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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Six Types of Transplants Ruining L.A.

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/05/transplants_ruining_los_angeles.php

By Hillel Aron, May 16, 2013

 hollywood_sign_back.jpg

Ah, Hollywood. Beckoning transplants west like our own little Statue of Liberty. We kind of wish it wouldn't.

Every day, hundreds (just to go with a nice round number) of hard-working, diverse, interesting people come to Los Angeles and feed our desperately sluggish economy, buying tacos and facial treatments and what have you.

But let's face it. We get a lot of the wrong kind of people moving to Los Angeles, too. We see them every day, clogging our bars, taking our parking spots and hitting on our women.

If only there were some kind of limit on certain people, like the United States used to have under Warren G. Harding to keep out all the Chinamen.

Here are the six kinds of people City Hall should put a hard quota on -- and by hard quota, we mean zero.

Here, then, are the six worst kinds of L.A. transplants:

6) The Hippie

Often from Northern California, the hippie comes to Los Angeles for its sunshine, cheap yoga and preponderance of religious cults. (OK, either that or he was aiming for San Francisco and overshot the mark.) This type often settles in Venice Beach, walks barefoot and talks about how he once found the perfect quinoa. Some are known to surf; they do so poorly.

Hippies are often thought to be mostly harmless, so long as they bathe once in a while. But the problem with the hippie is that he thinks he belongs here. In fact, hippies generally labor under the delusion that this land was built for them, ignorant of its origins as a homicidal cattle town built on the banks of a capricious river.

It's this sense of entitlement that makes the hippie's presence so insidious, so offensive to the native Angeleno. Peace, love and understanding? Try stolen water, labor strife and concrete.

5) The Instant Hater

It is, of course, fashionable in certain parts of the country -- the mouth-breathing, gun-rack-possessing parts -- to hate Los Angeles. The implication is that its denizens are foppish, that our gorgeous weather has made us soft.
Many, therefore, are primed to hate this town before even setting foot on our sandy shores. And so it is with little hesitation that they decry with disdain and wonderment, "Why does no one walk in L.A.?" or "Why can't anyone drive in the rain here?" as if they were the first one to come up with this brilliant observation. In no other locale on the planet do people make snap judgments about so vast a land mass and so numerous a people as they do in Los Angeles.

Here's a good rule of thumb: Until you've either conceived a child here, started a business or achieved enough to deserve your own Wikipedia page (of moderate length, not just two paragraphs you wrote yourself), you are a guest in our great city. Ask not why we do what we do; ask what you can learn from our strange and curious ways.

 4) The Instant Connoisseur

Of course, we'll take the hater over the instant connoisseur any day of the week.

You know the type. The ones that move here and then five months later want to tell you all about how Larchmont is the cutest street and oh -- this is THE. BEST. TACO TRUCK -- you have to try it. And yeah, Runyon Canyon is super-great. Yes, I've tried a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Yes, they are the best thing to eat drunk, along with anything else remotely edible, like boiled shoe leather.

Listen, fresh-off-the-boaters. Los Angeles is a massive beast of a city, full of sadness and mystery, a land of nooks and crannies so odd and counterintuitive, even those of us who've lived here our entire lives haven't really figured it out. It's why there are so few books about Los Angeles -- it's just too fucking complicated (well, that and we are all illiterate).

So don't call anything "the best" until you've lived here for at least five years. In fact, you should have no opinions whatsoever about any goods or services sold within the borders of L.A. County. All you're allowed to say is, "Really? That sounds amazing. What's it called again?"

3) The Screenwriter

What a drag it is when you walk into your favorite coffee shop only to see five balding white dudes with five identical MacBooks sitting at the five best tables in the shop, all staring at Final Cut Pro Draft, intermittently clicking over to Facebook. Can't someone tell these people to do their so-called "work" from home and stop taking up public space with their baldness and their writing?

God help you if you actually get into a conversation with these people. They would have to save a man's life to rise to the level of boring. And their self-esteem is a notch above those 14th-century monks who used to whip themselves.

We get it. You have a dream: to spend three years of soul-wrenching work on 120 pages that an enormous multinational conglomeration will buy, hire five guys to rewrite, focus-group to within six inches of its life and turn into something commoditized and horrible that makes gobs of money overseas. Cool dream, bro. Too bad you have a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while scratching off a winning lottery ticket.


2) The Actor

Some object to people who wait tables for a living and then call themselves actors. That's not really our beef; after all, we here at the L.A. Weekly often call ourselves journalists.

No, our problem is that actors are self-obsessed, overly dramatic and frankly disingenuous people who pollute our environment with their spastic behavior, high-pitched laughter and funny voices. And say what you will about screenwriters but at least they pick up a book once in a while.

We realize that the world needs movies, the L.A. economy needs movies, and movies need attractive people to be in them, otherwise known as actors and actresses. But perhaps we could confine them to some sort of work camp or ghetto?

 1) New Yorkers

A variation on "the hater," the New Yorker puts a whole new twist on it, taking as gospel that his is the one true city -- "The City." To New Yorkers, other metropolitan areas are doing it wrong: The pizza crust is too thick in Chicago, Boston is full of sports-obsessed hicks, etc. But Los Angeles? Gasp. Los Angeles isn't doing it wrong. Los Angeles is wrong.

Take Meghan O'Rourke, the self-described poet/culture critic who trashed L.A. after spending all of four months living here.

The only thing New Yorkers love more than talking about New York is talking about how Los Angeles isn't New York, how our streets are too long; our public transit, nonexistent; our pizza shitty, our bagels shitty, our bars close too early, everything closes too early, no one dances at shows, everything is too slow, and everyone is too polite.

And when an Angeleno visits New York? We're kind of like, whatever. Cool place to stay for a week or so, as long as you have a couch to sleep on, 'cause you have to be, like, an oil magnate to afford a hotel room.

Because you can love L.A. without being obsessed with L.A.; you can love L.A. but not have your identity be all about being from LA. Our history is not so overbearing, or buildings not so iconic, our accents just ambiguous enough to allow us to wear our L.A.-ness like a loose garment. Ours is a kind of freedom New Yorkers will never know. And that is why they hate us. They hate us because we are free.

And so they move here. Go figure.

 See also: 50 Reasons Los Angeles Is the Best Effing City in America

 See also: Top 10 Reasons to Love Los Angeles and Never, Ever Leave

 See also: Fear and Loathing of Los Angeles: Let Them Keep Hating. We Know Better.



Mule herding, garlic cooking and other - better ways - of picking political candidates: Joe Mathews

http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_23261875/mule-herding-garlic-cooking-and-other-better-ways

By Joe Mathews, May 16, 2013

Last week, I watched a debate between Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, and a clear winner emerged: Warren Olney, the moderator. I'm not saying that Olney's fine grilling made the experience worthwhile, though, because nothing could. The California political debate is dead. It's merely an exchange of tired sound bites and attacks.

