Today’s Headlines

  • Listen! L.A.’s female bike leadership speaks out (Bike Talk)
  • New HSR business plan released for public comment (LA Times)
  • Construction underway for a more pedestrian-friendly Broadway in DTLA (KPCC)
  • On Pomona Freeway, wrong way driver kills six people (KFI)
  • Before/after photos of new walk and bike facilities on Colorado Blvd (Walk Eagle Rock)
  • USC’s Manuel Pastor: equitable transportation key to L.A.’s future (KCET)
  • Letter urges USC to end its misinformed opposition to MyFigueroa (Daily Trojan)
  • Ever wonder what duct bank encasement looks like? Gold Line construction vid at The Source
  • Valentine’s Day speed dating on the Red Line (The Source) (watch out for THAT guy)
  • Infographicality at Momentum: bicycling really is good for business, and women really do bike
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that bicycling and walking are not safe (Orange 20)
  • What’s next for L.A.’s dingbat housing? (Architect’s Newspaper)
  • L.A. PCC [President’s Conference Committee!] rail car set standards in 1940 (PE Railway Historical Society)
  • Dutch king and queen spotted riding handsome orange bikes at the Winter Olympics (Hello!)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ubrayj02

    Can somebody take a posterboard of the MyFigueroa project down to USC’s main campus and ask pedestrians and cyclists, “Do you like the looks of this project for Figueroa?”

    Video the whole thing and send it on blast to USC’s public affairs team.

    We are saddled now with the bizarre legacy of Willie Brown’s dominance in state politics. Willie Brown so dominated Sacramento politics that the Republicans got term limits passed for members of the legislature. Since then, a cascade of termed out state office holders have tumbled back down into the “lower ranks” of local political office.

    In Los Angeles, we are saddled with competent electioneers like Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz, Herb Wesson, and Curren Price who HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE ABOUT LIVABLE STREETS. These “left wing” politicians have been soaking up the high stress, big issue, big donor, life in Sacramento for the last 20 years. Now they’ve been kicked out of office for, really, no good reason at the age of 60+. They should take the hint and retire on their generous pension packages, or go work in the morally corrupt private sector (as have earlier versions of themselves from previous term-outs) lobbying out of their Sacramento condos.

    Instead, they see local congressional seats as jobs for life and LA City Council seats as 12 years of heaven – where they can cram the cash and bennies into their nests, waltz around with “staff”, and never lose the sheen of being a VIP. The problem is that they are in nitty gritty city governance land – where their stupidity and personal weaknesses, their philosphical quirks, have immediate and real effects on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis. They can really do a lot of good, a lot of bad, or a lot of nothing about a lot of very important things in Angelenos day-to-day lives.

    None of these aforementioned baby-boomer, 60+ year old, “leftists” thinks that biking and walking is mainstream politics in L.A. Their kids are not riding their bikes to college, their grandkids are enwombed in SUV’s being shuttled to soccer practice. These guys came of age when peak oil was at its nadir in the cultural discourse. They simply do not care about real quality of life. They want to get paid, get re-elected, and get left alone.

    That is why the man on the street needs to attack. Ask the people riding and walking on Figueroa what they think.

    The same people who help elect these Democratic machine candidates are running the USC public affairs dept. The USC public affairs crew doesn’t walk, doesn’t ride buses, doesn’t take the train, and sure as shit doesn’t ride bikes. They are taking money from people who will spend 4 to 8 years of their lives riding and walking on and around campus – yet the USC public affairs staff consider the interests of their customers as the blatherings of some contemptible underlings to a feudal lord.

    Do not kiss any rings, go directly to the street corner with a camera and do man on the street coverage of MyFigueroa – ask the people waiting sadly at the bus stop.

    Next up: do a Jaime-de-la-Vega style xpose of how many of the staff of these councilmen walk or ride bikes or transit to work. Do the same for the USC executive/P.R. people – get the zip codes they are driving in from. That is a great political football.

    Next, challenge them to ride with you to work some day.

    Finally, bring Critical Mass to their doorstep(s) at work and at their homes and host die-ins; let that mass ride do some good once again instead of wasting LAPD’s valuable time and resources.

    If you really want to freak them out, interview their grandkids about what they like to do outside of their exurban castles. “Oh little Jimmy/Tina do you really like to play with your friends on bikes? How interesting.”

  • davistrain

    Regarding the item about the PCC streetcars from the PE Historical site: This was nothing new to me, having seen photos and movies of these cars for years at railway enthusiast meetings. I never saw them in person because they were never used on the Monrovia PE line. Yes, they were a unique version of the PCC concept, and yes, they were retired before their time. I’ve never seen the full story, but it seems like PE management lost interest in passenger service in the late 1940s. After spending a considerable amount of time and money rebuilding the “Hollywood” cars (predecessors to the PCCs), and doing major maintenance on the PCCs around 1949-50, they sold off the passenger business, shut down Torrance shops and more or less threw in the towel just a few years later. My take on this story is that, after the surge in passenger loadings during World War II, things started going downhill, and the powers that be finally decided to cut their losses. This was the era when one could buy a useable car for $100 or so, fill it with 22 cents-a-gallon gas, and keep it running with junkyard parts. We should also note that PE was a subsidiary of Southern Pacific, which had a long history of closing electric railway operations when they no longer made financial sense (whole books have been written on the subject).