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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Many Have Created Hyperloop Designs, But No One Will Fund

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/23/hyperloop-designs_n_3802463.html?utm_hp_ref=los-angeles&ir=Los%20Angeles

By Justin Pritchard, August 23, 2013




hyperloop designs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk urged the public to polish sketch plans
he released last week for a "Hyperloop" that would shoot capsules full of people at the speed of sound through elevated tubes connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

From tinkerers to engineers, the race is on.

A Utah firm hustled out a model using a 3-D printer. A Pennsylvania company is testing a virtual Hyperloop with sophisticated computer software. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants ad space inside capsules, and in San Francisco, enthusiasts interested in "making Hyperloop a reality" will meet over beers.

Meanwhile, Musk himself has shelved the project and returned to his established future-is-here transportation ventures: luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. and the rocket-building company SpaceX.

In principle, the Hyperloop is doable.

The concept pulls together several proven technologies: Capsules would float on a thin cushion of air and draw on magnetic attraction and solar power to zoom through a nearly air-free tube. Because there would be so little wind resistance, they could top 700 mph and make the nearly 400-mile trip in about half an hour.

Actual construction would hinge on challenges far more complex than advanced engineering — those involving money and politics.


The $6 billion Musk projected as the cost was a terrific lowball to some. Others suggested his timeframe of a decade to completion was naive — that getting political backing and environmental clearances, much less land to build the tubes on, would be hugely time-consuming.

Conspicuously absent was a commitment that Musk would sink substantial money into the project anytime soon — if ever. On a call with reporters, Musk suggested he might build a "subscale" test version in a few years if the idea was floundering.

One thing Musk was clear about: The public should participate in questioning, modifying and, ultimately, perfecting his proposal (http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop).

And in that respect, there has been no lack of enthusiasm.

At the computer simulation software firm ANSYS, engineers are designing and testing a virtual model.

The goal is to get a "quick and dirty" sense of how much wind drag a capsule would encounter, and thus how fast it could go, said Sandeep Sovani, the company's director of Global Automotive Industry.

Sovani said he has long been intrigued by tube travel (an idea that predates the Hyperloop by a century), and wanted to do a model both out of intellectual curiosity and on the chance that Musk does eventually go looking for partners.

"What I want to do," Sovani said, "is live in Florida and work in Michigan and go back home every day."

At 41, he figures it just became a realistic dream.

Earthquake: 4.2 quake strikes near Vandenberg Air Force Base

 http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/earthquake-42-quake-strikes-near-vandenberg-air-force-base-california-iethfr,0,3392160.story

By Ken Schwencke, August 23, 2013




 Earthquake: 4.2 quake strikes near Vandenberg Air Force Base
 A map showing the location of the epicenter of Friday evening's quake near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

A shallow magnitude 4.2 earthquake was reported Friday evening 25 miles from Vandenberg Air Force Base, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:16 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 8.1 miles.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was 26 miles from Lompoc, 33 miles from Orcutt, 37 miles from Santa Maria and 277 miles from Sacramento.

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service, and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.

CALL TO ACTION

From Sylvia Plummer, August 23, 2013

WHAT IS HAPPENING:

The Monrovia City Council will meet Tuesday, September 3rd, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  We believe that on the agenda will be a recommended action to pass a resolution to support the “completion” of the 710.  A representative(s) of Metro will speak at this meeting, it could be Doug Failing or someone from his staff. Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of SCAG, has also been asked to speak at this meeting.


CALL TO ACTION:  We are asking all of you to send emails to the Monrovia City Council.  

WHAT WE NEED TO DO:

STEP 1:   Send a brief email to each Monrovia City Council member, the City Manager and the City Clerk (same message to all)  Our messages should be polite and concise.  Remember, the goal is to get them to oppose or at least be neutral.  Please take action!  It won't require a lot of your time, and the impact of hundreds of messages could make the difference in swaying their votes.

Some points for your messages to include:
  • Be sure to tell what community you live in and what the impacts to your community will be.
  • Impacts to Monrovia will be similar to those in Pasadena, La Canada, Arcadia, La Crescenta, Sierra Madre and other 210 corridor communities – an increase in car and truck traffic, noise, pollution, spillover during congestion to their surface streets.
  • Mention the 294,000 truckloads of dirt that will be excavated from the North Portal located next to the 210.  The dirt will be hauled by trucks on the 210 to Irwindale during the many years it will take for construction of the tunnel.  
  • Discuss the completion of the 210 to the 15 which resulted in the increase in traffic on the 210 we see today.  
  • Point out that Measure R money NOT spent on the 710 extension can be transferred to the transit budget and could be used to complete the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont (currently not funded), directly benefiting the citizens and City of Monrovia.  Emphasize that there is a procedure in place for doing this at Metro.
  • Here are some points (with links) to make about trucks in the 710 Tunnels and disinformation from Metro, Caltrans, SCAG and their official representatives: 
A)   Everything Long Beach,  March 24 2011, “Metro’s Freeway Projects Mean Better Transportation For Everyone” by Editor

In this article, Doug Failing, Executive Director, Highway Programs, Metro, is quoted as stating that the 710 gap closure is specifically for goods movement. This whole article is a verbatim copy of the Metro News Release of March 21, 2011 (see B below) 


B)    Metro News Release,  March 21, 2011, "Metro's Highway Program Shifts into High Gear with 18 New Projects Worth Nearly $1.4 billion Set to Break Ground in 2011"
In this news release the same statements are made by Doug Failing as the one article above (A).


While this year's 18 projects and the I-405 are designed primarily to give people a better commute, three other high-profile projects in various planning stages but not yet scheduled, address the demands of commerce -- specifically goods movement from the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the country, and goods movement from California's Central Valley, America's bread basket.

The I-710 south from the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will involve a freeway widening and possibly a separate freight corridor that could be tolled.

The 710 north gap closure between the I-10 and the I-210 would complete the natural goods corridor that was begun several decades ago. Metro has been holding a series of conversations and outreach with the community, in an effort to collect ideas on best options.

A third, the High Desert Corridor, will be a brand new 63-mile east-west freeway between SR-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in San Bernardino County. It would create a shortcut for goods movement from the Central Valley to the rest of the United States and trim back goods congestion through the L.A. basin. 

Like infrastructure investment, goods movement investment is an investment in our future, Failing said.

C)  Doug Failing - Denial Letter 


Doug Failing penned a letter to a No 710 member denying that he has said the SR-710 is a goods movement corridor and characterized it as a misinterpretation by the author of the Everything Long Beach article.  "Please be advised that while this may be the interpretation of the author of the article, that statement should not be attributed to me as the State Route 710 is not a goods movement corridor".
 ______________________________________________________________________
 The letter: 

Metro
November 19, 2012

Dear Ms._

Thank you for your recent letter addressed to lJ'lyattention regarding the State
Route 710 Study currently underway. Your inlerest in this important regional
transportation issue is appreciated and I welcome this opportunity to provide you
with Metro's perspective on this matter.

