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Silent Nights Coming to Gold Line

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Neighborhood activists have succeeded in forcing the MTA to tone down the warning bells at crossings along the Gold Line route through South Pasadena. Their win in administrative court means the MTA must cut decibel levels on the electronic bell simulators (that's right, fake bells) from their current level of between 85 and 90 (about as loud as a garbage disposal) to somewhere around 75 dbs (an older window A/C unit).

We wish the administrative court could do something about the incessant, 24/7 horn-honking blasting forth from the intersection under our bedroom window, but that would mean ruling against cars in favor of quality of life.

Probably won't happen (though it has in NYC).

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In Other Transit News:

- City and transit officials are sounding the alarm as Der Governator prepares to loot Prop. 42 transportation funds to help make up the state's budget shortfall. The law, which explicitly sets aside gas tax monies for transportation projects, has a (rather too convenient) loophole which the Sacramento braintrust has exploited to the tune of $2 billion since 2003.

According to the MTA, projects that would be endangered by the loss of LA's approximately $300 million cut for this year include "construction of a I-405 northbound carpool lane from I-10 to US-101, a Crenshaw Corridor transit way and an extension of the planned Exposition Light Rail Line to Santa Monica." Guess doing something about traffic is for girlie-men.

- The nearly-completed Orange Line may be laboring under the cloud of a NIMBY-contrived controversy, but it will look great. The MTA is pulling out the stops when it comes to the landscaping of the busway, lavishing the route with nearly a million plants and trees at a cost of $20 million, not including the army of leaf-blower wielding landscapers needed to wrangle falling jacaranda blossoms.