Transit oriented baseball, bike safety, 110 flyover ramps; HWR, June 4

Protect your cellphones!: There have been several thefts of smart phones on the Expo Line over the last week with thieves grabbing phones from riders just before departing stations. There have also been five arrests made. We’re asking riders to be careful with their phone.

Dept. of Transit-Oriented Baseball: I took the San Diego trolley on Saturday for my first-ever visit to Petco Park to see the Padres host my beloved Cincinnati Reds. On the plus side, the trolley stops just outside the stadium (just like Muni Rail in S.F.). On the minus side, trolley service after the game was, IMHO, not-so-great — too few trains running too far apart.

As for the ballpark: wow. Actually, quadruple wow. Beautiful ballpark in the heart of the city — basically on par, if not better, than the Giants ballpark in San Francisco. The sightlines, the park in center field, the food and beverage selection…I can’t say enough good things about the place.

It would have been nice if the Reds — on pace for a 105-loss season — had tried to win the game instead of using it as some kind of weird showcase for the tradebait that is pitcher Matt Harvey. If the Reds hope to get any value for him, they’d be better off not allowing him to pitch in public.

I like Dodger Stadium, too, btw. It’s just from a different era before the urban ballpark renaissance began with Baltimore’s Camden Yards in the early 1990s. Also, the beverage and food selection at Petco was/is pretty killer.

Feel free to opine on your favorite transit-oriented baseball stadium in the comments section.

Dept. of Birds: I was over in Westwood recently and I think it’s fair to say the Birds are a lot more popular than UCLA bike share. It’s also fair to say that Bruins were doing their best to ignore the sides imploring them not to scoot on the sidewalk. The Birds do seem like a pretty good first/last mile option, albeit one that is motorized — and maybe that’s why they’re so popular. Thoughts?

Dept. of That’s Why the Street is So Wide: 

Dept. of I Wish It Happens But It Needs Funding: 

Dept. of I Hope It Happens But It Ain’t Happened For Many Years: 

Why LA bike riders keep dying (Biking in LA)

Excellent explainer on why fatal bike accidents continue to be a problem in our region. One answer: we’re a huge area with a lot of streets. The other answer: motorist entitlement, high speed limits and lack of traffic law enforcement.

So is it any wonder that LA has what may be world’s most entitled drivers, who seem to feel they have a God-given right to do anything they want, with little or no fear of consequences?

That, IMHO, is about 110 percent correct. On top of that, we have the serious problem of distracted driving courtesy of dumb phones.

Quasi-related: I’ve spent more time than I’d like on So Cal’s freeways lately and the thing that I noticed most is the wide variety of speeds — ranging from people well over the speed limit to people crawling along at 40 mph. All those different speeds add up to a sometimes pretty scary driving environment with lots of lane switching, weaving and say-a-prayer entrance ramps.

Thoughts?

Related: The family of a cyclist killed by a sheriff’s deputy who is accused of texting-and-driving has received a $12-million settlement, according to the LAT.

Politicians stump in Torrance against repealing unpopular gas tax that will pay for South Bay Green Line extension (Daily Breeze)

The city of Torrance held its second groundbreaking ceremony for the Torrance Regional Transit Center last week (the first was in 2015.

The reason for the ceremony: the Green Line Extension to Torrance just received a $231-million state grant courtesy of Senate Bill 1, which became law in 2017 and raised the state gas tax and vehicle fees to fund road repair and other transportation programs. Here is the list of Metro road and transit projects that received state/SB 1 grants last month.

Signatures have been submitted to the state to take a ballot measure to California voters in November asking them to repeal SB 1. Thus the reason officials are trying to show some of the things that SB 1 would fund.

As for the Green Line Extension project, a Supplemental Alternatives Analysis is currently being prepared for the project. Metro planners are looking at two routes. One would follow the old rail right-of-way south of Redondo Beach whereas the alternative would partially follow Hawthorne Boulevard. Please see this post for more about that.

Controversial ExpressLanes Extension Takes a Step Forward (Urbanize LA)

The plan would add new aerial ramps that would allow people to enter/exit the Harbor Transitway at 23rd and Figueroa. The Transitway is a fancy way of saying the elevated part of the 110 freeway.

The Transitway, as Silver Line riders know, abruptly ends and dumps traffic via a long ramp on to Adams Boulevard. In Days of Yore, there was talk about continuing the Transitway north to Union Station to link to the El Monte Busway but the prospective bill for that terminated such talk. (Here’s an excellent post by Dana Gabbard on Streetsblog that explains the Transitway’s history).

