How We Roll, July 15: clearing the docket on a lazy Friday

The first six months of this year were crazy busy with two rail extension openings and the ballot measure. And now it’s a summer Friday and kind of quiet transpo-wise. Nonetheless, let’s see what’s happening…

Art of Transit — there’s buses and trains down there somewhere: 

Art of Transit, Sort Of: 


You know you’re in a different state when in Northern California :). This is the Independence Day parade in Point Arena. Photo by Steve Hymon.

More Art of Transity, Sort Of:

That looks like fun. Half Moon Bay. Photo by Steve Hymon.

That looks like fun. Half Moon Bay. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Coming soon to a NoHo near you: 

Nothing against Oklahoma:

On that note…

From the Dept. of Augmented Reality: 

Of course, the real world is filled with all sorts of strange creatures, if you just put down your dumb phone and look…

Yeah, I know. I missed focus. Sue me! But these things move faster than your average Pokething. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Yeah, I know. I missed focus. Sue me! But these things move faster than your average Pokething. Photo by Steve Hymon.

From the Dept. We’re Building a Subway:

City of Azusa to lease 145 parking spaces to Metro at DT Azusa garage (Streetsblog LA)

Looks like the deal between the city and Metro is coming together. Metro already has 200 spaces in the downtown Azusa garage; under the deal Metro would pay Azusa $31,000 a year to lease another 145 spaces for Metro riders. The spaces will be part of the permit program Metro began earlier this summer and 20 percent of the spots will be reserved for Azusa residents. The free Metro spots will remain on the top floor.

Metro notified its permit holders on Thursday that they can begin using these spaces, which are on the ground floor of the garage.

As Streetsblog notes, this isn’t a permanent solution — Azusa may need the parking spaces in the future. The city is looking at some other locations nearby to expand parking, which has been in very high demand since the Gold Line extension opened in March. Azusa is currently the end-of-the-line for the train, meaning a lot of folks are driving to the train from SGV cities to the east and south.

Bike share updates: SaMo, WeHo & DTLA (Streetsblog LA)

Joe Linton checks in with the upcoming WeHo system and the existing bike shares in SaMo (new mostly lower prices) and the DTLA run by Metro (new everything). He has some good observations on the DTLA scene, noting that very few bikes are seen out and about quite yet with the system only open to annual or monthly passholders until Aug. 1.

The awful logic of commuting via UberPool (Mobilizing the Region)

We mentioned earlier this week that UberPool would soon offer monthly passes for unlimited rides in Manhattan below 125th Street (read: below Harlem). Also interesting besides the unseemly choice of boundary is that Uber is going to price the passes significantly below the cost of a NYC Subway monthly pass. Opines Mobilizing the Region:

Here we have an example of something that looks like a good idea from a microeconomic perspective (I can ride in a car for cheaper than the subway? Sign me up!) but from a macroeconomic perspective, it’s a terrible one (If everyone took a car to work in Manhattan, nobody would get to work on time).

And yet, they also acknowledge this reality: subway service can be tough in Manhattan. There are delays, it’s crowded, the stations are not air conditioned, the subway may not take you door-to-door. And there are things like this…

Of course, if everyone starts driving then we’re setting ourselves up for an enhancement of the classic tragedy of the commons. Then again, it’s a free country and I can see the appeal of this. Your thoughts?

Quasi-related: a new study by the International Energy Agency says that air pollution is responsible for 6.5 million deaths each year around the globe. A lot of blame is directed toward the energy industry, which relies heavily on burning fossil fuels.

Quasi-related to that: if you want to do something about climate change, generally speaking taking transit rather than driving alone is a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Cal State LA gets it:

What mayors care about most (Governing) 

The National League of Cities compiled the transcripts of 100 State of the City speeches across the U.S. Nothing terribly surprising: job creation, public safety, the environment as usual were topics frequently discussed by mayors.

Perhaps the most worthy nugget: housing was mentioned more than in the past — again not surprising given some of the tremendous surges in real estate and rental prices we’ve seen locally and in other cities. Quasi-related: the friend I visited in the Bay Area last weekend said that her rent goes up 10 to 15 percent each year and is consuming half her salary. Ouch.

