Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Truckers union reaches collective bargaining agreement with Los Angeles, Long Beach ports

 http://www.presstelegram.com/breakingnews/ci_22342122/truckers-union-reaches-collective-bargaining-agreement-los-angeles

 
By Brian Sumers, Staff Writer
Updated:   01/09/2013 07:56:12 PM PST
 
  In a development union officials say could change the nature of trucking at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, about 65 drivers have reached contract terms with their employer, likely making them the first truckers at the port complex to win a collective bargaining agreement since Congress deregulated the industry three decades ago.

The drivers, who first voted to align with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in April 2012, haul goods, mainly from the ports to retail warehouses in the Inland Empire, for Australian logistics company Toll Group. The drivers will receive considerable raises, subsidized health care and access to a pension plan, according to union officials.

"These are truck drivers who have long been denied the middle-class standards they deserve," said TJ Michels, a spokeswoman for the Teamster-backed port campaign. "It shows what can happen when workers at the ports stand up and fight for what they want. I think we're going to see real change at the ports."

Unions at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are perhaps stronger than anywhere else in the country, with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union showing in its recent eight-day strike that it is powerful enough to shut down most of the activity on the docks. But truck drivers have largely been left out, with many working longer hours for considerably less money than their counterparts in the longshore union.

The reason: Unlike Toll Group, which made a somewhat unusual business decision to hire its drivers, many trucking firms treat drivers as independent contractors, who are not permitted to form a labor union under the National Labor Relations Act. Only employees can seek to form a union.

"I think that ultimately the port is one of the next bastions of success for the labor union in Los Angeles," said Peter Dreier, director of the urban and environmental policy program at Occidental College.

"The dockworkers are already unionized. There is a culture around the port and there has been a culture around the port since 1930s. It's kind of in the DNA in the place, and I think that it's a matter of time before the truckers at the port join in."

In recent years, the Teamsters have made port truck drivers a priority, committing time and resources to the campaign.

As part of the program, Teamsters officials have urged federal and state regulators to examine the relationship many trucking companies have with their drivers, noting that willfully misclassifying workers is illegal. (Workers generally can be called independent contractors only if they have a large degree of control over when and where they work.)

Union officials also have asked large manufacturers to re-examine their relationships with trucking companies. In the Toll campaign, union officials repeatedly appealed to many of the company's clients - retailers and manufacturers including Guess?, Polo and Under Armour - in hopes those companies would place pressure on the trucking firm to sign a contract.

Ultimately, the Teamsters need more trucking companies to change their employment relationship with their drivers, said John Logan, associate professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.

"The independent contractor model is a huge obstacle to improving working conditions and representing workers effectively," Logan said. "But I don't think it's an insurmountable obstacle. If pressure can be placed on the trucking companies through their brands or through other means, they will be forced to respond."

Alex Cherin, executive director of the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor Trucking Association, said companies must retain the right to choose whatever business model works for them. And he said many drivers prefer being independent contractors because they can control their own schedules.

Cherin also noted that an effort by the Port of Los Angeles to require trucking companies to designate drivers as employees failed in court. In 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the port could not impose such a requirement, which had been part of a program to reduce pollution at the port.

"The Toll Group has been in discussions for a while now," Cherin said. "They obviously thought that was a good fit for their business model. We wish them success. That's not the business model that all other trucking companies use. As an association, we would fight for the right for any trucking company to use any method they think is best."

As part of the contract, most drivers at Toll will receive an hourly increase from $12.72 to $19. The drivers, few of whom contributed to their 401(k) in the past, will receive a pension plan and the company will pay 95 percent of each driver's health care costs.

Toll Group driver Alberto Quiteno said he hopes this contract will have wide repercussions across both ports.

"Hopefully, we'll get this ball rolling so everyone will have a contract of their own," he said. "This probably will be the beginning of the end for struggling drivers. We're so happy because we think this will be the turning point."


Pasadena Council to appoint Holden's replacement at Jan. 22 special meeting

 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/breakingnews/ci_22341576/pasadena-council-appoint-holdens-replacement-at-jan-22

 
Updated:   01/09/2013 06:06:10 PM PST
 
 PASADENA - A special City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 22 in the council chambers at City Hall to interview the five applicants for Chris Holden's District 3 seat. One of the five will be appointed to replace Holden, who resigned Nov. 30 after being elected to represent the 41st District in the California State Assembly.

The appointee will serve until elections are held later this year, city officials said.

