From the Department of Reminders: The Little Tokyo/Arts District Station closes tonight at 9 p.m. for construction of one of the tunnel portals for the Regional Connector. More info here about the bus service replacing Gold Line service between Union Station, as well as the circulator shuttle in Little Tokyo and parking info.
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As part of his proposed state budget, the Governor included his proposal from last September — a new $65 fee for all motorists and a six cents per gallon increase to the state gas tax. The proposal — if the Legislature goes for it — would cost the average motorists about $100 a year.
A look at some of the proposals from architectural firms vying to design the Pershing Square makeover. I agree with the article: the present day Pershing Square isn’t awful, but it certainly could be better. The big thing, I think, is getting rid of the walls that block views of the park from the street.
Something to chew on: There’s actually a lot of park space near transit in DTLA.
The Red/Purple Line’s Pershing Square Station has one entrance across Hill Street from Pershing Square; the north entrance is next to Angel’s Knoll, which is privately owned and — for now — closed to the public (this is the park featured in “500 Days of Summer). Hopefully some open space will survive there, although it could end up a skyscraper.
The Red/Purple Line’s Civic Center Station has an entrance in the lovely new Grand Park.
Union Station is next to Olvera Street and its gazebo — and more open space is coming to the Alameda Street side of the station via Metro’s Union Station Master Plan, which will convert the front parking lot to civic space.
Grand Hope Park at 9th and Hope is a short walk from the busy 7th/Metro Center Station and the Blue/Expo Lines’ Pico Station.
The new Spring Street Park between 5th and 6th streets is a short walk from Pershing Square Station and won’t be a terribly far walk from the Regional Connector’s Little Tokyo Station and 2nd/Broadway Station.
Attentive Source readers know I still think DTLA could use some wider sidewalks, better lighting and (ahem) an aromatic makeover in places. But it’s such a better place than it was when I moved here in ’94 and, I think, getting better all the time. ??????
Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make motorists stop hitting them. (Washington Post)
Cyclists Eben Weiss really doesn’t like proposed laws that would require cyclists to wear helmets and higher-visibility clothing at night. His main argument: it’s another way to shift responsibility for accidents to cyclists while still providing cars the vast majority of public roads.
It’s still carnage out there now, but we’ve long since sublimated any outrage over death-by-auto into victim-blaming. Crossing the street has long been criminalized, save for the handful of seconds you get when the “walk” signal appears. Effectively, we’ve lost equal access to the public roadways unless we’re willing and able to foot the hefty bill for a car.
Instead, what we have is an infrastructure optimized for private vehicles and a nation of subsidized drivers who balk at the idea of subsidizing any other form of transit, and who react to a parking ticket as though they’ve been crucified. Sure, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are all supposed to “share the road,” but see how equal you feel riding in the gutter on broken glass as cars speed by. It’s the American idea of “equal,” an insidious form of inequality in which we pretend the powerful and the weak are exactly the same.
A lot of good points here in a very angry piece — which I’m fine with. That said, I’ve seen a few folks riding bikes in traffic with no lights and while wearing dark clothes. They may be the exception, but it would sure be nice if they took on the responsibility of making themselves more visible. They may save their own life, save the life of the many motorists who do want to coexist with bikes and keep more laws from being written.
VTA to Super Bowl 50 (VTA)
The NFL playoffs begin this weekend, culminating in Super Bowl 50 at the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7. As it happens, there’s VTA light rail service directly to the stadium — and, in fact, VTA has pretty much reconfigured service to get as many people to and from the game as possible.
This is hardly unprecedented. Attentive readers may recall some transit-related dropped balls at the 2013 Super Bowl in the Meadowlands (the one in which the Denver Broncos were utterly humiliated by the Seahawks).
One interesting thing that VTA is doing: making passengers buy light rail tickets ahead of time with a special app. According to this media report, ridership on the VTA light rail will be capped at 12,000 on game day.
Columnist Bill Plaschke issues his recommendation: send the Chargers to St. Louis, dispatch the Raiders to any city that will take them if they choose to leave Oakland and put the Rams in Inglewood as the sole NFL team in our area. And, he asks, do the NFL owners really have our region’s best interests at heart?
Meanwhile, bouncing between the owners like shiny toys are these two stadium ideas in Carson and Inglewood, everyone asking questions about suites and seat licenses, nobody really thinking about traffic.
The only consistent theme in all this backroom lobbying for Los Angeles is the apparent lack of any concern about what is actually good for Los Angeles. What would work best here? Who would be most welcome? What does Los Angeles want?
Two points I’d like to make:
•As we mentioned the other day, the closest Crenshaw/LAX Line station — downtown Inglewood — is about a 1.8-mile walk from the proposed Inglewood stadium site at Hollywood Park.
•A new stadium here would give the NFL the chance to put the Super Bowl at the new ballpark. Even without direct train access to a new stadium — a pity, IMHO — I could see a future bus-and-train plan to help people get to the big game. Plenty of big games were played in our region before Metro Rail came along and the region managed, although I think the new transit system will make things easier than completely relying on cars and buses.
One other point — our own unscientific survey found the same thing as the other polls Plaschke mentioned: there’s a lot more support for the Rams than the Chargers or Raiders.
Quasi-related: Back in September, The Source picked New England and Green Bay to appear in SB 50.
Both teams made the playoffs, but I’m not feeling too good about that pick based on recent play. Going into wildcard weekend, I think the Pittsburgh-Cincy winner will ultimately advance to Santa Clara to play the winner of next weekend’s likely showdown between the Panthers and Seahawks. The No. 1 seeded Broncos in the AFC aren’t going anywhere on the strength of Peyton Manning’s arm, btw. The Chargers and Bengals choked more than the Broncos won in Denver’s past two games, resulting in them securing the No. 1 seed on a technicality; next weekend take Houston, K.C. or Pittsburgh and the points.*
*This opinion is purely my own and may not reflect the opinion of other wise staff at Metro, most specifically those who used to live in Denver 🙂
Things to listen to whilst transiting: In an eye-opening and entertaining interview, former paramedic Kevin Hazzard talks about the years he spent in Atlanta dealing with all sorts of issues. It’s telling that his memoir is called “A Thousand Naked Strangers.” You can listen below.
Recent How We Rolls
Jan. 7: A snowy owl on a traffic cam and is Highland Park finally (ahem) going to get popular?
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.
Categories: Transportation Headlines