Transit Sleuth TV : Episode 3 “Park(ing) Day, Cascadian Secession with Jocelyn and Kristen Hangs Her Fixie!

NOTE: If the video seems choppy, it might be set to HD. Turn that off and it should play seamlessly.

In this episode of Transit Sleuth TV we kick off with…

Adventure Segment

A montage of Park(ing) day staring Dan (revolutionary musician) and Katrina (organizer). The event was a total blast which is pretty evident from all the smiling faces and the great time everybody had!

Interview Segment

After that I travel to Cascadia to interview Jocelyn Gaudi about how she gets around Portland, where she plans to bike in Cascadia, what gorgeous rivers are good for jumping in naked and a whole slew of other questions. We then take a ride around the park, which gives some secrets to where to ride in Laurelhurst.

Something Useful

Finally the episode wraps up with Kristen Mozian teaching us something useful. She removes her fixie from merely sitting upon the ground in her efficiency apartment to hanging perpendicular. That way it gives her space for a butchers block. So after a bit of drilling, hacking and improvising … maybe her wall falls down totally? You’ll have to watch to find out!

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Metro Doing a Good Job on Los Angeles Transit

There’s a million reasons why I’ll likely never live in Los Angeles, but I do indeed like to visit. Whenever I visit I don’t stay in some hotel and do the tourist thing. I usually get an airbnb (even though I’ve heard that’s illegal in a number of cities like Los Angeles) or stay with friends in the area of my travels. It’s better, in my opinion, to stay where the heart, passion, art, music and life of a city are versus in some stoic and staid hotel that is disconnected and segmented from the people and life of a city. While amidst the heart of Los Angeles here’s a few observations, thoughts and general adventures from the last few days.

Where Did The Sleuthing Occur?

Some basic geographic context here…

  1.  – Los Angeles Union Station, more below the map.
  2.  – Where I resided in an artist’s loft for the weekend.
  3.  – The Spring Street & Main Street Bike Lanes. The location of the recent battle with the movie industry scouts (yes, they’re idiots and that out of touch with American cities these days) over the green in the green bike lane in the street ruining their shots! Here’s a few choice write ups and videos of the film industry whining away. Contrary to their nonsense, I guess they’ve missed the fact that green bike lanes exist in almost EVERY MAJOR CITY IN THE UNITED STATES NOW! I always knew hollywood was out of touch with the country, little things like this just further prove it.
Los Angeles, Click for actual Google Map.

Los Angeles, Click for actual Google Map.

Riding the Coast Starlight one arrives at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. This is a beautiful station located just across the street from the original old city of Los Angeles. This old city happens to be a public space and tourist attraction of sorts these days. Union Station is an amazing place, with a large waiting room, an underground tunnel that connects all of the track platforms and over 60,000 passengers a day through the station. It serves several Amtrak, Amtrak California and Metrolink trains along with light rail Gold Line Service with a subway connection to the Red and Purple Lines. The connections in Union Station are great. Being able to get almost anywhere in the Los Angeles area from the station with maybe one transfer.

Light Rail

The light rail of the Metro System is nice, the light rail vehicles (LRVs) are smooth riding, fast accelerating and decelerating, and have good visible for the ride. Beyond that they run most of the light rail lines at bout 10 minute headways, making it very easy to use to go back and forth for errands. Another thing I took note of, at least on the Gold line, is that the cars are well maintained and generally kept clean.

Buses

The metro buses are an extremely wide range of vehicles. From buses that look like they’re dated from the 60s or 70s to extremely modern buses, Metro has them all. Most are kept clean, and the modern sleek BRT style buses operate quickly and frequently. Overall, they’re pretty nice, the frequency is pretty solid and the BRT routes of the Orange and Silver line are exception. I will make the standard complaint about buses that, the ride quality even on these BRT lines isn’t very good compared to the light rail ride quality. I’d still be hard pressed to do anything on the bus besides listen to headphones. Contrary to the light rail, which I routinely read, work on a laptop, listen to headphones or even carry on with fellow passengers. All easier or possible on light rail while much more difficult to impossible while riding the bus.

That’s it for now. In just a few hours I’ll have episode 3 of Transit Sleuth TV up and live, so keep reading and watching. More to come!

References:

Sneak Peak of Some Upcoming Transit Sleuth TV

Currently I’m in Los Angeles sleuthing about. This is a mere 5% of the video I’ve collected so far, a little transit, a few bikes, some trains, a bit of Los Angeles, a sausage and more. Know where the sausage place is, because it was great, totally worth a visit when you’re in LA! So here’s a short sneak peek of upcoming Transit Sleuth TV footage… enjoy! Remember, episode 3 is coming out this Monday at 7:30am.

A Few Pieces of Advice

None of these should need to be tweeted. However, I felt inclined to offer some advice on twitter since there had been some pretty poor decisions made by some people today…

Los Angeles!