But here's the good news: California has no shortage of alternative contests that would reveal the knowledge, character and judgment of competitors. We simply need to apply them to the political process. Here are the five that would be most useful:

1. The Academic Contest

Too many candidates dodge detailed questions. But it's hard to dodge a written exam. My favorite is the 50-question quiz given to prospective contestants on the TV game show "Jeopardy!," which is filmed in Culver City. It asks questions about an incredibly broad array of topics, making it a good test for politicians who will be asked to address all kinds of challenges. If candidates balk, they could take something easier: the California high school exit exam.

2. The Job-Interview Contest

Politicians love to talk about jobs. But how many of them could get a job at Google? The job interviews there are legendarily tough. Here's a genuine example: You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
Come up with a smart answer for that, and you've got my vote.

3. The Social Cohesion Contest

A California leader must bring together diverse peoples. What better test than the Great Garlic
Cook-Off at the midsummer garlic festival in Gilroy? Just as a fine politician makes new coalitions and unifies them in service of a greater goal, a successful dish combines familiar foods in new ways in the service of a greater enjoyment - or, in the case of Gilroy, in the service of garlic. Among recent winners: Spicy Garlic Butter Cookies with Garlic Goat Cheese and Honey.

4. The Building Contest

California's aging infrastructure has nearly $800 billion in projected needs over the next 10 years. The appropriate test of candidates would be for each to lead the construction of a Rose Parade float. Candidates could spend no more than $300,000 (the cost of the very best floats), and they must honor the Rose Parade's elaborate maze of regulations, which mimic the complexity of state law and local building codes. If you survive the Pasadena mandarins, dealing with the California Environmental Quality Act is a piece of cake.

5. The Herding Contest

Any true leader knows that bringing other politicians and intransigent interest groups into alignment is like leading a bunch of mules. One of California's great public events - Mule Days in the town of Bishop - includes just such a test of leadership. At last, our candidates could fulfill Teddy Roosevelt's famous ideal of the person "who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood." In an event called the "Packer's Scramble," mules are unloaded and untethered from their teams and cowboys scatter them around an arena. Wouldn't you want to elect the packer who can reassemble his or her team of mules in the chaos and be the first to lead the team, in triumph, face marred, out of the arena? Once you see the packing scramble, you'll agree: We should cancel next year's election and simply appoint the winner governor.



Editorial: To help unclog SoCal freeways, ease HOV-lane rules

 http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_23261842/editorial-help-unclog-socal-freeways-ease-hov-lane

May 16, 2013

There are worse things than sitting in stop-and-go freeway traffic on a hot Southern California afternoon, alone with your unprintable thoughts. Slightly worse is looking over at the car-pool lane while you're inching along and seeing the drivers and passengers there whizzing by without a care. Much worse is looking over at the car-pool lane and seeing it virtually empty - not an uncommon occurrence at some times of day.

Since high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes became a part of life in ecology-minded California in the 1970s, their rules generally have been in force 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But that would change under a bill advanced recently by a state Assembly committee. The bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Burbank, would make HOV-lane rules on a pair of Los Angeles-area freeways apply only in rush hours. The rest of the time, at midday and at night and on weekends, car-pool lanes would be open to solo drivers.

It's a smart plan, and commuters should tell their lawmakers to get behind it. (Please don't make the phone call or send the email while you're driving.)

The bill's number - Assembly Bill 405 - is only partly appropriate. The bill applies only to the 134 and 210 freeways. Specifically, five miles of the 134 between the 5 and 170, around North Hollywood and Griffith Park; and 20 miles of the 210 between the 134 and 57, from Pasadena to San Dimas.
  This would be an experiment. The change would take effect in June 2014, and the Department of Transportation could cancel it in May 2015 if it is adversely affecting traffic conditions, safety or the environment.The biggest objections to the bill come from environmentalists. They worry it would diminish the incentive for motorists to car pool, undercutting the point of HOV lanes, which is to reduce the number of vehicles on the highways.But it can't be good for the environment to keep traffic congested and cars chugging along bumper to bumper. And it can't build enthusiasm for antipollution measures when people come to believe one of them makes "environmental movement" a contradiction in terms.

Opening HOV lanes in non-peak-traffic hours and weekends should improve traffic movement by relieving the other lanes of some vehicles.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority supports the bill. Metro says AB 405 would not interfere with its own experiments with freeway toll lanes.

Experimenting with a change in the HOV-lane rules is worth the estimated $360,000 cost (for new signs). It may turn out not to ease traffic as much as hoped. But more likely, it will prove effective enough to be expanded to other freeways.

Maybe, some year soon, there will be a bill called AB 134 that helps drivers on the 40


 


Former Pasadena council candidate Nick Benson arrested

 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23262228/former-pasadena-council-candidate-nick-benson-arrested

By Lauren Gold, May 16, 2013

 

 Former Pasadena City Council candidate Nicholas Benson.

 
PASADENA -- Police arrested former City Council candidate Nicholas Benson when officials discovered he had five outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

Benson, 67, was arrested under the name Nicholas Benson Mnkandla by Pasadena police at 11:39 a.m. Monday in front of a transitional living facility where he rents out rooms, said Pasadena police spokeswoman Lt. Tracey Ibarra.

Ibarra said after Benson was taken into custody in Pasadena, he was transferred to Los Angeles County jail because Pasadena jail could not provide him with his medication.

Earlier this year Benson ran for City Council against Councilman John Kennedy and Ishmael Trone, but he dropped out of the race days before the election after concerns were raised about his education credentials, his repeated name changes, and his birthday.

Ibarra said police were called to the housing facility, 280 West Washington Blvd., about a disturbance among two residents. Benson was not involved in the initial disturbance, Ibarra said, but once police ran his name and learned of the warrants, they arrested him.

Benson is being held under the name Nicholas Mnkandla in lieu of nearly $50,000 bail at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles. There is no court date scheduled, according to the LASD.

Calls to the number listed for the transitional living facility where Benson was arrested were not answered.

Charles Bowens, 66, a resident of the facility, said Thursday he saw Benson's arrest from his second story window, and described it as "quiet" and "well-planned." He said he did not know the reason for Benson's arrest.

He said Benson spends time at the facility often during the day and leads prayer and education sessions.

"I don't know what Dr. Benson did in the past, all I know is he is a good guy and I support him," Bowens said. "I talked to his wife and she confirmed to me he is in a bit of trouble but it's going to be OK. ... His kids came here with tears in their eyes and I told them to be strong."



 

Elect Mike Feuer as City Attorney — Who Better Than a Crook as L.A.’s Chief Prosecutor and Law Enforcement Officer

 http://ronkayela.com/

May 16, 2013

 
Putting weaklings without courage like Greuel or Garcetti into the mayor’s office is a problem, a big problem.

Putting a two-faced scoundrel like Zine in the controller’s office as the public’s watchdog when he’s nothing but a yapping Chihuahua is a joke.

But even worse is the near certainty that you the electorate, lapdog to the rich and powerful, will elect a criminal suspect as this second-rate city’s chief prosecutor and law enforcement officer. It is no laughing matter.