Your primary concern is in regards to statements that may have been attributed
10 me, presented in an articJe that ran in the publication uEverything Long Beach",
asserting that the State Route 710 freeway tunnel option is being planned as a
goods movement corridor for trucks. Please be advised that. while this may be
the interpretation of the author of the article, that statement should not be
attributed to me as the State Route 710 is not a goods movement corridor.

The objective of the State Route 710 Study is to examine a range of alternative
concepts in order to find solutions to traffic congestion in the West San Gabriel
Valley area and to promote a more efficient operation of our regional freeway
system. The voters of Los Angeles County passed Measure R in November
2008 by a two-thirds majority to approve a halfwcent sales tax increase to fund
transportation improvement projects in our county. Measure R specifically
allocates $780 million to the State Route 710 corridor. In June 2010. the Metro
Board of Directors authorized staff to pursue a robust public Dutreach effort in
pursuit of multi-modalsdlutions to congestion in the State Route 710 Corridor,
Jeading to the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report I
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIRIOEIS).

Five aliernatives wilf be carried forward for more detailed analysis in the
DEISfDEIR. These alternatives are:

1. No-Build
2. Transportation System Management f Transportation Demand
Management
3. Bus Rapid Transit with refinements
4. Light Rail Transit with refinements
5. Freeway Tunnel with refinements
Nov 25 12 05:34p
November 19,2012

None of these alternatives are being developed as a goods movement
alternative. At this time, we are just beginning the env;ronmental process and no
decision has been made on a preferred alternative.

Sincerely,

177 r-t
DougJas R Failing, P.E.
Executrve Director, Highway Program

cc:
All Metro Board Members
Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, SCAG
_______________________________________________________________________

Failing apparently forgot that the article was taken verbatim from METRO's own news release.  Compare A and B above.

D)  Getting to Know the New Metro Board Chair, Diane DuBois
Dubois didn't specify 710 tunnel, but which "highway" for "freight" does she mean? 
 
"While DuBois rejects her former moniker of “highway queen,” it doesn’t mean she doesn’t believe transit expansion alone is a reliable way to build for the future. “I would like to have good transit to all parts of the county, but we can’t just have transit. We have to get freight out of Long Beach to Iowa,” she says of the traffic that flows from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles."

Read complete article:

STEP 2:   Below is the list of names and email addresses.  Be sure to email everyone on this list.

Monrovia City Council members:
Mayor:  Mary Ann Lutz    maryann@lutz-co.com

Councilmember:   Tom Adams    thomas.adams@century21.com
Councilmember:   Alexander C. Blackburn    ablackburn@ci.monrovia.ca.us 

Mayor Pro Tem:   Becky Shevlin      beckyshevlin@gmail.com 

Councilmember:   Larry J Spicer       lspicer@ci.monrovia.ca.us

City Manager:    Laurie Lile      llile@ci.monrovia.ca.us

City Clerk:    Alice Atkins        aatkins@ci.monrovia.ca.us 


STEP 3:  Able to Attend? (Be sure to check the agenda at the City of Monrovia's website, http://www.cityofmonrovia.org/meetings?field_microsite_tid_1=27 , when posted to make sure the item actually appears on the agenda for Sept. 3.   I am told by City Hall that the agendas are posted about one week prior to the meetings. We will also send out an email as soon as the agenda is posted.)

For those that can attend and speak, or just come and support those that will speak, here is the city council meeting info:

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

City Council Chambers
415 S. Ivy Avenue
Monrovia, CA  91016 

Meeting starts at 7:30pm

Public Speakers are given up to 5 minutes to speak. 

Caltrans: Southern California’s Slumlord

FRUSTRATED EL SERENO RESIDENTS CLAIM THEY HAVE BEEN FORCED TO LIVE IN “SLUM LIKE CONDITIONS” BECAUSE OF THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND NOW THEIR RENTS ARE INCREASING 10% EVERY SIX MONTHS.

http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2013/08/22/caltrans-southern-californias-slumlord/

By Randy Economy and Brian Hews, August 23, 2013


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is known for its’ meticulous maintenance of the state’s highways, bridges and roads managing more than 50,000 miles of California’s highway and freeway lanes, but that is not the case in the tiny neighborhood of El Sereno, where residents contend that Caltrans, who owns many of the houses in their area, is treating them like a slumlord.

Last week Hews Media Group-Community News, State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, and State Senator Ed Hernandez got a firsthand look at the “slum like conditions” that an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 residents have been forced to live in at the end of the Long Beach 710 Freeway for more than a generation now.

A tightly bonded group of residents who call themselves the “No 710 Freeway Coalition,” took the group on a walking tour of their hillside neighborhood to see firsthand how they have been neglected and forced to live in “substandard living conditions” by their “landlord,” Caltrans.

The group visited around a half dozen homes in the pathway of the freeway showing a wide range of problems that residents claim were “directly caused by Caltrans workers.”

Broken Pipes Create Backyard “Jacuzzi”-  Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez [right]and State Senator Roger Hernandez [second from right] inspect the back yard of a home owned by Caltrans where a broken pipe has created what area neighbors refer to as the “Jacuzzi.”  Randy Economy Photo.
Broken pipes create backyard “Jacuzzi”-
Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez [left]and State Senator Roger Hernandez [second from left] inspect the back yard of a home owned by Caltrans where a broken pipe has created what area neighbors refer to as the “Jacuzzi.”

Some of the homes had several gaping holes in their walls, cracked or totally broken windows, uprooted sidewalks, cracked foundations, garage doors that could not be opened, and broken water pipes. One house even had a hole in their living room where you could see dirt from the ground below.

Resident Carlene Ward held her newborn child of less than eight weeks in a blanket and told the group, “I am a breast cancer survivor and I have lived here for 17 years, and my house is in shambles.
My plumbing never works properly. I would be more than happy to make the improvements myself, but we are not allowed to do any repairs or alterations without having Caltrans do them for us.”

Right: Cracked doors and leaky plumbing- Resident Carlene Ward shows Hernandez her cracked doors and walls and the substandard plumbing that Caltrans will not let her fix. Photos by Randy Economy.
Cracked doors and leaky plumbing-
Resident Carlene Ward shows Hernandez her cracked doors and walls and the substandard plumbing that Caltrans will not let her fix.
 

And now the residents face the ultimate insult by Caltrans; they were officially notified recently that their rent would increase an unheard of 10% every six months.
For Ward and other residents who live in the impacted El Seren
o community, the rent increases are “the final straw” in their battle with state officials.

“Caltrans stole our homes, and now they are going to rob us blind on top of it,” said Don Jones, a community activist and area resident who has been an outspoken opponent of Caltrans for just about half of his adult life.

Jones directly blasted California Governor Jerry Brown during the tour by calling him “a crack addict who is out of control.”

“When does humanity come into play Governor Brown,” Jones said while wearing cowboy hat and with a “No 710” button on his lapel.