Five District 3 residents filed the required application in December: Joel Bryant, Brian Carmody, Sharon Graham Higuera, Tarek Shawky and Craig Washington.

During the Jan. 22 meeting, City Clerk Mark Jomsky will conduct a random drawing to determine the applicants' interview order. No applicants will be permitted in the Council Chamber during other candidates' interviews, and each one will be allowed up to six minutes to make a presentation.

The City Council will ask applicants a series of predetermined questions and they will be asked to return to the Council Chamber to observe the council's deliberations and vote.

The City Clerk will administer the oath of office following and the successful applicant will begin serving immediately.

For more information, call 626-744-4142.


Hilda Solis announces resignation from Secretary of Labor position

 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/breakingnews/ci_22340845/solis-announces-resignation-from-secretary-labor-position

 
Updated:   01/09/2013 02:54:37 PM PST

WASHINGTON - Labor Secretary Hilda Solis tells colleagues she is resigning from the Obama administration.

In an email message, Solis says she submitted her resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday afternoon. She says she made the decision to leave after discussing it with her family
and close friends.

Solis has won praise from labor unions for aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws and job safety regulations. But business groups have criticized her as not taking a more cooperative
approach.

Solis was raised in La Puente and was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 after serving as an assemblywoman and state senator. A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, Solis was confirmed as secretary of labor on Feb. 24, 2009. Solis also earned a master of public administration from the University of Southern California.

Prior to serving as secretary of labor, Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in the San Gabriel Valley from 2001 to 2009.

Solis was first elected to public office in 1985 as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees. She served in the Assembly from 1992 to 1994, and in 1994 made history by becoming the first Latina elected to the state Senate.

Solis said she plans to return to her native California. She is expected to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. [Not good for those opposing the 710 tunnel because of her connection to the Teamsters and the trucking people.]
 

One of the highest-ranking Hispanics in Obama's administration, Solis has won praise from labor unions for aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws and job safety regulations. But business groups have criticized her as not taking a more cooperative approach.

“Leaving the department is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, because I have taken our mission to heart,” Solis said. “As the daughter of parents who worked in factories, paid
their union dues and achieved their goal of a middle-class life, and as the first Latina to head a major federal agency, it has been an incredible honor to serve.”



 President Barack Obama called Solis “a tireless champion for working families.”

“Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class,” Obama said in a statement.

Solis said she is proud that 1.7 million people have completed federally funded job training programs under her tenure. Her agency oversaw the spending of about $67 billion for unemployment
insurance benefits, job training and other job placement and worker protection programs under Obama's economic stimulus package.

Separately, the White House said Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki would remain in
their posts.

Holder and Sebelius have been frequent targets of Republican foes in Congress. The attorney general has been criticized for the government's handling of Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running
investigation gone awry. Sebelius is in charge of putting in place Obama's health care overhaul law, which Republicans have failed to repeal.

Solis graduated from Cal Poly and earned a master of public administration from the University of Southern California.

 

 

 

710 Tunnel Battle

Posted by Joe Cano on Facebooks

One of my mentors & a veteran of the Chicano Movement's biggest battles sent me this picture. Please note I see this as an analogy of what this 710 Tunnel battle will descend into if they steamroll over El Sereno & destroy our way of life. Will I make all theirs lives difficult?, goddamn right I will.
 
 
 
 The invaders won in the end, but they caught hell on the road to La Conquista
SR-710 Study Alternatives Analysis Phase Open Houses

 




PLEASE JOIN US AT THE UPCOMING
ALL COMMUNITIES CONVENING OPEN HOUSES

 
Please attend our upcoming All Communities Convening Open Houses scheduled for January 23, 24 and 26, 2013.

During our All Communities Convening Open Houses, we will be sharing information about the five Alternatives that will be carried into the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement for in-depth environmental analysis.  The five alternatives include:

·No Build
·Transportation System/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM)
·Bus Rapid Transit (BRT 6X) with refinements – Los Angeles to Pasadena
·Light Rail Transit (LRT 4X) with refinements – East Los Angles to Pasadena
·Freeway Tunnel (F-7X) with refinements – Connecting the north and south termini of the existing SR 710

In advance of our upcoming All Communities Convening Open Houses, we encourage you to view the recent documents that have been posted online (the environmental study process; Fact Sheets about each of the Alternatives; Frequently Asked Questions; and Screening Criteria and Selection Process) to become better informed about the SR 710 Study.  The Open Houses will take place at the following locations:

