How We Roll, Dec. 13: wow, Americans are driving a lot these days

ICYMI: Suggest locations for bike share stations in Pasadena and Venice. I was pleased to see someone suggest  both the Huntington and Rose Bowl in Pasadena, although the Rose Bowl is very downhill from Old Pasadena and the Gold Line.

Huge Arts District development L.A. River races for approval; here’s an early look (LAT)

The Times got a scoop and the renderings that go with it of a new development proposed just north of 7th Street and along the L.A. River. It’s another big one — 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 apartments and two boutique hotels; in other words the kind of thing that feels lifted from the standard modern L.A. developer’s template.

Still, it’s yet another big development proposed in the Arts and Industrial districts that are between the river and Alameda Street. And this one is very close to Metro’s maintenance yard for the subway where the agency has said that renovations will leave space for a possible subway platform/station although the agency hasn’t committed to such. Of course, the more stuff that ultimately gets built in this area, the more likely there will be pressure to build the platform.

Quasi-related observation: as per usual — because this is how the city of L.A. functions (or does not) — the development would need exemptions from current zoning laws. The issue here: updating the zoning laws across much of L.A. has proven difficult with some folks suing to stop further development and the traffic they allege it brings .

Uber bets on artificial intelligence (NYT)

The cheap taxi firm has acquired an AI startup with the aim of improving their self-driving cars in the future. Excerpt:

“It’s going to be a very long time before a self-driving car will be able to make all the kinds of trips that Uber does every single day,” Mr. Holden said. “But the answers to this are all going to come in the form of artificial intelligence.”

Concur. I’m still skeptical that self-driving cars will be much cheaper or more profitable than just sticking with human beings behind the wheel. More self-driving skepticism here.

UPS begins delivering packages via E-trike in ________ (Streetsblog) 

I know you can guess the city in one try. The phrase “E-trike” gives it away.

U.S. Drivers Log 2.4 Trillion Miles In First Nine Months of 2016 (USDOT)

From the news release:

At 27.8 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in September 2016 than the combined 27.7 billion miles of 19 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

And from the accompanying report, a few visuals to show how much Americans are driving these days. Interesting that even as Americans drive a lot, they’re also approving more transit at the ballot box. See: Measure M in Los Angeles County, which won with 71.15 percent of the vote.

driving1 driving2 driving3

And to finish up today, a song about driving!

8 replies

  1. A great example of how taking the green line to aviation and then catching the G bus to the terminal can dissuade anybody from ever using public transportation. Lucky for me on the way back i get on at terminal 1 so i have a place to put my skis. but by the time terminal 6 came around there was no more room for anybody

  2. A few weeks ago, I actually drove all the way to a performing arts venue in Los Angeles County, further away from me than Long Beach, Carson, or Downey, for the first time in years.

    I only did so after I discovered just how difficult and time-consuming it would be to take Metro to Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” (closes Sunday the 18th, I’m told) at the Wallis Annenberg.

    And because I hadn’t bothered to note down the location of my intended restaurant, I ended up driving round-trip all the way from Beverly Hills to the Marie Callender’s over by LACMA and the Page Museum for my pre-show dinner.

    I am SO ready for the Purple Line Extension to be completed.

  3. Steve,

    What is the status of the Red/Purple line extension to the arts district? I believe Metro said they were going to study the issue in 2015 but I haven’t heard anything since.


  4. With regards to UPS and pedal delivery:

    Last week I saw a UPS delivery driver on a route on a bike with a trailer –IN THE SFV– !!! And it was not in some trendy bike friendly area like NoHo. It was in a gritty part of the north east part of the Valley.

  5. Steve,

    What is the status of the potential Arts District extension of the Purple/Red Line? If I recall there was a motion in 2015 stating that Metro was going to examine the issue, but I haven’t seen anything since. Was that study ever conducted/completed? I know the turnback facility got some funding from cap and trade so I’m curious to know whether that advanced the ball on a potential station.


  6. Of course Americans are approving more transit. They want other people will take rail and bus to free up the roads for them. Although, this likely applies more to Boomers and X-ers. My 17 year-old daughter has shown little interest in driving… but refuses to take a bus. Expects to be driven or Ubered everywhere she want to go.

    • @RD-909 that ain’t gonna work… The roads are gonna be filled up again………..