Vae Viator51

When politicians involve themselves in technical matters, expect failures.

The photograph below documents the situation at the Maxella AV and Lincoln BL stop on the BBB number 3 Line. It is the sort of “work” one would expect from the LACMTA. They taped or caused to be taped shut the aperture in the plastic pipes associated with power poles. These pipes were used as improvised trash cans. BBB N.B. The stop still needs a trash can!
Su Topo will include this comment in every post with the above until BBB corrects the problem. For quite awhile BBB has been charging for intra-line transfers, reversing the long standing policy of free transfers to other BBB lines. Too, BBB has spent lots of money to build a big headquarters on Colorado BL just east of 4th Street. Mr. King, just a few dollars for a trash can, you might need a few more to cover other bus stops too, will erase this section. After all, it is Marina Del Rey! :-)

BBB Maxella Trash Fix???♪

White Line Incursion Series
Su Topo uses video to highlight the problem of scofflaw drivers endangering Metro bus passengers yet, no authority seems to want to take ownership of the problem. The issue is not unique to the particular site which this Mole documents, but is illustrative of a general problem. Your Mole encourages you to report similar problems to the appropriate agencies in your area(s) and hope that you will have better luck than he. In the youtube.com videos linked below one can see exactly what happens when the policing agencies fail to enforce traffic laws.

The videos linked below document the important fact that a never ending stream of vehicles fail to use the lane as required by law.
Neither are the policing agencies active when it comes to protecting us by bringing these obvious and frequent traffic law violations to an immediate halt. The LACMTA is derelict as well, in that they fail to use the near hourly proof of the violations captured by the on board cameras, mentioned here and discussed at length in the posting of 2012-05-31.

In the following video we see further instances of scofflaw drivers, some in convoy, cutting in front of Metro 111/311 buses.

Please see the www.youtube.com videos here.

And another here.

Please note carefully that the pedestrian in the foreground is unable to easily use the crosswalk because —the taxi illegally denys him the right-of-way. Which right-of-way would be unchallengeably his IF, and only if, Mr. Leahy would have one of his staff explain su Topo’s  simple solution (vide infra) to him.  

1In spite of the potential for these violations to occur several times per HOUR, I have never seen a police presence at this location. One would think that with a bus schedule taped to the dashboard one of the several policing agencies would have made some arrests by now. Unless they have "more important" work to do, than protecting bus passengers.
La Taupe feels that it is appropriate to dedicate these video(s) to ALL the agencies that should be protecting us. So, they are dedicated to (1): Airport (LAWA) Police, the L.A.P.D., the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department and Mr. A. Leahy who is CEO of the LACMTA.

La Taupe has recommended a simple solution to the problem. That is, have the 111 Line buses pull up to pedestrian crosswalk then stop and discharge passengers. Doing so eliminates the space in front of the bus which the always-in-a-hurry scofflaws use to cut in front of the bus. *But with the LACMTA nothing is simple. Although the solution could be implemented with nothing more than a memo to the 111/311 Line drivers, it is a task for which the LACMTA is inadequate.

The Mole reads the papers and other things, obviating the necessity of your doing so.

The Times reports (Nelson) that LACMTA maintenance will receive an annual wage increase of 3% each year for the next four years.  The increase sill places these workers behind Los Angeles city workers and employees in like jobs in Chicago and New York City.

But the telling part of the article was this: “Without changes to the budget, or without raising fares, Metro staff has predicted the agency will be $225 million in debt within the next decade.”

Looks like somebody had better find some sharp pencils and go to work on  the budget!  Here’s a start for them.  Cancel the “Downtown Connector” and use that money to subsidize the working poor who ride the system and perhaps upgrade the “creature comforts” (think public restrooms) above the level of the fourth world country amenities which we are presently offered.

There is plenty of bus service now linking the poorly splayed light rail systems.   And who know if the future will even recognize downtown Los Angeles as a traffic source/sink.  Remember folks, politicians are “designing” this mess.  The next time we need a subway line they can have it cross all the lines, intersecting appropriate stations and voilà, the lines are connected.


Try this exercise.
Ask the LACMTA to estimate the number of daily users of the “Downtown Connecter”.  Divide that number by 10 and use the result as the divisor to develop a per passenger cost, the build cost is the dividend of just building the thing.