Open House Dates
 

For more information on the SR 710 Study preparation and process, please visit www.metro.net/sr710study
or call (855) 4-SR-710-0 / (855) 477-7100.
Metro Outreach Meeting East Los Angeles Jan. 8, 2013 Video
 Filmed by and posted by Joe Cano on Facebook

 Here we have Katherine Padilla & her assisstant in another attempt at lying to the public. A Rotarian called Metro on the bad timing of the Goldline through the Eastside & the quality of the outreach so far. Joanne Nuckols, Tom Williams & myself asked question with the usual responses of ' I don't know the answer', or 'good question. Altogether there were no more than 28 people at this meeting. I don't have her on video, but a representative from 'Goldman Sachs' was present. Goldman Sachs has been mentioned as a possible player in the financing of the tunnel.


 https://www.facebook.com
/photo.php?v=582673748415111&set=vb.100000174729747&type=2&theater

( Video is slow in the beginning but comes to life about 1 minute in.)



  

New study finds that CEQA lawsuits used most to stop infill and public works projects

 http://thesource.metro.net/2013/01/09/new-study-finds-that-ceqa-lawsuits-used-most-to-stop-infill-and-public-works-projects/

 

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stepping down from office

 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-labor-secretary-hilda-solis-resigning-20130109,0,5438199.story

 

WASHINGTON -- Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the first Latina to serve in a Cabinet, is stepping down, the White House announced Wednesday.

In a statement, President Obama thanked the former Southern California congresswoman for her long career in public service, calling her a “tireless champion for working families.”

“Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class,” Obama said. “Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work.”

Solis’ departure comes amid a reshuffling of Obama’s senior staff and Cabinet as he is set to start his second term. The timing of Solis’ departure was a bit of a surprise, however.

Solis was one of five female Cabinet secretaries, and one of two Latinos, along with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Three other women hold Cabinet-level positions, including the departing EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson.

Solis represented the Los Angeles area in Congress for eight years before joining the Obama administration in 2009.

[Helen Solis has been politically involved with many of the supporters of the 710 tunnel, so maybe her resignation is a good thing for us against the tunnel.]
LA.Streetsblog's Politican of the Year: Ara Najarian

http://la.streetsblog.org/2013/01/04/streetsies-2012-people-of-the-year/

Politician of the Year:
The nominees: Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian already lost his Metrolink Board of Directors seat, allegedly over his vote to allow Measure R on the ballot, and now faces losing his Metro Board of Directors seat over his effective opposition to the I-710 Big Dig. Down in Long Beach, Suja Lowenthal has become a local spokesperson for livability issues. Supervisor Mike Antonovich has certainly made his mark opposing Measure J as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors. In the Mayor’s race, Eric Garcetti has swept up the endorsements of most major bike and pedestrian advocates while injecting livability issues into the campaign while Wendy Greuel has shined a light on waste and fraud in the city, including LADOT. In Sacramento Mike Feuer earns a nod for his tireless advocacy for Measure J and his succesfull efforts to oversee the Buy Here Pay Here industry. Senator Alan Lowenthal (now Congressman) also earns a nod for his efforts on Give Me 3. The Lowenthal’s are not related, it’s just that half the people that live in Long Beach are named Lowenthal.
Editor’s Choice: Ara Najarian 
2012 Streetsies Reader's Choice: Politician of the Year
  • Ara Najarian (46%, 219 Votes)
  • Wendy Greuel (34%, 164 Votes)
  • Eric Garcetti (10%, 48 Votes)
  • Suja Lowenthal (4%, 21 Votes)
  • Mike Feuer (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Alan Lowenthal (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Mike Antonovich (1%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 478

Security Theater Cannot Sidetrack High-Speed Rail

 http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/01/security-theater-cannot-sidetrack-high-speed-rail

 Matt Pressberg

January 9, 2013

[I hate to have to tell the author of this article but, as a passenger on the high-speed train from Cordoba to Madrid, Spain, in 2010, I had to put all my bags through an X-ray machine before I was allowed to board. Also, you cannot make Cordoba a quick stop when traveling on the Seville-Cordoba-Madrid high-speed train unless you want to carry your luggage around with you while seeing Cordoba as there are no lockers at the Cordoba station (for security reasons). Not all high-speed train trips in Europe are hassle-free. I'm sure that other European travelers have encountered similar security checks and, of course, immigration checks between some countries.]