Jones said his wife passed away recently and that he had to spend her final days “fighting with Caltrans.”

“Jerry Brown lied to us when he said he cared about our community here, shame on him and his administration for continuing to put us through this living hell,” Jones said.

The tour also stopped in front of a fenced off group of three to five small bungalow style units that residents claim have been empty for at least twenty years.  The off yellow units are covered with gang graffiti and are used as “shooting galleries” for drug users.  The windows are nailed shut with plywood, the doors are sealed off, and the roofs are falling apart.

Picture 22
House in shambles-
This boarded up house owned by Caltrans has sat vacant for more than 20 years. Residents are frustrated with state officials about the “slum” conditions they have been forced to endure in their community at “the end of the 710 Freeway.”

“This area is not safe for the children who have to live here,” said Janice Dotson, another longtime opponent and vocal critic on how Caltrans has conducted business with this project.

“It is time to start facing facts. The 710 Freeway is never, ever going to be expanded and someone needs to fix this once and for all,” Dotson said.

Retaliation

Mike Rivera, who has lived in one of the homes in the path of the freeway said he was concerned about “retaliation” from Caltrans officials for “speaking the truth about just how bad and corrupt” this situation has become.

“We don’t want to be retaliated against by Caltrans, we want to be educated and told the truth,” said Rivera.

At the time of the gathering, at least two cars marked with Caltrans logos drove by without stopping or acknowledging those present.

“Look, see for yourself, these Caltrans workers could care less about our concerns.  We could stand in front of their moving cars here on our street and they would probably run us over if they had the chance,” said one resident who did not want to be named.

Assemblyman Gomez, who is in the middle of his first two-year term in the State Assembly, has been on record in the past as opposing the 710 Freeway expansion.

“I have consistently opposed the extension of the 710 freeway via a surface route or a tunnel. The proposed ‘solutions’ do nothing to solve our long-term regional transportation problem,” Gomez said.
Gomez was more than “alarmed” from what he witnessed.

“I had no idea the conditions were so bad here,” he said.

“We have a problem here that has gone on for far too long, and now someone at Caltrans has got to be held accountable,” Gomez told residents who stood in a circle around both him and Hernandez during the tour.

Hernandez has represented the area in the State Senate for the past six years, and even he admitted to HMG-CN that the neighborhood is in “substandard condition.”
“This is unacceptable conditions,” Hernandez said.

“It troubles me to see what I am looking at today,” Hernandez said.  “I had no idea it was like this.”

Upcoming Bike Metro Events

http://www.metro.net/bikes/bikes-metro/upcoming-bike-metro-events/

August 22, 2013

All cyclists can benefit from a working knowledge of the rules of the road - which is why Metro is offering opportunities to learn and practice how to ride on LA County streets.

Guided Rides


Explore different areas of the county on Metro-sponsored bicycle rides led by CICLE. All rides are FREE and open to the public.

Saturday, September 21 -- The Made in LA Ride III: LA River Edition
Meet at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens at 10:30am
Ride leaves promptly at 11am and will return to the starting point at 1:30pm

More information at CICLE.org
Sunday, October 20 -- The Pomona Pumpkin Patch Pedal
Meet at Thomas Plaza in Downtown Pomona at 10:30am
Ride leaves promptly at 11am and will return to the starting point at 2pm

More information at CICLE.org
Saturday, November 16 -- The Northridge Diners & Delis Ride
Meet at the Northridge Metrolink Station at 10:30am
Ride leaves promptly at 11am and will return to the starting point at 1:30pm

More information at CICLE.org

Traffic Skills Classes



Metro is offering FREE bicycle traffic skills classes all over LA County through September. Registration is required and participants must be over 18. All class members receive a free helmet, bike lights and safety manual. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Friday, August 23 2pm-5pm
Bicycling on the Road  (3 hours)
Altadena, CA 91001
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, August 24 10am-1pm
Bicycling on the Road  (3 hours)
Downey, CA 90242Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, August 24 2pm-5pm
Bicycling on the Road  (3 hours)
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, August 31 8am-11am
Bicycling on the Road  (3 hours)
Temple City, CA 91780
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, August 31 8am-5pm
Street Cycling Skills (8 hours)
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, August 31 12pm-3pm
Bicycling on the Road  (3 hours)
San Gabriel, CA 91766
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Friday, September 6 4pm-7pm
Seguridad en tu Bici (3 hours, Spanish)
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Register by emailing Multicultural Communities for Mobility at MRamos86@gmail.com

Friday, September 6 6pm-9pm
Saturday, September 7 9am-3pm
Street Cycling Skills (8 hours)
Glendale, CA 91204
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 7 9am-12pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 7 9am-12pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Lancaster, CA 93534
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here
Saturday, September 7 10am-1pm

Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, September 7 2pm-5pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Palmdale, CA 93550
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 7 2:30pm-5:30pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Norwalk, CA 90650
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Sunday, September 8 2pm-5pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 11 11am-2pm
Seguridad en tu Bici (3 hours, Spanish)
Lawndale, CA 90260
Register by emailing Multicultural Communities for Mobility at MRamos86@gmail.com

Saturday, September 14 9am-12pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Long Beach, CA 90840
Register with the LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 14 10am-1pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Saturday, September 14 9am-12pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Glendale, CA 91204
Register with the LA Bicycle Coalition here

Sunday, September 15 8:30am-5:30pm
Street Cycling Skills (8 hours)
El Monte, CA 91731
Register with the LA Bicycle Coalition here

Sunday, September 22 9am-6pm
Street Cycling Skills (8 hours)
Pomona, CA 91617
Register with LA County Bicycle Coalition here

Saturday, September 23 9am-12pm
Bicycling on the Road (3 hours)
Glendora, CA 91748
Register by emailing Bike San Gabriel Valley at info@bikesgv.org

Tuesday, September 24 4pm-7pm
Seguridad en tu Bici (3 hours, Spanish)
Pacoima, CA 91331
Register by emailing Multicultural Communities for Mobility at MRamos86@gmail.com

Saturday, September 28 10am-1pm
Seguridad en tu Bici (3 hours, Spanish)
El Monte, CA 91731
Register by emailing Multicultural Communities for Mobility at MRamos86@gmail.com

Pasadena man jailed in connection with bike theft for second time this week

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20130823/pasadena-man-jailed-in-connection-with-bike-theft-for-second-time-this-week

By Brian Day, August 23, 2013

Police arrested a Pasadena man with an allegedly stolen bicycle early Friday for the second time this week, officials said.

Jose Carlos Maldonado, 38, is accused of receiving stolen property following his arrest shortly after 5 a.m. in the 400 block of South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.

Officers spotted him riding one bicycle while pulling another along with him and approached him, the lieutenant said. He was found to have cutting shears and other burglary tools.

The officers soon discovered one of the bicycles had a sticker identifying it as belonging to someone else, Clawson said. The apparent owner could not immediately be contacted.

They took Maldonado into custody and realized that he had been arrested in Pasadena under similar circumstances earlier in the week, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.

