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Fitness Fridays: free lunchtime yoga at Grand Park

Welcome back to another installment of Fitness Fridays, where we feature various ways you can combine transit and fitness. In this post, we explore free lunchtime yoga at Grand Park in DTLA .

Now that the weather isn’t quite so terribly hot, outdoor activities during lunch hour actually sound appealing. So, if you feel like doing a little mindful stretching — and a little light sweating — try yoga at Grand Park and earn that wet burrito you’re going to demolish at your desk later. 🤣

To get to Grand Park, take the Red or Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station. You can get a little pre-workout in by taking the stairs out of the station! Another option is the DASH D , which stops at the park on Spring Street. Multiple Metro buses also stop around the park. Check the Trip Planner for more info.

Classes take place on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the performance lawn. The park provides yoga mats for you to borrow if you don’t have one, or forget to bring your own. I wouldn’t say the class is extremely strenuous. I’ve taken a few yoga classes that leave you feeling like jello afterwards, but the ones at Grand Park are basic enough for beginners to attend. You’ll feel mostly refreshed, so you can get through the remaining workday.

What I really enjoy about yoga in the park is getting to look up at the sky and feeling the breeze. And don’t feel self-conscious because you’re in a public space! There’s a pretty good-sized group and while focusing on your movements, you won’t even notice the people passing by. One tiny caveat about lawn yoga is that the ground is a little uneven, which can make it a little harder to balance.

The classes are scheduled to continue through May 2019. Be sure to check Grand Park’s website if you plan on attending during the holidays, as times may change.

If you have a recommendation for a place we should feature, leave it in the comments!


We want your feedback on potential Bike Share station locations

In May 2018, the Metro Board of Directors approved the Phase 3 Expansion of Metro Bike Share to the Los Angeles communities of Pico-Union, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Rampart Village, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and adjacent areas.

Since then, Metro and the city have been working diligently to develop a list of potential station locations for the public to consider. The list was developed by examining suggested locations in a previously released countywide crowdsourcing map, space available for stations, access and convenience, safety considerations, land use and destination patterns, discussions with City Council Districts and local stakeholders, and a Bike Share Suitability Index developed by an outside consulting firm.

Now we want to hear from you again ! Tell us what you like or dislike about a potential location, and leave comments and suggestions about proposed locations by visiting the crowdsourcing map here . The map will be open for public input through early December.

When evaluating potential locations please consider the following:

What are the space requirements for a bike share station?

Station size varies depending on anticipated demand, but the average station size is approximately 45 feet in length.

What are the station siting criteria?

Are these stations set in stone?

No. This is a pilot program and the station locations will be evaluated as the program moves forward. Stations may be moved in the future.


With air quality tanking, transit agencies in Bay Area offer free rides; HWR, Nov. 16

Dept. of Local Governmenting

The deadly Camp Fire has also caused brutal air conditions in Northern California. Some transit agencies in the Bay Area responded wisely:

Here is how bad it looked:

Our region wasn’t doing much better last Saturday when the scene looked like this from Debs Park near DTLA at about 2 p.m.:

It’s interesting to see agencies offering freebies at the pace they have. Many, including Metro, went free on Election Day. We also had free rides on this past Earth Day. Now air quality is added to the list.

Let’s look at some of the other news…

Metro announced yesterday that the Crenshaw/LAX Line would likely open in mid-2020 ; the agency had been targeting a fall 2019 opening. Here’s our blog post. Some  commenters expressed disagreement with our word choice. Media coverage at Streetsblog LA and Curbed LA .

As Streetsblog explains, Metro’s Board is also scheduled on Dec. 6 to vote for an operating plan for the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line, whose tracks are tied together. There are two choices: C1, the Metro staff recommendation, and C3, which has the support thus far of six Board Members. I’ll write more before the next Board meeting.

The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority’s Board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to build the Gold Line Extension 2B project in two phases due to construction bids being far higher than the project’s budget. The first phase will go to Glendora, San Dimas and La Verne. A second phase to Claremont and Montclair would later be built if at least $570 million in funding can be secured. As Steve Scauzillo explains in the SGV Tribune , state cap-and-trade and SB 1 funds are possible sources of money, but as with all state or federal grants, those always come with challenges. The Gold Line project was one of six Metro projects awarded about $1.1 billion in state funding this spring.

Click to see larger.

Metro’s Board of Directors Executive Management Committee tackled the line renaming issue yesterday . For the most part, the Board liked the plan floated by Metro staff to use Letters and Colors to signify rail and bus rapid transit lines. However, concerns were raised about using the letter ‘F’ for the Orange Line due to that letter also serving as locomotive for a certain word currently outlawed on Government Blogs. There were a concern voiced about riding a future Brown Line. FWIW, New York has an ‘F’ Line (I used to ride it from Brooklyn) and Chicago has a Brown Line. The full Metro Board gets to mull the issue on Dec. 6. Bring some popcorn and a dictionary!

