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by frazgo

Drive Carbon Free for 2 years with a New Car

7:41 am in Driving, environment, Events, News, Social issues, Transportation by frazgo

No, I’m not talking a short term lease on an electric car, its on a gasser.  Suburban Simi Valley Ford is buying carbon offsets on any new car/truck you buy from them now through Earth Day (April 22, 2013).  They will purchase a 2 year carbon offset in your name from Carbonfund.org who in turn sends you a certificate for this purchase.

I talked with Mike Shell the leasing manager at Simi Valley Ford yesterday getting details on this program.  SVF is doing this because they want to leave a legacy and be a leader in helping to bring about an end to climate change.  So far since the Drive to Save the Environment Campaign started they have offset 1 Million, yes 1,000,000 pounds of carbon going into the air.  They hope that other dealers, including other brands will follow suit with this project in coming years. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Help a 15-19 year old driver not have a critical accident with #DSFL

8:16 am in Driving, Events, Social issues, Transportation by frazgo

Having survived one teen driver I’m getting ready to add another soon. The biggest fear for a parent is what if the kid makes a critical mistake driving that hurts themselves or someone else. Only so much a parent can do alone.  There are a lot of resources a parent can access to help them keep their kids out of harms way and DSFL-Driving Skills For Life is one such resource.

The program will be in L.A next weekend, March 2nd and 3rd at the Hollywood Park race track.  All the details you could want are HERE on the DSFL web site.  You can register your 15-19 year old HERE.

As if the links don’t answer all of your questions you can read the press release after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

A little vintage Valley for the morning

8:00 am in Driving, Movies, The Valley by frazgo

I can’t take credit for finding this, spotted on facebook on a friend of a friends liking it chain of posts.  None the less it is a great view of Burbank to Toluca Lake in 1958.  Isn’t that sound track something else?  The turds at the Getty images won’t allow embedding, but you can view it HERE.

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by frazgo

Metro cans more carpool lanes for Lexus Lanes – SGV hit this time around

8:00 am in Driving, Law, Law Enforcement, News, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation by frazgo

lexus lane transponder

lexus lane transponder needed even for carpoolers

Yup, as I mentioned in a post a while back, the HOV to HOT lane conversion is coming to me in the San Gabriel Valley.  The 10 from Alameda/Union Station to the 605 will be the affected area.  The change becomes effective 2-23-2013 at 12:01AM.

The transponders aren’t cheap, and then again using the lanes isn’t cheap if you are not in a carpool either.  Yes, you are required to have a transponder in your car if you use the lane.  There is no $3.00 service fee charged if you use it at least 3 times a month.

Metro is so “convinced” you will love it they are running a contest that ends today to get you to sign up.  Enter HERE.

AAA offers discounts on the transponders if you purchase it through them. This deal is open only to AAA members. The offer is as follows: Receive 20% off the initial pre-paid toll deposit of $40. AAA members will pay $32 for $40 worth of toll credits. Maximum discount is $8 per new account set-up.

My question is why hasn’t the 10 from DTLA to SaMo or the 405 from say the 101 to the 10 not been hit with the Lexus Lanes as well?  Certainly they are as congested as bad or worse than the freeways chosen so far.

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by frazgo

Downhill Boarders just outside of L.A

11:24 am in Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, People, South Bay, Transportation by frazgo

I spotted this on the Smoking Tire’s channel this morning.  Pretty awesome downhill boarding just outside the city limits.  Interesting to note that these guys had helmets on, much better than the yahoos I was behind recently on Laurel Canyon doing this WITHOUT helmets.

Smoking Tire for those of you who don’t know is owned by Matt Farah who runs Smoking Tire.com and was interviewed by me a couple of years ago.  Good guy, great cars and car reviews all taking place in and around Los Angeles.

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by frazgo

Happy New Years Eve L.A.

12:43 pm in Driving, Holidays, Mass Transit, Seasonal, Social issues, Transportation by frazgo

Its New Years Eve here in L.A. and I read a startling statistic that there are nationally 25 deaths a day caused by drunk drivers over holiday weekends.  July 4th weekend here in L.A for example had 1,000 DUI arrests.   Please don’t be a stat tonight, rather have a great night and take public transportation.   You can even ride the trains for FREE from 9PM tonight until 2AM tomorrow (New Years Day).

If you drive and find yourself too tanked to drive call AAA if you are a member or not,  you can take advantage of their “Tipsy Tow“.  All you have to do is call them at 1-800-400-4222 and they will pick you AND your car up and tow you up to 7 miles.  Great service that can save you a DUI ticket or worse an accident.

