Art of Transit:
The Metro Board voted 11 to 1 last week to ask for a study of strategies that can be used to speed up traffic in carpool lanes and ExpressLanes and freeways in general.
It must be said: studies in these parts are a dime a dozen. But The Source, otherwise enduring a Long Sit in the Board room, couldn’t help but nod its head appreciatively. Everyone has an idea what’s wrong with our freeways and it was great to see the Board actually want to wade into the muck.
On the carpool lane side of things, the study will consider bumping the required number of passengers to three and will also tackle the question of whether kids should count toward the requirement (the logic being that a kid couldn’t drive anyway and thus isn’t helping take cars off the road). On the ExpressLanes side, one outstanding question involves how many single motorists are abusing the rules, not paying, not getting caught and thus defeating the purpose of the toll lane.
To emphasize, the motion is only calling for a study — and you could build a skyscraper with all the studies performed in LaLaLand over the years. But this one is getting a lot of press attention because even thinking of changing the way that freeways operate is kind of like dropping a watermelon in a tile store, to quote the old saying.*
What’cha thinking, readers? If you were the Queen/King, what would you do with the freeways?
Some answers thus far:
— Jonathan Bourne (@JonathanBourne) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles get rid of the express lanes and get back to carpool only to reduce the number of cars and speed up traffic
— Random (@flyingmonkey38) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles 3+ time to get serious about car-sharing
— Sunset Square Hwd (@sunsetsquarehwd) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles More trains (and bicycle friendly streets), less cars. ?
— Daisy (@llldaisylll) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles limit big rig truck traffic to 1 or 2 lanes and tax them for the extra damage they cause.
— El Chelito (@ThatDudeCelo) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles EXTEND THE 710 FWY
— Tracey Chavira (@traceychavira) March 29, 2017
@metrolosangeles eliminate double yellow lines for carpool lanes. speed tickets for people not going the speed limit.
— Adrian (@niceshortsbro) March 28, 2017
@metrolosangeles lane-specific speed limits: Leftmost must drive 75+. Rightmost 60 or slower (others interpolated).
— Jeff Chapman (@JeffC1956) March 28, 2017
Why isn’t the Expo Line a subway?
If you have seven minutes and 46 seconds, this is a good explanation of why Expo is light rail. I’m not sure I’d call “Expo” a consolation prize — because it’s not a subway — but I’m sure many agree that it would be great if it didn’t get hung up at traffic signals.
A plan to finance infrastructure (Washington Post)
The Post’s editorial board likes Rep. Peter Defazio’s proposal to raise the federal gas tax by 1.5 cents — after all, the tax hasn’t been raised since 1993. But the Post would like it better if the feds raised the tax by a 11 cents per gallon, which would pay for more highway and other tarnspo infrastructure.
Excerpt from this op-ed:
Changing how much we drive is not easy; it often requires a major change in lifestyle, like moving closer to work or making more frequent use of public transportation, which often takes longer and is less convenient than driving. It is much easier to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle; cars with fuel economy much better than the new-vehicle average of 25 m.p.g. are widely available.
In a country where upward of 86 percent of commuters drive to work (not to mention driving for other purposes), getting Americans in more gas sippers makes sense. That said, we repeat: generally speaking, taking transit instead of driving alone will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions — and make your car last longer, too.
On the subject of driving, Raiders games in Oakland were easy to reach via BART. There is no train in Vegas, at least not yet — although the stadium looks to maybe be walkable from parts of the Strip.
One other fun fact: three of California’s four NFL teams have shifted locations in the past year. Rams from St. Louis to L.A., Chargers from San Diego to Carson and Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. Only the 49ers remain in Santa Clara, 50 miles from San Francisco.
And because you need a cold little heart to even ponder changing the freeway rules…
*I just like the phrase dropping the watermelon. I have no idea if that’s an actual saying.
Categories: Transportation Headlines