 

 The holiday season is a time when many of us look forward to visiting out-of-town family and friends. We don’t, however, look forward to the journey, just the destination.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Middle-to-long-distance travel in America is generally unpleasant, but that’s because our airport security is a sad mess and our rail technology is half a century old at its best parts. I’ve kind of given up hope on the former, because for whatever reason, after 9/11 we’ve decided civil liberties are less important than feelings (in related news, Congress just reauthorized our warrantless wiretapping program), but with the stimulus finally kick-starting long-overdue high-speed rail in the United States, and particularly California, there is an opportunity to provide millions of Americans with a travel choice that is not a necessary evil, but an honest-to-goodness enjoyable experience.

High-speed rail is so popular in places like Western Europe because it is both civilized and seamlessly integrated with everyday transportation, leaving almost no wasted time or personal discomfort. You can hop off a Paris Metro car at 11:45 and walk into the Gare du Nord, over to the platform and right onto your assigned seat on a noon Thalys train to Germany. While it’s rolling, the conductor walks by, scans the e-ticket you printed from your computer the night before, and you can get right back to surfing the internet, walking around, taking in the scenery or enjoying some wine and cheese you picked up that morning. A little over 3 hours and 300 miles later, you disembark in Cologne at a convenient Hauptbanhof in the heart of the city, ready to head to your meeting, visit a friend or just explore. This journey cost only €35, booked online a few weeks in advance.

This is the promise, and now reality of true high-speed rail. New technologies like maglev will continue to push the envelope on speed even further, but the proposed travel times for California’s future system are blazing enough. Downtown L.A. to Downtown San Francisco in 2 hours and 38 minutes? San Fran to Fresno in 80 minutes? A certain dearly departed California legend, who really deserved to be around for this, would find it amazing. There is only one thing that can derail it.

Last month, I took Amtrak for the first time in a few years, from New York City to North Carolina. Not the shortest journey, but I like trains, hate most big-city airports, especially those in NYC, and figured that at least the train trip would be chill and hassle-free, I’d have an adult-size seat and I could open-carry dangerous contraband like full-size cosmetics and lighters.

I also wanted to travel this way for another reason. High-speed rail is coming to California. A lot of taxpayer money is about to be spent on it. Californians are ready to embrace it (even if some of them don’t realize it yet), but high-speed rail is only going to catch on in this country if we give it the freedom to fly.

Unfortunately, the security creep that has poisoned American air travel has made its way to our trains, and nothing has given me any reason to believe it won’t continue on to infect and deliver a purely manufactured and completely self-inflicted fatal blow to high-speed rail in California and elsewhere in the United States.

We can’t let this happen. High-speed rail is one of the best, most forward-looking, legitimate society-improving things we can spend money on, but not if we insist on ruining its ability to provide cutting-edge travel friendly to both person and planet based on nothing more than fear and nonsense. Bin Laden’s endgame wasn’t the Twin Towers. It was war-driven overspending and people getting their colostomy bags manhandled at airports.

My Christmas Day train originated at New York’s Penn Station, an entirely underground station with architecture seemingly inspired by an off-Strip sports book, complete with mismatched display boards. The only seating area with actual seats was a dedicated Amtrak room, designed to look and feel just like an airport gate, because that always puts people in a good mood. This glorified pen had an agent seated at the entry, checking to make sure only ticketed Amtrak passengers were allowed in.

This was a room at a train station next to a Dunkin’ Donuts that was across a public concourse from the entry to the train platforms, so it was really controlled-access for no reason. The only one I came up with was that Amtrak/the station wanted to make sure ticketed passengers had priority to sit in those chairs, but one would think it would be cheaper to just buy more chairs than to hire a full-time agent.

When it was time to board the train, instead of just walking to the platform and taking our seats (which in my experience are either assigned or on a first-come-first-served basis, depending on the specific train rules) everyone was forced to line up in front of the stairway leading to the train, where a gate agent checked tickets and IDs.

We then proceeded to the dungeon-like underground platform (not all underground platforms are dungeon-like, but Penn is), where another agent (who was way too cheerful and intelligent for the procedures she was assigned to carry out) acted as some type of maitre d’, gathering information about group counts and our final destinations, and assigning seats accordingly, sticking handwritten signs on the overhead shelves above us. This was the least efficient train-boarding protocol I have ever witnessed, and this includes the kiddie trains by the food court at the mall.