“He had been arrested (Tuesday) for the charge of possession of stolen property, which was a bicycle,” the Clawson said.

Maldonado was released from custody with a citation following Tuesday’s arrest, however following his arrest Friday, he was being held in lieu og $20,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to booking records.

The Polka Dot Light Rail Line

http://www.citywatchla.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5592

August 23, 2013


 



LEANING RIGHT - Most of the great cities of the world developed with access to rivers, oceans, and bays.  This allowed easier travel and communication with the rest of the world and cut down isolation. Other factors influencing development were weather and security but these are prominent in only a few of the world great cities. 

The great cities of Europe share one other feature due to the era of their development and growth – they are compact. That is because they were developed before the advent of the car.

New York City is based on the great cities of Europe in that it is compact and surrounded by waterway access. It was influenced by European cities because it was developed by people with European background and exposure. It was also one of the first great American cities and therefore depended on easy access to European cities.

The development of public transportation for these cities therefore was most feasible underground because other right of way access either did not exist or was much too expensive to develop when their time came because the above the ground terrain was compact and saturated.

Los Angeles is an anomaly, unprecedented in human history, in that it is not adjacent to the waterway access of a great river, ocean, or bay. It developed 15 miles from the ocean because that’s where the fresh water was. One of your first clues is that there is even a street downtown named “Spring Street.” Development and growth of Los Angeles was not as directly influenced by European features.

A lot of wide open lands existed and compactness was not as much a factor as the development of European and eastern American cities. Los Angeles grew in an outward direction rather than upward. Growth of Los Angeles also paralleled the growth of the automobile. It grew to the ocean where there is waterway and a Mediterranean climate existed, to the valley where farming and a more leisure lifestyle was located, and to the deserts where adventure and solitude was found. The automobile also ‘fit like a glove’ and complimented this development.

This helps explain the fabulous freeway system that spans the Southland. The automobile and the freeway system provide one of the greatest transportation systems ever in the world. It resembles a spider web with its hub downtown and its tentacles reaching out to the ocean, the valley, and the desert.
The freeway system either provided the impetus for our home versus work locations or, in the case of older developed neighborhoods, the new system served them. 

When we got over the exuberance of our success of this system it was becoming imperative that we become more efficient in transporting more people least the system chokes itself on its own success. It was imperative that we develop an efficient network of public transportation.

In developing the network of public transportation all the correct steps were taken in capitalizing on the success of the freeway system and using the same routes. The freeway provided right of way access, the challenging engineering obstacles had been overcome, and the train routes supported our life style patterns.

The developers got it right with the public transportation rail system that includes the Blue Line, the Red Line, the Purple Line,  the Green Line,  the Gold Line, the Exposition Line, and the Crenshaw Line.

The developers got it right except for their failure to connect with LAX thereby amplifying our access to the rest of the world.

They also dropped the ball in failing to provide public transportation that connects the coastal communities with each other and with downtown Los Angeles. After all isn’t the coast pretty much what Southern California is all about?

Whatever happened to the Polka Dot Line - the rail that runs along the 405 Freeway. It will connect the coastal communities and capitalize on the existing right of way access and on the existing engineering achievements.

It will interface with the Green, Blue, Crenshaw, Exposition, Purple, and Red Lines thereby providing connection to downtown Los Angeles in addition to connecting the coastal communities with each other. It will span San Fernando to Long Beach hitting the coast at Santa Monica/Brentwood.

An unanswered question is why the Polka Dot Line was never conceived and developed? The needs of the coastal communities were either pre-empted by the other lines connecting blue collar workers to their assembly lines or the needs of the coastal communities were simply disregarded with ‘let them eat cake.’

Regardless of the reasons it is imperative that the needs of these communities also be served by the greatest city in the world. The Polka Dot Line should be developed.

 Contact your representative and impress upon them the need for this new line.

Imagine the relief this will also provide to the occasional 405 Carmageddon Conditions.

The Greatest Mass Transit Fails in History

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/08/mass-transit-pipe-dreams/#slideid-76821

By Keith Barry, August 23, 2013

Elon Musk's Hyperloop announcement resulted in quite a bit of skepticism. We'd like to think that has less to do with the feasibility of Musk's concept and more to do with the massive mass transit failures of the past.

And there have been some doozies.

A few outlandish projects were so science fiction that they were doomed from the start, while other proposals were possible, but died an ignoble death due to financing or technical difficulties.

Regardless, these public transit pipe dreams are cautionary tales for those who dream of a world that's easier to navigate.

SkyTran

 

 

SkyTran, a system of two-person pods hanging from a suspended maglev track, falls under the realm of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Most PRT systems are expensive, utopian dreams, as they're only slightly more efficient at moving people than an automobile. Plus, they cost far more per mile to both build and operate than most other forms of public transit.

SkyTran was supposed to be different. The brainchild of Douglas Malewicki, SkyTran promised automation and energy efficiency. But despite numerous proposals over the course of three decades, only a crude prototype has been built. There's a chance SkyTran may eventually hover over the crowded streets of Tel Aviv, but it'll remain on this list until it's operational.
 


Boeing 2707


Convinced that supersonic travel was the way of the future, and worried that European development of the Concorde would leave the U.S. aircraft industry in the dust, President Kennedy introduced the National Supersonic Transport initiative in June of 1963.

Boeing quickly got to work on the 2707, an advanced supersonic aircraft with seating for 277 and much larger than the Concorde. But funding cuts and environmental worries led to the project's cancellation in 1971. Two prototypes were developed, but never finished.

Today, no supersonic aircraft carry passengers. The 2707's memory lives on in the name of Seattle's erstwhile basketball team and airfoil developments that were later carried over to production aircraft. Also, R.I.P., Concorde.
 
 

Beach Pneumatic Subway

No, this has nothing to do with shuttling suntanned tourists across the sand. In 1870, a 300-foot subway ran beneath Broadway in New York City. It was the creation of inventor Alfred Ely Beach, and it was originally intended for package delivery. But Beech had other plans, secretly building stations and subway cars capable of carrying people. Cars were propelled by a vacuum blower that pushed the car through the tunnel -- similar to the system used at bank drive-up windows.

The demonstration subway ran for three years, with political opposition and an economic downturn dooming it to failure. Building owners on Broadway didn't want a subway tunnel to potentially damage foundations, and elevated transit was cheaper to build. The station burned in 1898, and the MTA's City Hall station now stands where Beach's experiment died.


 

Passenger Airships

Before World War I, airships regularly completed passenger flights within Europe for DELAG, the world's first revenue passenger airline. Though airships were used during the war for reconnaissance in the North Sea and devastating bombing raids on London, they were back in passenger service by the early 1930s. Transatlantic crossings became quite popular despite the Great Depression, and then there was that whole Hindenburg thing. Between that and the onset of the Second World War, the airship era ended.



