In this relatively new feature for The Source, I express actual opinions while working for government. Members of the media: please take any of these ideas and run with them — we could use the coverage!
1. It’s kind of a mixed message to say you’re against a bus lane in your neighborhood but you’re for mass transit.
1b. I’m weary of hearing the “but it will cause traffic” argument being used against every conceivable project in L.A., including the building of mass transit. Yawn.
2. I wish the conversation about a downtown L.A. football stadium near transit was a conversation about a downtown L.A. baseball stadium near transit.
2a. Anyone saying that a downtown stadium would be a traffic killer has never driven — a verb I use with irony — to a football game at the Coliseum or a Bruce Springsteen concert at the Sports Arena.
2b. When the Regional Connector is built, there will be frequent trains to Long Beach, Santa Monica, East Los Angeles, Azusa and Union Station stopping just a couple blocks from L.A. Live, Staples Center and the Convention Center.
President Obama’s bullet train plan and the Umami burger after the jump…
3. The $53 billion that President Obama wants to invest in high-speed rail lines in the U.S. in the next six years sounds like a lot of money until you consider the cost of some of the projects — just connecting Anaheim to San Francisco is currently estimated at $43 billion. The announcement seems designed to do two things:
•Encourage private firms to invest in high-speed rail projects to close the funding gaps that otherwise can’t be filled.
•Continue the planning process on most of the lines in order to prevent them from stalling and dying.
Those aren’t necessarily bad goals — but it’s not the same as having lines up and running in the next six years. Then again, the interstate highway system wasn’t built overnight either.
4. I think if there’s one stat that Congress thinks long and hard about when writing the next – federal transportation spending bill, it’s the one that Sirinya put in her post yesterday about federal funding: 56 percent of all Americans are living in the nation’s top 50 metro areas. I hope that’s where 56 percent of transpo money goes.
5. On the Metro Dining Map front, I finally had my first Umami burger — the one on Cahuenga and a short walk from the Hollywood/Highland Red Line stop. I know there are lot of people who have said it’s the best burger in town — and it was quite tasty — but I still rate Father’s Office (Santa Monica and Culver City), Comme Ca (WeHo) and the Pugburger at Hungry Cat (Hollywood, Santa Barbara) as better.
5b. If you’re in the Bay Area, don’t miss the burger at the Farley Bar at the Cavallo Point lodge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge — the easiest way to get there is to drive, unfortunately — but it’s worth it and the views from outside of the city are stunning, too.