Old Business Highlights Transportation Committee and Metro Board

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The LAPD’s last word on the Hummer v Bike Crash could be coming tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks the swan song for Wendy Greuel, the outgoing Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee who will move across the street to the Comptroller’s Office on July 1st.  The agenda for her last meeting is not an easy one, I’m guessing she was hoping most of these issues would have moved on last week, a plan thwarted by the low attendance from the LAPD and even the other members of the Committee excepting Bill Rosendahl.

Highlighting the agenda are the same two issues that highlighted last week’s agenda.  The LAPD is scheduled to report on their internal communications and education to officers concerning cyclists and pedestrians as well as discuss the status of the investigation of the "Hummer v Bike" crash from last April.  Previous appearances by the LAPD only served to enrage the cycling community who felt the report ignored common sense and the Laws of Physics.  The City Council didn’t appear amused either, but unfortunately Jan Perry, the Council Woman who showed the tenacity of a prosecuter when questioning the LAPD in May isn’t scheduled to be in attendance.

An update on the outreach plans for the Bicycle Master Plan is also scheduled.  After the outline proposed by City Planning and LADOT was panned last week, it will be interesting to see if there are any changes to their plans or if we’ll just be treated to the fleshing out of the outline we saw last week.

As for Metro, the agenda for their board meeting appears somewhat less exciting than most.  For example, the words Long Range Transportation Plan doesn’t appear on the agenda.  However, the words "CONSIDER exercising light rail vehicle options under Contract No. P2550" do appear.  As insiders know, that means another long debate about AnsaldoBreda, the embattled rail car builder who is trying to get the contract for Metro’s future light rail cars despite some issues with Metro in the past.

Despite the Board not legally being allowed to consider where the cars are to be built, the main reason that AnsaldoBreda, who has delivered cars late and overweight, is being considered for this extension is because they’re promising to open a rail car plant in Greater Los Angeles if they get the contract.  Despite a report by Metro CEO Art Leahy that he couldn’t see a reason to extend the contract, a view shared by Metro’s Citizen Advisory Committee, I would still advise you to bet on AnsaldoBreda walking away a happy company tomorrow.

  • Erik G.

    This AnsaldoBreda, are they the company that rehabilitated the Washington Metro 1000-series cars? You know, the ones that are causing a bit of a headache for former L.A. Metro (and Santa Monica BBB) employee John Catoe at the moment?

    Say, let’s look in Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Metro_rolling_stock#1000-Series

    Why, yes it is!!

  • randy

    Erik — initial reports are showing that the crash resulted from a signaling system failure and wasn’t related to the car. The signaling system was built by Alstom, not Breda.

    Are you trying to use these catastrophic deaths for political means, Erik? That’s pretty low.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062501073.html?hpid=topnews

    Please do a little bit of research before making offensive comments.

  • Erik G.

    Randy-Yes, well, I am glad it is appearing that the cars are not at fault. But this was not clear when I made the post. In fact I have defended the highly-touted age of 30 years of the cars. Breda’s refurbishment made them like new and therefore they are really only 13 to 16 years old.

    It should be noted that the Metro cars at the front of the train that was sturck and that apparently failed to be detected by the Alstom signalling system were built by Breda and later rehabbed by Alstom:

    http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=2624

    So there is also a possiblity that the 3000-series Breda car does not always register with the signaling system.

    However. We are not clear what the answer really is in Washington yet. So the decision to postpone any decisions about AnsaldoBreda is actually a good one.

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