Finally got the first trip of a set scheduled. Here’s my plan for sleuthing to the maximum. I’m going to make two trips to Los Angeles, hopefully both will be before the end of the year. The first trip will be later this month, departing on the Coast Starlight on October the 24th. Paul @emptedesign will be going down on this October trip to help me capture some footage. We’ll also be catching up on the Railvolution Conference on the train ride down. Then the next trip will be sometime in November or December. Here’s the break out of mission goals for the two trips so far.

October Coast Starlight Trip

  • We’re going get a Transit Sleuth TV segment put together for the Coast Starlight trip itself.
  • Catch up and put together another Transit Sleuth TV segment on the Railvolution Conference and a wrap up around that.
  • Get video for a secret project and some segment work on Transit Sleuth TV of the transit in action and explore new realms of the city. Prospectively the Gold Line or elsewhere. Got ideas? Send them this way!
  • Catch a commuter train to somewhere. The question is, which one and where to? Where is a good town center along the way, good livability and related things?
  • Find the good food the locals dig. Where is it, where’s the walkable streets that we should tackle?

Later Coast Starlight Trip

  • Catch up with the Wolfpack Hustle and get the lowdown on the rides, packs and hustles. If you’re not aware of this crew in LA, check this out. Keep an eye out for those rockin’ tall bikes!
  • Bike and transit and bike and transit and bike and then bike some more.

So these are coming up…   Transit Sleuth will be sleuthing and the adventures will be on Transit Sleuth TV on a future episode!

Streetcar Mobile Music Festival, Sleuthing News & Updates, Plus a Sneak Peak of Next Episode of Transit Sleuth TV

The Streetcar Mobile Music Festival, or more simply the #SMMF, was great. (There’s a video sneak peak below, keep reading!!)

I’m currently working on getting the footage put together of the three bands I was able to see. It’ll be on an upcoming episode of Transit Sleuth TV in the coming weeks. Why did I only see 3 bands? It’s all about the logistics of how the festival works, it’s really pretty cool. Albeit it does leave you missing some of the bands.

How the Logistics of Music Work at SMMF

This years festival has a loading and unloading stop where all the bands stage ready to get on and off the streetcars. At the same time an audience builds up at the stop for switching to the streetcars as one arrives with a previously playing band and a new streetcar arrives to embark the next band. Check out this map below for an idea of how it works.

The starting point is also the ending point. A band boards with all their gear at the starting point, which this year was at the eastern stop just over the Broadway Bridge. The stop is N Weidler & Ross (id: 13607). That is is used for quick mobile phone update of when the next streetcar is arriving. At the festival you could see a lot of phones being used to record the bands and see when the next arrivals were coming over the bridge.

Once the band boarded they would play a set while the streetcar travelled south toward OMSI. This year the last stop at OMSI wasn’t taken however, because of construction for the pending connection to the new bridge. Because of this the streetcar was turning at the section of the route tagged turnaround below. Once the streetcar turned the second half of the set would be played while we traveled back north to the N Weidler & Ross stop. There the band, and much of the audience, would disembark and wait a few minutes for the next streetcar to arrive and start the jamming over again with a new loop trip.

Click for full size image of map.

Bands

For more information on the bands check out the Streetcar Mobile Music Festival Site and there is a bands section. Here’s a video sneak preview of the band Thanks that’ll be in the upcoming episode of Transit Sleuth TV.

Bicycle Brown Bag, The BBB!

In the coming week on October 17th another Bicycle Brown Bag with Adonia Lugo is coming up. Adonia will be talking about “Recognizing, Supporting and Celebrating Diversity in Bicycle Culture“. From the Bicycle Brown Bag site:

Yes, L.A. has a head start on Portland in the realm of diverse bicycle culture. But a tour of St. Johns or East Portland will reveal the variety of people riding bikes here. As we work to encourage everyone who wants to use a bike for transportation to do so are we missing the “ Invisible Riders” ?
Adonia Lugo will draw on her experiences at Ciudad de Luces (now Multicultural Communities for Mobility) and CicLAvia, as well as her academic work, to address this topic.

A cultural anthropologist and activist, Dr. Lugo blogs at urbanadonia.com about her carfree adventures as a Chicana woman and the belief our cities can be socially just and ecologically sustainable. In Los Angeles, she co-founded CicLAvia and City of Lights/ Ciudad de Luces (now Multicultural Communities for Mobility).

It’d be great to meet and see others, so ping me via Twitter @transitsleuth and let me know you’re coming. I’ll be sure to say hello!

Happy hygge, cheers!

Streetcar Mobile Music Fest #SMMF 2013

The Streetcar Mobile Music Fest 2013 is happening this Saturday (that’s tomorrow). The last one was great, careening around the CL Line and the one before that (or was that just bands on streetcars?) was great too! Either way it’s going to be a great time, so come ride a CL Line Streetcar and enjoy the scenery and music! I’ll be there video recording and photographing the event for fun (thus, say hello) and the intent afterwards is to get a crew together afterwards for dinner and drinks. Of course, somewhere on the streetcar line!  😉

For a quick idea, here’s a video montage from last year.