I understand Penn Station is directly underneath high-value Madison Square Garden. But there are similar fully integrated stations on each country’s rail network that serve long-haul high-speed trains (some that even cross international borders) directly underneath Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (Europe’s second busiest and the world’s sixth) and alongside Frankfurt’s International Airport (number three in Europe and nine worldwide), both of which are also sensitive security zones. Despite this, and the fact that unlike America, Europe has actually experienced real terrorism on its railways, people boarding trains at the Paris or Frankfurt airports are given the luxury of civilized-world freedom of movement.

To Amtrak’s credit, the train did leave close to its scheduled departure time, and once it got rolling it was a smooth—if painfully slow, particularly for the times—ride. (Yes, the Acela is faster, but not competitive with true high-speed rail in countries with quality of life standards similar to ours. It has grade-crossings, for goodness' sake.)

However, much of the scenery along the track did not look emblematic of the richest country in the world, a fact noted by one of my travel partners, a native of Brazil and no stranger to rough neighborhoods. The stretch between Trenton and Philly is almost post-apocalyptic. This is more of an America problem than a transportation problem, but it stood out. I also think our gun violence problem has a lot more to do with urban neglect in North Philly than insufficiently armed teachers or semi-automatic hunting rifles, but that’s for another time.

As we approached Baltimore, I heard paw steps and chain-jingling and turned around to see a badged officer walking what I have determined to be a bomb-sniffing dog down the aisle of the train. (Let’s just say I have certain intelligence that leads me to strongly believe it was a bomb-sniffing and not a drug-sniffing animal.) I’m rarely surprised at new and unimproved manifestations of the nanny state, but this caught me off-guard. It’s something I’d expect to see in a former Soviet republic or a country with an active rebel movement, not Maryland. Bunny Colvin would not approve.

After an extended stop in D.C. to change to a diesel locomotive (because we still haven’t figured out
a way to electrify the entire east coast rail corridor, which is not only inefficient for travelers but a giant middle finger to the environment), we proceeded through the Virginia countryside, resplendent in its ochre winter wardrobe. Somewhere between Alexandria and Richmond, I noticed a pickup truck parked on the road running alongside the track with two hunters wearing blaze orange caps walking away from it, one of whom was holding a semi-automatic shotgun over his shoulder.

Aside from the fact that no rich-country mainline train should be traveling slow enough for a not particularly alert passenger to be able to make these kinds of detailed observations, juxtaposing the freedom of these hunters with the lack thereof of passengers subject to not-illegal-but-certainly-invasive (dogs on domestic trains!) search and surveillance procedures for no justifiable reason.

That hunter could have easily pointed his 12 gauge shotgun at the train and killed someone. But he didn’t, and history shows and society proves that he was extremely unlikely to ever do so. The same applies to train passengers, but unlike those hunters, and unfortunately more like airline passengers, are presumed terrorists until proven otherwise.

I don’t want my train to get bombed. But I also don’t think every train has a potential bomber waiting to board it that needs to be filtered out by annoying and time-sucking gates and hurdles, especially for a method of travel whose main advantage is its minimal wasted time.

Airplanes are the fastest and only reasonable method of intercontinental travel, but they involve the body scanner Macarena, recycled air, tiny seats and way too many rules about electronics. On the flip side, you can roll out of bed an hour before your train departs, throw random stuff in a bag, hop public transit to the train station and travel from Brussels to Nice without even pausing the movie you’re streaming on your iPad or having to stop working on the financial model you’re cranking out for the client you’re meeting at dinner that night.

California is about to spend a lot of money putting together a high-speed rail system, to give Angelenos, San Diegans and Oaklanders the same privilege of rapid movement so many Parisians and Romans enjoy. People in Paris and Rome take the train because, after factoring in extensive airport time, it’s close enough to the speed of flying with 1/1 millionth of the hassle. It’s an easy trade-off for short journeys.

If America screws up and delivers high-speed rail with low-intelligence airport-style security, only rail dorks like me and people with a fear of flying will take the train. If you have to show up 90 minutes before departure and take off your shoes and belt and put your toiletries in a plastic bag (which is probably the silliest airport security rule—and maybe rule, period—of all time) to fly from the Southland to the Bay Area in one hour, or you have to do the same to take a train there in three, most people are just going to fly, and taxpayers are going to be paying for a white elephant that so didn’t have to turn out that way. If the American version of high-speed rail has to come with the American version of transportation security, we shouldn’t even bother.

High-speed rail has transformed travel in Europe, Japan (and soon China, once they build trains to last), has transformed travel for the best, providing fast, relatively affordable, environmentally friendly and convenient connections between cities that previously required a long drive or stressful flight. It holds the same promise for California, whose road and air corridors could use some congestion relief.

