Crenshaw/LAX Line from airplane, auto emissions vs EPA, Tesla: HWR, March 30

Dept. of I’m Back in L.A. after 45 day exile to Ohio!: If you have a window seat on any inbound flight to LAX you can get a view of some part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line that’s under construction.

I was on the right side of the plane yesterday that landed on the south runway for this view of the trench for the Crenshaw/LAX Line between the runway and Aviation Boulevard.

If I had been sitting on the left side of my flight I would have had a pretty good view of the newly finished junction of the Crenshaw/LAX and Green Line tracks. The five Green Line stations closed for that work are reopening with the start of service this Sunday morning — one week earlier than originally planned.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line is scheduled to open in fall 2019. Here are some other recent construction pics of the work at the junction.

Quasi-related: I also got a pretty nifty view of the new football stadium rising in Inglewood. That is expected to open for the 2020 season and host the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, 2022, as well as the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2028.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

EPA poised to scrap fuel economy targets that are key to curbing global warming — setting up clash with California (LAT)

This news was widely reported across the U.S. on Thursday: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce that it will roll back fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards that would boost average fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Key graph:

Whether [EPA Administrator] Pruitt can weaken the rules for the entire country is an open question. California, with its history of smog problems and heightened vulnerability to climate change, has unique authority under the Clean Air Act to impose its own standard. The act also permits other states to adopt the California rules, and a dozen have.

As the article correctly notes, this will be a big legal battle — my hunch is that California’s emission standards will not be lowered any time soon, if ever.

Of course, fuel economy has improved over the past several decades. Here’s the most recent average fleet fuel economy of cars and light trucks in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation:

That’s the good news. The not-as-good news is that gasoline consumption has increased in the U.S., along with the number of miles driven in recent years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Bottom line: our air quality in the L.A. region has much improved over the decades but we still exceed federal air standards on many days — and the air outside my east-facing window at the Metro Mothership is looking kind of ghastly as of 12:15 p.m. today.

I believe the air nearest the horizon is the wrong color.

There are a lot of different paths to get to cleaner air and less emissions of greenhouse gases. Adoption of more electric vehicles is one of them. As we’ve also noted before, generally speaking taking transit instead of driving alone is a good way to lower the greenhouse gas emissions your actions produce.

On the subject of electric vehicles…

Tesla Looked Like the Future. Now Some Ask if It Has One. (NYT)

“There is a huge part of Tesla that is simply presentation and not substance, and Elon [Musk] is a master at messaging,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The problem is the reality is starting to stack up, and that’s a reality of accidents the cars have had, quality issues, and massive misses on Model 3 production numbers. You add all that up and there’s a real question about whether this company can deliver what it promises.”
The gistiness of the article focuses on the recent downgrading of Tesla’s credit rating, difficulties getting the Model 3 to market, a recent accident involving Tesla and the company’s lack of profitability. It’s probably worth mentioning, as attentive Source readers know, that Elon Musk also wants to build car/transit tunnels under L.A. as well as the hyperloop — think a giant vacuum cleaner tube stretched across the landscape — to help hoover people between cities.
Dept. of Interestingness:

In other futbol news, LAFC plays at the Galaxy at StubHub Center in Carson on Saturday at noon. The Galaxy Express — run by Long Beach Transit — runs free buses to StubHub from Harbor Gateway Transit Center and the Blue Line’s Del Amo Station. More info here. LAFC has won both their games thus far — not bad for an expansion team — and will be debuting their Banc of California Stadium near the Expo Line on April 29. More on that soon.

Pretty interesting article. As some on social media noted, storage places may not be the absolute best use of land in cities — although there’s certainly no shortage of them (such as the one neighboring the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station). Then again, I suppose there’s nothing stopping a developer from offering to purchase a property and put something else there.


3 replies

  1. Somewhere in the Metro archives is the study that “proved” that the Overhead Power Wires (Catenary) for light rail, if placed where the Crenshaw Line is now being built, would produce interference with airplane equipment and cause planes attempting to use Runways 25L and 25R to crash. I am glad you had a safe landing Steve. Welcome home.

  2. Another example of the stupidity of the Obama Administration forcing VW to remove these diesel cars from the road when in fact even with the flaw they are more economical and do not pollute our environment as gasoline powered vehicles.

    I certainly would buy one as is. Where do I go?

  3. Nice photos from the plane. It’s not always easy to get the timing right when doing that, and there isn’t much margin for error. The Crenshaw line isn’t visible from every landing, though – when the Santa Ana winds are blowing, they have to turn things around and land planes in the opposite direction, from west to east. They also do so between midnight and 6:30am for noise abatement.

    There’s a self-storage facility with property on both the north and south sides of the Expo Line’s La Cienega station, right next to the high-rise mixed-use development that’s going up on the corner of Jefferson. I can imagine they’ll be bought out sometime in the future, but it sounds like the industry is profitable enough that the owners would sell for a pretty hefty price.