Today’s Zocalo Public Square profile of a Metro rider: will today be a busy day? — Fair Oaks to Bushnell
The City Council doesn’t want a private developer coming up with plans for the current bus storage facility on Santa Monica Boulevard. And the Council certainly wasn’t happy with a plan that involved about 400 residences, an amphitheater and commercial space, among other things.
Rather, the Council would like to see public entities develop the land so that plans are more transparent. An agreement between Metro and Cohen for an exclusive two-year negotiating window ends in April. Stay tuned on this one.
The explosion at the ExxonMobil facility yesterday will almost certainly add to the cost of gas, which had gone up about 17 cents in the previous week, according to state statistics, to an average of about $2.80 for regular. Don’t like enriching the oil companies? If not already taking transit, try it occasionally. Here are Metro bus and rail maps and timetables — there is parking info included in the map for each rail and busway line.
Very nice piece from D.J. Waldie about the gains in air quality in the Southland made in his lifetime. But it’s not all good news. The horrific smog of his youth in the 1950s likely did/will impact his health. And air quality in our region often doesn’t meet federal pollution limits — and new rules are criticized by some as being too weak to accomplish much.
A better DART is what Dallas needs to be car-free forever (Dallas Observer)
Sort of a long-and-winding-road kind of post that still manages to be of interest: in this case a critique of light rail in Dallas and an argument that putting some of it underground in downtown Dallas would make it useful to riders and spur more density where it belongs.
I was a grumpy bear in yesterday’s headlines, writing that I couldn’t see the point of a new academic study that suggested that L.A. wasn’t as sprawling as some other regions. A few readers came to my assistance and helped explain the gist of it. Take it away, Diana Ionescu:
I don’t have a strong personal opinion on this, but I’ve heard the argument a lot so I figure I’ll try my hand at explaining it. I think the reason some people feel that density matters when it comes to defining sprawl is because we tend to think of sprawl as wasteful, as the unnecessary spreading of a city and its suburbs in order to build more single-family homes with big lawns, shopping malls with huge footprints, and big parking lots. People will argue that LA’s sprawl is very different from, say, Houston’s sprawl.
Having lived in both places, I’d agree — in Houston, I have to drive 30 miles from my mom’s house to downtown, and 2 miles just to get to the nearest shopping area. Even in denser parts of the city, it’s hard to find walkable areas where you can get all your errands done without a car. In LA, I don’t own a car and it’s perfectly easy to find pretty much everything I need or want within a half-mile radius, including basics like groceries but also entertainment and recreation. Obviously this isn’t true for every part of LA, but still. I completely understand what you’re saying about LA’s size, but the truth is that most people never need to drive from Palm Springs (hardly LA, in my mind, but whatever) or even the SGV to Santa Monica.
Excellent point. One of the things often lost on visitors to our region is that for every person stuck in rush hour traffic, there is usually a few people who don’t have to deal with congestion because they can stick to their corner of the county.
Luke Klipp, a Metro colleague. adds this about the implications of the way that our region is developed:
What IS certainly different about LA when compared with other regions is that, on top of this medium density that extends for miles around, we’ve long since removed the streetcar network that made a lot of it possible in the first place and put down an attempt at a high-speed car network with all of our freeways. We don’t have near the kinds of inbound/outbound rush-hour patterns of other more traditional cities because we are medium density throughout the whole region, which makes our transit planning a whole heckuva lot harder and also makes the car a much more desirable means of transport.
And that returns me to the original study I grumped about yesterday. Okay, so maybe we’re not as technically sprawling as some other metro regions. But we’ve sprawled enough to make it difficult politically and financially to figure out where to build transit. And that, my friends, is a problem.
Categories: Transportation Headlines