The Rest of Last Week’s Metro Board Agenda: Billboards, Attacked Bus Drivers, More Antelope Valley Line Service
Beyond the Leimert Park station drama that dominated coverage of the Metro Board meeting last Thursday there were other items of interest as reported by both Steve Hymon on The Source and myself here at Streetsblog.
But there are three additional items that I think are notable and/or newsworthy:
Metro is undertaking an expansion of its program of placing billboards on Metro property. Billboards have long been and continue to be a contentious issue, especially digital billboards. Here is an example of a local politico whose involvement with the billboard industry essentially ended his career in politics. Metro does seem aware of the need to make nice with local jurisdictions, stating “Each municipality … is presented with the opportunity to place signage only in locations that meet their individual safety and aesthetic criteria”. That sounds like a prudent approach.
The summary paragraph of agenda item #60, which concerns the assault of a Metro bus rider and the investigation to find a suspect, deserves to be quoted verbatim regarding the incident it is in response to:
On Friday, May 10, 2013 at approximately 7:35 p.m., Metro Bus Line 150 in Studio City was traveling along Ventura Boulevard at Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley and a suspect boarded and became angry with the bus operato over a fare dispute. The suspect caused bodily harm to the bus operator, knocking him unconscious. The suspect then exited the bus and fled the location in an unknown direction. The Metro bus operator, a six-year veteran of Metro, suffered injuries to his head and was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital where he was treated and later released.
Buried in the staff report is a bit of good news: “The suspect is currently in custody”.
Lastly Chair Antonovich has requested that next month Metro CEO Art Leahy return with “a proposal to increase Sunday service on the Antelope Valley Line from three to six round trips, as part of the proposed Metrolink budget. … [and also] that the CEO work with Metrolink and Amtrak to do the following:
- identify missed connections between Metrolink trains and between Metrolink and Amtrak trains
- implement an updated schedule plan that allows for Metrolink and Amtrak train schedules to be coordinated to allow for timely transfers throughout the region, and
- report back to the Board at the June 2013 Planning Committee and Board Meeting with an update on these efforts and timeline for completion”.
As I have noted previously Leahy is a big proponent of regional connectivity.