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Old September 18th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #761
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The old streetcars run mostly in the middle of the freaking boulevards without any physical segregation. Their stops were merely small bays, or nothing whatsoever.
There is no rule forbidding investment in a system in order to update it. Obviously they could do so in Vienna with the tram system here and many stops in the middle of the street as well.

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Had Los Angeles kept their streetcar lines, the system would look like one of Milan: annoyingly slow, old tracks, 3.449 conflicts with vehicular and pedestrian traffic, lack of modern safety measures like fences and ramps at stops, or light-rail specific traffic signs coordinated by an operational center that gives them priority etc. etc. etc. In other words: to have something like the Golden Line, they'd have to spend money anyway, even if older tracks were in place. And the result would likely been a lower-performing system because they wouldn't be able to close a working line to reconstruct it for 3 years.
OMG. People should grow up. Not everything needs to be 100% idiot proof in order to be safe. People freak out about accidents with trams or light rails, while at the same time cars are at least as much of a safety risk if not a larger one in city traffic. I regularly cycle on tram tracks or get taken over by a tram with maybe a meter distance between me and the tram. So what.

That is the one side, the other is that you can very well update an existing system. trams are idealy suited for mid capacity feeder lines and mid distance journey. LA could have gone the same way as Vienna. Adding real subways and S-Bahn like rail as backbones to the existing system. If it had done so instead of tearing everything down, it would have nowadays a much much bigger and still more efficient system than it has today, for the same buck.


@ those who are from LA
I am following the recent activities with interest and think it is great how they are trying to raise a rapid transit system out of the ashes again. Even though progress seem to happen at a painstakingly small pace it still progresses and LA has some really nice projects going on. The larger the network grows and the more of the important places it connects well, the more people will also want to use it.

It is funny how I came to read about your system. It was this terribly bad movie "2012" where they showed the earth cracking up in LA and a subway train fell into a big gaping nothing. And I did not think how ridiculous that scene looked like but merely: "They have subways in LA?"
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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:21 AM   #762
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Well thats one thing good about that movie. I knew about LA Metro from a interview Ewan McGregor did with the times a few months ago. He was saying how weird is not using a subway system and how he was missing the tube and how easy it was to get around
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Old September 18th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #763
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Shit, even people who live within a 100 mile radius of LA don't even know about the Red Line, and they've been to Downtown AND Hollywood. I guess you don't see metro stations unless you are actually looking for it.

However, I think the fact that LA is known for it's freeways and car culture means it overshadows the subway. People think we could never have a full HRT Subway, so they never see it, or never 'want' to see it.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #764
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The boom an activity construction is due to the 10/30 (or 30/10?) plan, which implies building infrastructure meant to be built over 30 years in just 10 by issuing more bonds to be served and paid by an increase in sales tax. That is a clever public finance strategy.

Now, what is to see is whether, stuck with the bill for another 20 years, there will be appetite for more borrowing and more taxes to avoid falling into a stall until the costs of "accelerated construction" are paid. I don't think they will wait 20 years, but maybe cool down for 5-8 after they end the current projects of the 10/30 initiative (which includes bus, subway, light-rail and freeway improvements, it's not only a transit program).
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Old September 18th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #765
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I thought this was relevant. These are all of the projects planned by Metro. Not just in the next ten years, but beyond that as well.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #766
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Very much akin to the rapid transit network in Mexico City. Good to see LA not going for the traditional hub-and-spokes scheme.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:07 PM   #767
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Very much akin to the rapid transit network in Mexico City. Good to see LA not going for the traditional hub-and-spokes scheme.
LA is a multi-centric city.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 01:19 AM   #768
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Rain Didn't Wreck the Expo Line, But Still No Firm Opening Date
Friday, October 21, 2011, by Neal Broverman

The Expo Line light rail was supposed to maybe going to open to La Cienega before the end of the year--well, with just over two months left to go, things aren't looking so great. Rumors popped up recently that the intense rainstorm a few weeks ago short-circuited the train's electrical system and threw out any chance of a 2011 opening. Not true (at least on the opening), says Gabriela Collins of the Expo Construction Authority: "The rain caused some minor issues with the track circuits at the crossings. Some minor adjustments were made and the track circuits at the crossings are fully functional. No major complications," Collins tells us. "Train testing is now underway... from downtown Los Angeles to La Cienega. Once testing is completed, which is anticipated in the next several weeks, the system will be turned over to Metro for pre-revenue operations. Once Metro determines that the system is safe to operate, the line will open to the public. Opening to La Cienega is still scheduled for later this year or early next year depending on how much time Metro needs for operator training and if any items need to be adjusted based on pre-revenue operations."

