lane”) may inadvertently wreck the transit operations. Ditto decisions about land use — such as putting a transit-dependent land use (medical center, senior center, social security office) in a transit-inaccessible location because the land was cheap there, and then expecting transit to run an expensive empty bus just to get to that remote location. (Businesses make those decisions in small rooms too. Sometimes they really do move from a downtown office tower to a remote business park, and then ask the transit agency: “Hey, what happened to our transit service?”)
Wise words. Anyone have any examples they would like to share of decisions made they don’t think were fully informed?
Our own Highland Park — easy to reach on the Gold Line — makes the list. I’m not sure this is flattery but here goes the excerpt:
That’s not to say people didn’t live there — it’s been a working-class, mostly Latino ‘hood for generations — but like past gentrifications, the hipster influx has meant a hodgepodge of the old days (great food trucks!) and the new days (a terrific donut shop from the dude who produced all those Blink-182 albums you loved in high school!).
Of other ‘hoods listed, I was surprised to see Tacoma. I haven’t been there for 20 years, but I do recall it had a lumbery smell. But things must have changed as Thrillist cites its many old theaters, new breweries and resemblance to Portland of the 1990s. Hmm.
Long-time local journalist Jill Stewart will be working with the
ballet ballot proposal that seeks to limit the city of Los Angeles’ ability to change zoning laws to accommodate big projects. Both at the Weekly and previously at the LAT, Jill certainly has shown the knack for tackling local stories in a provocative way that earns readers.
I think the ballot proposal is big deal in L.A. as many projects — big and small — require exemptions from zoning codes, many of which are decades old. From the transit point-of-view, the interestingness is that many mega-projects are near existing or future transit lines.
Here’s the original tweet from a Montreal transpo official:
The young female owl may have been born within the Arctic circle but had flown south to the Montreal area for the winter and was probably looking for a perch. Match that, Caltrans!
Things to read whilst transiting: For those following the armed takeover of the National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, here’s a good NYT primer on how the U.S. government became owner of so much land in the West. Fun fact: about 42 percent of California is owned by the state or federal government, with most of the land included in national parks/monuments, national forests, state parks and military bases.
Recent How We Rolls:
Jan. 6: untransit-friendly stadium proposals and our poll asking if would you Go Metro to see the Chargers, Raiders or Rams in Los Angeles.
Jan. 5: the city of Santa Monica wants to build fencing to keep people off the Expo Line tracks.
Jan. 4: no love of freeways from one big L.A. media outlet and a fancypants new development along the Expo Line.
Dec. 31: a few thoughts on transpo trends in 2015.
Dec. 23: Lyft to LAX, Star Wars characters on transit.
Categories: Transportation Headlines