Schweeb

Around 2009, a pedal-powered monorail system with the ridiculously creepy name Schweeb started making the rounds in the design and tech circuits. It gained support from Google, but that didn't help the fact that combining a monorail and a recumbent bicycle is patently ridiculous. It's got all the infrastructure challenges of PRT, but it's only usable by those without physical limitations. It's no wonder a Schweeb system isn't currently carrying passengers.


 

Hotchkiss Bicycle Railroad

Similar to the Schweeb, the Hotchkiss Bicycle Railroad put a bicycle on a monorail. Examples were actually operational between 1892 and 1909 in both the U.K. and U.S. The most famous example, the Mount Holly and Smithville Bicycle Railway, sounds like the name of a 70's-era bubblegum band, but it was built to carry employees between the town of Mount Holly, NJ and a factory in Smithville. Unfortunately, a single track meant that passing was impossible. When two cyclists met coming from opposite directions, one of them had to pedal back to the beginning of the line. Whoops.



Straddling Bus

In 2010, the U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus Group promised that giant, traffic-straddling, solar-powered buses would soon glide over traffic jams. Thankfully, nothing has come of that promise. A designer must've realized that a bus tall enough to glide above trucks would take out bridges and streetlights, and a giant bus speeding over traffic could turn a simple right turn into a disaster of Michael Bay proportions.

 

Railplane

Before Benny and the Jets, there was Bennie and his Railplane. Inventor George Bennie envisioned propeller-powered locomotives moving passenger trains on tracks suspended above slow-moving freight trains. He got a prototype running for about 400 feet in the mid-1930s, but apparently investors thought the idea was too far-fetched, and Bennie ended up bankrupt right before the onset of World War II.



 

Scramjet

If you're stuck in the middle seat between a loud snorer and a screaming toddler, traveling 5.1 times the speed of sound may seem like an appealing option. In theory, that's possible from a scramjet -- an aircraft that uses supersonic airflow through the engine to maintain extremely high speeds. In fact, military tests of scramjets have been successful as recently as this summer.

Unfortunately, scramjets can only operate at supersonic speeds—they can't accelerate up to them. That means a scramjet must be carried into the air by another aircraft and released. Drag, heat, and maneuverability are also all major concerns while blasting through the air at Mach 12, which is why a passenger scramjet is highly unlikely in the near future. If scramjets ever do make it to production, they'd likely be unmanned aircraft used to intercept enemy missiles. In other words, a business class upgrade is highly unlikely.

 
 

Vactrain

When Donald Fagen sang, "ninety minutes from New York to Paris, undersea by rail," he was talking about a vactrain. Similar to the Hyperloop, a vactrain uses maglev technology but runs through an airless tunnel. Without air resistance, a vactrain can operate at high speeds using very little fuel, and break the sound barrier without causing a sonic boom.
Though vactrain proponents talk about intercontinental railway projects that connect New York and Beijing in under two hours, the closest a Vactrain ever came to fruition was the failed Swissmetro underground maglev project. It promised 300 mph transit between Switzerland's main cities, but development was largely abandoned in 2009. But maybe Musk and Co. have solved some of the issues...

Nap on the bus without missing your stop, and more innovations from Microsoft’s summer interns

http://www.geekwire.com/2013/intern-hackathon/

By Cecilia Wilson, August 20, 2013
 internapphack

 Microsoft interns and top AppHack finishers (l-r) Melody Kim from UC San Diego; Nick Barnwell from University of Washington; Mateusz Cichenski of Poznan University of Technology in Poland; and Peter Zieske of Cornell.


Cornell University student Peter Zieske likes to doze off on bus rides, and he has created an app to help others do the same — without missing their stops.

Bus Alarm, Zieske’s original creation for Windows Phone, is an alarm clock designed to wake users up when they arrive at their stop — using integrated public transit routes and GPS technology. Just type a bus route, select a stop, and zone out for the rest of the ride. There’s even integrated voice recognition, so a user can simply say, “Bus Alarm, set alarm for [preferred stop].”

“It allows you to take naps on the bus without worrying, ‘Oh, am I going to miss my stop?’ ” said Zieske, explaining that he came up with the idea one day when he was stuck behind a drawbridge on a bus.

The app is available now in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Zieske developed it while working this summer as a Microsoft intern, and it was the winning entrant in the company’s recent Microsoft intern hackathon.

The event, known as the “AppHack,” was one of the highlights of the Microsoft summer internship program, giving college-aged interns the opportunity to design and produce original Windows Phone apps under the guidance of professional developers.

Approximately 400 interns—all of whom participated in the hackathon voluntarily—spent anywhere from two months to a couple of weeks on their projects, and the results were impressive: the contest yielded 40 submissions, and ultimately brought 37 app submissions to the Windows Phone
Marketplace, including a digital graphing calculator, an app designed to manage personal finances, and a musical loop pedal.

busalarm

“We received a wide range of submissions,” said Anthony Rotoli, a Microsoft technical recruiter involved with the Hackathon. “There’s still some room to push out apps that we may not have seen on the Windows Phone or (that may not have) done really well on the Windows Phone, so I think the interns really took advantage of that.”

Rotoli explains that the judges selected Bus Alarm as the winner because “it is very much finished. It’s polished and it looks like a ready-to-go, easy-to-follow app.” As his prize, Zieske won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2014 South by Southwest interactive festival.

Each summer, Microsoft recruits more than 1,000 college students from all over the world—and in all levels of higher education—to intern at its various locations for twelve weeks. The vast majority of the interns work from the Redmond campus, but can be found at campuses across the country. These students work in all Microsoft businesses, from Windows Phone to marketing to gaming, and each is aligned with a full-time employee.

“A lot of what they’re working on isn’t trivial stuff—it’s real products, and they’re shipping along with our employees,” Rotoli explains. “That’s something the interns definitely appreciate.”

The interns also enjoy a long list of events put on for their benefit. At the Redmond campus, leaders of different business divisions regularly present to all the interns and, during their culminating “Signature Week,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a closed talk to just the interns, which ended with an in-depth Q&A about leadership and business development.

That’s not the only perk. Part of Signature Week is a big surprise party, which is always shrouded in speculation. This year, Microsoft drove the interns to Boeing Field, where Macklemore and Deadmau5 gave private performances. On the way out, each intern received a free Surface Pro.

If all of this sounds a little outlandish, there’s a reason: These interns include some of the most promising young computer scientists in the country, at a time of intense competition for engineering talent across the industry, from companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many startups. A significant number of interns end up working for Microsoft as full-time employees.

The AppHack — organized by Rotoli and two colleagues, technical recruiters Kelly Eng and Drew Pryor-Miller — seems reflect the broader internship program: it combines the playful, creative aspects of the summer intern culture with the innovation and professionalism of a major technology company.

