The headline in the Washington Post says it all: “A man soiled himself on [the Washington] Metro, and a passenger did an unusual thing: ask for help.” The story notes LA Metro’s homeless outreach teams, which is unique in the U.S. The tweets included in the article:
Good morning Daniel. Thank you for reporting this. We have contacted MTPD and they would notify a medic if one is needed to assist. Our car maintenance team is also dispatching a road mechanic to help clean up. -KP
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 11, 2019
When I say help, I mean a social worker, not the police
— Daniel Marcin (@daniel_marcin) March 11, 2019
Ok a police interaction was kinda the last thing I wanted the guy to have, but if it was all you could do, fine. I think the guy’s problems go beyond this morning.
— Daniel Marcin (@daniel_marcin) March 11, 2019
In the news…
•The formal groundbreaking ceremony was Thursday for the $4.9-billion LAX automated people mover project. The people mover will connect with the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Lines at Metro’s future Airport Metro Connector station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street. Major construction of the station is expected to begin next year and both the station and people mover are forecast to be complete in 2023.
Both the station and future ‘Intermodal Transportation Facilities’ the airport wants to build will have pickup/dropoff areas where people can catch the people mover. The idea is to give people fewer reasons to drive into the very congested airport horseshoe, which I like to think of as the unhappiest place on Earth.
All good stuff. LAX is already the second busiest airport in the U.S. behind Atlanta and will likely stay busy. It’s no secret that airlines prefer LAX over other regional airports (some of which are also small). So the more options to getting to the terminals, the better.
Quasi-related: quote of the day belongs to Supervisor Janice Hahn, as reported by Curbed LA:
“In Los Angeles, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘hey, can you give me a ride to LAX?’” said Hahn Thursday. “In a few years, our answer to that dreaded question will be ‘no, take Metro.’”
The converse of that: I know more than a few people who consider giving a ride or fetching someone from LAX a great way to advance their chances with a sweetie.
Everyone traveling to or from @FlyLAXAirport ✈️ should have access to modern, reliable transportation that gets them to their destination quickly. We're bringing a new automated train to our airport! pic.twitter.com/vGEnHP7DUm
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 14, 2019
•There has been talk for a few years now of improving rail service between Union Station, Glendale and Burbank. Urbanize LA runs through the options from a Metro study, correctly noting that improving Metrolink service has the lowest price tag. Funding, as usual, will be a big challenge — and hundreds of millions of dollars would need to be found for a new light rail line. Stay tuned.
•The BART Board of Directors voted to endorse State Senate Bill 50, which would allow more housing to be built near busy transit lines, reports Streetsblog. The contentious part of this bill — and a previous version that died last year — is that it usurp local zoning laws and could allow apartments to be built in neighborhoods of single family homes.
The bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, says that he’s made amendments to address concerns over last year’s bill — with a focus on displacement. But I think this bill — intended to help fight the state’s housing crisis — is probably facing an uphill battle. Stay tuned.
•Gothamist rehashes an old post and ponders a question from a reader who wants to know if he should move to Los Angeles. You can guess the answer: No! Why? Gothamist’s Jake Dobkins says the weather is monotonous, the people boring and it’s too hard to get around and socialize.
This has a corollary when it comes to friendship, which is that you will never, ever, see your friends if they live on the opposite side of the city. In the rare event you have close friends who will even consider making the effort, you will spend hours negotiating where to meet. In New York, seeing your friends is easy, even if they live in different boroughs; you can just meet in Manhattan after work, get loaded, and take the subway home. This kind of thing simply doesn’t exist with any regularity in Los Angeles because the distances and costs are too great. Even now, when the advent of Uber has made it possible to have more than two drinks and not get busted for a DUI on the way home, Los Angeles socializing is still light years behind New York’s.
To some extent, this is true — especially when it comes to weeknight socializing. I live in Pasadena and the chance of me heading to the Westside for a weeknight dinner, then back to Pasadena, then back to DTLA the next day has become smaller over the years. We live in a huge area and that means it takes a little extra effort to get out and about. An expanding transit system combined with Uber/Lyft, scooters, denser housing, should help in future years.
As for the rest of the Gothamist post, some kernals of truth and a lot of the same old garbage.