As for the new proposed extension, as the headline states — it’s not without controversy. The extension would impact the new bike lanes on Figueroa and others are not pleased about the visual impacts. Check out the renderings at Urbanize.

 

9 replies

  1. I think when health and wellness and obesity are big issues in the U.S., having scooters that prevent people from walking is not a good idea. Just moving us closer to Wall-E. As for public transit, taking the train to City Field in NY is great, the BART to the Coliseum and yes the trolley in San Diego! And Petco does have the best food in MLB.

    • Hi Crystal;

      I can personally testify that the pulled pork sandwich from Phils BBQ paired with batting practice was pretty much the best thing I’ve ever eaten in a baseball stadium. I also agree that society as a whole is moving toward Wall-E!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. As I explore Los Angeles(MSA) more, I find so many odd configurations in neighborhoods, and then realise, “Oh, this used to be a right of way, holy ship!” Vermont, San Vicente, and Venice just to name a few obvious ones. Ive also found the one in West Hollywood, one in Koreatown toward Western near 6th, one in El Segundo to their Rec Park, the Sepulveda ROW and lastly, even as far as Huntington Beach. It was a massive system!

    There is a pseudo memorial at Venice of America Centennial Park with tracks in the grass. Im not sure if that was the PE, the Yellow or Abbott Kinneys rail way. You’ll notice the area near Pacific between N Venice and Mildred is oddly laid out, but from a birds eye view, you can tell a railway went through there all the way through to the Marina even. Then of course Electric Ave, where you can still see pieces of track. Im also not sure if this was Kinneys or another. Theres an actual rail spike sticking out of the sidewalk randomly at Washington and Pacific at Venice Beach, and if you look closely at some areas of the canal south, you’ll see old track sticking out of the water down at the peninsula.

    It really is a shame. Its almost as if people destroyed whatever record, photos, or video there was of our system. You don’t really see or read about it too much in the mainstream either. For such a massive system it really turned to thick air.

  3. Thanks for the news on Expo Line thefts. I have noticed a significant increase in police presence recently at many Expo stations.

    As for ballpark transit, the #7 train to Shea/Citi is an experience all in itself.

  4. hmm, looks like I took my vacation at the right time. Haven’t been on the Expo Line in a month due to my trip, the holiday weekend made driving tolerable and last week I had to be out again. Kept wondering why there was an influx of cops on the Expo Line Monday.

  5. Speaking of another important form of bike safety, maybe there should be some investigation into bicycle security at Metro stations. It seems like a lot of people would want to get into biking as a form of commuting except they don’t have safe places to store their bikes, and not every metro station has accessible hubs or lockers. So people are taking a chance at their stations and eventually some thief figures out their pattern, and as soon as the bike is stolen that is the end of most people’s foraging into bicycling.

    I think something that might help is for the Source to identify high theft areas and allow Metro to address them via better lighting, easier crime reporting, and cameras; have some articles exploring what makes a good bike lock; look at innovative solutions such as better bike racks that have their own locking mechanisms.

    If Metro is serious about encouraging biking, we need to provide a more welcoming experience. Once that happens, more will ride, and their voices will be amplified.

  6. The flyover ramps will actually be beneficial for transit by speeding up and smoothing out bus operations as well as reducing conflict with the expo line at Adams. The environmental document implies that it is an off-ramp only. Perhaps it should be both an on and off ramp thus eliminating the awkward entrance just south of 28th street which diagonally crosses the expo line. Then, both the entrance and exit would be further north, rather that just the exit. As far as mitigating the bike lane disruption, as well as requiring new traffic lights and cycles, I wonder if there is any feasible way that the flyover structure could merge / descend onto the median of Figueroa instead of into it from the east side of the street as its proposed now.

  7. RE: Petco Park- All three SD trolley lines stop near the park, and there are multiple stations, but I would agree that the trolley does not run frequently enough. I don’t think they increase service that much for baseball games like they used to do for football games at Qualcomm Staidum
    All the bike and scooter share in San Diego also helps if you are just trying to get back to the Amtrak station. If you miss the trolley, you are probably better on bike.

    Growing up, I have great memories of riding BART to A’s games. We lived in the suburbs and it was a special occasion to ride the train and see a game!