Fast lane to gridlock (L.A. Times)
Smart column by architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne on Carmageddon. In his view, the impact of the 405 closure this weekend is getting a lot of hype because even in 2011, transit is woefully lacking and for many there’s no alternative to driving or freeway travel to get around. Excerpt:
There is certainly something to be said in this diffuse, diverse and distractible city for collectivity of any kind. And anything that forces us to imagine a Los Angeles without cars — or less dependent on cars, at any rate — has some civic value.
It’s striking, though, that amid all this handwringing we’ve barely paused to ask the most basic questions about what the widening project means for the city and how we navigate it or how we think about the relationship between architecture and mobility in a city planned for more than half a century around the primacy of the car.
Read the entire column. I think among the local media, Hawthorne has time and again in recent years shown that he has a good grip on many of the urban planning challenges facing our region.
The Mica bill: good for America Fast Forward, bad for everyone else (L.A. Streetsblog)
Local Streetsblog editor Damien Newton digs into the multiyear transportation bill proposed by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida) last week and finds that it has components of the America Fast Forward plan that could accelerate the building of local Measure R projects. But other components of America Fast Forward are AWOL in the House version of the bill, which includes some devastating cuts to other transportation programs — such as funding for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. This could be a dilemma for local officials who need the pathbreaking AFF program made into law but also may need other federal funds. Of course, some of the cuts to transpo funding could be restored in the Senate’s version of the bill.
Crime lurks outside airports, train stations (USA Today)
Wow. If the intent of this article was to frighten or inform me, I’m not sure it worked. The newspaper commissioned a study showing that crime rates are frequently higher than the national average in neighborhoods outside of big airports or central train stations in the U.S. Is this really news? And are travelers really being impacted or wandering into these neighborhoods and being victimized? Hard to say from this article, although it does mention there’s been some increasing instances of prostitution at motels near Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. You’ve been warned, travelers!