Wednesday, January 22, 2014


In today's RTA Board Meeting agenda, there were some details about the forthcoming Route 1 Limited, the lukewarm successor to the previously-proposed RapidLink project from nearly a decade ago. The Press-Enterprise hinted at the project, noting that RTA snagged a cool $12.3 million for new buses to run the service. But here, we have details:
Service characteristics of the proposed Route 1 Limited-Stop service
  • Weekday service only during peak hours between UCR and the Galleria at Tyler during peak hour periods between 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 2:30p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • 15-minute frequency
  • 15 stops in each direction over approximately 12 one-way miles 1
  • Up to 20 percent travel time reduction between terminals
  • Maximization of transit signal priority capabilities currently in place
  • along the University/Magnolia corridor
  • Approximately 17,028 annual revenue service hours
 And they call this phase one of the "BRT" project. Color me underwhelmed. We get no stop improvements, no off-board fare collection, we don't even get all-day service. Signal prioritization is nice and all, but this isn't a BRT service in any way. BRT is supposed to be the backbone of a frequent, all-day, daily transit network. This Route 1 Limited is simply a limited-stop commuter service, which is a far cry from what we desperately need on the University and Magnolia corridors.

Oh, and at the same time, the City is talking about how streetcars are going to make local stops, making them an expensive downgrade from present local bus service. More proof that local leaders don't really understand transit.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Inevitable Chris Christie post

Okay, so I can't turn on my TV without hearing about Chris Christie and his little tantrum over whatever perceived slight in New Jersey politics set him off. And yes, abuse of power is an awful thing, and calling Christie a smarmy asshole is an insult to the smarmy asshole community. But I can't help thinking about this:

Christie shuts down three car lanes on one bridge into Manhattan, for four days, to punish a B-list local politician, and it becomes a NATIONAL NEWS STORY for A WEEK.

But three years ago, Christie made the decision to cancel a post-groundbreaking, desperately needed transit tunnel to Manhattan, and let's be clear that "cancel" means "forever"-- and I'm pretty sure that's been forgotten about by most people. Even though that decision was on similarly shaky political grounds, and was also probably illegal.

Cripple critically-needed transit infrastructure projects, and get a collective "meh," but fuck with people's cars-- now that's a different story.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sidewalk Riding

I don't know when it happened last year, although it seems it did happen last year, but the Riverside Municipal Code seems to have been amended to permit sidewalk riding. Formerly, RMC 10.64.310 prohibited sidewalk riding-- although people did it anyway-- but, as of tonight, 10.64.310 reads as follows:
Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
So sidewalk riding, while still unsafe, is apparently now legal in Riverside. You'll still find me in the road.
UPDATE: The City Council made sidewalk riding illegal again during their February 25th meeting.