The formula would be something like this:
(Cost of building the “Downtown Connecter)/((LACMTA’aDaily estimate of Connector ridership)/10) = Opening days cost per rider

Then ponder this question (not recommended for politicians or LACMTA management/staff):  how much revenue will each “connecter” passenger bring in.  [HINT: think 0].

Dear readers, are you seeing the picture?  Lots of expense and NO revenue!  It is being done as a “convenience” and because one of the few things that the LACMTA can do quickly and well is spend money.

The Los Angeles Times covers (Saillant) the fiasco of the Beverly Hills subway route.  A political candidate in the race to replace Yaroslavsky says she doesn’t like the route under Beverly Hills High. 

Neither does su Topo, but he has technical reasons.  The engineering and construction planning, design and construction of the “under school” route will be costly.  Speaking in terms of a local airport director: “it is fraught with danger!”   What if they strike a gas pocket and blow up part of the school.  Not to worry, the tax payers will bail out the LACMTA, right?

Why not be conservative of time and money?  Because we are the LACMTA!  Well that does seem to be an answer that has historical validity. 

Another Times piece (Nelson2) discusses the Metro fare increase options under consideration by the County Board of Supervisors.  This Mole will only quote this from the article: “Metro's fares are some of the lowest of any major transit system in the United States.”  To this, la Taupe would like to add and its service and amenities are some of the poorest in the world! 

The Times adds another reporter to the Transportation beat (Rocha) with the first writing su Topo has seen from this lady.  We find that the “Purple Line” will receive a $2.1 billion grant.  That should be almost enough for the many redesigns that this line will experience before they get it right —well as right as the LACMTA can get it.

An article in AMny (Rivoli) highlights the Big Apple’s will to get the job done.  The job is the Second Avenue subway which is on track and on budget to open in just two years.  While here in Los Angeles, we can already hear the weeping, gnashing of teeth and the sound of feet being dragged.  How many block of the Purple line extension will be completed by 2016??

Why is New York city able to keep its projects on track and under budget/  I believe there are three reasons; (1) New York City has a culture of rapid transportation and (2) they have the engineering and management intellectual capital necessary to do the job and (3) the organizational memory to be able to call on the necessary talent and techniques when and where needed. 

Then we can review ten facts about the Second Avenue subway. Thanks to the report (Sanders) in Metro.us.

The Times tells us (Nelson3) about a survey which finds that one in five feels unsafe due to sexual harassment.

An article in the National Geographic Traveler covers rapid transit (Elliot). In discussing Americans love for their cars and the failure for mass/rapid transit to gain traction, he says ‘[t]here’s another explanation for the failure: The lack of will by shortsighted politicians focused on the financial bottom line. “Most public transportation systems earn only about one-third of their operating expenses from passengers,” says Lawrence Hughes, a New York-based transportation policy expert. “The other two-thirds is typically paid for by taxpayers.” Perennially in campaign mode, politicians understandably hesitate to spend money on unprofitable mass-transit projects whose benefits may not be felt for years.

I am not sure that I agree with Mr. Elliot, at least with respect to the LACMTA, whose first love is spending money without regard to a given project’s success —think Green Line to LAX, for example.

Please read all of the stories cited in this posting and usually include links in the “Works Cited: section on the ultimate page..  Every one of these stories  are written by hard-working professional reporters.  I like to read in print, where possible but, since I travel frequently, I don’t see a paper copy of the Los Angeles Times that often.  

« La couleur est mon obsession quotidienne, ma joie et mon tourment. »
Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-11-14~1926-12-05)

[Colour is my daily obsession, my joy and torment.]

Merci beaucoup à http://www.grandspeintres.com/monet/  .

Ars longa vita breva

Here is a link to a Claude Monet’s  painting: Camille Monet et un enfant au jardin.  It depicts his wife, Camille, and a child in a garden. 

We can see more of Monet’s work here.   N.B. Use <Previous  and Next>
to view the entire series of paintings.

Here is garden related music - les jardins sous la pluie [Gardens in the rain.], by Claude Debussy.  

Merci bien!, Thank you! to our good friends at www.grooveshark.com for always providing the appropriate music for us.

