CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 |
Visibility was 10 miles and the morning sun had pushed the temperature close to 90 as Danny Joe Hall guided his mile-long Union Pacific freight train east through the grasslands of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Near the farming town of Goodwell, federal investigators said, the 56-year-old engineer sped through a series of yellow and red signals warning him to slow down and stop for a Los Angeles-bound train moving slowly onto a side track. The 83-mph collision killed Hall and two crewmen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 |
A nearly $1-billion contract to build a downtown subway that would close one of the most frustrating gaps in Los Angeles County's rail network should go to two companies with experience in local rail construction, according to a Metro report published Tuesday. The recommendation comes even though the firms were not the lowest bidders. In the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority analysis, staff members recommended awarding a $927-million joint contract to Skanska USA and Traylor Bros., two firms now building other regional rail projects. The Downtown Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile, $1.46-billion underground link between rail lines that skirt opposite ends of L.A.'s downtown, one near Union Station and the other near Staples Center.
April 2, 2014 |
Nowhere in the Los Angeles area are trees more sparse than in South Los Angeles. City and county officials have been working for years in that part of town to create pastoral swaths of parks, greenbelts and even wetlands — fighting against drought, desert climate, urban blight and concrete streets — but it is a long, slow process. The City Council districts across South L.A. still have about half the canopy cover of the rest of the city. So it was troubling, back in 2012, that about 400 trees south of the 10 Freeway had to be cut down to allow the space shuttle Endeavour to lumber through the streets on its way to the California Science Center.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 |
Los Angeles County voters could be asked in 2016 to fund a variety of transportation projects, including new rail lines and possibly a toll highway and rail line through the Sepulveda Pass. The tax proposal, announced by the advocacy group Move L.A., could raise an estimated $90 billion over 45 years and cost the average resident 25 cents to 30 cents a day, proponents said. It would also boost the countywide sales tax rate by a half-cent to 9½ cents on each dollar spent, though shoppers in cities with their own sales tax would pay higher rates.
March 14, 2014 |
The Metro-North Railroad, where at least five passengers and employees have been killed in less than a year, is plagued by shortfalls in safety operation, a stinging federal report said on Friday. The report, released by the Federal Railroad Administration after its 60-day review of procedures, castigated the commuter line for ineffective training, poor supervision of tracks and a dangerous emphasis on on-time performance over safety and maintenance. The line primarily serves suburbs north of New York City, including in Connecticut.
March 13, 2014 |
It might be sound reasoning, but a Supreme Court decision this week on an arcane legal-easement argument will likely have broad and regrettable consequences, particularly in the West, for the national movement to convert old railroad beds into bicycle paths. The case, Brandt vs. U.S., is rooted in the General Railroad Right of Way Law of 1875, through which Congress established a uniform approach to granting easements on government land so railroad companies could extend tracks through the heart of the still-developing country.