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Old December 22nd, 2016, 06:19 PM   #2461
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Construction on the new Silver Line BRT platform at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles is scheduled to begin next month.



http://urbanize.la/post/new-silver-l...ly-gets-moving
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 06:38 PM   #2462
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A truck crashed onto the Gold Line tracks in Pasadena, California overnight.


https://twitter.com/LosAngelesToday/...66968903430145


https://twitter.com/abc7marccr/statu...40512093483013


Ifran Khan/Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...222-story.html)
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 11:34 PM   #2463
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Looking south into the second of the twin tunnels being dug for the underground segment of the Crenshaw/LAX Line



Looking south into the second of the twin tunnels being dug for the underground segment of the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

Photo: Metro. from The Source
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 11:38 PM   #2464
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Earlier this year the Metro Board approved $11 million in funding to do the environmental and design work on raising some or all of the barriers between the 210 freeway and the Gold Line tracks. Here’s the staff report.

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Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
A truck crashed onto the Gold Line tracks in Pasadena, California overnight.

Ifran Khan/Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...222-story.html)
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 08:14 PM   #2465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
A truck crashed onto the Gold Line tracks in Pasadena, California overnight.
Is this kind of thing common in other developed countries? I never really hear about it happening outside the U.S...or maybe I just don't hear about it.

I know a car crashed right through the wall and fence protecting the LA Gold Line the day after it opened.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 09:09 PM   #2466
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It does happen, you just don't hear about it.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:27 PM   #2467
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Aren't those barriers supposed to handle the full impact of a truck without breaking?
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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:53 PM   #2468
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I am in awe of what LA has accomplished since I was there last in the early 90's. keep up the amazing work and Merry Christmas!
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Old December 25th, 2016, 07:23 PM   #2469
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Ooh, the 90's were not good for LA. You should come and see it now.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 03:29 AM   #2470
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I'm guessing they're designed as guard rail, not as unbreakable wall when head-on impacted.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 03:34 AM   #2471
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So it would seem :/
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Old December 28th, 2016, 02:31 PM   #2472
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I can't believe Los Angeles had an ordinance banning new rail tunnel excavation in the 1980s and 1990s!
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Old December 28th, 2016, 04:23 PM   #2473
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Stone Age mentality, probably caused by the funny idea that one could keep out the dirty poor by having abysmal public transportation and that no one else would want to use such a thing anyway.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 05:51 PM   #2474
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The ban was because of concerns about cave-ins and resulting natural gas fires/explosions. There was a real incident, so a knee-jerk overreaction is somewhat understandable.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 07:55 PM   #2475
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That was the excuse, not the reason.

I don't believe it for a second that the true underlying motivation of the proponents of this ban was really safety, rather than the opposition to subways for totally different reasons.
If tunnelling security was the issue there, why fight only subways rather than establishing a ban for tunnels and digging in general in certain areas? Because it would be totally unreasonable and excessive? Yep, that's exactly what the effective subway ban was as well.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 08:06 PM   #2476
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It is quite astonishing that NIMBYs fiercely oppose subway digging, but not oil pumping, on grounds of safety. Extracting oil and gas is much more dangerous and risky, especially in the events of earthquakes*. Hugely inconsistent positions, which leads me to believe there might be some actual racist or classist overtones to it (making certain wealthier areas of the county more accessible to 'those people').

Bizarrely, some NGOs working with the most poor in Los Angeles also oppose rail and favor buses on grounds buses employ more people and don't attract medium and high income users (that push rent prices up near stations).

*most people appear to have a hard grasp on the fact that properly built tunnels are one of the safest places to be during a major earthquake.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #2477
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There were both tribalist (Iranians vs Mexicans/blacks) as well as safety (underground methane explosions) concerns related to the late 20th-century bans on underground subway construction in the Westside/Beverly.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 11:25 PM   #2478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
Is this kind of thing common in other developed countries? I never really hear about it happening outside the U.S...or maybe I just don't hear about it.
Kind of.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 12:53 AM   #2479
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Quote:
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Bizarrely, some NGOs working with the most poor in Los Angeles also oppose rail and favor buses on grounds buses employ more people and don't attract medium and high income users (that push rent prices up near stations).
Thank you for bringing up this viewpoint! I recognize that this is a forum on rail transit, but I think there's actually a lot of reasoning behind this stance that we transportation junkies may need reminding of sometimes. This isn't necessarily directed at you, but I really care about this debate and the moving pieces involved, many of which I hope can help explain their reservations with some current policies and rationales the city is currently leveraging (to anyone who's reading).