Professional developers helped guide the interns through every stage of the competition and held crash courses on app creation. There were four total training sessions on two major topics: “The first was more general, just how to develop on Windows Phone,” explains Pryor-Miller, “and the second was more design-focused: how to make beautiful apps and optimize your solutions.”

squared
Mateusz Cichenski’s app, Squared, is also available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

To find developers to teach these sessions, the organizers looked for winners of past Microsoft app contests for full-time employees. “We reached out directly to them and said, ‘We see you made this beautiful app for the Windows Phone, can you come show our interns how to make something like that?’” says Rotoli. “They were all pretty eager to do so.”

Rotoli notes that Microsoft made sure that all of the interns, not the company, would retain rights to their hackathon projects.

Forty apps were submitted to the contest, and the first-round judges—mainly developers who taught the training workshops—picked eight finalists. Of the finalists, three were selected as winners by the “celebrity judge” panel. The judges were Joe Belfiore, the VP of Windows Phone Program Management, Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb of Xbox Live, James Whittaker, a principal Technical Evangelist and popular blogger, and Matt Booty, the GM of Microsoft’s Redmond Games Studios. Regardless of the winners, the judges gave feedback on the apps after each presentation.

In terms of criteria, according to Pryor-Miller, “they were looking at completeness of the app at its current stage, they were looking at creativity, and they were also looking at widespread usage of the app—whether it was targeting a niche market or if it could be used by a large majority of people.” The judges also took into account how well the app utilized the features of the Windows Phone.

Mateusz Cichenski, a student at the Poznan University of Technology in Poland, won third place for his app, a puzzle game called “Squared.” His was the only game that made it to either of the final rounds. Squared is simple but addictive, involving primary-colored squares that the user attempts to line up, somewhat like a simplified, faster-paced version of Bejeweled. Cichenski designed 78 levels of the game in two weeks, and if a user completes all of the levels, he or she can join the online list of high scores. There is also a quick-play mode for beginners.

When asked about the inspiration behind this idea, Cichenski explains that “in April, before my exams, I had some time, and decided to create a board game. So I literally printed out graphics I made, and sat down with my mom, dad, and brother to try to play it.” With a laugh, he concedes that version of the game “was much too complicated and not fun at all.”

Once exams started, he abandoned the idea of creating a game. He says that when he heard about the intern hackathon, however, “I thought I would try to put my idea into a [digital] game, and maybe simplify it a little bit to make it more accessible.” Cichenski won a $2,000 prize in the hackathon.

elect-home-embed
The second-place app, created by Nick Barnwell from the University of Washington and Melody Kim from UC San Diego, is called “Elect.” This app simplifies the process of voting by digitizing voter pamphlets and consolidating information about political candidates and referenda into a single app.

“The inspiration for the app came about because personally, I had a hard time feeling equipped or ready to cast an informed vote when elections came around,” Kim explains. “We did some user research, and one of the biggest issues was that people weren’t able to obtain all of the information they wanted to about referenda and candidates, so we tried to make it as easy as possible for people to do research before they vote.”

In addition to listing names of candidates and referenda, Elect also allows users to filter information by topic, to find a candidate’s stated view on a specific issue—say, immigration or abortion.

The app is not yet in the Windows Marketplace, because Barnwell and Kim hope to expand the range of the app.

“I’m hoping to collaborate with the local government—at least King County—to get the information in a more official form,” says Barnwell. In addition to incorporating more sources of information, the ultimate goal is to enable users to actually cast votes from their phones.

Barnwell explains that they’re planning to “[work] with some of the research teams, both here and in academia, to try to find a future for it that maybe starts in King County and expands from there.” Barnwell and Kim won a $3,000 prize for their app.

Could A 405 Expressway Tunnel Dramatically Improve Traffic?

http://www.myfoxla.com/story/23230643/405-expressway-tunnel-to-dramatically-improve-traffic

By Hal Eisner, August 22, 2013



Imagine your traveling on the 405. It's backed up. A bad accident ahead. Next exit ahead... the 405 tunnel. That's right. A tunnel that would take you along an expressway under the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass or, a park and ride where you can pick up a subway. This may be LA's westside future.

The idea of a subway/expressway tunnel(s) under the 405 freeway has been out there for about 6 months when it was presented to the METRO Board as one of several possible plans that could be done to improve dramatically 405 traffic. Ever since METRO's Chief of Real Estate Roger Moliere says the project has been fast-tracked. So much so,  that Moliere tells me that the transit agency could be looking for funding partners within a year. He also says work could begin within 2 to 3 years. To build a tunnel or two of them under the freeway it could take 4 to 5 years.

The funding would be from a private-public partnership which could involve big international construction and financial companies.

Without such a Public Private Partnership (P3) Moliere says this would have taken 20 to 30 years to pull off. The estimated cost of such a project is in the area of 10-Billion dollars. There is Measure R tax money of one billion that could be used. The other 9 would come from private investors (P3) who would get their money back from expressway tolls if such a roadway is part of the project and/or fees for subway service. The present thinking is a train/expressway system that uses two tunnels or one very large one. Moliere tells me the first phase would be through the 10 mile Sepulveda Pass, but it would eventually be expanded from Sylmar, in the San Fernando Valley, all the way through to LAX. That would be a 28 mile system. Just a little further than the distance from LA to Catalina Island. It could be anywhere from 60 to 90 feet below the surface. Given the steep incline and decline in the pass distances would vary from one part to another since trains need to run on a flat surface. The diameter of a tunnel might be 60 to 70 feet depending on whether there is one or two. Unlike the tunneling done for the Red Line the burrowing equipment is much different and considerably improved than when our first subway was built. Burrowing so far underground would also limit, says Moliere, disruption to construction weary residents in the pass. Moliere also says this is a good area because there is no fault line to present quake problems. My interview with him covers all of that and more.

There are similar projects going on in Seattle and Florida right now. And, Moliere says, the tunneling system being used in Washington State is very similar to what we would use. We have VIMEO animation we can download and show from Washington State Department of Transportation.

One of our FOX 11 Producers, Joe Babin, once said "if you want to know what the new NB 405 will be like with an added 10-mile car pool lane all you have to do is look at the SB side to see." The point is it's always been known that this new lane they've been building won't be the cure-all for the traffic problems on the west side. To Moliere, a tunnel or two would be a huge difference. It would be built far underground so unlike the current construction work would not be noisy and problematic to drivers and people who live in the pass.

Another very important point is that this system could connect with others to bring LAX passengers from our 5 counties to the airport.

Says Moliere, "it is a very ambitious project" and very real. For those who might say, 'but we already pay taxes for roads!!!" Moliere says the 405 above the P3 will be free.

Editorial: On Being a Carless Angeleno

http://xlablog.blogspot.com/2013/08/editorial-on-being-carless-angeleno.html

By Charity Tran, August 22, 2013



 Runners in Elysian Park.

I'm no stranger to writing about how much I love being a carless Angeleno here, but it is a welcome change to read so much about the topic in the news.  Recently, outlets NPR ("Why Millennials are Ditching Cars and Redefining Ownership") and The New York Times ("Hollywood's New Stars: Pedestrians") have featured articles on emergence of Los Angeles' carless culture.  As a carless Angeleno, I'm thrilled by these developments because I love knowing that more people are spending less time in cars to experience all that LA has to offer! 

