Skip to content

Posts from the Agency Watch Category

3 Comments

LADOT Upgrading DASH, Commuter Express, Cityride – Asking for Input

LADOT DASH bus - photo via Walk Eagle Rock

LADOT DASH bus – photo via Walk Eagle Rock

The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) is proposing an extensive suite of changes to the way it operates transit. LADOT transit operations include DASH shuttle buses, Commuter Express buses, and Cityride service for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The good news is that services are expanding. Generally, LADOT characterizes the planned citywide modifications as bringing service levels back up to what they were in 2010, when the agency had cut service to respond to budget shortfalls. There are ten new DASH lines planned. Existing DASH lines will run more frequently, and expand to later hours and weekends. Numerous DASH and Commuter Express lines are slated for minor tweaks, and a dozen are slated for major route changes.

Full proposals are available at the LADOT Transit website.

LADOT is requesting comments at a series of public meetings underway:

  • Tuesday 8/23Tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at Glassell Park Senior Center at 3750 Verdugo Road in Glassell Park
  • Wednesday 8/24 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center at 11338 Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A.
  • Monday 8/29 – 6 to 7 p.m. at San Pedro Library, Community Room at 931 South Gaffey Street in San Pedro
  • Tuesday 8/30 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Hollywood Recreation Center at 1122 Cole Avenue in Hollywood
  • Wednesday 8/31 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, Rm. 1A at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys

Comments can be given in person at meetings, via an online survey, by calling 213.995.4545, or via email to ideas[at]ladottransit.com and hearingofficer[at]store.ladottransit.com.

Streetsblog attended LADOT’s midday meeting yesterday in downtown L.A. The meeting included a review of planned changes, focused mostly on the extensive DASH network in downtown Los Angeles.   Read more…

2 Comments

CA Cap-and-Trade Transit Funding Awarded to Metro, Other SoCal Agencies

This week California awarded $40M in cap and trade funding for Metro's planned LAX station

This week, California awarded $40M in cap-and-trade transit capital funding for Metro’s planned LAX rail station. Image via Metro LAX staff report

This week, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced the recipients of its Transit and Intercity Capital Program (TIRCP) grants. TIRCP distributes state cap-and-trade funding to local transit agencies for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In greater Los Angeles, funds were awarded to Metro, Foothill Transit, Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Antelope Valley Transit Authortity (AVTA), and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). A detailed project list follows.

The TIRCP awards total $390 million statewide, with $109 million of that going to L.A. Metro.

Though state cap-and-trade has been criticized by its foes, including petroleum interests, it continues to be a key source of funding for critical livability projects, including these transit capital projects, plus high-speed railtransit-oriented affordable housing, and more. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing to extend cap and trade, but it appears that that effort may need to go to a statewide initiative vote, instead of the theoretically easier state legislation route.

Southern California TIRCP projects follow after the jump, listed in alphabetic order by agency name. See CalSTA for a full statewide project listsRead more…

7 Comments

A Peek Into the Future of Metro Transit Station Parking

Multi-story free parking structure at Metro Gold Line Atlantic Station may not remain free for long. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Multi-story free parking structure at Metro Gold Line Atlantic Station may not remain free for long. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

At today’s Metro board of directors Planning and Programming Committee the board and the public got its first look into Metro’s in-process plans for managing parking at transit stations. Metro has a couple of parking initiatives underway. The agency is creating its Supportive Transit Parking Program Master Plan (STPP) and a Parking Guidance System (PGS) and evaluating its current Parking Management Pilot Program and Monthly Parking Permit Program. All these are explained below.

Details on the parking initiatives were included in a staff report, which includes only a preliminary outline still subject to changes before it guides Metro parking practices. The item was planned as a consent calendar receive-and-file, but boardmembers Paul Krekorian and Hilda Solis voices questions and concerns about rail terminus parking in each of their districts: North Hollywood Red Line Station and Atlantic Gold Line Station respectively.

Details on specific Metro parking initiatives after the jump.  Read more…

8 Comments

With Legal Challenges Completed, What’s Next in Beverly Hills Subway Drama

Late Friday afternoon, I was already at a dinner meeting when I heard the news. Metro announced that the most recent, and likely last, lawsuit against the Purple Line Subway Extension under Beverly Hills has been completed.

We agree. Pull quote via ##http://bhweekly.com/##Beverly Hills Weekly Issue 808##

We agree. Pull quote via Beverly Hills Weekly Issue 808

Despite some testy language against the transit agency and the Federal Transit Agency which approved the project, the ruling is a clear victory for Metro. The FTA’s record of decision, already upheld by one federal court, stands and the agency can move forward with securing funds to complete the project. The agency will have to redo some of its studies, but it should not impact the final timeline. Beverly Hills interests may appeal, but in the meantime, Metro can award contracts and get construction underway.

Metro wasted little time declaring victory at its news outlet The Source and vowed to continue its work on the project. The future for Beverly Hills is a little more uncertain.

