Bus lanes in Gotham, transpo tweets, scooter concerns: HWR, June 19

Dept. of Giving Names to Machines: 


Dept. of Transpo-Related Tweets



Things to read whilst transiting: nice photo feature in the NYT about the rise — pun intended — of skyscraper residential buildings in Manhattan and how they’re changing the city’s skyline. And what are the new buildings for? Mostly offering great views to the ultra-wealthy.

And in the news…

•Speaking of Gotham, 14th Street in Manhattan is being converted to what amounts to a bus rapid transit project between 3rd and 9th avenues. Cars headed to garages or picking up/dropping off will still be allowed but anyone else trying to drive on 14th will get a big juicy citation, reports the New York Post. In our neck of the forest, a new 1.8-mile afternoon peak hour bus lane on Flower Street in DTLA — a pilot project between Metro and LADOT — is performing dandy-fine thus far.

Electric scooters: mobility boom or public nuisance? Credit: Getty Images.

•Margaret Renkel opines in the NYT that scooters are more trouble than their worth in Nashville, where she lives. She points to the recent death of a scooter rider there (not the only place that’s happened) and argues that scooter infrastructure should precede scooters everywhere, even if that’s hard. On the other side are companies trying to corner the market right now as well as the many people who find scooters are an easy way to get around.

Note: check out the comments — there are well north of 1,000 and a big diversity of views. One guy points out that when it comes to safety no one really talks about banning SUVs while someone else points out to the fact that scooters are motorizing bike lanes.

Quasi-related: The L.A. City Council, thus far, is less than enthused with scooters in their neck of the woods, reports Curbed. Excerpt: Bonin made it clear he expected companies to work with city officials or risk losing out on the chance to do business in Los Angeles. ‘If the companies can’t behave themselves, there are going to be more than two councilmembers interested in seeing this thing go away,’ he warned.

In an LAT op-ed Juan Matute of the UCLA Institute for Transportation writes that lower bus speeds in our region have resulted in lower ridership that has resulted in higher greenhouse gas emissions per rider. Excerpt:

There are few means of transportation more energy efficient than a packed bus — and few more wasteful than an empty one. A 60-foot, natural gas-fueled bus needs to average more than eight riders to be more carbon-efficient than those riders driving alone in a car. (Transit agencies that fuel their buses with renewable natural gas captured from landfills and dairy farms instead of oil wells need to average just four passengers.)

Through 2017, area buses averaged 12 passengers — down from 14.8 in 1994.

•The SGV Tribune profiles the South Pasadena residents who successfully fought filling the 710 gap between Alhambra, South Pas and Pasadena. In lieu of the tunnel project, Metro is providing funding to cities for projects to help better manage traffic in the around the gap as part of the 710 North project.

BTW, I spent some time recently sitting in a coffee shop in DTLA watching one after another scooter whiz by on the sidewalk. A recent UCLA study on injuries caused by scooters found that eight percent of those hurt weren’t riders. Hmm.

•All K to 12 students in the city of Sacramento will be getting free transit passes as part of a one-year pilot, reports Streetsblog. Metro doesn’t give away freebies but does offer deeply discounted fares. The city will compensate the transit agency with $1 million for lost fare revenue. Supporters say the move will result in less driving. Said one: “…if we can create lifetime public transit riders, investing this money now will pay off over time, once these kids become adults and know that riding transit is a good way to get around.”

The Daily News looks at six future Metro projects in the San Fernando Valley: the Van Nuys to Sylmar/San Fernando light rail line, the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, the Orange Line gating and bridge project, the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit (BRT) line, the North Valley BRT (an east-west line across the north end of the SFV) and a replacement terminal at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

Related: Urbanize LA takes a look at the North San Fernando Valley BRT that could run from NoHo to Chatsworth’s Metrolink and Orange Line station with service to CSUN. Here’s the map of potential routes.







1 reply

  1. Hi Steve,

    Are the “effective June 23” timetables for bus and rail lines being posted soon? Only 2 days away. Thank you!