And so it begins…2019. Among the transpo-related news in the first week of the new year:
•LAUSD teachers could go on strike beginning Thursday. The district says that schools will remain open. Metro is certainly watching, given the many students who take our buses and trains and the many parents who work at Metro or use the system who may have some childcare issues. Stay tuned.
•The Rams host the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC semi-finals on Saturday at 5:15 at the Expo Line adjacent Coliseum. Should be a huge crowd between resident Rams fans and Cowboys fans, which seem to consider the country to be open range. Fun fact: if the Rams, Eagles, Colts and Chargers all win this coming weekend (not super likely), the AFC title game will be in Carson and the NFC title game at the Coliseum on Jan. 20.
•Gov. Gavin Newsom takes office today. He inherits the state high-speed rail project, which is building 119 miles of bridges, underpasses and other infrastructure for the tracks in the Central Valley from Madera to just north of Bakersfield. The project needs tens of billions more to reach San Jose (where it can connect to Caltrain commuter rail) or the Los Angeles area. This LAT piece covers it well, including potential funding sources. None are easy (shocker). More pics at California High-Speed Rail Authority website.
•A two-week suspension of rail service at the six westernmost stations on the Green Line began last Friday evening with bus shuttles replacing train service. This will allow work to be finished tying together the Crenshaw/LAX Line tracks to the Green Line.
In some other early 2019 news…
The dreaded L train shutdown in New York was halted in its tracks by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week after three years of planning. Cuomo found experts who recommended another way to repair the tunnels under the East River while keeping weekday service between Manhattan and Queens and Brooklyn intact. In the Empire State, the governor has an outsized role in the New York subway system — more so than the mayor of Gotham.
Speaking of NYC, the NYT ran an article saying that the West Coast is beating the East Coast on transit. I’ll be kind and just say the part about West Coast cities using ballot measures to raise funds to expand transit is on the money.
FWIW: Measure M OKd with 71.15% of vote not nearly 70%. NYMTA no longer in APTA so can't apply for award. LA Metro has upcoming major closures on busiest light rail line for rehab work (see Puentes quote), LA mayor controls 4 of 13 seats on Board of LA Metro, a county agency.
— stevehymon (@stevehymon) January 4, 2019
Four out of 41 railroads in the U.S. — a list that thankfully includes Metrolink in our region — met a deadline to install anti-collision technology known as positive train control, reports CNN.
Some Arizonans are not loving the self-driving car testing being done in their state. Quote from NYT story: “They said they need real-world examples, but I don’t want to be their real-world mistake,” said Mr. O’Polka.
There’s a road diet planned for the road (Cordova) that I use to drive to the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station, so says the Pasadena Star News. That will mean a bike lane actually reaching the station, which has only been open since 2003! My humble suggestion: time the traffic signals to give cyclists green lights and cut down on the impatient driving. Another planned road diet on Orange Grove in the city got the heave-ho by residents but the city plans to keep plugging away.
Things to watch whilst transiting: among the shows I’m currently streaming (I’m always well behind the times) two feature the actor Jeff Daniels: “The Looming Towers” on Hulu about the intelligence failures in the years ahead of 9-11 and “Godless” on Netflix in which Daniels plays an outlaw in the Old West who sometimes takes guidance from his left arm, there being one small catch.