I for one this year will be spending a quiet evening of family game night.  What are your plans?

Happy 2013 in advance.

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Take A Hike To An Unsung POV

9:05 am in Biking in LA, Sports, The Valley by Will Campbell

I’m one of 17 hiking and mountainbiking members of the newly formed Trail Safety Patrol volunteer program implemented by Glendale whose mission beginning early next year is to serve as ambassadors for the city’s Community Services & Parks Department and work in conjunction with Glendale police and fire in providing for and promoting an enjoyable experience for all visitors to its open spaces.

Though I’ve been riding in the Verdugos for all 22-years of the mountaingbiking portion of my life, there are trails in the adjacent San Rafael Hills we’ve been tasked to patrol I’ve never put tire tread to and I’m familiarizing myself with them in advance of our start date. Two weekends ago I rolled the Ridge Motorway, and last Sunday found me on the Valle Vista Motorway located on the ridge between the 134 Freeway an Glenoaks Canyon. I want to highly recommend both if they were as previously unknown to you as they were to me. But of the two, the latter offers the most awesome visual award.

Here’s the flat version of a 360-degree panorama I took of the scenery and of my fellow mountainbiking patrolers from the trail’s western overlook above the 2/134 interchange (biggification enabled when clicked).

A rotating, interactive version of the pano image is viewable here.

The trail (route mapped here) is accessible from the upper end of Sleepy Hollow Drive off of Glenoaks Boulevard. At less than one-mile in length, the payoff found at the end far exceeds the output required to get to it, although there are some steeply graded sections of the fire road to scale as it rolls along.

 

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by frazgo

L.A. Auto Show opens today and what to expect.

3:58 pm in Blogging (in) LA, Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation by frazgo

Ford World 2012 LA Auto Show

Ford World 2012 LA Auto Show, click to embiggen

So much to talk about so will try to bring it down to a Reader’s Digest condensed version.  I will also try to bring you up to date as well as what you missed during Press Days which were this Wednesday and Thursday.

First of all, if you are looking for exotics fuhgetaboutit, there are none.  The entire class is represented by Galpin’s stock of Aston Martins.  Very nice cars, but not the boat load of Ferraris, Lambos and Rolls of years past.  That’s what happens when the L.A. show grows so big with a focus on green cars it alienated that fun bunch of fantasy cars. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

L.A. Auto Show opens Friday

8:45 am in Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation by frazgo

It is one of my most favorite times of the year, but then again I’m a car guy so it may not rank as high for you.  Since the L.A. Auto Show moved out from under the shadows of the Detroit show a few years back to right around Thanksgiving the show has taken off in terms of international importance.  Even Detroit has begrudgingly noted our importance as an international show.  Actually our show kicks Detroit’s butt, been to Detroit and they have nothing on us, especially when you roll in all the tuners, customizers and other goodies found in Kenetia Hall.  That is something that Detroit completely lacks.

It starts Friday November 30 and runs through December 9 in the entire Convention Center in DTLA.  All the information you could want about the L.A. Auto Show can be found on their web site HERE.  That includes the ability to order tickets online and save yourself some line time waiting to get into the show.

I’ll be there for Press Days as well as a regular paying member with the fam this weekend.  Yes, for me its that big of a deal.

PS as of 8:30AM yet another article out of Detroit goes live about how important the L.A. Auto Show is and sets the bar for others in the US Auto Show circuit.

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Pondering The Transponder: Sell Your Soul, Pay The Toll

8:40 am in Driving, LA, News, Politics, Rants, Technology, Transportation by Will Campbell

Following Frazgo’s November 9 post announcing the somewhat chagrin-filled arrival of toll lanes that have now turned a stretch of the 110 Freeway (and soon part of the 10 Freeway) into a Costway, I whatthehell’d it and decided to drink the koolaid and go get myself outfitted with one of the required tracking devices so my vehicular movements and non-movements could be monitored by 24/7 by the MTA and Caltrans, AAA via a combination of roadway implant receivers and suborbital satellites. Oops! Sorry!! My inherent schizoid-based distrust of any transmitters forced upon us by the government is showing. Let me zip that up. What I really meant to call the technology was “The completely harmless and entirely loveable Metro Expresslane FasTrak Transponder.”

Anyway, it’s not like I really need one. I’m rarely on the 110 and even rarer in its HOV lanes so my initial reaction was basically “fuck that bullshit” followed by about eight exclamation points.

