Art of Transit:
Art of Transit 2:
1959 MTA Summer Funland Map. pic.twitter.com/9zCrIE2muy
— John Gordon (@j6ordon) July 3, 2017
From the Dept. of Employment:
LAPD Hiring Expo! pic.twitter.com/lBuNedztDc
— City of Los Angeles – Jobs (@Citylajobs) July 3, 2017
— LAPD Transit Services Division (@LAPDTransit) July 1, 2017
Reminder — the LAPD is now one of three police agencies patrolling the Metro system. The others are the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Here’s the news release, including this important factoid:
Law enforcement will be able to respond to incidents more quickly from within their own local jurisdictions, improving response times to approximately five to six minutes from an average of 16 minutes. Increases in personnel throughout the system will result in a consistent 314 personnel over each 24-hour period.
The Metro Board of Directors in February decided to add the LAPD and LBPD to the LASD.
In the first article, columnist Frank Bruni laments the spate of service delays on Gotham’s subway system in recent times. “I’m losing faith in New York,” he writes, followed by this:
Our leaders, along with the rest of us, have been hemming, hawing, coasting and quarreling, and here we are, immobile and enraged. I mean New York. I also mean America.
In the second article, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel points out that while subway systems in New York and Washington are stuck in a moment they can’t get out of, the Chicago El (also a heavy rail) is 125 years old and running much more smoothly thanks to a series of upgrades that will increase capacity.
How have we done it? First, we put reliability ahead of expansion. We focused relentlessly on modernizing tracks, signals, switches, stations and cars before extending lines to new destinations. Unlike New York, which has spent billions to reach Hudson Yards, or Washington, which has concentrated on trying to reach Dulles Airport (both laudable projects), Chicago has improved the existing system.
Emanuel calls for expansion of several federal funding programs that would help transit agencies across the country maintain their systems. We concur.
Let’s circle back to the capacity issue. On that front, Metro has three projects in the works:
•The Regional Connector that will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines and allow more light rail trains to run to and through downtown L.A.
•The Red/Purple Line portal/turnback project at Union Station that will make it easier and faster to turn around subway trains — and allow service up to four minutes apart on both the Red and Purple Lines.
•The Blue Line track/signal upgrade project that is creating more switches between tracks — making it easier for trains to get around problem areas.
Maintenance also continues throughout the Metro Rail system. Measure M, too, will supply about $2.4 billion in the next 40 years to State of Good Repair projects, the idea being for Metro to have a pot of money for what Metro builds. That’s a revenue stream other transit agencies do not have.
Work gets underway for mixed use project near USC (Urbanize LA)
One hundred forty affordable units near the Expo Line’s Expo/Vermont Station. And this, also next to the future Historic Broadway Station that will serve the Azusa-Long Beach and East L.A.-Santa Monica light rail lines:
— Urbanize LA (@UrbanizeLA) June 30, 2017
Dept. of Transportation-Related Movie Reviews: Saw “Baby Driver” the other night. Very entertaining summer movie that goes a little too conventional action movie toward the end.
In the above article, Mayor Emanuel argues that mayors should be in charge of local transit systems as an accountability measure. FWIW, Mayor Eric Garcetti is a member of the 13-member Metro Board, has the ability to appoint three members and will be the Metro Board Chair this fiscal year (which runs through June 30, 2018).
As for his second term, Garcetti told the LAT that creating affordable housing and getting homeless off the streets remain formidable challenges even as the city in many ways is booming.
Related: Politico recently tabbed Garcetti as one of America’s 11 most interesting mayors and says he could be running for president in 2020.
Unrelated: Some commentary from yours truly on the above mayoral list…
Reno? Better than it used to be but downtown is still too overwhelmed and dependent on rundown casinos. No disrespect to the mayor there, but Reno is about as interesting as my sock drawer.
And it was interesting to me that Detroit, Louisville, Dayton and Pittsburgh are on the top 11 list. Attentive Source readers know that I was recently trapped in Porkopolis (Cincinnati) for two weeks (parents!) and was quite amazed at how the city and many of the ‘burbs have transformed themselves for the better in recent years.
As manufacturing has declined across the Midwest and Rust Belt, a lot of once great cities were left to put the pieces back together. And they are. I’ve seen this over my past few visits to Cincy: a lot of young people not leaving when they grow up and a lot of young people coming to Cincy to live because of the quality of life, affordability (although not as affordable as it used to be) and job opportunities.
So my bold prediction: as the big cities on the coasts get pricier, there will be a back to the Midwest movement in the coming decades as people seek more elbow room and a chance to rebuild a part of the U.S. of A well worth saving.
Things to read whilst transiting: a very good Politico feature on how the powers-that-be in Cincinnati — with funding from corporate partners — created a nonprofit and supplied it with money to fix up the long neglected Over the Rhine part of downtown. Sounds like a model that could work in many places. The article also acknowledges some of the tricky aspects of Over the Rhine’s ongoing gentrification.
Okay, now the sermon is really over.
And, finally, some 4th of July music to get you in the mood…
I couldn’t find a live version of this one, but it’s even better than Bruce’s version of “This Land Is Your Land.”
Categories: Transportation Headlines