Back in the days when he was a City Council member, Feuer made the radical leftist Jackie Goldberg look a Republican and showed so little respect for the law and public policy despite his Harvard law education that he thought it was smarter to pay millions of dollars a year to people injured in trip-and-fall accidents on the city’s crumbling sidewalks than to repair them.

Somehow he fumbled the 2001 City Attorney election, losing to Rocky Delgadillo but found a new calling as a state Assembly member where he supported the spending sprees that have jeopardized California’s future, and backed gutting the California Environmental Quality Act for the benefit of AEG’s now deceased Farmer’s Field project and to squelch community concerns about transit projects in L.A.

His crowning achievement was authoring AB109 to empty the prisons of supposedly non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious offenders without effective monitoring or support – a radical reform of the criminal justice system that has allowed the freed felons to engage in murder, mayhem and rape across the state.

But none of those acts are criminal – just disdainful of the public interest.

No, the crime of Mike Feuer is this:
City Ethics Ordinance, Section 49.7.28.C, “Requests for Matching Funds Payments,”“A candidate who makes a request for matching funds payment and knows or should know that the request is false…is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall return all matching funds received as a result of the request.  If the candidate holds or is elected to office, the false request constitutes a violation of official duties and, if it is deemed appropriate by a court under Charter Section 207 (C), shall be removed from office.” — City Ethics Ordinance, Section 49.7.28.C, “Requests for Matching Funds Payments,”
What Feuer did was conspire with his political consultant John Shallman to make a mockery of public financing of political campaigns.

Under the terms of their deal, Shallman — who is desperate for cash since he faces huge tax liens and debts after being robbed blind in the Kinde Durkee scandal – agreed to take $1 as payment starting in February 2012 through March 5 of this year with a $50,000 bonus if Feuer won outright in the primary. At least that’s what they claimed when questions started being asked.

The value of Shallman’s services over those 13 months was between $200,000 and $300,000 but Feuer did not report it as in-kind contributions at “fair market value” as state law requires, a deceit that allowed him to stay just under the spending limit to qualify for $300,000 in public matching funds for the primary and even more than that in the runoff.

Feuer has shown his legal skills are not all that great in changing his story and double-talking his way around this problem.

He claimed he got “verbal” non-binding approval from someone in the City Ethics staff for a scheme
that somewhat parallels the crimes Councilman Martin Ludlow committed in winning election in 2005 before being forced out a year later as he faced felony charges in both state and federal court.

Because Shallman didn’t report his in-kind contributions and now has a contract of a sort with Feuer (for $15,000 a month since their finagling was exposed), they potentially both face felony conspiracy charges, not just misdemeanors – not that anyone in an official capacity has shown any interest in doing anything about this.

The see-no-evil Ethics Commission took a pass on responding to formal complaints about the Feuer scheme. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich in the runoff against Feuer on Tuesday had to recuse himself, leaving it to District Attorney Jackie Lacey who responded by announcing she was endorsing Feuer for City Attorney — not investigating him for criminality.

That left enforcement of the law to private citizen and long-time community activist Laura Lake.

A little known provision of the City Charter allows for the public to act as a “private attorney general,” which the Ethics Commission says provides for “an additional layer of oversight, public involvement and accountability” and allows private citizens to enforce the City’s ethics laws if the city fails to do so in a timely fashion, usually meaning 40 days.

Here are key provisions of the city ethics rules in the Charter:
(2) Civil Enforcement.
(A) Any person who intentionally or negligently violates any provision of this section shall be liable in a civil action brought by the City Attorney or by a person residing within the City. Where no specific civil penalty is provided, a person may be liable for an amount up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each violation.
(B) Any person who intentionally or negligently makes or receives a contribution, or makes expenditure, in violation of any provision of this section shall be liable in a civil action brought by the City Attorney or by a person residing within the City for an amount up to three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure.
Injunction. The City Attorney on behalf of the people of the City of Los Angeles or any person residing in the City of Los Angeles may sue for injunctive relief to enjoin violations or to compel compliance with the provisions of this section. The Court may award a plaintiff or defendant who prevails his or her costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees; provided, however, that no such award may be granted against the City of Los Angeles.
On Jan. 18, Lake filed a formal ethics complaint. Six weeks later, Shallman claimed in an LA Times interview he was being paid only $1 with a bonus to be determined later.

On March 20, Lake received a letter from the Ethics Commission stating there are no records showing written advice or opinions about Feuer’s contract with Shallman.

A week later, she filed a lawsuit, alleging Feuer violated the law. The next day Feuer announced he was “voluntarily” changing his contract with Shallman because he’s such a great consultant – not because of Lake’s lawsuit.

In subsequent days, Feuer’s story kept changing.

One day, he said he “didn’t think it was necessary” to get the ethics staff’s verbal approval in writing despite clear language in the law that informal advice is not binding. Another day he claimed there was the $50,000 bonus provision in the original contract.

What really matters is that city ethics laws were created to provide a level playing field for candidates and to provide full transparency for campaigns in the city.

For too long, the Ethics Commission has handed down little more than slap-on-the-wrist punishments for violations. If Feuer gets away with this, public financing of campaigns will be dead and ethics laws will be decimated.

Even when Ludlow was forced out of office and prosecuted, he got off with probation and was celebrated as a hero by many of the most powerful and influential people in the city who raised funds for his legal defense.

In Feuer’s case, the best hope is that voters will somehow wake up from their dream world and reject this self-styled advocate of clean and honest elections and supporter of a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign contributions.

If he wins as expected, he will have made a mockery of democracy and provided a fitting end to the pretense of the rule of law, not men.

Someday maybe Mike Feuer will be seen as the living embodiment of the triumph of the tyranny of the majority.

In the meantime, L.A. deserves to have a crook as their chief law enforcement officer, doesn’t it?
 
 
An interactive tool to get to know the transportation improvement options under consideration.
 
Posted May 16, 2013, on the SR-710 Study Facebook page
 
 
Updated Comments and Replies to


Alhambra declares '710 Day,' reaffirms support for freeway extension

 http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-alhambra-710-freeway-extension-20130515,0,3414698.story

 

mrxman at 7:03 PM May 16, 2013 South Pasadena has held the whole region hostage in stopping the completion. It goes all the way back to their first lawsuit in 1973. But...

July, 2000
 
The Rose Institute’s survey of residents in the San Gabriel Valley showed support for completion of the 710 of 63% versus 11% opposed.November, 2000Poll of El Sereno voters showed support for completion of 60% versus 28% opposed.Nov. 13, 2000The Pasadena City Council placed a citizen’s initiative On the March, 2001, ballot which would lock in the city’s affirmative position on the 710, after the "710 Freeway Now" group collected 8,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure.Dec. 11, 2000The Pasadena City Council placed its own anti-710 measure on the March, 2001, ballot.March 6, 2001Pasadena voters oby a margin of 58% to 42% approve the initiative making completion of the 710 Freeway mandatory city policy binding on the Mayor and the City Council.April 24, 2001Los Angeles County Metropolitian Transportation Authority adopts Long Range Transportation Plan showing the 710 Project as the highest performing transportation project in the entire County of Los Angeles, and listing the 710 completion as the #1 "strategic" project.September, 2001Eleven state legislators form the "710 Freeway Legislative Action Group" to dramatize regional support and to work collectively for the earliest possible groundbreaking.
 
