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.

  • marcotico

    Here’s another one!  The new writer’s are great!  As for follow-ups on crash victims, I’m surprised you didn’t link to Ted Roger’s Biking in LA blog (http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/.) In addition to providing the most comprehensive crash coverage, he is also a great resource for the wonkier aspects of the Vehicular Cycling v Infrastructure Advocates debate, and how it plays out on the state wide level.   

  • Why don’t they just use colored asphalt for the bike lane instead of painting it over and over? Don’t know when they painted it over the weekend. I was down there on Saturday and it looked like crap.

  • Keep in mind that the new paint is confined to a short stretch in the Civic Center area, and is being applied on a test basis to see what will work best. The really worn-out areas in the Historic Core didn’t get touched over this past weekend.

  • Juan Matute

    Regarding #1, I think that late night subway service is just one of many goodwill gestures aimed at less frequent riders that we’ll see from Metro before the second Tuesday in November

  • You know, we link to Ted’s stuff all the time in headlines.  A couple years ago I made a crack about how his site was becoming a downer (because of all the crash coverage) and got reamed in the comments section.  I didn’t want to make it seem as though his website was the bike crash website.  Ted does a great job, it’s one of the few sites I go everyday.

  • Ubrayj02

    One thing I am thinking about: rotating that damn photo 90 degrees to the right!

  • Guest

    LADOT repainted it Sunday morning. You can read more about the materials being tested here:  http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/spring-st-material-testing-this-sunday/#more-8084

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