As many of you know, the L.A. area has always had a shortage of superheroes, who tend to congregate in the more vertically-oriented and subterranean East Coast towns. Even Tony Stark spent his first couple of decades on Long Island before relocating to the L.A. area.
So it’s refreshing that Supergirl has taken up residence in National City, a thinly-disguised version of Los Angeles. See the rapid bus in the background at right during a recent Kara Danver coffee run on behalf of her media website.
Here’s the thing. If, for example, a seven-stomached space blob descends from the heavens above and decides to munch on a subway train or rapid bus, we would certainly appreciate some assistance in heading off the potential service delay. In the two episodes thus far, Supergirl has saved a commercial jetliner, important bridge, the port, a Nat City ambulance and stood up to Sadie Stone from Nashville (that last one isn’t saying much).
Supergirl hasn’t save a single bus or train yet, which is usually a key component of any superhero’s portfolio. So here’s my advice: Kara Danvers/Supergirl should wander over to the nearest National City Metro station, grab a TAP card and get busy saving something like the Gold Line trestle over the Arroyo Seco or fighting a baddy in that big, empty ticket room at Union Station (nice light!). If a superhero wants to win over the masses, there’s no better way to start than saving mass transit and showing little girls how to use their first TAP card.
And if Supergirl needs any assistance or has any questions, she should feel free to contact me personally.
Speaking of superheroes on the Metro….
L.A.’s 7th Street Metro station: dysfunction junction (CityWatch LA)
Which train is it? A Blue Line train bound for Long Beach or Expo Line headed to Culver City? The signs on the trains say it’s both.
This is a complaint with which we’re not unfamiliar. I’ve asked our rail ops folks for a response.
Good coverage of the announcement last week that the project to convert the old Harbor Subdivision rail tracks to a walking and bike path got a $15 federal grant. That will help pay for a 6.4-mile segment between the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Harbor Transitway and the Blue Line with a later segment to connect the path to the L.A. River.
Sahra Sulaiman writes that community engagement will be crucial to making this project a worthy one and lists some of the many challenges involved — including visibility.
More evidence that the gentrification of DTLA is picking up steam with the addition of a new transit-oriented-grocery (TOG). The upscale grocery will have 170 parking spaces and will deliver via bicycle.
Hard not to notice 1: the nice, wide sidewalks and excellent street lighting outside the store on 8th Street and Grand Avenue. Very different than much of the rest of DTLA.
Hard not to notice 2: the rents for the new luxury apartments built above the Whole Foods begin at $2,150, according to the eighth & grand website. The average household income for Metro bus riders is $14,876 and for rail riders $19,374, according to Metro’s latest customer survey, btw.
With city finances in better shape, a group is imploring city pols to drastically reduce the cost of parking tickets — which in recent times have been used to help fill depleted city coffers.
Good article on public policy. On the one hand, the fines are very steep, especially to low-income motorists. On the other hand, the L.A. Council recently gave initial approval to an ambitious (and presumably pricey) plan to add bus and bike lanes, has a Great Streets initiative and a variety of other transpo and planning needs. And that money has to come from somewhere unless the Magical Money Tree has been discovered.
Wonk out on this story from the Twin Cities that notes that ridership projections across the country have been slightly better this century than last. One difference: some agencies are thought to underestimate ridership, perhaps in order to later boast the project is more popular than initially thought.
The passage that caught my eye: that a planned rail line in the Twin Cities could deprive another future rail line of ridership (I’ve heard this theory applied to the Expo Line and the Purple Line — i.e. if they ever got too close, they would deprive each other of riders). Perhaps, if you believe there’s a finite percentage of people who will take transit. The other view: as you build more transit and saturate a community, the more riders it will attract because it’s so convenient to so many people.
If you don’t believe this, visit Manhattan/San Francisco East some time. In many parts of the borough, you’re just not that far a walk or bus ride or (these days) a bike ride from a subway station, thus the reason so many people take the subway. From the New York MTA’s new capital plan:
Recent How We Rolls:
Oct. 30: is The Force with mass transit?, a transit advocate — consumed by guilt — nonetheless buys a car, a commentary on the draft framework for Metro’s potential ballot measure.
Oct. 29: McDonald’s and the driving habits of Americans, to convert or not convert the Orange Line to rail and a great podcast on what keeps bridges from not falling down.
Oct. 28: bullet train officials say the project is on budget and on time, why transit is a tough sell in smaller cities, a really smart new bike.
Oct. 27: melting ice and record heat, Metro weighs Metrolink station relocation, 710 opposition at Board meeting, Chewbacca arrested in Ukraine.
Oct. 26: Can American reinvent its infrastructure? It has before.