PollySchiffman at 6:46 PM May 16, 2013 Protesting the proposed 710 freeway-tunnel is not NIMBYism as some allege.  Rather, it is a sensible response to a very serious environmental threat.  The Greater Los Angeles Area cannot tolerate the additional semi-truck traffic, pollution (air, water, noise...), and neighborhood destruction that a 710 tunnel will cause. AND the tunnel will not fix the problems that 710 car commuters complain about.  We need to establish 21st Century approaches to our region's transportation needs -- cleaner and more affordable approaches that will benefit ALL of us!


mrxman at 7:07 PM May 16, 2013 Read up on the history of the completion of the 710. It's South Pasadena that has been the main reason why the 710 is not already completed. It's an unfinished freeway. Actually, the North end in Pasadena is already done!

Where do you think trucks and cars are going now that are coming from the South and need to get North of Alhambra? You think they just dissapear? Decide not to go North because it's too much hassle? No, they still go there but have to spend even more time on the roads to get there because the 710 is not finsihed.
 
thaddius.d.patrizzi at 5:33 PM May 16, 2013 Do NOT disrespect your neighbors and cause harm to your own residents, ALHAMBRA! Haven't the people of the Arroyo and Chavez Ravine suffered enough? And be TRUTHFUL, the 710 will no longer be a free -way but an expensive TOLL way for the profit of shylocks and loan sharks. We must join together to stop this while we are still breathing without the help of apparatus and gas masks (COPD, asthma, birth defects) How can we keep widening and creating more tollways in this economy? The risks are high! Health care is unaffordable and needs fixing. You can't eat and breathe money. Why are we told to care only about money when most of that belongs to the Wall Family and the Koch Brothers. You are catering to the destructive forces, Alhambra! We will make our own economy. We will adjust in an alternate and independent way. NO 710 Day is going to make this looser project look any different. BTW, what if this strange and ihistorically idiotic 710 is a screen for FRACKING? We need everyone to protect the Arroyo Seco. It is our greatest resource. This is our LIFE or our death.   - Dianne P., Pasadena Property Owner


mrxman at 6:14 PM May 16, 2013 Please, you're just a NIMBY! It's the main reason this UNFINISHED section of the 710 hasn't been built. In actuality, it's only the middle section that still needs to be built. Both ends are done. The end section of the 710 already exists in Pasadena. Look on the map.

This huge break in an otherwise interconnected fwy system causes all kinds of problems for the surrounding communities other than Alhambra. Try getting to South Pas or Pasadena from any community South of Alhambra. It's ridiculous and causes even more traffic and air pollution.
The only reason a tunnel is being considered now is because of WEALTHY NIMBYS in SOUTH PASADENA!!!

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publicworksevaluator at 5:31 PM May 16, 2013 If the 710 tunnel were built, the Mayor and all of his neighbors in SW Alhambra would suffer tunnel excavation 24/7 for at least 10 years. That would mean continuous noise, vibrations and bumper-to -bumper trucks full of dirt leaving their neighborhood. METRO has stated that all of the dirt-carring trucks would operate only from the south end of the tunnel. (It is less costly for the heavily loaded  trucks to go down hill.)

A lot of traffic travelling north on the 710 could easily be diverted onto the 10 freeway, avoiding the surface streets in Alhambra by simply eliminating the 710 stub north of the 10 freeway.
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mrxman at 6:22 PM May 16, 2013 The only reason a tunnel is even being considred now is because of RICH SOUTH PASADENA NIMBYS!!! The original plan was for the COMPLETION OF THE UNFINISHED 710 FREEWAY! It's not a new freeway. It's an unfinished long ago planned original part of the 710.

It has to be finished once and for all. I've lived in East LA, Commerce, Alhambra and Monterey Park and this unfinished part of the 710 has always caused huge traffic problems. There is no efficient way to get to Pasadena or surrounding communities from the South. You have to go all the way to the 110 on the West, or the 605 freeway to the East or through residential streets around Alhambra.
 
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AOKAudrey at 5:21 PM May 16, 2013 J.Picone is dead right.  The tunnel will do nothing to relieve current traffic along that route that Metro admits will bring 180 thousand cars and trucks a day.  The route through Pasadena has been labeled an industrial zone by Metro who ignores the many schools, Huntington Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Senior LIving homes all adjacent or within blocks of this truck route. 
These vulnerable populations and are ignored by Metro.  As are all the families living in the homes along the route, including the Historic Markham district homes.  The tunnel will bring 180 thousand cars and trucks a day through all of the cities along the 710 truck route and dump them onto the already congested 210.
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mrxman at 6:28 PM May 16, 2013 This unfinished section of the 710 has always been part of the plan. And because of it, causes even more traffic problems than the dumb examples you state. There are communities along freeways all over LA some more industrial than others and we'll all adjusted for the greater good.
I'm sure you and your NIMBY friends take advantage of all the freeways around the city that go through different neigborhoods and you don't seem to be complaining about that.

Hypocrites.

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PhotoLA1 at 5:21 PM May 16, 2013 Why does Alhambra want more traffic and pollution in their town? It seems silly. Is the San Gabriel not smoggy enough. I would not want a freeway in my backyard. I work in Alhambra and the street traffic is not bad, compared to the west side of LA it is great.

There is a little bottleneck when you get off the 710, but that is it. Rethink this Alhambra.
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mrxman at 6:30 PM May 16, 2013 What are you talking about? There will be less pollution because cars and trucks will not have to be on the road as long to get to their destination North of Alhambra.

What? Do you think just because the 710 freeway is unfinished that trucks and cars simply don't go to Pasadena from the South? Of course they do, but have to be on the streets or other freeways that much longer to get there.
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Jeff Leon at 5:15 PM May 16, 2013 This is in such poor taste.  Instead of these childish tactics how about addressing why the other alternatives aren't worthy?  
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mrxman at 6:32 PM May 16, 2013 The original alternative is worthy. Just finish the 710 freeway. The other end in Pasadena is already done. It should be a regular freeway. The way the proposal was a several years ago and only the RICH NIMBYS IN SOUTH PASADENA didn't want it. Back then all the other surrounding communities wanted it including Pasadena!

 
j.picone at 4:12 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra fails to realize that Metro is pushing hard for the 4.5 mile tolled tunnel - no exits except at either end. Those who do not wish or cannot afford to pay the toll will be driving through, you guessed it, Alhambra. Those who do pay the toll will most likely be diesel trucks from the ports. The proposed vents for the tunnel are to be at either end, Pasadena at the north end and Alhambra at the south. No current technology exits for properly cleansing the exhaust fumes. So Alhambra will be inundated with continuous diesel and gasoline exhaust fumes. Alhambra, is this really what you want???
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mrxman at 6:34 PM May 16, 2013 And the tunnel concept was arrived to because RICH NIMBYS IN SOUTH PASADENA were able to stop the construction of the unfinished freeway.