· Expo Line Trains Entering Exciting Testing Phase [Curbed LA]
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Old October 24th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #769
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Glad to finally see those Exposition Rd tracks going into service. I grew up in Inglewood, not too far from Centinela and LaBrea, and remember riding the Blue Line on opening day. It'd be wonderful to be able to take my kid to L.A. one day and say "I remember when there were NO trains here..."
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Old October 26th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #770
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President Obama Shows the Crenshaw Line Some Love, Speeds It Up

President Obama moved to shorten the permitting and environmental review process for 14 national infrastructure projects yesterday, including the planned Crenshaw Line light rail and three other California projects, reports the LA Times. The move will "shorten the approval time for this project by several months," according to a release from the Federal Transit Administration. The Crenshaw Line, which will run from the Expo Line at Exposition and Crenshaw to a station near LAX (and hopefully a People Mover to the terminals, as well as to some Green Line stops, and possibly, one day, extensions north to Wilshire and West Hollywood), just certified its final environmental impact report. LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas says in the Times that yesterday's news makes it more likely that an extra station can be built in the middle of Leimert Park Village--the idea is that moving the construction process along will save millions that can be used elsewhere. That may not be good enough for some community activists, who want the $1.75 billion project to include both a Leimert Park stop and undergrounding of the line in Park Mesa Heights.

The effort to underground the line is being headed up by transit gadfly Damien Goodmon and his group the Crenshaw Subway Coalition. Goodmon fought for the Expo Line to be undergrounded near Dorsey High School; eventually a compromise was reached in which a station was built at Farmdale Avenue, requiring trains to make full stops before crossing the street. Goodmon has said before that he plans to bring litigation if the Crenshaw Line is not put underground in Park Mesa Heights. However, a new California law shortens the amount of time that litigation can delay big projects like the Crenshaw Line.

Perhaps as a way to mollify community activists like Goodmon--and to get some local input--Metro has started a "Community Leadership Council" consisting of neighborhood organizations, business groups, schools, and churches. The groups share ideas/concerns on construction, economic development, and safety, The Source reports.

Early construction on the 8.5-mile long Crenshaw Line is supposed to start next year and wrap sometime between 2016 and 2018.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #771
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Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
Glad to finally see those Exposition Rd tracks going into service. I grew up in Inglewood, not too far from Centinela and LaBrea, and remember riding the Blue Line on opening day. It'd be wonderful to be able to take my kid to L.A. one day and say "I remember when there were NO trains here..."
Yes, indeed. It seems the LA area is getting more done than the Bay Area in terms of developing rail transit in recent history (though granted the Bay Area had a head start). Couldn't have imagined it back in the 80's.
*btw I grew up in the airport area (El Segundo), my high school played in the same league as Inglewood Morningside HS...nice to reminisce with a fellow former resident of the Southland.
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Old October 29th, 2011, 02:10 AM   #772
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The latest on the downtown LA Streetcar.



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Updated: 8:20 a.m.: The next community meeting for the rapidly-progressing Downtown Streetcar--not the Regional Connector Downtown subway, that's something different--will be held a week from Thursday and yesterday Metro released a "briefing package" on the current alternatives being studied, reports The Source. Metro is down to seven possible routes, all traveling from South Park up north to Bunker Hill (or vice versa), with two hitting Union Station (none of the routes cross the tracks for the Blue and Expo lines now--Metro has to be careful so that all its new trains don't crash into each other). Metro has already calculated ridership and cost figures for each route and, according to their findings, one appears to rise to the top. Route #7--traveling from Staples Center up Figueroa, turning right on Seventh, moving north on Hill, taking an eastern turn on First, quickly moving south on Broadway all the way to Eleventh, and taking a right to head back to LA Live--has the highest boardings relatively high boardings per mile, the smallest construction cost of all options ($106.7 million), low operating costs, relatively easy design, and minimal environmental impacts.

The one criteria that didn't play out great for #7 was redevelopment possibilities, as alternatives running on Pico have more "economic development potential" than those running on Eleventh, at least according to Metro. They seem right about this one as parts of Eleventh have already been developed (e.g. the South Group-developed buildings), with only a couple empty lots available along the route. The stretch of Pico, meanwhile, is a mostly-barren no man's land.

The options that run to Union Station would get more riders than #7 since they're longer routes, but #7 would actually have more boardings per mile. Getting to Union Station would also cost more (about $134 million) and there will be a transferless underground connection from South Park to Union Station when the Regional Connector opens around 2018 anyway.