In a case of bad timing, last week the Beverly Hills Unified School District voted to place a bond measure on the fall ballot to fund new construction at its high school. The current bond measure has not resulted in as much construction as originally promised, in part because the District’s legal expenses are among the highest in the U.S., on a per-student basis. From Beverly Hills Weekly (Issue 880):

According to research conducted by Board of Education Vice President Mel Spitz last December, comparative school districts spend $65 per student on legal fees, whereas the BHUSD spends $478.

BHUSD legal fees for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled $3.2 million.

It also seems unlikely that Metro will be forced to pay for BHUSD’s legal fees, as boardmembers for the School District had promised in previous years. Read more…

9 Comments

Metro Opens North Hollywood Pedestrian Underpass for Orange and Red Lines

xxx

Officials cut the orange ribbon on the Orange Line side of the new North Hollywood pedestrian underpass. Left to right: Ray Tellis, Federal Transit Administration, Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Councilmember, John Fasana, Metro Board chair, Tony Cardenas, U.S. Congressmember, Eric Garcetti, city of L.A. Mayor, Stephanie Wiggins, Metro, and Jess Talamantes, city of Burbank Mayor. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Metro riders transferring between the Orange and Red Lines will find their commutes improved today. Today, the agency opened its new North Hollywood Station Underpass project, which includes new elevators, escalators, and fare gates. The $22 million underpass was funded in part by a $10 million federal TIGER grant.

The new tunnel was celebrated by elected officials including Metro Board chair, John Fasana, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Congressmember Tony Cardenas, and L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian. Speakers emphasized the safety and convenience of the undercrossing. According to Metro staff reports [PDF], the tunnel will save riders approximately 44 seconds on each transfer between the Red and Orange Lines. Krekorian announced that the recently renovated historic Lankershim Depot will re-open this fall, including a small park next to the new tunnel entrance.

Photos of the opening and the tunnel after the jump.  Read more…

4 Comments

Eyes on the Street: Motor Avenue’s New Parklets, Celebrate This Thursday

Motor Avenue celebrates two new parklets this week. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Motor Avenue celebrates two new parklets this week. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This week, the Motor Avenue Improvement Association will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating two great new parklets on Motor Avenue. The festivities will take place on Thursday August 11 at 1 p.m. at 3376 Motor Avenue in Palms. The parklets are part of the city of L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) innovative People St program, where communities can request plazas, parklets, and/or bike corrals.

The southern Parklet on Motor, located in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden

The southern parklet on Motor, located in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden

There are two parklets a block apart. There is a smaller parklet on Motor north of National Boulevard, and a larger one just south of National, in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden. Both parklets have taken on garden themes, with fresh herbs and vegetables growing in parklet planters.

More photos after the jump.  Read more…

4 Comments

New Bike Lanes Striped On Wilshire Boulevard In Westwood Condo Canyon

New bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

New bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The city of L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) is putting the finishing touches on new bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. The new bike lanes run 0.7 miles from Selby Avenue to Beverly Glen Boulevard. They extend the existing Wilshire bike lanes that currently run 0.2 miles from Beverly Glen to Comstock Avenue.

Buffered bike lane preliminary markings on Wilshire in Westwood

Buffered bike lane preliminary markings on Wilshire in Westwood

The new bike lanes were added without removing any travel lane capacity. Most of the new Wilshire lanes are buffered bike lanes, though the street width varies, so in some areas the buffer is omitted. The new bike lanes are part of a street resurfacing project that extends from Beverly Glen to Westwood Boulevard. As of yesterday, the new lane markings were mostly complete, with bike lane symbols and some striping on the buffers still to come.

This neighborhood has resisted bicycle and transit facilities in the past. Residents opposed the planned Wilshire Boulevard peak-hour bus-only lane project. They also fought against bike lanes approved for nearby Westwood Boulevard.

3 Comments

County Supervisors Approve Metro Sales Tax For November Ballot

Metro's sales tax proposal as it will appear on the November 2016 ballot.

Metro’s sales tax proposal as it will appear on the November 2016 ballot. Image via Metro communication to L.A. County [PDF]

Yesterday, the Los Angels County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved including Metro’s planned sales tax measure on the November ballot. The approval was expected as all of the supervisors sit on the Metro board where four out of five them already voted to move forward with the measure. Supervisor Don Knabe voted against the ballot measure at the June Metro board meeting; yesterday he joined his fellow supervisors in supporting letting L.A. County voters decide. To be approved, the measure must pass by a two-thirds majority.

The sales tax measure, which has been provisionally referred to as Measure R2, will soon have its own official letter designation, likely “Measure M.” Metro requested the letter “M”, with “E” or “T” as alternatives if M is not available.

Read Los Angeles Times coverage for additional details about yesterday’s approval.

Groups are already lining up for and against the November ballot measure.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments endorsed the measure. Though San Fernando Valley governmental bodies have not made their formal endorsement yet, there is, as reported by The Daily News, a great deal of support among Valley leadership, including elected officials and business groups.