Forget the tunnel. Just finished the freeway as it was meant to be and originally planned since the 1960s!!!
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No710er at 2:28 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra may support the 710 tunnel, but there are huge numbers of residents, including city councils, congressional representatives, state senators and others who have expressed opposition to this incredibly expensive project.  The issue of tolls is never discussed by Alhambra.   They seem to believe mistakenly that most people would be willing to pay $8 to $15 to travel 4.5 miles in a tunnel.  Toll roads throughout So. California are operating in the red.  Regardless of what Alhambra thinks will solve their traffic problems, a tunnel is not the answer.

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mrxman at 6:37 PM May 16, 2013 And everyone supported completing the 710 freeway except the RICH NIMBYS IN SOUTH PASADENA not that long ago. Even Pasadena was on board. This was for the completion of a regular freeway with exits.

Forget the tunnel, just finish the freeway as originally planned. The property along the route was bought decades ago.
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tmgulotta at 2:23 PM May 16, 2013 The absolute waste of money and resources shouldn't have a holiday.  What South Pasadena has been experiencing over 40 years along with so many other communities that were put through the ringer last year with the alternative 710 suggestions of a surface route was unbelievable.  We are the LA Taxpayers that will be footing the bill and continue to pay for these officials like the Alhambra City Council to spend the $780 million dollar 710 Study money for this?  It is outrageous and mind boggling that the public should be so out of the loop of the direct discussions on where, what and how our money is to be spent.  Transportation has the potential of answering and solving many issues both State, County and city wide. But in this case it becomes a sledge hammer with high stakes for both the communities and the LA County Taxpayers that will be footing the bill. 
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mrxman at 6:40 PM May 16, 2013 True, it's a region transportation issue and a large majority of LA county residents have long supported completion of the 710 freeway.

It wasn't that long ago that all the surrounding communities other than South Pasadena supported completion of the 710.

The property along the route was bought decades ago and completing the freeway as a regular freeway with exits is the cheapest alternative as well.
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brendim at 2:20 PM May 16, 2013 I've been avoiding the 710 through Alhambra for so many years, I simply can't imagine why I would ever change.  Nothing could outweigh the damage caused by building a tunnel.  Ever.
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mrxman at 6:41 PM May 16, 2013 Just finish the freeway as originally designed in the 1960s. It's the last section of a regional transportation highway plan. The property along the route was bought decades ago.

Enough is enough. Finish the 710!!!


J. SooHoo at 1:14 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra still believes their congestion will be solved by the tunnel.  Metro's data show that about 23% of traffic exiting 710 in Alhambra is "through traffic".  Over 75% is local traffic that will not use the tunnel because there are no exits -- you get on and you cannot leave it until Pasadena.  Metro's consultants predict a 35% toll aversion rate -- about 1/3 of the 23% won't use the tunnel to avoid the toll.  That leaves about 16% of through traffic using it, with 84& exiting the 710 at Valley still using surface arterials.  To compound matters, Metro announced the probability of a single-bore, reducing the lanes in each direction from 4 to 2.  Capacity is halved at a time when they plan to widen the 710.  But they aren't worried about this because as they said at a meeting "We can control capacity with tolling". If tolls are made high enough to control capacity, even more vehicles will avoid the tunnel.  Under this scenario, the community that will suffer the most is Alhambra -- idling cars & trucks as the freeway narrows to 2 lanes;  idling cars and trucks as the offramps prior to the tunnel are congested with drivers bailing out at the last minute, slow-moving & idling cars & trucks STILL using surface streets -- even after something between 5 and 10 BILLION dollars are spent.  This tunnel will truly be the tunnel analog of "Lexus Lanes".  Will Alhambra ever wake up????
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mrxman at 6:42 PM May 16, 2013 No tool tunnels or lanes.

Just finish the freeway as originally designed in the 1960s. It's the last section of a regional transportation highway plan. The property along the route was bought decades ago.

Enough is enough. Finish the 710!!!
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Joe Cano at 11:35 AM May 16, 2013 To listen to Mayor Placido's entire presentation there was no mention of 'tolls' to be charged for use of the tunnel. Freeway, freeway was the refrain. Now a 710 Day to Celebrate!, what exactly?

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mrxman at 6:43 PM May 16, 2013 No toll tunnels or lanes.
Just finish the freeway as originally designed in the 1960s. It's the last section of a regional transportation highway plan. The property along the route was bought decades ago.

Enough is enough. Finish the 710!!!
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design43 at 10:55 AM May 16, 2013 The extension of the 710 is farther away now than ever from happening because, politically, it can never be built for the simple fact that the cities that it goes through and/or under are against it coupled with the staggering cost-$11.8 BILLION according to SCAG-making it politically and financially unbuildable.

The project alignment is in the City of Los Angeles (El Sereno community) on the Alhambra border, South Pasadena and Pasadena-NOT in the City of Alhambra.  Alhambra is the untimate NIMBY city trying to push a massive polluting project on it's neighbors.  Additionally, they don't tell their own residents that it is not for locals to use since it's a bypass road, won't imporve traffic, but instead accerbate it because of the diversion of the cars and trucks not wanting to pay the toll to use it.

The 710 extension that was a bad idea 60 years ago has turned into a massive boondoggle today.  Millions of Measure R money is being wasted by Metro on a biased EIR process that promotes the toll tunnels, ignores public input and jeopardizes good transit projects that are under funded.

Metro needs to get their priorities in order once and for all and promote the good transit projects over the very bad 710 toll tunnels if LA County ever expects to have improved mobility.
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mrxman at 6:45 PM May 16, 2013 It's not an extension of the 710. It's a completion of the 710! The North end of the 710 is already built. The property along the route was purchased decades ago.

Just finish the freeway as originally designed in the 1960s. It's the last section of a regional transportation highway plan. The property along the route was bought decades ago.

Enough is enough. Finish the 710!!!
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Charles Miller1 at 10:51 AM May 16, 2013 One has to only look at the details of MTA's tunnel plan to see that no new exits or onramps are planned for Alhambra -- local traffic will increase and pollution will rise due to toll evasion and induced car traffic and truck cargo.

The true irony is due to prevailing winds, geography and cargo routes, the most negatively effected will be the cities publically FOR this project - Alhambra, San Marino and other communities just east of the project and their leaders most for this project.

