Why You Don't Ride: Derek, Palos Verdes

Why You Ride (or Don't)Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.

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Who You Are:

Name: Derek
Occupation: Student
Location: Palos Verdes

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

I’m in my car several times a day, for any purpose that requires me to leave my home. There is nothing besides an elementary school within a mile (walking distance) from my house.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Everywhere. I have work close to home as well as another job in Hollywood. Most of my friends live on the Westside or in the San Gabriel valley – neither of which are adequately served by transit.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

I have one, each of my parents also have one – so three for our household.

How long does your commute typically take?

It takes me 5 minutes to get to my one job and over an hour to reach my other one.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical driving experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I hate it. There has to be a better way.

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

More than $500

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

I take transit whenever available. I wish I lived in the Central City region and could just get rid of my car altogether.

Why do you drive?

There is no comparable alternative where I live. My parents chose twenty years ago to live a completely auto-dependent lifestyle.

Your Perspective:

Have you tried to use transit before? What was your experience?

I used to live in downtown L.A. and my transit usage vs. driving patterns had been reversed. Unfortunately I’m underemployed and could no longer afford to live where I was.

What could local transit agencies do to encourage you to take transit more often?

Provide more frequent and farther reaching services. Honestly, I just need to move out.

How do you feel about buses?

I’d ride a bus, but only if it has a dedicated lane.

How do you feel about rail?

I’d ride rail if it there was a route that served my needs.

Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?

I think rail and transit oriented development (TOD) are the most essential components. Without TOD growth continues to sprawl, and rail is the backbone of any transit system. Without it, transportation in the region is much harder to identify.

9 replies

  1. If you’re going to leave your bike alone for several hours, I really recommend using a Ulock for the frame and locks for the wheels and seatpost (don’t use cables). They are very good theft deterrents. So far they’ve worked for me in high bicycle theft areas.

  2. Rosemary makes a good point about the importance of safe bike parking in making a bike transit connection. For extended periods, like a full day at work, leaving a bike at an unattended rack is very risky, and theft is common place. Lockers are more secure, but if they are always rented out, then you’re out of luck.

    If government agencies want to encourage bike trips, as they often say they do, then they would provide more facilities than the level of current demand, to entice new trips. Yet when it comes to bike parking, in many peak places of demand like transit stations, demand outstrips supply by significant margins.

    How can we expect a growth in bike trips made if we aren’t keeping up with the demand of existing cyclists? The government is nearly always 3 steps behind instead of a step ahead when it comes to providing and planning for bicycling as a mode of travel.

    One of my concerns as a Santa Monica resident, is that each of the expo line stops will vastly underestimate the bike parking demand for the area. The Santa Monica Sunday Farmers Market bike valet parks hundreds of bikes every week. Especially with the expo bike path following the line, I hope there are real plans for bike parking at each station, but I’m doubtful it will be adequate given how poorly Metro has done on this, and how many more people bike in coastal areas like Santa Monica than other parts of LA.

  3. It’s nearly impossible to commute if you don’t have a “regular” job. Lines to the South Bay stop running by midnight. The last # 40 bus is around midnight. I often have to walk several miles home because there is no transit coming into this area at night. It’s even worse for PV, and the beach cities. Lines going into these areas stop around 8 or 9 pm; even if you take the Green Line you are stuck there because the Local transit has stopped service. And don’t tell me to ride a bike from there… I had my bicycle ripped off from that station lock and everything gone. There are only a very few bike lockers built there, and they are never available. Why doesn’t metro put more bike lockers there? Obviously, if they are ALWAYS rented, then there is a need for more.

  4. @Fred…I forgot about the buses that run through there but depending on where in PV you live it could be a problem just getting to a bus stop.

    @Gary…yea I know people love to bike there but you really really need to be in good shape…or have an electric assist bike. 🙂

  5. Biking can be a challenge in PV because of the hills, which is why so many cyclists ride to PV, for a challenge, and the scenic views.

    However one day I was out there by myself going up hill huffing and puffing, imagining I was breaking away in the Tour De France or something, when this old man pulls up right by me, and slowly starts pulling away. He was pedaling on an electric assist bike. It’s pretty amazing how far that technology has come, and it can allow almost anyone to ride as fast as a bike racer.

  6. There is absolutely no or little public transportation in PV. You have to have a car there. Even a bike is impossible unless you love riding on steep hills.

    My 2 cents

    • Interesting to note: Palos Verdes does have a small 8 line transit system, the Palos Verdes Transit Authority. Service is funded by the Cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Los Angeles County and Metro. Probably no surprise the service is rather limited – low frequency and weekday service only. Many of the lines serve area schools. Some lines do connect to Metro bus lines at the perimeter of PV.