The community meeting takes place a week from Thursday at Caltrans headquarters at 5:30 pm. A final route will be chosen in winter according to Metro.
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Old October 29th, 2011, 07:23 AM   #773
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theres been some talk that the red line may extend northward to sylmar via lankershim and laurel cyn...
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Old October 30th, 2011, 01:18 AM   #774
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theres been some talk that the red line may extend northward to sylmar via lankershim and laurel cyn...
From where? I know there are official, long range plans to extend it to the Bob Hope airport, but that is all I know.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #775
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Old October 30th, 2011, 06:46 AM   #776
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From where? I know there are official, long range plans to extend it to the Bob Hope airport, but that is all I know.
from its current northern terminus, north hollywood.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #777
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from its current northern terminus, north hollywood.
No, I mean, where are you hearing these rumors?
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Old October 30th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #778
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No, I mean, where are you hearing these rumors?
i remember mayor villaraigosa talking about it a while back, when he supported measure r. this was one of his proposoals, but i guess metro scrapped it or something...
if i find an article, ill post it up.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 07:02 AM   #779
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Subway Facts & History: Metro responds to errors in Beverly Hills Courier and allegations by Beverly Hills school district
Written by Steve Hymon in Projects on November 3, 2011

On Oct. 21 and 28, the Beverly Hills Courier published six news and analysis articles about the two reports Metro released last month on seismic and tunneling issues affecting the Westside Subway Extension project in the Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood areas (Oct. 21 edition and Oct. 28 edition; both are pdf files and an email address is required to open).

The Courier articles included significant errors, misleading statements and omissions.

In addition, Beverly Hills Unified School District President Lisa Korbatov earlier this week posted online a letter to community members that contained incorrect information, as well as untruthful allegations about Metro.

In order to correct the record for residents and policymakers alike, here are responses from Metro about information in the reports:

COURIER: The Courier wrote that “The major fallacy of the Report is its conclusion that a subway station on Santa Monica Blvd would be “unsafe” but a station barely 150 feet away would be “safe.”

Metro’s response: The Constellation station site is more than 1,100 feet from the proposed Santa Monica Boulevard station. No evidence of fault rupture was found at or close to the Constellation site.

The purpose of the study was to locate areas of potential ground surface rupture and deformation, which is usually limited to the area immediately near active fault zones.

Earthquakes on the Santa Monica or Newport Inglewood fault zones could result in ground rupture — called “fault displacements” — at ground level or just below. Subway stations are two-story structures up to 1,000 feet in length and designing such a station to withstand ground ruptures without significant damage and loss of life is both impractical and without precedent.

The level of damage could require a complete rebuilding of the station and nearby tunnels — which could take several years. No subway stations in North America have been designed to tolerate active fault zones and their associated potential ground displacements.

This differs from ground shaking that occurs over a wide area during an earthquake. The subway stations and tunnels will be designed to withstand shaking, and there are special construction techniques available to reinforce the tunnels in the short distances where they must cross active fault zones.

COURIER: The Courier wrote that the new report may doom new construction along Santa Monica Boulevard and that the report calls into question any construction between Beverly Hills and the ocean, as well as high-rise development along Santa Monica Boulevard.

Metro’s response: The report provides technical data on the location and nature of the fault zones in the study area only and does not comment on the results of the findings – other than with respect to Metro’s subway project.

Based on the new information, the State of California will determine if the area qualifies as an Alquist-Priolo zone that would require local building departments to limit some types of development.

It is important to stress that both [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]reports were prepared for purposes of planning the Westside Subway Extension[/COLOR] and will be used in the preparation of the final environmental impact document for the project. All government agencies and private property owners can access and review the content with appropriate professional staff and/or consultants and decide if the information is needed for their own purposes.

Neither Metro or the Courier is in a position to advise other agencies or property owners on how to apply the information in these reports.


COURIER: The Courier wrote that Metro’s report “admits tunnel noise violates state levels” under Beverly Hills High School.

Metro’s response: There are no state regulations pertaining to noise and vibration from the subway. The agency used the applicable criteria from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to evaluate and predict noise and vibration levels from Metro trains operating under the school.

Based on ground testing, ground-borne vibration under classrooms is predicted to be 63 decibels — well under the FTA threshold of 75. Ground-borne noise under classrooms is predicted to be 33 decibels; the FTA threshold for schools is 40 decibels.

It is important to note that noise and vibration are measured independently and adding the decibels from noise and vibration together — as the Courier did — does not provide an accurate prediction of either noise or vibration.

[COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]California state standards do not include noise level limits for classrooms[/COLOR].

However, the 2009 Edition of the California Criteria for High Performance Schools Best Practice Manual has recommendations for maximum noise levels in classrooms from things such as heating and air conditioning systems and outside noise. The manual recommends that classrooms have no more than 45 decibels of noise from those sources and says a more ideal level is 35 decibels.

Again, the ground-borne noise from the Westside Subway is projected by Metro to be 33 decibels.

[COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]It’s also worth mentioning that Metro has not received any complaints to date about noise or vibration from trains using existing Red/Purple Line subway tunnels or the Gold Line tunnel under Boyle Heights[/COLOR].