The root problem in Alhambra is low citizen involvement which leads to little oversite, poor urban planning and laissez-faire style overdevelopment along the Fremont corridor. (To be fair, similar lack of civic participation plagues the City of Los Angeles)

The recent cutback from Metro's proposal of 9 miles of tunneling to 4.2 miles acknowledges the traffic throughput estimates are overblown and too costly, especially when tolling the tunnel drives induced traffic to seek out non-tolled alternatives as seen in Metro's experiment with FastTrak lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways (see recent L.A.Times article for stats)

The clear benefactors of this tunnel proposal are port owners, developers east of the proposed project and finally counties east of Los Angeles who will financiall benefit on the backs of L.A. County tax payers who will be on the hook to pay for this project for decades to come.
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mrxman at 6:46 PM May 16, 2013 It's not an extension of the 710. It's a completion of the 710! The North end of the 710 is already built. The property along the route was purchased decades ago.

Just finish the freeway as originally designed in the 1960s. It's the last section of a regional transportation highway plan. The property along the route was bought decades ago.

Enough is enough. Finish the 710!!!


More Comments to

Alhambra declares '710 Day,' reaffirms support for freeway extension

 http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-alhambra-710-freeway-extension-20130515,0,3414698.story

 

j.picone at 4:12 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra fails to realize that Metro is pushing hard for the 4.5 mile tolled tunnel - no exits except at either end. Those who do not wish or cannot afford to pay the toll will be driving through, you guessed it, Alhambra. Those who do pay the toll will most likely be diesel trucks from the ports. The proposed vents for the tunnel are to be at either end, Pasadena at the north end and Alhambra at the south. No current technology exits for properly cleansing the exhaust fumes. So Alhambra will be inundated with continuous diesel and gasoline exhaust fumes. Alhambra, is this really what you want???
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No710er at 2:28 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra may support the 710 tunnel, but there are huge numbers of residents, including city councils, congressional representatives, state senators and others who have expressed opposition to this incredibly expensive project.  The issue of tolls is never discussed by Alhambra.   They seem to believe mistakenly that most people would be willing to pay $8 to $15 to travel 4.5 miles in a tunnel.  Toll roads throughout So. California are operating in the red.  Regardless of what Alhambra thinks will solve their traffic problems, a tunnel is not the answer.
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tmgulotta at 2:23 PM May 16, 2013 The absolute waste of money and resources shouldn't have a holiday.  What South Pasadena has been experiencing over 40 years along with so many other communities that were put through the ringer last year with the alternative 710 suggestions of a surface route was unbelievable.  We are the LA Taxpayers that will be footing the bill and continue to pay for these officials like the Alhambra City Council to spend the $780 million dollar 710 Study money for this?  It is outrageous and mind boggling that the public should be so out of the loop of the direct discussions on where, what and how our money is to be spent.  Transportation has the potential of answering and solving many issues both State, County and city wide. But in this case it becomes a sledge hammer with high stakes for both the communities and the LA County Taxpayers that will be footing the bill. 
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brendim at 2:20 PM May 16, 2013 I've been avoiding the 710 through Alhambra for so many years, I simply can't imagine why I would ever change.  Nothing could outweigh the damage caused by building a tunnel.  Ever.

 

Scheme of the Day: Florida's Secret Plan to Cause More Traffic Violations

 http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/05/scheme-day-floridas-secret-plan-cause-more-traffic-violations/5619/

By Henry Grabar, May 16, 2013

 

Oh, Florida. What are we going to do with you.
Not only can the Sunshine State boast of being America's most dangerous state for pedestrians, it is also, as Tampa's 10 News investigators discovered, the home of a cagey maneuver to lower the duration of yellow lights.

Why would Florida want to do that? Drivers running red lights means more accidents and deaths!
It also means more money from fines. As Noah Pransky writes on Florida Today:
"While yellow light times were reduced by mere fractions of a second, research indicates a half-second reduction in the interval can double the number of RLC citations -- and the revenue they create... Red light cameras generated more than $100 million in revenue last year in approximately 70 Florida communities, with 52.5 percent of the revenue going to the state. The rest is divided by cities, counties, and the camera companies. In 2013, the cameras are on pace to generate $120 million."
In 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation struck a "whichever is greater" clause from the state's traffic light regulations, freeing most local governments to shorten their own yellow light durations. In some cases, the yellow light got shorter by as much as a full second.

See the website for a video.

Regional Connector's Bunker Hill Stop Could Get Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Link-Up

 http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/regional_connectors_bunker_hill_stop_could_get_grand_avenue_pedestrian_bridge_linkup.php

By Neal Broverman, May 16, 2013

 

 

 
The Regional Connector line, a nearly two-mile-long subway linking the Blue, Expo, and Gold lines, is in pre-construction and will start heavy-duty work next year. There's a station planned at Second and Hope, in a current traffic median behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the under-construction Broad Museum, and the adjacent residential tower. Sitting underneath Bunker Hill, the station will require pedestrians to schlep uphill to get to Grand Avenue and the main entrances of all the street's buildings. To address the problem, Metro is considering a second-story entrance for the station, 23 feet above Hope, with a pedestrian bridge over Hope connecting directly to Grand. This option, unfunded but still possible if an outside source ponies up the money (paging Mr. Eli Broad), would make access to Grand much easier for disabled folks and those who simply don't want to fight aggressive gravity (it would also allow those on Grand to reach the station without crossing Hope). The Regional Connector Community Leadership Council's 2nd/Hope Committee will reconvene soon to investigate funding for the bridge.
 

· New concept developed to better connect the Regional Connector to Grand Avenue; community funding, however, will be needed [The Source]
· Regional Connector Archives [Curbed LA]

Comments to

Alhambra declares '710 Day,' reaffirms support for freeway extension

 http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-alhambra-710-freeway-extension-20130515,0,3414698.story

 