Then my resolve weakened when the doomsday scenario occurred to me that there might come that anxiety-ridden day when I’m stuck southbound on the gridlocked Harbor coming through Exposition Park, 149 hopeless minutes away from a flight at LAX that’s leaving in 91 minutes. At that moment somewhere in a bunker deeeeeeeep under the city an MTA operative monitoring my biometric activity being sent via the chip embedded in the TAP card in my wallet smiled and told a failsafe colleague “We’ve almost got another one!”

Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Lexus Lanes coming to Los Angeles’ Harbor Freeway

8:52 am in Downtown, Driving, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, Transportation by frazgo

transponder

lexus lane aka HOT transponder

It was bound to happen here eventually, another money grab that gives privilege to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.  The Harbor Freeway is converting from traditional carpool HOV lanes to HOT (toll lanes) both directions from Adams to the 91 Freeway on Saturday.   The toll paid will depend the time of day and congestion costing from 25 cents a mile to as much as $1.40 mile.

Motorcycles and legit carpoolers can still use the lane for free.  You must  have a transponder to use the newly christened HOT Lanes even if you are exempt from the tolls.  Transponders can be purchased from the MTA and select Albertson and Costco stores.  The MTA also charges a $3.00 fee per month for the privilege of having a transponder.

All the info you could want can be found via CHP Nixle and Metro Express Lanes web sites.

Have no fear SGV…you too will have Lexus Lanes coming after the first of the year for the 10 Freeway, both directions,  from Downtown LA to the 605.

 

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by frazgo

Best of France and Italy car show Sunday 11/4

11:13 am in Driving, Entertainment, Events, The Valley, Transportation by frazgo

france and italy car show poster

france and italy car show poster, click to embiggen

If you have a soft spot for those quirky French and Italian cars this may well be the perfect show for you.  The France and Italy Car Show will take place this Sunday in Woodley Avenue Park.  It will feature a lot of vintage French and Italian cars.

It will be located on Woodley Ave south of Victory.  Its official time is 9Am to 2PM, I’d strongly urge folks interested to be there early as a lot of people start leaving well before the 2PM close time.  If they can start their cars that is…sorry for the snark but a lot of these cars will live up to their stereotypes.  They even have a Facebook page with more details.

Details: Sunday November 4, 2012, Woodley Avenue Park MAP HERE, Van Nuys, CA

 

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by frazgo

Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final cross of L.A

11:24 am in Downtown, Photography, South Side, Transportation by frazgo

Its happening now, the space shuttle is slowly making the drive to its new home at the California Science Center.

Just my luck I blew out my knee and can’t stalk it as it makes its way to the CSC.  If you had a chance to see it in transit today please feel free to share links to your stuff in the comment section.

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Another CicLAvia, Another HandlebarCam Timelapse

9:14 pm in Biking in LA, Downtown, East Side, Events, South Side, Transportation by Will Campbell

Not to take away from the awesomeness of today’s CicLAvia, but there will never be one as supremely magical as the first one, two years ago. Even if it can never be topped, I still get out with my trusty GoPro cam mounted to my handlebar and participate whenever the next edition rolls around, and today’s was no exception.

So without further adieu, here’s the timelapse vid of me riding in from Silver Lake and then casually roll every inch of the 9.5 mile route from MacArthur Park to Exposition Park, back to downtown, then to Boyle Heights, back downtown, then up  into Chinatown and through downtown and to MacArthur Park (about 21 miles total over three hours):

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Endeavor Over Silver Lake

12:24 pm in News, Science, Transportation by Will Campbell

I’d originally planned to bike up to the Observatory and hike to the top of Mt. Hollywood for a nice vantage point of the shuttle as it did its Los Angeles flyover this morning, but I instead opted just to park a rickety old adirondack chair up on the apex of our steeply pitched Silver Lake roof and camp out there with a camera. And not fall down.

Low and behold, at high noon, that blessed spacebird flew into view atop her trusty 747 transport and accompanied by two fighter jet escorts and literally arced around my gleeful self as if the pilots  saw me and said to hell with the Observatory let’s give THAT GUY over their in the chair on that roof a treat.

Of course I hastily snapped off a few frames as I sat gape-mouthed in awe of her relative proximity, the best of which is below when she’s west from me across Silver Lake gulch and over the Micheltorena Ridge and banking southeast to go to downtown. Just awesome (click to enlargify):

PS. I also set up a timelapse cam beside me to autosnap me up on the roof snapping the shuttle, after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry →

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