On social media…
If you are attending Nipsey Hussle’s memorial at Staples Center tomorrow, the Blue Line is in service between 103rd St/Watts Towers and DTLA. Take the Blue (or Expo) Line to Pico Station. pic.twitter.com/xzFOM13aWJ
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) April 10, 2019
let me stop you right there pic.twitter.com/IWH8BX8CTb
— Scott Frazier (@safrazie) April 10, 2019
The article is proof that any academic study (this one from the University of Michigan) can get some ink if it has a sexy enough headline or premise.
Happy to announce that starting today my role at Metro has expanded to oversee web, mobile, and data. Big changes will be coming to improve the customer experience, transparency and openness, and citizen engagement. I'm excited. If you question, ask away.
— John Gordon (@j6ordon) April 8, 2019
John is Metro’s Director of Social Media. See the thread — lots of questions about real-time bus and train arrival, as would be expected.
— LAhistory (@LAhistory) April 10, 2019
I still wish they had built it in downtown proper rather than up on a hill — look how fresh those hillcuts look in the pic.
I made some predictions on who's gonna bite it on GAME OF THRONES, based on nothing but gut instinct and a rudimentary understanding of how narrative arcs usually play out:https://t.co/OaIQC0XrtW
— Glen Weldon (@ghweldon) April 10, 2019
For those of you looking for something to read whilst transiting. I’m a little behind and have seen only the first two episodes of season one ’cause The Domestic Partner isn’t into GOT although she has won the GOT when it comes to our remote. Hmm.
In the news…
•At Streetsblog LA, Joe Linton argues that fixes are “needed yesterday” to protect the Gold Line from traffic on the 210 freeway. He also points out that while the final cost of the project is not yet known, it will be worth every penny in terms of keeping transit rides safe. Excerpt:
One quibble with the Times headline, which asserts that this project “could get expensive.” When Streetsblog questioned a Metro staff person involved in the project if it was a billion dollar project, the staffer responded with a guess that is would be closer to a $100 million. This is expensive for individuals, but, in a landscape where Metro has multiple multi-billion projects to widen freeways and build new rail lines, the freeway barrier is comparatively inexpensive.
Metro inaction has its cost, too, in responding to ongoing crashes. Fixing today’s dire situation would be cheaper than responding to liability from a truck crashing into a train.
•A nice look in the LAT at how South Los Angeles was reflected in Nipsey Hussle’s lyrics, including his ode to the 108 Line in “Question #1.” For those who have not ridden the 108, here’s map of the east-west line portrayed in a north-south orientation to fit onto the timetable.
•A bi-partisan bill in Congress would greatly expand $7,000 tax credits for those who purchase electric vehicles, reports Reuters. Can it pass both the Senate and House and be inked by President Trump? Open question, it is.
Of course, if the goal in the U.S. is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, seems to me that getting as many electric vehicles on the road is pretty good policy (while also reducing the number of power plants that depend on fossil fuels, of course).
•More than 90 percent of the freight in NYC arrives and leaves by truck. Regional officials want to change that by investing more in a little known freight railroad — with just 80 customers present — that serves the area, reports the NYT. I’m guessing more than a few cities may rue the day train vs truck became so lopsided.
•A look by the Congress of New Urbanism at highway/freeway projects that were stopped, including the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena.
•An op-ed at Urbanize LA says that as currently written Senate Bill 50 — which would allow more housing to be built near busy transit lines — would produce a lot market rate housing than affordable housing.
•Smart piece at Strong Towns about suburban sprawl and the need to build smarter, more sustainable ‘burbs since they’re not going away.
•Finally, attentive readers know that I frequently visit the Cincinnati area (my hometown) caring for my aging parents/elders. Most recently, Pa has been doing time in a suburban hospital that is 25 miles from downtown Cincy. In other words, a place that was mostly farms when I was growing up — but is now covered by suburbs and strip malls and vast parking lots.
This is the trend across the metro area. As the city of Cincinnati itself has seen a declining population over the last half-century, the suburbs have exploded. When I was a kid, most of the population of the metro area lived within the 275 freeway that circles the metro area. Nowadays, development continues for as much as 10 miles beyond 275 in many places.
What’s interesting to me is that while everyone at the hospital likes talking about the Cincinnati Reds, most folks don’t go to games. They, too, live in the ‘burbs and say the drive in traffic is no longer worth it. The Reds attendance has plummeted in recent years — mostly because they stink. But I think there’s more to it. Traffic in Cincy has gotten much worse, the transit alternatives to driving are few + far between and I think most people don’t want to bother attending games unless the team is extraordinary. Which the Reds will not be most years due to market size and the economics of baseball.
Wow this pic scares me as a Cincinnati fan. Reds & Bengals have had their struggles with attendance the last few years but man..this is alarming. We need some positivity with both franchises. Each have started down that road. Hope we get there soon. #goreds #whodey pic.twitter.com/qydCP7JJhZ
— Bengal Jim’s BTR (@bengaljims_BTR) April 10, 2019
That stings a bit. The Reds were the first professional baseball team and have a pretty good legacy of drawing fans from across the Midwest. But some rough urban planning (or not planning) and traffic aren’t helping them. So as much as I whine about Dodger Stadium being on a hill, at least it’s in downtown L.A. and we can connect the stadium to Union Station via a bus and perhaps a future aerial tram.
But I suspect that in a few years the Reds will look to another example for their future survival: moving the ballpark to the ‘burbs, as the Atlanta Braves did a few years ago. At least the city’s MLS team (to be pummeled at Banc of California Stadium this Saturday – Go Expo Line to bear witness) is building a new stadium downtown. But soccer is not baseball and baseball, I hope, remains in downtowns across America.
Categories: Transportation Headlines