Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Moving Cargo

Metro Blue Line - Long Beach Transit Mall

They do things big down here. And I’m not just talking about the big rigs.

Big murals, big boats, big traffic.

People cargo moves around real nicely. The Blue Line light rail avoids the perils of driving the 110 (otherwise known as Frankenstein’s Freeway – anyone who has driven it will know why. Anyone who hasn’t…just take my word that you don’t want to), or of dodging trucks on the 710 (just imagine being the frog in Frogger).

Once you’re in downtown Long Beach, you can walk anywhere. Restaurants, hotels, the Queen Mary. Since I was down here on business, I didn’t get a chance to do much more than see the view from my hotel room. Still, it’s a nice view.

The real problem here is that the actual cargo, Long Beach’s bread and butter, moves around real slowly. The ebb and flow of containers depends primarily on Big Rigs.

Long Beach shares a problem with the Port of Los Angeles - insufficient freight train access. The ability of trains to reach the ports (Long Beach and Los Angeles) has improved drastically since the completion of the Alameda Corridor in 2002. The 710 is still a sea of diesel trucks.

What is it they say? Something about the smog and sunsets...

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