The Mole rides again, you don’t wonder where you'll sit down because a sleeper has hogged the bus bench..
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

Sleeping beauty I

2014-05-15 On two occasions, as I wait in the early morning for a 117 Line bus on Century BL, I find that the bus bench has been appropriated.

Sleeping beauty II

Another visit to the LAXCBC and yet another car —the black one on the far left, has pulled in and stopped.

Bus Center?  What Bus Center?

Take a ride on a 125 Line bus with me.  But, first put in your ear protectors! Turn up the volume to HIGH on your PC speakers, then click here.  Then click the symbol to cause a playback.  Note that the LACMTA contracted agencies DO NOT have operating standards for acceptable P.A. volumes and etc., in place.  Very likely neither does Metro.

Ear (and Eye) to the Rail

Transit as unseen and unimagined by the LACMTA

The purpose of this section is to make people aware that the LACMTA is not home to many problem solvers.  I hope to accomplish this end by presenting the solutions adopted by other cities, some in foreign countries, in solving the city to airport rapid mass transportation challenge.

Cautionary Note: Those employed by the LACMTA or LAWA should NOT view the following video(s). The speed of the train(s), the fact that they neither share the right of way nor stop at stop lights, because they are truly rapid transit, will likely make you dizzy, nauseous, confuse and frighten you.

The video linked here shows the mag-lev (magnetic-levitation) train from Shanghai to Pudong Airport. Three hundred KM/hour is approximately 186 miles/hour.  Nice isn’t it?  The train was built with the support and assistance of German specialists in mag-lev technology.  The video also explains that it is possible to travel to Pudong on a regular subway train, we’ve seen lots of those —so your Mole thought it would be fun to ride on a mag-lev train J  

This is the type of train that the CHSRA should be using, rather than the 1960s ”bullet train” technology.   The words poverty of the imagination immediately come to mind when one views the possibilities for rapid transit and then compare those possibilities with what the LACMTA and CHSRA are planning.

Thank you youtube.com for the video!  Also thanks to “Long White Cloud Kung Fu” who provided the upload.


Would you like faster message passing (think texting) over longer distances?
This linked article describes how light pulses might be sent through a persistent properly sized wormhole.  But, please don’t expect the “app” on you next smart phone.

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 9567;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.

I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: xxxxx (i);
None included here, but observations of a minor nature may be included in the main posting;
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s). Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (ii*) cell phone call(s) which are aggravated by some other action, (iii) Self-distracted. Codes (ii*) and (iii) will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.

I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: xxxx;
~UR or +UR = (+UR) whois sticker and the ugly residue left after passengers partly remove the sticker. (~UR) = Only the ugly residue left after passengers almost completely remove the sticker. +L = an old (legacy) sticker black letters on a plain white background –these are the original form of the defacement.
* Another reason for displaying the operator's ID on the internal display and the headsign.

ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tailsigns disagree: Not noted xxxx/xxxx;
Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

ID numbers of Buses without Braille signs: xxxx;

METRO drivers Lack of Basic Technical Skills Report
The format is Driver number F[{Y/-n/+n}] C[{Y/N+/-}]. Meaning of F if Y the driver stopped with the Bus stop “flag pole” somewhere between the bus front door frames. A negative number, e.g., -3 is the approximate distance in metres (think yards dear readers) between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped short of the flag. A positive number, e.g., +3 (metres) is the approximate distance between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped past the flag. The value for C[{Y/N}], “Y” tells us that the driver stopped within an easy step from the curb to the bus, “N” means it was NOT an easy step from the curb to the bus. It is this Mole's belief that an average experienced good driver should be able to control his bus so as to position in near the curb and with the flag pole slightly to the front of the bus.
xxxxx F[+4] C[Y];

I.D. numbers of drivers who are unable or unwilling to position their buses parallel to the curb, a short step from the curb an equidistance from the vehicles exits.
XXXXX F[+10] C[Y]; F[+7], C[Y]; xxxxx F[Y], C[Y]; xxxxxF[Y], C[Y]; N.B. distances are in metres, think yards.
13 metres is this is MORE than a bus length.  nnnnn* = Contract Driver

I.D. numbers of drivers who are almost guaranteed to give you a Rough and Jerky (R& J) ride: xxxxx;

