Where we choose to live plays a giant role in our transportation choices. That’s why I was so interested in talking to Brigham Yen, a guy who could very well be L.A.’s only transit oriented real estate agent.
In addition to helping people find their dream homes, Brigham is an outspoken transit advocate. His blog BrighamYen.com (you can also follow him on Facebook) is more than just his real estate calling card, it’s a place to find the latest in Pasadena and downtown L.A. urban development news and a repository for Brigham’s musings and ideas on improving transit in L.A. It’s become a beloved community resource for Pasadena residents and would-be residents.
While the entirety of L.A. is Brigham’s passion, his home turf is Pasadena. That’s why I agreed to hop on a Gold Line train to meet Brigham for a transit oriented tour of the Crown City and a chat about L.A.’s transit developments through the unique lens of a man who helps Angelenos choose where to live.
|Metro Gold Line Stations||Fillmore, Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake, Allen, Sierra Madre|
|Metro Bus Lines||176, 177, 180/181, 256, 260, 266, 267, 268, 485, 487/489, 687/686, 762, 780|
|Other Operators||Pasadena ARTS, Foothill Transit|
The Source: Why the focus on Pasadena and downtown L.A.?
Brigham Yen: I grew up in Monterey Park so I’ve been coming to Pasadena since I was very young. I’ve always had an affinity for the area. Right out of college I moved downtown and started working for the Downtown Business Improvement District – bringing businesses and residents into downtown L.A.
Pasadena and downtown L.A. are two of the oldest parts of L.A. county – they’re very walkable, there’s a lot of character, a lot of history and I think that’s what attracted me to them.
The Source: Tell us about your interest in transit.
Brigham Yen: Urbanism, walkability and transit are inextricably tied. You can’t seperate them. You’re always going to have people who need to get someplace faster than walking, but how do you do it without a car? You need transit.
After traveling to other cities – New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, London, Taipei – I discovered that there’s a feeling of freedom that comes with transit.
In London I stayed next to the British Museum and the ability to leave my hotel and get everywhere by foot, bus or train – that was liberating. Not having to depend on an automobile for my existence is what I call freedom.