Train testing, SB 50: Metro News Now, Jan. 30

Dept. of Early Train Testing

Dept. of Line Letters

Reminder: Public workshops begin Saturday for our draft NextGen Bus Plan. We encourage everyone to attend a workshop to learn more about our plan to increase bus speeds and frequency in L.A. County. We’ll also be posting line-by-line maps of proposed changes very soon.

In the news…

•A state bill, SB 50, that would have made it easier to build more housing near frequent transit stops failed in the State Senate this morning by an 18 to 15 vote, reports the LAT. It was the third year in a row that the bill (in its various forms) failed to pass. The NYT summed it up neatly:

In the end, in a Legislature where consensus can be elusive despite a lopsided Democratic majority, the effort drew opposition from two key constituencies: suburbanites keen on preserving their lifestyle and less affluent city dwellers seeing a Trojan horse of gentrification.

This LAT op-ed chastises L.A.-area senators for helping kill the bill without offering any kind of better solution of their own to the state’s housing crisis. Fair point although the op-ed offers no remedies either outside of the bill.

Whether you agreed with the SB 50 approach or not, I think it’s fair to say the bill certainly pointed at a very real problem. Ride any of Metro’s rail lines that have opened over the past 30 years. While there is certainly some new development near transit stations in some places, there are many stations (including popular ones) with relatively little new housing anywhere close.

As I’ve written before, there are no shortage of under-developed commercial corridors in our region. In many parts of the world, those kind of busy streets are a mix of commercial and residential properties. Maybe there’s a solution to be found there?

Quasi-related: The Strong Towns podcast asks whether California should revive redevelopment agencies? The idea is to revive areas designated as ‘blighted.’

•A day after Market Street in S.F. went private vehicle-free, the LAT has a story on early plans to expand sidewalks and make Hollywood Boulevard a lot nicer than it currently is.

•The new chargers for electric buses — they’re not yet in use — on the G Line (Orange) caught the eye of Streetsblog LA. The NoHo Station just reopened a few days ago after work to install charging equipment.

An NYT video — shot from a charter helicopter — looks closer at the flight path of the helicopter that crashed last Sunday, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others on board. As I mentioned yesterday, the A Line (Blue) or E Line (Expo) are good options if you’re headed to the Lakers game on Friday night. Use Pico Station, which is a very short walk to Staples Center.

•A new commuter train between Miami and West Palm Beach has been involved in incidents that have killed 40 pedestrians, cyclists and motorists since the train opened two years ago, reports NPR (based on reporting by AP). That’s a very high rate by national standards.




4 replies

    • Hi Chris;

      None yet that I know of but the year is still young!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  1. We should stop trying to fix a problem only 2 major cities (LA, SF) have. Each city should write their own laws. California already passed laws to force ADUs and rent control on cities. Maybe they finally woke up and realize how bad those new laws are. Los Angeles should pass laws for upzoning in commercial zones. Stop trying to force every city to get rid of single family homes.

  2. People that live in new developments near transit dont use it. The price-point for those units hits a demographic that can afford to lease BMWs and Audis. I see it everyday.