Dept. of Bike Upgrades:
— Mitch O'Farrell (@MitchOFarrell) February 13, 2017
Dept. of Valentine’s Day:
Several Metro Board Members have penned a motion to study the possibility of grade separating the busy junction with the Expo Line (which also sits in the middle of a busy DTLA intersection) and adding express tracks to parts of the line. As the motion notes, ridership on the line — Metro’s oldest, dating to 1990 — has fallen and customer satisfaction has also declined.
Of course, a study is one thing. Paying for upgrades that likely cost tens of millions of dollars is another and there is no specific project or funding source at this time.
There are certainly pots of money from Metro’s sales taxes (Prop A, Prop C, Measure R and, beginning July 1, Measure M) that possibly could be tapped. Still, Attentive Readers know that transportation funding doesn’t grow on trees and the competition for local, state and federal money is always intense, especially when it come to big projects.
All that said, the motion includes some great ideas and the study (if the motion is approved) should include more about the money aspect of this.
Falling transit ridership is becoming a problem (Ethan Elkind)
Citing yesterday’s LAT article, Ethan writes maybe the trend will prompt transit officials to do the kind of things he thinks they should have been doing all along: more bus lanes, lowering fares and building more homes and offices near transit.
These two graphs caught my eye:
Of the 1,585 dams in California, 17 are listed in poor condition and 97 in fair condition, according to the National Inventory of Dams, which is kept by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. There are about 90,000 dams across the nation, many of which are privately owned.
Part of the problem, officials said, is that as a rule, the government is more inclined to invest money in building new projects, celebrated with elaborate ribbon-cutting ceremonies overseen by elected officials, than in the less visible (and less glamorous) task of maintenance.
We’re still waiting to see what President Trump’s infrastructure plan looks like. It just might be that this winter’s big rains and snows in the Golden State influence that.
Dubai aims to launch hover taxi by July (Phys.Org)
It’s a quadcopter. Looks super safe!
Related: you can buy a flying car right now, so says Car and Driver.
The West’s coal giant is closing (High Country News)
The four private utilities that own the Navajo Generating Plant in northern Arizona voted earlier this week to close it down in 2019, which is 25 years ahead of schedule. It’s cheaper to purchase electricity created by burning natural gas, they say.
Many good jobs will be lost. But, as HCN says, it’s a sign of the times and will likely result in less smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Want to do something about climate change on your own? Generally speaking, taking transit instead of driving alone is a good way to do it.
Dept. of Lost in Translation:
Categories: Transportation Headlines