Avatarplaceholder
J. SooHoo at 1:14 PM May 16, 2013 Alhambra still believes their congestion will be solved by the tunnel.  Metro's data show that about 23% of traffic exiting 710 in Alhambra is "through traffic".  Over 75% is local traffic that will not use the tunnel because there are no exits -- you get on and you cannot leave it until Pasadena.  Metro's consultants predict a 35% toll aversion rate -- about 1/3 of the 23% won't use the tunnel to avoid the toll.  That leaves about 16% of through traffic using it, with 84& exiting the 710 at Valley still using surface arterials.  To compound matters, Metro announced the probability of a single-bore, reducing the lanes in each direction from 4 to 2.  Capacity is halved at a time when they plan to widen the 710.  But they aren't worried about this because as they said at a meeting "We can control capacity with tolling". If tolls are made high enough to control capacity, even more vehicles will avoid the tunnel.  Under this scenario, the community that will suffer the most is Alhambra -- idling cars & trucks as the freeway narrows to 2 lanes;  idling cars and trucks as the offramps prior to the tunnel are congested with drivers bailing out at the last minute, slow-moving & idling cars & trucks STILL using surface streets -- even after something between 5 and 10 BILLION dollars are spent.  This tunnel will truly be the tunnel analog of "Lexus Lanes".  Will Alhambra ever wake up????
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Joe Cano at 11:35 AM May 16, 2013 To listen to Mayor Placido's entire presentation there was no mention of 'tolls' to be charged for use of the tunnel. Freeway, freeway was the refrain. Now a 710 Day to Celebrate!, what exactly?
  •  
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design43 at 10:55 AM May 16, 2013 The extension of the 710 is farther away now than ever from happening because, politically, it can never be built for the simple fact that the cities that it goes through and/or under are against it coupled with the staggering cost-$11.8 BILLION according to SCAG-making it politically and financially unbuildable.
The project alignment is in the City of Los Angeles (El Sereno community) on the Alhambra border, South Pasadena and Pasadena-NOT in the City of Alhambra.  Alhambra is the untimate NIMBY city trying to push a massive polluting project on it's neighbors.  Additionally, they don't tell their own residents that it is not for locals to use since it's a bypass road, won't imporve traffic, but instead accerbate it because of the diversion of the cars and trucks not wanting to pay the toll to use it.
The 710 extension that was a bad idea 60 years ago has turned into a massive boondoggle today.  Millions of Measure R money is being wasted by Metro on a biased EIR process that promotes the toll tunnels, ignores public input and jeopardizes good transit projects that are under funded.
Metro needs to get their priorities in order once and for all and promote the good transit projects over the very bad 710 toll tunnels if LA County ever expects to have improved mobility.
  •  
Avatarplaceholder
Charles Miller1 at 10:51 AM May 16, 2013 One has to only look at the details of MTA's tunnel plan to see that no new exits or onramps are planned for Alhambra -- local traffic will increase and pollution will rise due to toll evasion and induced car traffic and truck cargo.
The true irony is due to prevailing winds, geography and cargo routes, the most negatively effected will be the cities publically FOR this project - Alhambra, San Marino and other communities just east of the project and their leaders most for this project.
The root problem in Alhambra is low citizen involvement which leads to little oversite, poor urban planning and laissez-faire style overdevelopment along the Fremont corridor. (To be fair, similar lack of civic participation plagues the City of Los Angeles)
The recent cutback from Metro's proposal of 9 miles of tunneling to 4.2 miles acknowledges the traffic throughput estimates are overblown and too costly, especially when tolling the tunnel drives induced traffic to seek out non-tolled alternatives as seen in Metro's experiment with FastTrak lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways (see recent L.A.Times article for stats)
The clear benefactors of this tunnel proposal are port owners, developers east of the proposed project and finally counties east of Los Angeles who will financiall benefit on the backs of L.A. County tax payers who will be on the hook to pay for this project for decades to come.
Going Car Free In L.A.

 http://www.kcet.org/living/greenliving/eco-challenge/car-free-in-la.html

By Jo Abbie, May 15, 2013
 Photo by Flickr user aldenjewell




 
In Los Angeles, when you mention that you don't have a car, many people shoot you the same glance you might receive if you revealed your puppy was terminally ill, or you'd just been evicted. (Or that you had a rare allergy to laughter.) It's a look of extreme pity mixed with a dash of incredulity.

But as LA's car- and ride-sharing community blossoms, more and more people are giving up their beloved wheels. Reasons vary -- from environmental to financial, or even logistical (couples who decide to share one car when parking becomes too much like a competitive sport).

I've been carless in L.A. since last Thanksgiving, when my second car accident in less than 12 months rendered my car permanently unroadworthy. "I'll save so much money on car payments, gas, insurance, and parking," I thought. And, living in downtown L.A. means that public transport is right at my doorstep. "I'll get more exercise, live greener, and maybe even discover new parts of the city."

Despite many people's skepticism, it is becoming increasingly possible to survive in this car-centric city without your own vehicle. L.A.'s public transport system often gets a bad rap, but after moving downtown a couple of years ago, I discovered that the Metro subway system can get me to a surprising number of places. Sure, the almost-mythical "Subway to the Sea" is still a way off, but the new Metro Expo Line does now extend to Culver City, and is an affordable way to travel at least part way through the westside. Sure, I've encountered some interesting characters on the bus and at train stations. But I usually wind up with a quirky story to tell my friends upon arrival. On Amtrak, I can plug in my laptop, access the free wi-fi and even buy a drink. And when armed with a good book or a device loaded with music or podcasts, jumping on the train or taking a Metro Rapid bus can be a heck of a lot less stressful than sitting in L.A.'s infamous gridlock.

But sometimes a gal does need a car to get from A to B in a hurry, or needs to arrive fresh-faced at a meeting, appointment, or spontaneous social gathering. Sometimes I really miss my car. Thank goodness I discovered car- and ride-sharing services like Zipcar and Lyft.

Zipcar's tagline is "Wheels when you want them," and Lyft's is "Your friend with a car." And that's exactly what they deliver. Zipcar is a car-sharing service that allows members access to vehicles in their area (for an annual, monthly and/or hourly fee, depending on your level of membership). It has had a presence on Los Angeles area college campuses (where the concept first got started) since 2006, and the company opened an L.A. office in 2011. According to Zipcar Los Angeles General Manager Jeff Shields, it's a thriving community. "Los Angeles is a very strong market with many passionate users. A huge part of Zipcar's success, especially here in L.A., has been that our members feel that they are part of something larger than themselves, and contribute to a more sustainable world by being a member."

The Zipcar brand may have been built on a vision of fewer cars, less congestion and less pollution. But it's not just about sustainability, says Shields, it's about on-demand access. Zipcar offers users "the convenience of car ownership without the hassle and cost associated with it," Shields states. "Consumers are increasingly moving away from purchasing and owning goods. Rather, they are leveraging technology, social networks and innovative new business models to give them on-demand access for things," he says.

Zipcar's fleet of around 200 vehicles in more than 60 locations in the greater L.A. area appeals to a wide range of people, says Shields. "Some are students that don't have a car with them at school, some are occasional urban drivers looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car in the city, and others are single car households who would sometimes like access to a second car."

While Zipcar is great for short-term errands or appointments, ride-sharing services such as Lyft are more on a par with taking a taxi. But, ride-sharing helps out two different groups of people: carless folks like myself who don't want to shell out for taxis but are tired of mooching rides off loved ones, and car owners who want to offset their expenses.

Estimated to be 20 to 30 percent cheaper than a taxi, Lyft's "Your friend with a car" tagline is well-deserved. Drivers are regular folks -- carefully screened private citizens with a clean driving history and no criminal record. Riders are encouraged to sit shotgun with their driver, drives begin with a friendly fist-bump, and Lyft drivers always have bottled water, breath mints, phone chargers, and sometimes even cookies or candy, on hand for passengers. Users sign up using Facebook and a credit card, so no cash ever changes hands.

Lyft, which launched in Los Angeles in early in 2013, was the brainchild of L.A.-born and -raised Logan Green. (Green initially co-founded the ride-sharing service Zimride in 2007, which quickly became popular on college campuses.) While Zimride is for longer road trips, Lyft is a real-time ride-sharing service that delivers on-demand rides with just a couple of taps via an app, currently available for iPhone and Android users. Similar services include Sidecar, and UBER's new UBERx which recently launched in beta mode.