I.D. numbers of drivers who will give you a potentially life-threatening ride: XXXXX(J)/2013-07-23; XXXXX(-);
Codes: S = not wearing seat belts; J = bad judgment (unsafe driving practices).
La Taupe's Abréviations
ADADO = Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening. This feature is installed on many buses and operates on extremely few. Another“money down the toilet” LACMTA investment. La Taupe that this is intended for the visually impaired because people who can see can read the “head signs”.
ASAS = Automatic Stop Announcement System the GPS (Global Positioning System) driven mechanism for generating audio for the upcoming stops. N.B. Because of the low power (read weak) processors used in the on-board stops may be too close to identify stops separately. This is known as a granularity problem. Then too, if the driver operates the bus at speed above the speed limit you will find the system “back announcing” stops which you have already passed. I find that this will NOT keep some drivers from complaining “that you didn’t signal (ring) in time. They don’t understand their relationship to the system and how, by driving faster than the GPS computer, they can bias it.
BBB = Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus
CHSRA = California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is the equivalent, in more ways than one, of the LACMTA.
CC or CCMBL = Culver City (Municipal) Bus (Lines)
CCTC = Culver City Transportation Center this is the place formerly known as FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda& Slauson)
FFE = Full Fare Equivalent (presently $1.50)
GMBL = Gardena Municipal Bus lines
ITC = Inglewood Transit Center
LAWA = Los Angeles World Airports.
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
OCTA = Orange County Transportation Authority.
OOS = Out Of Service.
Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).
R& J = Rough and Jerky [ride].
TT= Torrance Transit.
T1= the normal type of driver/staff.
T2= is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,
T3= the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)

Su Topo’s Disclaimer and apologia
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input. Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc. I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I don’t. Therefore, I apologize on behalf of Blogger.com for the changes which they make, of which I do not approve. Sometimes, what I see, thankfully you don’t, is 24 point type –it is giant and other times they swallow my text, although it still seems to be there. In fairness to them, things seem better, although this is partly because I do understand which of their “features” do the most damage to me and consequently do not use them. Communicating these problems to them, for me, is something like having teeth extracted without the benefit of anesthetic, actually it is less fun than that. By their design, there is no simple e-mailing them with "Please look at my say, posting of 2009-06-28, it is weird!” I have been submitting feedback and experiences slow but positive progress.  Until all issues are resolved, lo siento.

Your Mole’s Copyright Statement
All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2013 by LAmetroMole. Clicking a photo will often* present you with an enlargement (sometimes successive clicks will further enlarge the photo). *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors.
This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Mole’s Conflict of Interest Statement
This is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor is it my current intention to ever be:
1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.
2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written.
Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
There are no exceptions.

Date: 2009-06-24 S/LametroMole

Works Cited

Elliot, Christopher. “Slow Progress for Rapid Transit“. National Geographic Traveler. May 2014. Web. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/the-insider/rapid-transit/

Nelson, Laura J. “New contract guarantees a series of raises for some Metro workers”. Los Angeles Times. May 7, 2014. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-union-contract-mta-raise-20140506-story.html

Nelson2, Laura J. “Metro urges three consecutive fare hikes; new plan would delay two”.  Los Angeles Times. May 20, 2014. Web.  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-mayor-fare-increase-freeze-20140519-story.html

Nelson3, Laura J. “Survey: Sexual harassment makes 20% of Metro riders feel unsafe”.  Los Angeles Times. May 7, 2014. Web.  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-passengers-feel-unsafe-20140507-story.html

Rivoli, Dan. “Second Avenue Subway progress: Dec. 2016 end date on track”.  AMny.com. May 1, 2014. Web. http://www.amny.com/transit/second-avenue-subway-progress-dec-2016-end-date-on-track-1.7892110

Rocha, Veronica. “Purple Line's Westside extension gets $2.1 billion in federal funding”.  Los Angeles Times. May. 20 2014. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-purple-line-extension-20140520-story.html

Saillant, Catherine. “Sheila Kuehl says she prefers a different subway route in Beverly Hills”.  Los Angeles Times. May. 17 2014. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-kuehl-subway-route-20140516-story.html

Sanders, Anna. “10 facts about the Second Avenue Subway”. May 1, 2014. Web. http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/local/2014/05/01/10-facts-second-avenue-subway/

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                                    The above is ### 30 ### in Braille

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