COVID-19 update; Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Metro remains in service to provide essential rides. As has been the case since last May, riders are required to wear face coverings unless they have a medical reason not to wear them.

The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been in decline over the last couple weeks although cases remain high for Latino residents, reports the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Officials urge all residents to be careful so that we can avoid a fourth surge in cases — especially now that a more contagious variant of the virus has been found in our region. Vaccinations continue along with vaccination shortages.

The NYT took a look at efforts at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital to handle the huge wave of cases the past few months. It’s a harrowing article and a reminder of the losses suffered by so many people in our region.

In Metro news…

•Two meetings to discuss the route for Segment B of the Rail-to-River pedestrian/bike path project are being held beginning this evening — this is the segment between the A Line (Blue) and the L.A. River. More info here.

•Metro’s Traffic Reduction Study released early concepts for a congestion pricing (i.e. tolls) test project. The concepts look at reducing traffic between: the San Fernando Valley and the L.A. Basin; traffic in and around downtown L.A., and; at traffic in the 10 freeway corridor. I think it’s pretty interesting stuff and I encourage you to check it out — there are also two more virtual meetings, on Feb. 16 and Feb. 27. More at this Source post and a bunch of comments at Urbanize Los Angeles.

Metro statement here condemning the racist and offensive language posted during a virtual meeting last night for the Traffic Reduction Study. We’re working to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

•Some fresh pics from Wilshire/La Brea Station on the D Line (Purple) Extension project. The station will be dedicated to Tom LaBonge, i.e. the former L.A. Council Member and Mr. Los Angeles.

In other news…

•In a move to save money, the first segment of California high-speed rail’s network between Bakersfield and Merced will be a single track instead of two. Officials say that trains will use sidings at stations to move around each other, reports the LAT.

•The L.A. City Council voted 11 to 4 on Wednesday to approve two high-rise towers in DTLA that will be adjacent to the Regional Connector’s new underground station at 2nd and Broadway. “Developer Onni Group plans to build more than 1,100 apartments and commercial space on the Civic Center property, which once housed The Times. The project will have 24 moderate-income units and 10 low-income units,” reports the LAT.

The approval opened a wider debate about the nature of planning in the city of L.A. and how often developers seek exemptions from zoning rules.

CityLab believes articles saying the pandemic will be the demise of cities are overblown. Highly concur. I’m not much for guessing the future, but my guess is much of life as we know it will return although telecommuting will hopefully be more common as it’s a proven way to tame traffic and make getting around easier for those who must drive.

•Plane, train and ship accidents receive a lot of media attention — for good reason — but the deadly crash on I-35 in Texas is a reminder that driving routinely can be dangerous. Coverage in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.






3 replies

  1. It’s not the pandemic alone that causes the demise of cities. It’s the whole package of Democratic Leftist ideology. Homeless, defund the police, high taxes, illegal immigration, high costs, zoning, high regulations, and woke/race baiting/transgender/cancel culture politics.

    Developers shouldn’t have to see exemptions. The laws are broken, unworkable, unwieldy. Change the zoning laws.

    It’s sad that high speed rail will only have one rail. What a ridiculous thing. Whoever approved it should be fired. Governor Newsom?

  2. I’m not riding again until Metro enforces masks. There’s no enforcement at a all right now, and a “medical reason” not to wear one is not OK. There’s no “medics reason” that’s gives someone else the right to put my health at risk. If you can’t or won’t wear a mask, then don’t drive public transit. Period

    I don’t think Metro should receive any Federal money until this is enforced. You’re just contributing to the spread of the virus in low income communities.

    • It’s impractical and next to impossible to attempt to enforce mask requirements on all buses and trains running on the system. Although I agree random enforcement throughout the system and ticketing could work.