1. Is the city doing enough to protect existing residents from displacement? Many NGOs think not.
If a rail line dramatically improves access to opportunity for residents (it does), and property values dramatically increase as a result (they do), what steps is the city taking to ensure the most vulnerable residents can still reap those benefits and hopefully improve their lives? Not enough, according to these NGOs. So what's happening? Prices explode and poorer residents don't get to live near the system anymore. And they have a point that the city could be using more of the potential tools at its disposal to address this.

2. Transportation planning does tell us that rail systems can be great for users, as long as there's still a coherent and reliable connecting network. NGOs argue that despite this, LA Metro is spending comparative pennies on that system which many still rely on daily.
From a transportation planning perspective, we all know that having highly used, fast, frequent, and reliable transit backbones can be a great benefit for all users. However, those benefits can only exist for everyone if you also ensure the system feeding into those backbones remains as strong as before. In a world of limited resources (hopefully more now, thanks to Measure R!), let's hope they don't forget about the extensive bus network. This article by Jarrett Walker goes into the transportation planning side of some of those bus/rail concerns. Even the best rail-based transit systems in the world still use extensive buses for both connections and trips rendered difficult by the rail system, which can't go everywhere.

3. Is the city focusing on "choice users" at the expense of those who already rely on the system? In a world of limited resources and the choices the city has made, these NGOs are saying yes.
Many NGOs are pointing out that a focus on rail systems and the potential new "choice users" can also remove millions of existing users from the conversation. Would the new network help them too? Sure! Well, on second thought, read Point 1 again and you'll see they're worried about that chance, should property values keep exploding. It's not hard to see a potential world where the rich can afford to walk to rail stations and take Uber, while poorer riders have longer waits for their buses that may or may not connect to the new system. The powerful have always had their own ways of doing lots of stuff at their own levels (e.g., private education, segregation, etc.), so of course that dynamic could affect mobility too. Many economists and activists alike will point out that as much as rising tides may lift all ships, that doesn't mean we won't live in a world made of rowboats and speedboats if we're not careful.

So what could the city do?
A. Housing intervention
Inclusionary zoning, rent stabilization, vouchers, and the like
B. Build so much rail that the benefits of being near it are spread out more evenly
But that costs literally billions
C. Continue to improve access to all rail: better sidewalks, bike lanes, connecting bus network, etc.
Oh wait where did all those billions go?

In a world where all these problems/concerns just keep getting worse and the city isn't doing anywhere near enough on Options A-C, you might see why some activists just resort to:

D. Just stop spending billions expanding rail and these citizens won't have to deal with all of this

But they will, eventually, and all of these lines and groups have much more overlap than we give them credit for. It's possible to support Measure M and want a better bus system, just like it might be a little possible for some poorer users to remain near a train station. It's just one big, beautiful basin of 18 million people, after all.

I totally recognize you and a lot of people here probably have a good understand of many/all of these dynamics, but sometimes I like to rant about how transit is so much more than just steel and concrete. It's also about access to opportunity and ensuring all members of a society can live well. Thank you for indulging me!

/soapbox
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Old December 29th, 2016, 01:25 AM   #2480
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Housing prices are high in California in general for several reasons: unfair property tax system that freezes (more or less) assessments of older owners, restrictive zoning that prevents housing from being built (I read that, in 2016, the total sq. ft. theoretically allowed to be built in LA county is 60% LESS than in 1972), parking requirements etc.

Transit might have an effect on housing prices, as do cycling lanes, street enhancements or even magnet schools. However, I think it is self-defeating for anyone to advocate leaving a poorly connected area that way just so that it remains cheap. I have read arguments against bike lanes in Los Angeles under the same rationale ("it is something that attracts well-paid gentrifiers").

I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of very low income households, not oblivious to their challenges (which are certainly greater than mine), yet I think that leaving parts of a city in purposeful bad shape to create artificial housing is a perverse form of public policy.

Some years ago, I read how the "Bus Riders Union" was threatening to sue LA METRO to prevent it from reorganizing several bus lines around a then-new rail line (I forgot exactly which). They were even trying to get court orders to oblige LA METRO to keep specific bus routes in place, even if they took longer than a combination of bus+rail, under a racially charged argument (that the county was cutting back on routes with 90%+ Hispanic patronage). They framed bus-rail transfers as some form of discrimination even. On their website, they asked for a "rail moratorium", and then talk about some bus utopia with far fewer cars and hundreds of "direct bus routes" heavily subsidized.

At the end of the day, transit can never work properly in a big metro if it is conceived as a welfare of last resort, to be used mostly by those who cannot by any means get a car.
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