Today’s Metro rider profile from Zocalo Public Square: ‘Learning the Streets of L.A.’
A young person’s guide as to why mass transit makes sense (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
Nice editorial from ed board member Larry Wilson that takes a deeply realistic view of our expanding rail transit system: the point isn’t to fix traffic, but provide an alternative to it. Excerpt:
Ah. Anyone who thinks that turnstile-jumpers are at the heart of deficits carried by mass-transit systems, or even that fares themselves should pay for all of bus and rail line costs, is a deep skeptic indeed. And radically misinformed about economics. I’m afraid I went into lecture mode: Mass transit “doesn’t ‘pencil out,’ as the developers say, on its own. You can’t dig a subway tunnel and say that it will make money on its own or not cause government debt. But what convenient mass transit has done in major world cities — huge economic powerhouses that make trillions of dollars in taxes and tourism income for their governments and citizens — is to make it so easy to get around that real estate investments and quality of life soars.”
Can New York be affordable again? (New York Times)
This editorial asks a question that I know some of our readers have recently posed about the Los Angeles area as many neighborhoods here gentrify. Rents and real estate prices have soared in New York City — including the boroughs — in recent times and the NYT Editorial Board praises Mayor Bill de Blasio’s newly announced plan to build many thousands of affordable units to try to preserve Gotham’s middle class. Excerpt:
By taking on affordable housing, Mr. de Blasio is making a full, multiyear commitment to a mission that, like “cleaning up Albany,” sounds vague and impossible. But Mr. de Blasio seems to mean it.
Cynicism is easy. Idealism is hard when you’re a politician who is making a huge promise, is expected to deliver and could lose his job if he fails. For the salvation of New York as a diverse, mixed-income city that is there for everybody, it’s essential that Mr. de Blasio gets this right. He needs to get hammering, starting now.
On that subject, very interesting post at LAObserved on LAT architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s views on the evolution of Los Angeles. Excerpt:
“Having run out of room to sprawl, virgin land to conquer,” Hawthorne wrote, “the city is doubling back on itself, constructing more infill development and experimenting with denser housing and vertical architecture. We are finally building a comprehensive and public mass-transit system to match the privately run one of the First L.A.”
But, Hawthorne hastens to add, this third LA is no utopia. At least not yet. “For many Angelenos, its emergence threatens to wipe out what has always made the city singularly attractive,” he wrote, “notably its great supply of single-family neighborhoods with private gardens. Fault lines are opening up between longtime residents and younger ones frustrated by the price of real estate or eager to see long-awaited transit lines and new park space finally completed.”
Wildfires in the winter do happen in Southern California. But pretty unusual to see one at the base of the Sierra Nevada, especially on the same weekend a storm was deposting much-needed snow in Mammoth.
Categories: Transportation Headlines