Transportation headlines, Wednesday, October 30

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A Metro local near the intersection of 7th & Hoover in Los Angeles. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: Metro local near the intersection of 7th & Hoover in Los Angeles. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

L.A. Mayor meets with President Obama, lobbies for federal funding (Daily Breeze) 

Two Metro Board Members — Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin — were in Washington D.C. earlier this week to push for federal support for a couple of big projects: connecting Metro Rail to LAX and revitalization of parts of the Los Angeles River. Garcetti and Bonin are pushing for a plan that would connect the Crenshaw/LAX and Green lines to a new airport Intermodal Transportation Facility, where passengers could transfer to a people mover to airport terminals.

A couple of related posts: In a video shown at the Mobility 21 conference yesterday, Garcetti mentioned the possibility of a new transportation ballot measure in L.A. County and said the airport connection was among his highest transit priorities. Also, here is a post from earlier this month that explains the many issues involved with the Airport Metro Connector project.

L.A. Airspace – the Los Angeles Newspaper Group blog on aviation – also has a new article on the project, noting some of the challenges for Metro and LAX.

Does downtown L.A. need a streetcar? (L.A. Times) 

The Times’ editorial page says the streetcar project proposed in downtown Los Angeles could be an attractive addition to the area. But the editorial also says it is concerned about potential cost over-runs and calls the streetcar a “novelty” that is not as important as a subway line or freeway.

One question maybe a reader can answer: the city says that utility relocations could cost up to $165.8 million for the project. Huh? What exactly has to be moved to build a four-mile rail line that runs entirely at street level?

Amid debate, Turkey opens rail tunnel under Bospurus (New York Times)

A view of the Bospurus. Photo by  Aschevogel, via Flickr creative commons.

A view of the Bospurus. Photo by Aschevogel, via Flickr creative commons.

The 8.5-mile, $4-billion rail tunnel runs under the Bospurus, the waterway that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara — also the waterway considered as the divide between Europe and Asia. While the tunnel should speed commutes into Istanbul, some critics say it won’t be seismically sound and that the tunnel faces security threats. Officials say the tunnel was built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake and that it will be the safest place to be during a temblor.

Reverse commutes now often a daily slog, too (NPR)

Suburban job growth coupled with an increasing number of people who want to live in the city proper has resulted in outbound commutes that can rival the ‘burbs-to-downtown commutes that have long been congested. In Chicago, for example, more people are choosing to live near rail lines that head to the ‘burbs, according to the Census Bureau and NPR. This phenomenon can certainly be seen in L.A. County: try the westbound Santa Monica Freeway any given morning!

Hey — the new Arcade Fire album is out today! Woot woot! In the meantime, here’s some of Arcade Fire plus Bruce Springsteen tackling a track from his “Nebraska” album. Sweet.

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