I always equate less people driving to more exercise and less stress.  Not only do you worry less about parking spaces and traffic, taking transit and walking more can also help support healthier lifestyles.  It's great when you go out to an event with friends while taking public transit and walking because you have plenty of time to just enjoy the ride and catch up.  Or, if you're on your own, it's the perfect time to just relax and listen to your favorite tunes!  Lately, I've been really appreciating Metro's extension of light rail and extended hours; it supports walkable commutes and increases opportunities to learn about new places and how you can frequent favorite places on foot.

Looking back on my summer, I think of all the great adventures I've had through walking and public transit throughout Los Angeles: dance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and seeing fireworks at Grand Park with the Red Line; Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z at the Rose Bowl with the Gold Line; and visiting friends in Culver City with the Expo Line.

But I'm always so amazed at what I find around me when I'm on my own two feet.  The other day my co-worker Tiina and I decided to take a walk and try out Boba 7 in Downtown, where I enjoyed what I thought was a very delicious and very Angeleno drink: Horchata Boba.  And just yesterday, I walked to meet up with a friend and discovered Peddler's Ice Creamery where the ice cream is bicycle churned.  I'm based in Koreatown, so I'm always discovering new places to go and see there, especially with its many food offerings.  A lesson I'm always affirming is that there are so many great places and spaces around me, that I often pass by and don't see when I'm in a car or even on a bus.  When I'm walking right by, I can't help but stop and give pause.  One of the best things about carless/walking culture is that you have more opportunities to truly understand the neighborhoods where you work and live and visit and what these places offer can be pretty amazing. 

Los Angeles is a great city where I know car culture has its place, but I think there's plenty of room to enjoy the carless and walking part too.  I know I do.

Light rail work creates heavy traffic

http://smdp.com/light-rail-work-creates-heavy-traffic/126199

By Ameera Butt, August 22, 2013





MOVED ASIDE: Traffic backs up on the westbound side of Colorado Avenue on Thursday as a construction crew does infrastructure work related to the forthcoming Expo Light Rail Line. - See more at: http://smdp.com/light-rail-work-creates-heavy-traffic/126199#sthash.Vmpl4TLu.dpuf
 Traffic backs up on the westbound side of Colorado Avenue on Thursday as a construction crew does infrastructure work related to the forthcoming Expo Light Rail Line.
MOVED ASIDE: Traffic backs up on the westbound side of Colorado Avenue on Thursday as a construction crew does infrastructure work related to the forthcoming Expo Light Rail Line. - See more at: http://smdp.com/light-rail-work-creates-heavy-traffic/126199#sthash.Vmpl4TLu.dpuf

COLORADO AVE — Congestion from the Exposition Light Rail Line construction here has become a hazard at some intersections as frustrated drivers make risky moves to beat the traffic.

The Daily Press, which is close to the Expo Line’s terminus at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, has seen drivers making illegal left turns and blocking intersections. Pedestrians too have made questionable decisions, crossing streets when they’re not supposed to because cars are backed up.

The construction is centered on one of the crucial thoroughfares in the city: Colorado Avenue, from 17th Street to Fifth Street.

On any given day during rush hour, traffic is backed up several car lengths onto the Interstate 10 off-ramp at Fifth Street and nearby intersections  are jammed when cars are trying to turn left from Colorado onto southbound Fourth Street to get back onto the freeway.

The construction is even having an impact on first responders.

“(Traffic) makes it harder for us to get round town, even as patrol officers,” Lt. Richard Lewis, spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department, said. “Getting around town is a little tougher. Sometimes it takes us longer to get to calls because of the congestion.”

City officials have recognized the issue and are taking various steps to address the congestion. Some of those measures include extending green lights at certain intersections, such as Fourth and Fifth streets and Colorado, to provide better flow of cars and adding traffic service officers to guide drivers. The Exposition Construction Authority, which is overseeing the rail line, is paying City Hall for the traffic officers, said Sam Morrissey, city traffic engineer.

City officials were asked by the police when construction began at the Fifth Street and Colorado intersection to put in a no-left turn sign to drive traffic away from the construction and funnel it into Downtown.

There’s also been a traffic service officer posted at that intersection from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Alex Nazarchuk, civil engineer with City Hall, said.

“Some of the concerns we received is when somebody is trying to make a left and there’s no left, it pushes traffic back all toward the highway,” Nazarchuk said.

Getting caught making illegal turns could result in hefty fines.

SMPD Lt. Jay Trisler said there are officers placed on Colorado and in Downtown who are looking for moving violations. There are different numbers of officers depending on the congestion.
Police officers positioned at locations of “high visibility” can serve as a “deterrent” to drivers making illegal maneuvers, Trisler said.

City officials installed bright orange signs on Interstate 10 for the Fourth/Fifth Street exits because drivers were confused on which one to take.

Other mitigation measures include minimizing the impacts on the adjacent intersections on the north and south streets, Morrissey said.

Nazarchuk said there will be lane closures on cross streets off of Colorado Avenue, but only from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless otherwise authorized by City Hall.

Officials are careful not to close two adjacent streets at the same time, especially at Lincoln Boulevard and 11th and 17th streets.

Access to businesses on Colorado Avenue was also taken into consideration by City Hall.

Between 11th and 14th streets, protective paths were added on the south side of the street to make sure people could walk safely, Morrissey said.

Expo Line officials said all construction work related to the future rail line has been closely facilitated with City Hall.

“Everything that is taking place has to be approved by the city before implementation, from traffic control plans to any request to nighttime work,” said Gabriela Collins, government/community relations manager for the Exposition Construction Authority.

Phase 2 of the project costs $1.5 billion, for a total of $2.4 billion for both Phase 1 and 2, Collins said. Phase 2 runs from Culver City to Santa Monica while Phase 1 takes riders from Culver City to Downtown Los Angeles.

Recently, Collins said the contractor installed a concrete barrier between 17th and 14th streets to prep the site for construction for the 17th Street/Santa Monica College Station.

Laying down the rail will start happening this year as well, she said.

The installation of more concrete barriers, between 11th and 14th streets headed toward the Downtown Station, will be happening this fall.

In the future, track will need to be laid down through and across intersections, Morrissey said. That would mean full intersection closures.

