Today’s Headlines

  • Passed Senate Transportation Bill a Win for LA, Metro, Villaraigosa (LAT)
  • Fracking?  In L.A.?  If Only We Had Covered That Story a Week Ago (LAT)
  • Streetcar Project Inches Forward (Blog Downtown)
  • No Parking “Except Bikes” Signs We’re Up as Early as January (72u/Flickr)
  • Cool Graphic Shows Trips Generated by LAX, and Other Thoughts (The Source)
  • A Look Inside Metro’s New Rail Cars (Blog Downtown)
  • SoCal Home Sales Jump in February (Daily News)
  • CAHSRA Chief: High-Speed Rail Won’t Cost $100 Billion (CoCo Times)
  • Alta Planning to Oversee Chicago’s Massive Bike Share (Sun-Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Dan W.

    There will be communities and neighborhoods for whom an extension of Metro rail is not likely anytime soon and form whom a modern streetcar will be attractive.  I think this first streetcar return to downtown won’t be the last.

  • James

     The LA streetcar project has very little to do with transit.  It is a development tool, tourist attraction and a publicly subsidized means to increase returns on real estate investments downtown.  It is based on a very flawed interpretation of the development of the Pearl District and a belief that you deserve a streetcar.  Whoever is responsible for the designs
    clearly has never been to Portland and discovered that walking is faster and less noisy (That Skoda design constitutes serious noise polution).  Nor have they tried the detroit people mover or read Human Transit and learned to think about transit. What is with this idiotic need for loops?  Is it possible to design any right is LA? 

    If people are serious about streetcars as transit, why not insist on a design that resembles a Tram?  Why not run it down the center of the street and give it a dedicated lane?  Do you believe that only a gutter bound streetcar (which is essentially a bus without a steering wheel) will have the right magic to produce the desired development?  That was the
    argument used in Detroit and that is the reason why the streetcar was moved to the curb lane before it was rightly killed off.  Apparently the streetcar advocate believes good transit has to be on rails but also believe it has to be severely compromised for development puposes and made into the slowest, least effective, least reliable form of transit available?  
    This doesn’t make any sense.  I guess the idea is that people who don’t currently live downtown but would like to if it seemed more european might and they also might use transit if it was good enough for them.  The streetcar is supposed to make this possible?  

    I used to use the Portland streetcar.   After  I made the mistake of leaving Munich I went out of my way to find an apartment next to new streetcar.  The love affair was short lived.  It was the slowest and most frustrating way to get downtown.  Walk was often faster.  The bus was faster. The uselessness of the streetcar as transit is what drove me to take up cycling. In its defense, the streetcar is a good substitute for walking when you are coming home, tired and not in a hurry but want to sit down while walking slowly.  A good way to sit down while walking slowly, that is exactly what the Portland streetcar is.  It is a type of horizontal escalator that doubles as urban furniture.  

  • Dan W.

    “If people are serious about streetcars as transit, why not insist on a design that resembles a Tram?  Why not run it down the center of the street and give it a dedicated lane?”

    I’m all for that.  I wish that is how this had been designed up/down Broadway.