SCHOOL DISTRICT: In her letter to the community, BHUSD President Lisa Korbatov wrote that Metro went to court to withhold information from the school district and that Metro “continues to withhold geotechnical data and test results that formed the basis of the Metro reports. This will force the Beverly Hills Unified School District to waste money and time replicating work already done by Metro.”

Metro’s response: In maintaining its commitment to full disclosure of final documents, Metro released the final reports to the public after the data had been fully analyzed, the reports edited and everything had been checked and reviewed by outside engineers and scientists. All raw data associated with the reports is available on-line to those who want to review it — and the school district has been informed of that.

Earlier this year, the school district had filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court in an attempt under the California Public Records Act to force Metro to release data collected for the seismic and tunneling reports before the reports were complete.

In September, a Superior Court judge ruled that Metro did not violate the California Public Records Act. The [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]judge wrote: “A review of the verified Petition, however, fails to identify which items on Petitioner’s series of requests remain outstanding. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for Metro to counter the allegations. And, even worse, it makes it impossible for the Court to determine whether Petitioner’s claims of non-production are, in fact, correct.”[/COLOR]

COURIER: The Courier said that Metro’s reports are tainted and that “no engineers reviewed or commented to the study.”

Metro’s response: In addition to Metro’s engineers and consulting engineers at Parsons Brinckerhoff and AMEC, a number of pre-eminent engineers were involved in preparation and/or review of the report’s findings. These engineers included Dr. Harvey Parker, Dr. Ed Cording, Dr. Paul Jennings, Dr. Tom O’Rourke and Dr. Geoff Martin. Biographies of these experts were posted on Metro’s web site on October 19th.

COURIER: The Courier wrote that Metro’s reports did not discuss the area along Santa Monica Boulevard between Century Park East and Avenue of the Stars.

Metro’s response: Two major fault systems, the Santa Monica Fault and the West Beverly Hills Lineament, converge in this geologically complex area. Fault rupture and deformation in this zone can’t be precluded. In addition, the area is not long enough to build a station.

COURIER: The Courier writes that a new fault could slice through the Constellation station.

Metro’s response: [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]Metro has investigated active fault zones that are hundreds of feet wide and that have occurred over time scales of hundreds of thousands of years. No[/COLOR] faulting was found to have occurred in the area where the Constellation station would be located.

Furthermore, experience has shown that new faults are not likely to suddenly appear away from existing fault zones. Thus, structures in earthquake country are designed to avoid areas where there have been past ruptures in active fault zones.

COURIER: The Courier wrote that the Metro seismic report “purports to locate a series of unmapped faults along the Santa Monica Fault and West Beverly Hills Lineament on the proposed subway route.

Metro’s response: The fault zones located in Metro’s investigation were not previously unmapped and are not new. They have been shown for some time on California Geologic Survey maps but had not been investigated in this area.

However, the Metro studies used underground testing to identify new information about those fault zones in this area. Detailed information about earthquake fault zones is difficult to obtain since much of the evidence is underground. It’s even more difficult in an area that has been paved over and developed.

http://thesource.metro.net/2011/11/0...hool-district/
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Old November 11th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #780
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BREAKING NEWS: CPUC Approves All Expo Phase II Crossings
by Damien Newton on November 10, 2011

Earlier today, the California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to proceed with construction of Phase II of the Expo Line. CPUC was widely expected to delay their decision on whether or not the rail/road crossings for Phase II were safe enough and that they wouldn’t cause excess pollution by creating traffic delay. In a surprise move, CPUC unanimously approved the crossings after Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon removed a “hold” he had placed on the crossing vote.
Even though CPUC is supposed to look at projects on their merit and not consider politics, both opponents and supporters of the Expo Line were lobbying the Commissioners. The Transit Coalition published a draft letter urging Commissioners to ignore letters by opponents. At the same time, the Expo Construction Authority itself sponsored a letter writing campaign urging the commission to approve the crossings.

A coalition of community leaders calling themselves Neighbors for Smart Rail were urging the Commission to hold off on an approval vote until they’re appeal of the Expo Phase II environmental documents could be heard. Their lobbying effort fell short.

Commissioner Simon was one of the Commissioners who had supported forcing a newly designed rail crossing and rail station for Phase I of the Expo Line and explained his change of heart to CPUC staff. ”You forgot one thing. I was an assigned commissioner for Phase 1. I was a much younger man back then.” The Commission had twice delayed votes on Phase I of the Expo Line and when they did rule ordered an overhead pedestrian bridge for the Farmdale Crossing which later turned into the station built at the intersection of Exposition Boulevard and Farmdale Avenue.

Unless and appeals court overturns a previous ruling supporting the Expo Phase II rail environmental documents, [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]there are no further obstacles preventing construction from beginning.[/COLOR] Phase II of the Expo Line will connect to the soon-to-be-opened Phase I which runs from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]Phase II will complete the first rail line between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Santa Monica.[/COLOR]
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