A park beneath New York City’s sidewalks (Citylab) 

Gotham officials have approved a one-acre underground park in the space that used to be a trolley turnaround near the Williamsburg Bridge. Great cities are always finding new ways to create open space. Speaking of, the park in the Cornfields in northern DTLA is really coming along and will be easy to access via the Gold Line’s Chinatown Station.

From the Dept. of Other Government Agencies: Check it out, the National Park Service’s map page has one map that shows parks with bears.

Speaking of the outdoors….any Source readers ever backpack to Honeymoon Lake from the Pine Creek Trailhead (it’s north of Bishop)? If so, I have a few questions. Email me.






7 replies

  1. I have some questions about refurbishment of older light rail vehicles. I thought metro has chosen a paint scheme inspired by the new Kiniki Sharyo trains. It looks like they’ve gone with something else, a grey version of the existing paint scheme. What else is being done to the trains? Will the NIppon Sharyo cars recieve interior changes? It would be nice it they had a seat arrangement like the newest trains that allow a bicycle to be kept near a door, rather than rolling/squeezing it past passengers and into the articulated section.

  2. Glad to hear Metro is arranging a few more Gold line extension parking spots, even if they are permit required. Speaking of permit spots, this was my first Friday I wasn’t able to get a parking spot in Irwindale; of course, 2/3 of the new permit spots were empty. Friday was the only day I was getting parking, given I can’t be at the station before 7am. Taking the Gold line was awesome while it lasted. (before I get more *rap about my name, I live in the 909 AND LA County)

  3. As for Uber offering unlimited rides below 125th Street in Manhattan, 125th Street just happens to be the last stop for essentially all Metro North commuter trains bound for Grand Central.Terminal. That is the real reason Uber chose 125th Street as it northern terminal. It is only coincidental that the station is in Harlem.

    Note too that the Metro North Line to White Plains and Dover Plains just so happens to be over the route of the New York and Harlem (NY&H) Railroad that started in 1831 as a horse car line that later converted to steam and later became the Harlem Division of the New York Central. ( Metro North still calls the White Plains Line the Harlem Division). Per, the NY&H till exists and owns, among other things, Grand Central Terminal! Not bad for a company that started out operating horse cars.

  4. Many of the analyses about this new Uber-deal in NYC are off. The vast majority of people buying a monthly pass are using the transportation services to commute to work. And the majority of these people (though certainly there are many that do not fit in this category) work for a company where you can use pre-tax dollars to buy transit passes. I’m fairly certain you cannot use pre-tax dollars to purchase Uber’s pass. As a result, for this segment of the population the subway is actually significantly cheaper in real dollar terms than the Uber deal despite the headline prices saying otherwise.

  5. Speaking of speaking of the outdoors, any chance the Source will revive the previously recurring segment of Trailhead Hunter? I’m always looking for more hikes to do, particularly without a car, in LA. It would be great if there were a central source for the info, be it from Metro, SM Mountains NRA, etc.

    • Hey Connor;

      Yep, we’ll revive that. It’s a little tricky as many of the trailheads that I frequently use remain stubbornly away from transit, but we’ll look around for some. Quasi-related, this would be a lot easier if there was ever an Angeles Crest Highway shuttle. I thought the Santa Monica Mountains NRA had a shuttle, but looking at their website I don’t see any mention of it. That could potentially have connected with Expo. I know I’ve mentioned to several car free or car-lite friends that transit plus Zipcar is a decent way to get to hikes in our region. Or, if you have a car, park it during the week and take transit and use on the weekends or for road trips (basically what I do).

      Happy Trails!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • There used to be a shuttle service in the Santa Monica Mountains NRA. It was called “ParkLink.” It was a demonstration project that ran between June 2005 and October 2007. It failed for several reasons. For starters it ran on a erratic headway (60-120 minutes). It was not marketed en mass until it was too late. It only connected with line 534. And its schedule precluded participating in early activities. It was also centered on people who drove cars and parked at Malibu Creek state park. As a result, it suffered from abysmally low ridership.