After a successful San Francisco launch in September 2012, Green and his team set their sights on Los Angeles. Lyft vehicles, with the company's instantly recognizable bright pink furry mustaches affixed to the front bumper, seem to be a hit. "L.A.'s been received incredibly well, and it's growing faster than it grew in San Francisco," says Green. "It's been easier to find drivers in LA." Their formula fits a city where so many people have cars and don't mind sharing their ride to make a little extra cash. "Because L.A. has such a car culture, our drivers have nicer cars, and we have a cool group of drivers in L.A. -- actors and comedians and musicians, a lot of really interesting, creative folks that have found Lyft and are doing this to make a little bit of money on the side."

For those who can't afford fancier car services like UBER, or regular cabs, options like this may not be as cheap as taking the bus, but, as Green states, they are providing another viable alternative for those who don't drive. "Lyft is helping to make it possible for someone without a car to still lead a really active life, to be able to get around town, to have another option on their menu," says Green. "For someone who bikes or takes the bus, now they can also use a Zipcar, or use Lyft," says Green. "If they have an important meeting to get to, or they need to get somewhere quickly, we wanted to create a really efficient, fast on-demand type of service, but put it at the most affordable price-point."

Do I still miss my car? On occasion, sure. But services like this make getting around this freeway-filled town a little more convenient and a lot more friendly.

Inside Mexico City's Chaotic Underground Rush Hour

 http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/05/inside-mexico-citys-chaotic-underground-rush-hour/5568/

By Mark Byrnes, May 15, 2013

Known as one of the worst cities in the world in which to drive, Mexico City's rush hours aren't much better underground. The 10th biggest metro area in the world, its subway system generates around 4 million riders a day, or 1.5 billion a year, the second highest in North America (New York City is first).

Spanish photographer Héctor Mediavilla experienced the daily crush first hand, using the subway while living in Mexico's capital. For a photography project he's titled Megapolis, themed around rapid urbanization across the globe, Mediavilla saw the city's underground commute as a clear representation of an overcrowding world.

His photographs shed light on what he sees as a barely manageable aspect of urban life: the rush hour. "I wanted to show a part of the Megalopolis that struck me, that showed very clearly that something is not working well for us as human beings in relation with our environment," says Mediavilla.

Now back in Spain, Mediavilla and his photography collective, Pandora, are capturing similar images for Megapolis in São Paulo, Tokyo, Karachi, and Shanghai. Looking back at his time underground in Mexico City, Mediavilla sees an overcrowded city with few options beyond packed subway stations and trains to get to and from work. "They have no other choice but to be part of that amorphous mass," he says. "They have to go along with it."

Below, a glimpse of rush hour on Mexico City's subway as seen through Mediavilla's lens:









Want a subway extension? Here's what you can look forward to

 http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2013/05/want_a_subway_extens.php

By Mark Lacter, May 15, 2013

 

subway4.jpg
Delays, cost overruns, inconvenience - it's all on tap, thanks to the boneheaded notion that a subway extension to Westwood (not the beach) is the answer to our transit woes. Look at what's happening with SF's Central Subway project. Any large public works project is bound to cause trouble, but underground rail is an especially dubious enterprise. If you think the 405 widening is a disaster, just wait until major Westside boulevards are ripped up. From the WSJ:

Proponents have said it would be a boon for residents of congested Chinatown while opponents say the subway is poorly planned and the money would be better spent on more cost-efficient transportation projects. Cost remains one of the biggest issues. The $1.6 billion price tag is far above a $647 million estimate from 2001. Last month, the low bid to build the stations and tracks came in $90 million to $120 million higher than the MTA's estimate. At the same time, concerns emerged that a complicated plan to pull tunnel-boring machines out of the ground in North Beach could cost more than anticipated. It isn't unusual for large public works projects to go over budget. An oft-cited 2003 study by Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg found that on average, rail projects went over budget by 45%, with bridge and tunnels over by 34%. And a 2009 Federal Transit Administration risk assessment calculated that the Central Subway had a 30% chance of coming in within the $1.6 billion budget.
Projects worth pursing already have an infrastructure of some sort, as with the Expo Line (already a success story) or the fledgling toll road effort on the 10 and 110 freeways. Rule of thumb: Stuff that you can accomplish in a few years as opposed to a few decades is probably a better bet. From Baruch Feigenbaum, a transportation policy analyst at Reason Foundation (via the Daily News):
Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Northern Virginia, San Diego and Seattle have all converted car-pool lanes to toll lanes in recent years. And as drivers learned how to get the most value out of the lanes and save the most time, the lanes grew in popularity. Atlanta converted car-pool lanes to toll lanes last year and had a rough start. But since October 2011, the number of toll lane trips has grown 270 percent, from 160,000 to 440,000 trips as of March 2013. In Minneapolis, where car-pool lanes were converted to toll lanes in 2005, 76 percent of the public is satisfied with the toll lanes and 85 percent are satisfied with the traffic speed. On San Diego's Interstate 15 Express Lanes, similar to the 110 project, the number of vehicles in toll lanes increased 143 percent while travel times decreased by 20 minutes. Travel times also decreased slightly - by one to two minutes - in the general lanes.

Ticket to munch

Bike Week kicks off with restaurant tour 

 http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/ticket_to_munch/12116/



Ticket to munch



The 7th Annual Bike Week, from Monday through May 18, begins this year with the Taste of Pasadena Restaurant Bicycle Tour.

Cyclists will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Memorial Park, located at Raymond Avenue and Holly Street, then visit Blaze Pizza, Rounds Premium Burgers, Real Foods Deli, Whole Foods and the Luggage Room.

“Bike Week is a great event,” said Dan Dabek, director of CICLE (Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange). The goal is to increase bicycling as a form or transportation and we want to engage new people. We have been successful with that engagement. The participation has increased throughout the city.”

There are a few requirements for the Taste of Pasadena event. According to CICLE, your bike needs to be in good working order and be outfitted with night lights. Teens under 18 must wear a helmet and be escorted by a parent or guardian. And kids under 8 should be on a tag-a-long, bike trailer, tandem or other safe child-carrying device to participate.

Other events this year include:
Wednesday: Ladies Night is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Paseo Colorado Courtyard.

May 16: On Bike to Work and Bike Home from Work Day receive a free complimentary brew at New Belgium Brewery and a free safety check at Incycle, 175 S Fair Oaks Ave., (626) 577-0440.

May 17: At Bike-in Movie Night, from 7 to 10 p.m., meet at 1670 E. Walnut St. and then ride to One Colorado in Old Pasadena for a screening of “Napoleon Dynamite.”

May 18: The Kids Costume Bicycle Parade with Mayor Bill Bogaard is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This three-mile ride with Mayor Bogaard highlights safe bicycle routes. All ages are welcome and costumes are encouraged. The ride starts at Victory Park, 2575 Paloma St., Pasadena.
For more on Bike Week, visit cicle.org.