How We Roll, Jan. 7: a list declares Highland Park is about to get popular!?

Wanted!: a good photo of a Metro bus or train with snowy mountains in the background. The Expo Line’s Culver City, La Cienega or La Brea stations may be a good bet. If you get a pic, please share with us on Twitter, Instagram or email me.

Art of Transit: 

Well, there's a bus and train down there somewhere. Taken from Eaton Canyon above Altadena. You can reach the trailhead via the Gold Line to Sierra Madre Villa and a transfer to the Metro 264 Bus. Exit the bus at the intersection of New York & Altadena and then walk north on Altadena for one block to the entrance to Eaton Canyon Park. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Well, there’s a bus and train down there somewhere. Taken from Eaton Canyon above Altadena on Saturday. You can reach the trailhead via the Gold Line to Sierra Madre Villa and a transfer to the Metro 264 Bus. Exit the bus at the intersection of New York & Altadena and then walk north on Altadena for one block to the entrance to Eaton Canyon Park. Photo by Steve Hymon.

From the Department of El Nino:

Speaking of weather, here’s our recent post on Metro’s efforts to keep buses and trains moving even when it rains.

From the Department of Rider Questions:

Answer: it’s a new security kiosk for use by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. From the announcement last fall:

Metro has also begun installing security kiosks at nine locations to help Sheriff’s deputies and other security personnel access enforcement tools, such as closed circuit television (CCTV) displays, landline telephones, two-way radios and computer workstations. The kiosks will be installed at the Willow, Crenshaw, Aviation, La Cienega, North Hollywood, Expo Power Sub Station, Wilshire/Western, 7th/Flower and Hollywood/Highland. The kiosks were provided through a $5.1 million California Transit Security Grant.

From the Department of Unscientific Polling: 

We posted this yesterday. I was truly surprised that the Rams came out on top — I thought “I couldn’t care less” would be first followed by the Raiders. I’m not sure if the Rams winning is a reflection on the Rams as a still popular football team here in So Cal or a reflection that people like the idea of eventually going to Inglewood instead of Carson.

A question for 2016: who is not in the room (Human Transit) 

Each year transit planner Jarrett Walker resolves to ask a different question. This year it’s a really good one: who is not in the room when big decisions are made?

A couple of excerpts:

Why this?  Because in many parts of society, including urban planning, the rooms in which decisions are made are getting smaller and less diverse, and that can make for worse decisions, no matter how well-intentioned the people in the room are.  What’s more, creating a diverse room is harder and harder, because people are just less interested in spending any time in rooms with people who don’t share their experience — either physically or online.


Like anyone, though, we notice decisions that were made in our absence.  Decisions about street design (often arising from small-room project definitions like “add a bike lane”) may inadvertently wreck the transit operations.  Ditto decisions about land use — such as putting a transit-dependent land use (medical center, senior center, social security office) in a transit-inaccessible location because the land was cheap there, and then expecting transit to run an expensive empty bus just to get to that remote location.   (Businesses make those decisions in small rooms too.  Sometimes they really do move from a downtown office tower to a remote business park, and then ask the transit agency: “Hey, what happened to our transit service?”)

Wise words. Anyone have any examples they would like to share of decisions made they don’t think were fully informed?

12 neighborhoods across America that are about to blow up (Thrillist) 

Our own Highland Park — easy to reach on the Gold Line — makes the list. I’m not sure this is flattery but here goes the excerpt:

That’s not to say people didn’t live there — it’s been a working-class, mostly Latino ‘hood for generations — but like past gentrifications, the hipster influx has meant a hodgepodge of the old days (great food trucks!) and the new days (a terrific donut shop from the dude who produced all those Blink-182 albums you loved in high school!).

Of other ‘hoods listed, I was surprised to see Tacoma. I haven’t been there for 20 years, but I do recall it had a lumbery smell. But things must have changed as Thrillist cites its many old theaters, new breweries and resemblance to Portland of the 1990s. Hmm.

L.A. Weekly editor tapped to head campaign against ‘mega-projects’ (LAT)

Long-time local journalist Jill Stewart will be working with the ballet ballot proposal that seeks to limit the city of Los Angeles’ ability to change zoning laws to accommodate big projects. Both at the Weekly and previously at the LAT, Jill certainly has shown the knack for tackling local stories in a provocative way that earns readers.

I think the ballot proposal is big deal in L.A. as many projects — big and small — require exemptions from zoning codes, many of which are decades old. From the transit point-of-view, the interestingness is that many mega-projects are near existing or future transit lines.

Snowy owl spotted on Montreal traffic cam (CBC)

Photo: Transport Quebec.

Photo: Transport Quebec.

Here’s the original tweet from a Montreal transpo official:

The young female owl may have been born within the Arctic circle but had flown south to the Montreal area for the winter and was probably looking for a perch. Match that, Caltrans!

Things to read whilst transiting: For those following the armed takeover of the National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, here’s a good NYT primer on how the U.S. government became owner of so much land in the West. Fun fact: about 42 percent of California is owned by the state or federal government, with most of the land included in national parks/monuments, national forests, state parks and military bases.

Recent How We Rolls:

Jan. 6: untransit-friendly stadium proposals and our poll asking if would you Go Metro to see the Chargers, Raiders or Rams in Los Angeles.

Jan. 5: the city of Santa Monica wants to build fencing to keep people off the Expo Line tracks.

Jan. 4: no love of freeways from one big L.A. media outlet and a fancypants new development along the Expo Line.

Dec. 31: a few thoughts on transpo trends in 2015.

Dec. 23: Lyft to LAX, Star Wars characters on transit.

I’m on Twitter and have a photography blog. Questions or ideas for How We Roll? Email me.


10 replies

  1. Other than fixing zoning laws and promoting higher density, I don’t see any other alternative to fix LA’s high rent problem.

    Besides, it’s much better for everyone if the city is built more compact and dense. They’ll be less need for cars to get around and everyone will have better access to all of the daily needs just by walking and taking transit.

    Did you know in the rest of the world, it’s perfectly doable to live, work and have all of the necessities of life within a 5 km radius, and can live an entire life without ever driving a car, without breaking your bank account? It’s true. LA needs to become like that instead of a being a place known where people are spending $1,800 or more for a one-bedroom apartment because of lop sided supply and demand.

  2. The rising crime rate in the City of L.A. has a lot of “New Urbanists” thinking twice about paying outrageous prices to live in city neighborhoods. The Phantom predicts the next big thing will be “New Suburbanism” !

    • If it’s like Star Wars, every other generation defies the generation before. See: Kylo Ren. In all seriousness, I think folks priced out of cities will inevitably find appealing ‘burbs that will be remade into village-type places. The Phantom may be on to something.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source.

    • Hi Mitch:

      The tunnel is forecast to be finished this spring.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. The public radio show Marketplace has been reporting on Highland Park for over a year now. They made a special project out of it, with its own website

    Elysian Valley is next on the list. Once the new Riverside bridge is complete, it will be a short bike ride from the Gold line too. It already has some of the earliest completed improvements for the LA River.

    • I’d vote for a ballet measure even though I fell asleep on my one and only visit to the ballet.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source