The New York MTA is eyeing fare increases in 2019 that could bring the base fare to $3 per subway ride from the current $2.75. The problem: a growing budget deficit and looming maintenance and upgrade costs for the system, which has been beset by service issues in recent times.

Key graphs from the NYT story :

The latest deficits were caused in part by declining ridership, which has led to lower revenue projections, officials said. The decline is worrisome because it is happening as the city’s population is increasing and tourism is booming.

Officials blamed the drop on competition from Uber and other ride-hail apps, and on night and weekend closings for construction work that are needed to fix the system. Some riders, fed up with constant delays, have simply abandoned the subway.

On our end of the continent, Metro officials have talked about the need to raise fares at some point in the future as part of periodic financial forecasts to the Board. Costs do rise as the years go by and Metro’s base fare of $1.75 — last increased in 2014 — remains below most other large metro area fares around the U.S.

The Summer Olympics and Paralympics are coming to Los Angeles in 2028 — and Metro’s Board last year adopted a ‘ Twenty-Eight by ’28 Initiative ‘ to try to build 28 major projects by then. The Olympics are coming here, of course, because L.A. already has many of the facilities needed. Elsewhere, the Olympics are a tough sell because of the cost. Calgary officials pushed for the 2026 Winter Olympics , for example. Calgary voters pushed back and said ‘no thanks’ earlier this week.

Things to read whilst transiting: Excellent NYT interactive story on how climate change is changing Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area. Spoiler: probably not for the better. Idea: generally speaking, taking transit instead of driving alone is one way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Things to listen to whilst transiting: As usual, I’m late to the party but season 3 of the ‘Serial’ podcast is beyond excellent. The reporters detail the inner workings of the Cleveland criminal court system and some of the people who pass through it and/or get stuck in the cogs of justice. All in all, a great way of explaining how a vital part of government works, for worse and for better.


Crenshaw/LAX Line opening likely to be in mid-2020, Metro announces

Metro has a better idea of the timeframe for opening the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington announced on Thursday at the agency Board’s Executive Management Committee meeting that some elements of work on the project are taking longer than expected due to complexities out of Metro’s control, meaning the opening of the line will likely be delayed until mid-2020.

Washington also said that Metro would do everything in his power to ensure that the contractor Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors opens some lanes on Crenshaw Boulevard later this month during restoration work, to accommodate the community for the holiday season. Crenshaw Blvd. is closed to thru traffic between Jefferson Boulevard and Coliseum Street as the roadway and streetscape are being rebuilt above the new underground Expo/Crenshaw Station. Thankfully, this is the last full extended closure for the Crenshaw/LAX project.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line is overall 90 percent complete. ‘Substantial completion’ of the project is expected in Dec. 2019. The agency will then complete final safety testing and operator training with service to the public anticipated to begin in mid-2020.
Key issues impacting the project schedule are:

•Completing the electrical work on the rail line is taking longer than expected.

•Metro wants to finish necessary track tie-in work for the future Airport Metro Connector Station before the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens to avoid closures once trains are running. The station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street will be the transfer point between Metro and the future LAX Automated People Mover serving airport terminals.

•Metro is also working with Los Angeles World Airports to coordinate construction of the Automated People Mover near the Crenshaw/LAX Line tracks and is working with the city of Inglewood on service plans to the new NFL stadium and adjacent entertainment district.

The construction of the $2.058-billion Crenshaw/LAX Line began in early 2014 and has proven, as expected, to be a complex undertaking.

The project features eight new stations and sections that are underground, aerial and which run down the middle of a major street. In addition, the project has a new rail yard, connects to the Green Line tracks and must accommodate the future airport station.

Metro thanks the community for its patience as we build a world-class light rail line and return fast and convenient rail service and other community benefits to Inglewood, Westchester and the iconic Crenshaw Corridor.


Kick off the holiday season at Union Station’s tree lighting on Nov. 29

The holidays have arrived! Union Station’s annual tree lighting ceremony will take place on Thursday, Nov. 29. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. on the south patio. Come enjoy the lights and a free performance from the Grand Arts Chamber Singers and The Los Angeles Symphonic Winds .

The festive, family-friendly holiday celebration will transform the station into a winter wonderland featuring a towering white Christmas tree, a “Cocoa Bar” with Elftenders, a Holiday Craft Zone for gingerbread house and ornament decoration, a Kids Zone with a Reindeer Toss and more!

The famed Confetti Project will make an appearance with an immersive pop-up studio offering guests an opportunity to celebrate the season with their own personal photo session.

The tree lighting is scheduled to take place at 7:15 p.m.

The event kicks off a month-long series of free “Cocoa Concerts” at the historic downtown destination throughout the holiday season. Dates for the concert series are: Thursday, Nov. 29, and Fridays, Dec. 7, 14, and 21.

Union Station will also host a holiday festival and pop-up artisan market on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swing by the south patio for live entertainment, free activities for kids, food trucks and marketplace!