How We Roll, Nov. 23: let’s name some rail stations!

Dept. of Station Naming: The Regional Connector team is asking community input for the names of the three new underground stations in DTLA. If you don’t like what is proposed below, go to this page and fill out the short online form. The Connector is the 1.9-mile underground rail tunnel currently being built that will link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines. When completed, there will be one light rail line running between Azusa (and eventually Claremont) and Long Beach and a second line running between Santa Monica and East L.A. (and eventually South El Monte and Whittier).


Art of Transit:


Quasi-related: the Metro Board will consider an update to its station naming policy at its Dec. 1 meeting. The policy includes the policy of Metro selling corporate sponsorships for stations. There are a lot of conditions to be met and the gist of all this: the location of the station remains the prominent naming feature.

Dept. of Democracy That Pours Like Syrup: Yes, Election Day was 15 days gone by, but the county folks are still squirreled away in Norwalk tabulating the votes. There’s still a lot to go, but in the most recent update the percentage voting for Measure M increased.


In case you’re wondering, the vote counters in Gotham have managed to count north of 7.1 million ballots thus far.

L.A. voters just showed how frustrated they are with traffic (LAT)

On the subject of Measure M, this good story breaks down how different parts of L.A. County voted for the ballot measure. Nothing hugely surprising — a lot of support comes from Metro’s core service areas but there’s also big support thus far in more distant places such as Claremont, which is in the far east of the county.

Laura Nelson also notes that M thus far fared very well in cities where local officials campaigned against it. Again, not surprising given the diminishing influence of traditional media and endorsements. Proof? See: presidential election results 2016.

Quasi-related: it’s still bizarre to me that I can order something from one of the New York City-based camera superstores and escape having to pay sales tax (and thus, the existing three half-cent sales taxes that go to Metro) but if I walk down the street to my local camera store, I get to pay nine percent sales tax. This article is from 2013 but captures the absurdity of the situation in which there are very different tax laws for different Americans.

Will L.A.’s new sales tax measure solve traffic? (Ethan Elkind)

This is in response to a Patt Morrison column in the LAT in which she interviews one critic of M. No, Ethan writes — only congestion pricing might do that. But he thinks Measure M is certainly a big part of helping the region have a better future mobility-wise. Key excerpt:

Meanwhile, we can acknowledge that Measure M is probably not enough by itself to address all the mobility challenges in Los Angeles, but it’s a necessary part of the solution. For example, the region will need smart policies on automated cars.  But these vehicles will still rely on and complement improvements in infrastructure from Measure M, just like investments in bus-only lanes funded by the measure can eventually accommodate the automated buses that Humes envisions.

Talking Headways podcast: will the autonomous future be heaven or hell? (Streetsblog LA)

As the description notes — and this is sweet music to my skeptical ears:

Then there’s the “hell” scenario, where we just swap out everyone’s private cars for driverless versions and continue business as usual.

Sounds about right. BTW, Ethan Elkind makes a similar point in his aforementioned post.

Controversial ‘Reef’ project in South L.A. gets green light from City Council (KPCC)


The huge residential and commercial project on Washington Boulevard between Main and Hill streets got the go-ahead from the City Council and includes 1,400 residential units. As per usual, the project required exemptions from the city’s outdated zoning codes, thereby guaranteeing a lot of negotiating between community members, the developer and local pols.

The project is certainly transit adjacent: the Blue Line runs right down the middle of Washington Boulevard. Outside of DTLA proper (i.e. north of the 10 freeway), the Blue Line hasn’t seen much development over the years and this will be a big exception to that, pun intended.

Some community members have protested, saying it’s too big, too out of character and has too much potential to displace low-income residents from their homes. All fair questions as is this: what’s the cost of doing nothing?

Pre-Thanksgiving Timewaster: 

Bold prediction for 2017: Negan and that tiger will meet face-to-face and it won’t go well.

And that’s a wrap. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone, recharge, relax, don’t overspend on useless electronic crap and we’ll catch up next week!

12 replies

  1. Why can’t we stick to the street names? Especially downtown. Broadway is a long street, all told. How would a tourist (or many LA Transplants) be expected to know where Historic Broadway is in relation to where they are downtown. Or know why it’s historic?

    Can we keep it simple?

    Also – neither the current or future station is in the Arts District, so that’s just inaccurate.

  2. Little Tokyo Station for the station in Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo/ Arts District sort of makes sense, but the new station will be even more obviously in Little Tokyo than the station it will replace. And the Arts District will probably get a Red Line station when they extend the Red Line.

  3. I have already commented on the form but I think it’s very silly to have two stations so close together with the word “Arts” in it. It should be Bunker Hill, Broadway/Historic Core and Little Tokyo/Arts District.

  4. 1. Garcetti
    2. Villaraigosa
    3. Hahn

    Because you know that’ll be how it ends up anyway.

  5. “When completed, there will be one light rail line running between Azusa (and eventually Claremont) and Long Beach”

    I know it’s WAY too soon to be adding input into this, but I seriously hope that Metro considers to also operate “Gold Line only” Trains between Little Tokyo and Montclair, in addition to Long Beach to Montclair Blue Line trains.

    Why do I say this?? Because of the the Blue Line. Seriously, if delays can’t even be handled properly right now when the current routing of the Blue Line, you better believe the LA to Montclair section of the current Gold Line will have to suffer as a result of these delays as well once both lines are connected together.

  6. I wish they’d adopt a policy of not naming stations or any other County facilities after people that are still alive. Things like naming a station after Gloria Molina, or a county park after Mike Antonovich just rubs me the wrong way, especially when they’re not retired from politics.

    • I would make an exception for the Expo/Pico station. I feel this station should be named for Barret Hansen (aka Dr. Demento), a long time radio personality who’s theme song was “Pico and Sepulveda” and not only brought a lot of good Los Angeles novelty songs to Los Angeles (on KMET) but to the world.

  7. Station naming made simple: Complete grade separated station 1, station 2, station 3. How “all” of the light rail stations should have been built from the beginning! Happy Holidays…

  8. “it’s still bizarre to me that I can order something from one of the New York City-based camera superstores and escape having to pay sales tax (and thus, the existing three half-cent sales taxes that go to Metro) but if I walk down the street to my local camera store, I get to pay nine percent sales tax. ”

    If you did not pay sales tax in California, or another state, by ordering via the mail or internet, you still must pay “Use Tax”.

    • Looks like Steve may have to refile his recent California State Income Tax returns!

      • Purchased my current Nikon plus wide angle lens from Samy’s in Pasadena although I would have saved significant $s by ordering from B&H or Adorama!

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source