5 Things I’m Thinking About Transportation

There have been a handful of stories that I partially developed, but are on the back burner this week as I work to try and get out some stories that were researched last week, interview for the Long Beach writer position, and prepare L.A. Streetsblog’s tax forms.  So, with apologies to Steve Hymon, here are five things that have been on my mind.

A nice coat of fresh paint ont the Spring Street Buffered Bike Lane got me thinking...we, and by mean I mean all of the media, don't make a big enough deal about the building of a functional Downtown bike network. Photo: Carter Rubin

1) It’s great news that Metro will extend subway, light rail and Orange Line hours into the early morning, starting July 27.  The last time Metro extended hours, temporarily, for the subway between Downtown, Mid-Town and Hollywood, I recevied a spate of angry emails from bus riders who recently saw service cuts impact their commutes.  While my gut tells me that extending the hours is another sign that L.A. is growing up as a transit town, but the lack of information in the original announcement, there’s no information on expected ridership or cost, makes me wonder if Metro did its homework, or if it’s relying on it’s gut.

2) The first draft of this post included the sentence, “How nice is it that I haven’t typed the words “Beverly Hills High School” in over a month.  However, the New York Times covered the Subway battle in this weekend’s Sunday Section.  Sigh.

3) Last week, a reader wrote to ask if we could follow-up on a couple of crashes that killed cyclists in recent weeks.

Here at L.A. Streetsblog, we haven’t covered crashes in nearly the depth that San Francisco or New York City have for the horribly awful reason that there’s so many of them it would basically take over the website.  When we do cover a crash, as Gary Kavanagh did last week or we did earlier this year with a crash in the Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane, it’s usually if we break information in a story that is already getting media attention or if the police response is so hopelessly imcopetent it deserves further comment.

4) I had a chance to ride the Main Street Buffered Bike Lane last week.  It’s very nice.  The changes that have happened in Downtown are really noticeable and impressive if you’re a cyclist familiar with the terf but experience the new lanes on Spring and Main Streets together for the first time.  On a similar note, apparently the Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane got some new paint over the weekend.  Hope it sticks.

5) Every time I go out for a Livable Streets event of some sort, I get compliments on one of the writers that have joined our “team coverage” in the past year.  For example, on Wednesday of last week I was in the Valley doing some research for a series on the Orange Line Bike Path and public art (starting later today) and was told how great Sahra Sulaiman’s writing is by the Metro reps I talked to.  On Thursday in City Hall, I was approached to talk about Kris Fortin and how we can expand his work from Boyle Heights to the rest of the Eastside.  Rounding things out, at Joe Linton’s art show I heard compliments on all three writers, with an emphasis on Gary Kavanagh’s recent story on the bank’s rejection of a car-less residential development.

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