The Expo Line opening to Almost The Pacific Ocean is now less than two weeks away. The LAT’s Laura Nelson had a good stream of thoughtful tweets whilst transiting this morning on the Expo media ride to Santa Monica and back:
That’s a great point about getting to and from the train. Anna and I are putting the finishing touches on a blog post we’ll have up this week about bus and bike connections to the Expo extension. The Big Blue Bus, which is based in SaMo, really reworked its system to ensure that every station is served by one or more of its buses.
Things to read whilst transiting: Just finished Bill Bryson’s “The Road to Little Dribbling.” I wouldn’t call it his best (“A Walk in the Woods” takes home that honor) but it’s a fun read about Bryson driving around the UK while observing that many things are not as good as they used to be. I just started “Turn Right at Machu Piccu” by Mark Adams and thus far it’s very entertaining.
Hey look, the new Radiohead video is transpo-related! Oh, and maybe about not going-with-the-flow….
Editorial: Fixing the Gold Line’s parking garage problem (SGV Tribune)
The opinion part of the op-ed is delivered in the final paragraph:
A better plan would include the ability for commuters to buy, at an affordable rate, parking permits themselves. More places in the garage set aside for Foothill Transit bus takers, not as popular an option, should be put under Metro control. Yes, as Azusa officials note, there are more spaces in Metro garages farther to the west, including at the huge garage at the Sierra Madre Villa station in east Pasadena that formerly was the end of the line. But for commuters from the eastern San Gabriel Valley, the whole point is to get out of the car as soon as possible, not to join the clogged lanes of the 210 in the daily slog. And it must be remembered that many other Metro stations around the county don’t have garages at all, and that there is the option of having a spouse or roommate drop riders off at the station. All aboard!
It’s probably worth noting that some of the spaces sitting empty in the downtown Azusa garage are controlled by the city of Azusa.
Long Beach pedestrian deaths rising (Long Beach Telegram)
Both stories (the newspapers are owned by the same company) take the same approach: reporting that deaths are up and that cities are hoping to better educate walkers and install better infrastructure to make pedestrians more visible to motorists.
If you’re hoping to read that police are going to crack down on speeding and motorists encroaching on crosswalks, you will be sorely disappointed. Either those questions were not asked or were not answered.
How should the city of L.A. spend $4 billion in potential new transportation funds (Investing in Place)
A wonky debate here but one that is important. As part of its potential ballot measure to raise the countywide sales tax by a half cent, Metro has proposed returning 16 percent of revenues to cities and unincorporated land on a per capita basis. That amounts to many millions of dollars for larger cities in these so-called “local return” funds.
As noted in this blog post, members of the Los Angeles City Council have already introduced two motions with an eye toward getting that type of funding.
One motion, by Bob Blumenfeld, asks for a breakdown of funds by Council district, with the motion saying it’s important that the San Fernando Valley gets its fair share.
The other motion, by Joe Buscaino and Mitchell Englander, calls for spending L.A.’s local return on fixing potholes and streets, echoing what Buscaino wrote in an op-ed last week. Two things worth noting: 1) the city of Los Angeles is receiving about $173 million in local return funds this year from Metro’s existing sales taxes that could be used for road repair; 2) Englander is running for county supervisor and candidates and potholes tend to attract one another.
The public policy question here is how best to use funds from a sales tax increase. Is it best to keep the funds very local? Or is better to build the big, expensive transportation projects that cities otherwise could not afford on their own?
Art of Transit
For those who just endured the last 10 paragraphs without a single mention that the Expo Line is opening to Santa Monica on May 20…
Categories: Transportation Headlines