Smart hockey players, not so free birds, housing vs transit; HWR, June 6

This is a great observation. We don’t cap the number of motor vehicles on streets but now there are discussion about a very popular market-driven solution for short trips. Hmm.

Art of Transit


Metro begins feasibility study, presentations on a train through the Sepulveda Pass connecting West LA with the San Fernando Valley (Daily News)

A good preview of the public meetings that begin Thursday night to discuss the feasibility study and concepts developed by Metro for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project.

As the article mentions, Metro is looking at rail options. This meeting will focus on the project segment between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside with an emphasis on how this project will connect with other Metro transit projects. I’ll have a post up with the presentation following tomorrow night’s meeting. I am wild guessing that readers will be intensely interested in this.

Meeting dates and times:

• Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Westwood United Methodist Church, 10497 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

• Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Marvin Braude Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

• Tuesday, June 12, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. This meeting will also be webcast live.

In Vancouver a housing frenzy that even owners want to end (NYT)

Key graph:

Like many cities around the world, Vancouver is grappling with punishing housing costs that have pushed out large swaths of residents — and are causing distress among young adults who can’t afford rent today and take it for granted that they will never own a home.

Sound familiar, anyone?

As it happens, the house next to mine recently went on the market. On top of the high price, it needs considerable work. On a recent Sunday there was an open house — and there were 20 people on the sidewalk just waiting for the open house to begin. It was a feeding frenzy and I was not surprised when the “in escrow” sign popped up the other day.

Yeah, I could probably sell my crib. But then what? As in Vancouver, lateral moves here are increasingly difficult — the 310 would still be out of reach — and I’d likely just end up with a much bigger mortgage and a worse commute.

Of course, housing is not a transportation issue per se, but housing and transit should go hand-in-hand and there are still too many places here where the transit has been built but the new housing hasn’t really followed. I’m talking to you, Highland Park Station!

On that subject, the usually great Planet Money podcast had a segment last month on the now-dead state bill (known as SB 827) that proposed to rezone and allow more density neighborhoods across the state near frequent transit line.

The podcast took a particular look at the neighborhood of single-family homes near the Expo Line’s Westwood/Rancho Park Station, suggesting that allowing some homes to be demolished and rebuilt as apartments was a good solution for our housing shortage. (Disclosure: To repeat, I’m a single-family homeowner in Pasadena so I have horse-in-race).

On the sour side, the whole segment relies heavily a single interview with a single UCLA public policy professor. Neither Planet Money or the professor mentioned that a very short stroll from the station is Pico Boulevard, a commercial street with a lot of one- and two-story buildings where it might be easier to build housing from a political standpoint. Housing on commercial streets is common in many other cities — but not as much in our region.

That seems like it should have been mentioned in the story. But it was not. Triple Ugh and Planet Money should be sent to the Planetary Penalty Box.

The strange, enduring charm of Japan’s city mascots (CityLab)

It’s still a decade-and-change away, but I’m eager to see the Los Angeles Summer Olympics and Paralympics mascot.

Any ideas? Comment please.

Things to listen/watch whilst transiting: This song popped up on my dumb phone while riding the Gold Line the other night. What a great song and the video shows fun times at one of our local landfills back in the early days of MTV.




Categories: Transportation News

6 replies

  1. Niskanen and Oshie taking that has perhaps been my favorite thing about this series (sorry, Vegas). Let’s all hold our breath on Kings players taking the Green Line to the Blue Line.

  2. I just did a lateral move and I gained 1000 sq ft in additional space for the same price as the home I just sold. This happened in LA County. I sold in a city that didn’t have many homes for sale. My new city has lots of homes for sale and are all larger homes. Unfortunately, interest rates just jumped. The buyer of my previous home likely had an interest rate of 7.1 percent. I got 4.35 percent. Interest rates are currently 4.7%. This will affect home sale prices. You have to be aware of the homes for sale and jump in when you see something good.

    • Hi Tim;

      That’s great you were able to pull off the move! Congrats! Did you have to move farther away from job, etc. or were you able to stay someplace that works location-wise?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Hi Steve: Works wise, there is no difference in commuting distance. But I do on-occasion have to go to El Segundo via the Green Line so driving to Norwalk Station is a longer distance. (I wrote 7.1 percent in my previous post. It should be 4.1 percent. I gave up my all time low 3.25 percent interest rate when I sold my home.)

  3. Metro needs to think of the Sepulveda pass rail line as being as significant as the red line through the Cahuenga pass. I can’t see what options would be of high quality that would not involve a straight shot tunnel under the Santa Monica mountains, so cost between LRT and HRT likely wouldn’t be very much. The grades are too steep for at-grade or elevated rail and would be slower due to curves, even as monorail. HRT’s top speed of 70 mph vs 65 mph for LRT isn’t significant, however, capacity is. Now, light rail would allow for a single seat ride between Sylmar and LAX as opposed to a transfer (as well as possibly continuing southward to Long Beach along a future extended green line). Even so, heavy rail would ensure not under-building this line as it would serve as the primary north-south transit spine for west central LA county, as well as being able to tie in directly to the purple line, via wye junction.

  4. How about starting to confiscate all Bird scooters recklessly and illegally driven on the sidewalk—that would be most of them? These things are a menace.