Again from the Tribune, the South Bay and Gateway Cities COGs oppose it. According to Wave Newspapers, Gateway COG member city of Norwalk’s councilmembers are opposing the measure because it does not widen their portion of the 5 Freeway soon enough.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is among the strongest boosters for the Metro sales tax measure. In July, Garcetti tapped two of his leadership team to spearhead efforts to pass the ballot measure: Executive Vice Mayor Bill Carrick and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Jacobs.

 

 

3 Comments

LADOT Quietly Hosting Vision Zero Community Engagement Meetings

MIG staff taking community input at last night's Vision Zero meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

MIG staff taking community input at last night’s Vision Zero meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Streetsblog L.A. attended the city of L.A. Transportation Department (LADOT) Vision Zero meeting last night in Hollywood.

The meeting was the fourth second in a series of ten Vision Zero community engagement meetings hosted by LADOT and their consultant, MIG. The meetings resume tonight in Echo Park, and continue through August 10 in various L.A. neighborhoods in the Valley, South L.A., West L.A. and San Pedro. None appear to be scheduled for Boyle Heights or North East L.A. See full schedule after the jump. (Correction: some meetings have been rescheduled – see corrected schedule below.)

Oddly, these appear to be public meetings, but as of this morning they do not appear on the LADOT Vision Zero website, nor any mention of them on LADOT’s Vision Zero Twitter. Apparently someone did not get the memo and posted the full meeting schedule online at the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council website. 

That San Pedro post made the rounds among L.A.’s well-wired bicyclist communities yesterday afternoon, which was the first notice that Streetsblog L.A. received. Last night, LADOT Vision Zero lead Nat Gale mentioned that meeting attendees had been “nominated” to attend. It is unclear how the nominating, outreach, and engagement were supposed to work. Perhaps the best way to get a lot of bicyclists to attend a Vision Zero meeting is to not invite them, so they become suspicious and rush to attend.

Vision Zero is the international campaign to reduce traffic deaths. Vision Zero principles hold that all traffic deaths are preventable and that human life takes priority over other transportation system objectives. The city of Los Angeles Vision Zero goals include reducing traffic deaths by 20 percent by 2017 and reducing deaths to zero by 2025.

The current series of meetings are part of the community engagement process for creating the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which is due out in August. The plan will guide the city’s multi-departmental Vision Zero efforts, to be implemented by multiple city departments including LADOT, Public Works, LAPD, LAFD, City Planning, and others.

At last night’s meeting, Gale presented an overview of the city’s efforts on Vision Zero so, highlighting the 2015 mayoral directive, the scramble crossing at Hollywood and Highland, and a new finer-grain priority intersections corridor categorization within the city’s High Injury Network. To identify the priority areas, LADOT and MIG used data from kill and severe injury (KSI) crashes, combined with factors to prioritize equity, children, and seniors. LADOT and MIG have drilled down into 2009 through 2013 KSI data to thoroughly characterize collision profiles based on various factors, from turning behavior to hit-and-run to drunk driving.  Read more…

1 Comment

Metro Making Plans to Use Transit to Connect Communities with Parks

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 2.11.40 PM

The executive summary of the Parks and Needs Assessment results. Note the concentration of “very high” park needs in the downtown, south-central regions, and San Fernando Valley regions of the county. Source: Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment

Nearly two years ago, President Obama noted the need for greater and more equitable park accessibility while speaking at the San Gabriel Mountain national monument designation ceremony:

“This is an issue of social justice, because it’s not enough to have this awesome natural wonder within your sight – you have to be able to access it.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 2.24.08 PM

Over 50% of Los Angeles county’s population has a “very high” or “high” park need according to the county assessment. Source: Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment

Metro, the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority, appears to be taking President Obama’s concerns for park access and equity seriously.

In June, the Metro board of directors approved a “Transit to Open Spaces and Parks” motion. The motion was authored by directors Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl, and John Fasana. It directs the agency to create a comprehensive transit-to-open space parks overview of park access in Los Angeles’s local, state, and federal land parks, while prioritizing recommendations for low-income and park-poor communities.

Metro’s “Transit to Open Spaces and Parks” plans are expected to be completed by October and will detail opportunities for future transit access, identify funding sources, and provide recommendations for new transit service connecting to parks, such as active transportation bike lanes, greenways, and public transit shuttles.

The Metro motion follows the massive countywide Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment, a two-year inventory and analysis of park project and maintenance recommendations for each of L.A. County’s 86 cities, completed last May, 2016.

With research demonstrating the mental and physical benefits of parks, Metro’s call for a coordinated park-access analysis comes at a much-needed time for Los Angeles. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) 2008 Environmental Justice report found a complete lack of public transit services to national parks and “very limited” access to state parks.

The dearth in Los Angeles residents’ access to green space extends to local city parks as well.

Read more…