However, it’s going to fail (and we won’t get another crack at it for a long time) if we cut it off at the knees with onerous and odious airport-style security protocol, which occurs nowhere else in first-world domestic rail travel. This is not the American exceptionalism we want, but it sadly appears to be infiltrating previously free Amtrak. This paranoia is unbecoming and shortsighted, and must be fixed before it destroys high-speed rail in this country. Those who would sacrifice liberty for the feeling of security deserve neither—but they also don’t deserve to sabotage advanced-society transportation for the rest of us.

 

Public Transit is Boring. Why Not Make It Fun?

 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/transit_is_boring.html

Deron Lovaas’s Blog
 Posted January 8, 2013

 
|
Approaching the escalators exiting the Metro stop near my workplace yesterday, I was annoyed to see that half were out of order. Which half had staff decided to keep running? Those going down, not up. Odd choice. It's no fun fighting gravity on a long escalator.

Unfortunately, it's generally hard to describe taking transit as "fun." As a co-worker says, a big reason to ride it is that traffic is even less enjoyable. But why shouldn't transit riders get a kick out of the experience?

This is the premise behind a book I read over the holiday break: Making Transit Fun! How to Entice Motorists from Their Cars by Darrin Nordahl. He opens with a quote from former Bogota mayor Enrique Penalosa, who points out that "Transportation is not an end -- it is a means to having a better life, a more enjoyable life." This is exactly right.
Nordahl says auto designers "get" this, since their job is to "guarantee cars remain cool, chic and fun for the masses." I see this in my new car, which looks gorgeous on the outside while inside I get seat-warmers, satellite radio, GPS, a hookup for my iPod, settings for fuel-sipping "ecodrive" or a boost of speed for passing, and other features that make it fun to drive.

Transit should be such fun, so we feel attached to it emotionally as well as rationally. Now, to be clear as Nordahl is at the outset, you can't have "fun" without "funding." Transit needs, and deserves, more investment from municipalities, states and the feds. While money is necessary, however, it's not sufficient for transit to compete. And Nordahl points out that design can help with funding since "public transit alternatives that truly excite the public...tug our heartstrings while loosening our pursestrings."

Nordahl sketches (including pictorial renderings) design ideas for transit vehicles in Charlotte and Las Vegas that reflect their contexts. The former resembles a type of rolling "Veranda" that looks out on Charlotte like a lazy southern front porch. The latter resembles a shiny desert tortoise for residents and tourists frequenting Vegas's main strip. Such tailor-made vehicles are a tall order for agencies with limited budgets, but as Nordahl points out at least two cities -- Santa Barbara, CA and Chattanooga, TN -- have solved this by contracting with local manufacturers to build attractive and unique electric shuttle buses. Examples of similarly iconic transit vehicles can also be found in San Francisco, New Orleans and Pittsburgh.


Nordahl also notes that smaller improvements can help make transit competitive too. In Boulder, Colorado, drivers for Boulder's fun "Hop, Skip, Jump, Bound, Bolt, Dash and Stampede" bus routes display their names prominently and are customer-friendly. Technological improvements can provide an edge to transit too. Availability of wi-fi on vehicles, for example. Or real-time information for consumers via smart phones which should one day allow you and me to take a look at multiple transportation options nearby. Are roads congested or blocked? Are bikes available on a bikeshare rack? Is a bus or train coming soon? For more on this see my colleague Amanda's TEDx presentation about the potential:





















FAQ Series: Goods Movement (5 Parts) Part 1: What Truck ...

Click on Title to get the the pdf


7: Did truck volumes on I-210 increase when it was extended? Won’t that just happen
again with this project?
Freeway projects affect traffic patterns. The I-210 extension increased traffic volumes on I-
210, but decreased traffic on I-10 and SR 60. Extending SR-710 to the north will almost
certainly increase traffic volumes on that freeway.
However, the effects on the crossing
freeways (I-210, I-10, and SR 60) will be varied. Some segments will have higher traffic
 
City of La Canada Flintridge's Comments on SR710 Study Draft Purpose and Need and Alternatives Considered
 
 
Subject: Copy of La Canada Letter to Caltrans - SR 710 Study Draft Needs and Purpose Statement
Date: Jan 9, 2013 8:24 AM

 

 
 
ATTACHED is a great letter from the Mayor of La Canada which has been forward to the Metro Board and many others at Metro.  Be sure to read this.