So if you plan to drive, be prepared to sit and wait. And don’t think about making that illegal U-turn.
COLORADO AVE — Congestion from the Exposition Light Rail Line construction here has become a hazard at some intersections as frustrated drivers make risky moves to beat the traffic.
The Daily Press, which is close to the Expo Line’s terminus at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, has seen drivers making illegal left turns and blocking intersections. Pedestrians too have made questionable decisions, crossing streets when they’re not supposed to because cars are backed up.
The construction is centered on one of the crucial thoroughfares in the city: Colorado Avenue, from 17th Street to Fifth Street.
On any given day during rush hour, traffic is backed up several car lengths onto the Interstate 10 off-ramp at Fifth Street and nearby intersections  are jammed when cars are trying to turn left from Colorado onto southbound Fourth Street to get back onto the freeway.
The construction is even having an impact on first responders.
“(Traffic) makes it harder for us to get round town, even as patrol officers,” Lt. Richard Lewis, spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department, said. “Getting around town is a little tougher. Sometimes it takes us longer to get to calls because of the congestion.”
City officials have recognized the issue and are taking various steps to address the congestion. Some of those measures include extending green lights at certain intersections, such as Fourth and Fifth streets and Colorado, to provide better flow of cars and adding traffic service officers to guide drivers. The Exposition Construction Authority, which is overseeing the rail line, is paying City Hall for the traffic officers, said Sam Morrissey, city traffic engineer.
City officials were asked by the police when construction began at the Fifth Street and Colorado intersection to put in a no-left turn sign to drive traffic away from the construction and funnel it into Downtown.
There’s also been a traffic service officer posted at that intersection from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Alex Nazarchuk, civil engineer with City Hall, said.
“Some of the concerns we received is when somebody is trying to make a left and there’s no left, it pushes traffic back all toward the highway,” Nazarchuk said.
Getting caught making illegal turns could result in hefty fines.
SMPD Lt. Jay Trisler said there are officers placed on Colorado and in Downtown who are looking for moving violations. There are different numbers of officers depending on the congestion.
Police officers positioned at locations of “high visibility” can serve as a “deterrent” to drivers making illegal maneuvers, Trisler said.
City officials installed bright orange signs on Interstate 10 for the Fourth/Fifth Street exits because drivers were confused on which one to take.
Other mitigation measures include minimizing the impacts on the adjacent intersections on the north and south streets, Morrissey said.
Nazarchuk said there will be lane closures on cross streets off of Colorado Avenue, but only from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless otherwise authorized by City Hall.
Officials are careful not to close two adjacent streets at the same time, especially at Lincoln Boulevard and 11th and 17th streets.
Access to businesses on Colorado Avenue was also taken into consideration by City Hall.
Between 11th and 14th streets, protective paths were added on the south side of the street to make sure people could walk safely, Morrissey said.
Expo Line officials said all construction work related to the future rail line has been closely facilitated with City Hall.
“Everything that is taking place has to be approved by the city before implementation, from traffic control plans to any request to nighttime work,” said Gabriela Collins, government/community relations manager for the Exposition Construction Authority.
Phase 2 of the project costs $1.5 billion, for a total of $2.4 billion for both Phase 1 and 2, Collins said. Phase 2 runs from Culver City to Santa Monica while Phase 1 takes riders from Culver City to Downtown Los Angeles.
Recently, Collins said the contractor installed a concrete barrier between 17th and 14th streets to prep the site for construction for the 17th Street/Santa Monica College Station.
Laying down the rail will start happening this year as well, she said.
The installation of more concrete barriers, between 11th and 14th streets headed toward the Downtown Station, will be happening this fall.
In the future, track will need to be laid down through and across intersections, Morrissey said. That would mean full intersection closures.
So if you plan to drive, be prepared to sit and wait. And don’t think about making that illegal U-turn.
- See more at: http://smdp.com/light-rail-work-creates-heavy-traffic/126199#sthash.Vmpl4TLu.dpuf
COLORADO AVE — Congestion from the Exposition Light Rail Line construction here has become a hazard at some intersections as frustrated drivers make risky moves to beat the traffic.
The Daily Press, which is close to the Expo Line’s terminus at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, has seen drivers making illegal left turns and blocking intersections. Pedestrians too have made questionable decisions, crossing streets when they’re not supposed to because cars are backed up.
The construction is centered on one of the crucial thoroughfares in the city: Colorado Avenue, from 17th Street to Fifth Street.
On any given day during rush hour, traffic is backed up several car lengths onto the Interstate 10 off-ramp at Fifth Street and nearby intersections  are jammed when cars are trying to turn left from Colorado onto southbound Fourth Street to get back onto the freeway.
The construction is even having an impact on first responders.
“(Traffic) makes it harder for us to get round town, even as patrol officers,” Lt. Richard Lewis, spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department, said. “Getting around town is a little tougher. Sometimes it takes us longer to get to calls because of the congestion.”
City officials have recognized the issue and are taking various steps to address the congestion. Some of those measures include extending green lights at certain intersections, such as Fourth and Fifth streets and Colorado, to provide better flow of cars and adding traffic service officers to guide drivers. The Exposition Construction Authority, which is overseeing the rail line, is paying City Hall for the traffic officers, said Sam Morrissey, city traffic engineer.
City officials were asked by the police when construction began at the Fifth Street and Colorado intersection to put in a no-left turn sign to drive traffic away from the construction and funnel it into Downtown.
There’s also been a traffic service officer posted at that intersection from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Alex Nazarchuk, civil engineer with City Hall, said.
“Some of the concerns we received is when somebody is trying to make a left and there’s no left, it pushes traffic back all toward the highway,” Nazarchuk said.
Getting caught making illegal turns could result in hefty fines.
SMPD Lt. Jay Trisler said there are officers placed on Colorado and in Downtown who are looking for moving violations. There are different numbers of officers depending on the congestion.
Police officers positioned at locations of “high visibility” can serve as a “deterrent” to drivers making illegal maneuvers, Trisler said.
City officials installed bright orange signs on Interstate 10 for the Fourth/Fifth Street exits because drivers were confused on which one to take.
Other mitigation measures include minimizing the impacts on the adjacent intersections on the north and south streets, Morrissey said.
Nazarchuk said there will be lane closures on cross streets off of Colorado Avenue, but only from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless otherwise authorized by City Hall.
Officials are careful not to close two adjacent streets at the same time, especially at Lincoln Boulevard and 11th and 17th streets.
Access to businesses on Colorado Avenue was also taken into consideration by City Hall.
Between 11th and 14th streets, protective paths were added on the south side of the street to make sure people could walk safely, Morrissey said.
Expo Line officials said all construction work related to the future rail line has been closely facilitated with City Hall.
“Everything that is taking place has to be approved by the city before implementation, from traffic control plans to any request to nighttime work,” said Gabriela Collins, government/community relations manager for the Exposition Construction Authority.
Phase 2 of the project costs $1.5 billion, for a total of $2.4 billion for both Phase 1 and 2, Collins said. Phase 2 runs from Culver City to Santa Monica while Phase 1 takes riders from Culver City to Downtown Los Angeles.
Recently, Collins said the contractor installed a concrete barrier between 17th and 14th streets to prep the site for construction for the 17th Street/Santa Monica College Station.
Laying down the rail will start happening this year as well, she said.
The installation of more concrete barriers, between 11th and 14th streets headed toward the Downtown Station, will be happening this fall.
In the future, track will need to be laid down through and across intersections, Morrissey said. That would mean full intersection closures.
So if you plan to drive, be prepared to sit and wait. And don’t think about making that illegal U-turn.
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