K-Town parking, San Francisco vs capitalism, Dodger great Bill Buckner: HWR, May 28

Dept. of Reminder: rail service on the southern section of the Blue Line resumes on Saturday while rail service between 7th/Metro and 103rd St/Watts will be replaced by bus shuttles through September. This is part of the New Blue work to modernize the Blue Line. Please see this post for more info.

•Gotta love this headline: “Want to park in Koreatown? Get ready for ‘a bloodsport‘” in the LAT.

The problem is simple: a lot of old buildings have little or no parking (the buildings pre-date modern zoning rules); a lot more new buildings are being constructed; K-Town is popular, very walkable and very densely populated by local standards, and; parking on residential streets is mostly unregulated and, not surprisingly, oversubscribed. It’s a bit of a tragedy of the commons thing — those with cars contributing to using up a finite resource.

It’s also the kind of problem common to other large cities such as S.F., Chicago and Gotham, to name a few.

As the article notes, one remedy could be to manage the parking on residential streets with some type of paid permit system. One source notes that could pose equity issues for those with lower incomes. True. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that low-income discount programs are always possible (Metro, for example, offers discounts for low-income transit riders and ExpressLanes customers).

Parking regs in K-Town are ultimately a city of L.A. decision. On the upside, the Purple Line Extension that serves K-Town is being expanded nine miles to the west and other transit projects are on the way — and maybe that will help lessen demand in the future. Maybe.

Although even that idea inspired some convo on Twitter…your thoughts? How would you improve parking in K-Town?

•Things to listen to whilst transiting — fears that self-driving cars will make parking enforcement impossible. Fun listen via NPR but I think robot cars have bigger obstacles to face than their impact on parking. The big hurdle: safety.

•Nice piece on the Airport Metro Connector — the new rail station to be built next to LAX — and Tim Lindholm, a Metro staffer who helps oversee construction projects on the Persons of Infrastructure blog.

•Not a transpo story per se, but the Washington Post takes a scathing look at San Francisco and the out-of-control — their sources’ words, not mine — capitalism (read: rents) some see as consuming the city.

The article has more than 3,000 comments and many agree with the story’s premise that tech money has ruined the place. Of course, those who have seen the prophecy — by which I mean the most recent “Planet of the Apes” trilogy — know that San Francisco falls first.

Things to read whilst transiting: nice appreciation in the NYT of Bill Buckner, who passed away Monday and was a great player for the Dodgers from 1969 to 1976, including a trip to the World Series in ’74. Excerpt:

In a career that lasted from 1969 through 1990, Buckner compiled 2,715 hits, won a batting title, made an All-Star team and never struck out three times in a game, something 16 major leaguers did on Sunday alone.

With a lot of grace and patience, he also showed the best side of sports, refusing to allow his life and career to be defined by one error.

11 replies

  1. Your wording on the K-town car parking thing is kinda driver-centric: “everyone contributing”? in a neighborhood where many households don’t have cars. Many of us live here because the place isn’t overrun by parking – which makes it fairly walkable.

  2. “On the upside, the Purple Line Extension that serves K-Town is being expanded nine miles to the west and other transit projects are on the way — and maybe that will help lessen demand in the future. Maybe.” – 20-30 years from now, certainly

  3. K-Town is exactly what you’re getting more of because they demand more people use public transportation. Housing construction will require less parking requirements so everyone living in the neighborhood will have a lack of parking in their housing complex and on the streets. That’s by design. Private garages will be equally expensive as housing so it makes no sense. A richer family will rent with parking included. I’m so glad to not live in LA. Getting home is already much stress.
    The Purple Line will not solve the problem for K-Town. LA lacks a public transportation network. It’s just one rail line going one way. It needs to connect to other lines so every part of the city is accessible like how we drive our cars to get to where we want to go. Unfortunately, so much rail lines is in freeway medians and they shy away from building stations at major shopping areas. Metro is truly a rail to nowhere as it has been for decades.
    I am glad the LAX Station and Connection is on the way to be completed. There’s finally a destination for Metro to be used by most people.

    • Hi Tim;

      I don’t think the Purple Line will solve the parking issue in K-Town just as the New York Subway hasn’t solved parking in New York City. But I do think the subway extension will make transit a better option given there will be rail service to both the east and west and it will be a short ride to transfer to the rest of the transit network in DTLA.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • I’ve realized that the people who argue that “Metro doesn’t go where I want to go” are just lazy people who refuse to organize their life around an alternative mode of transport as much as they’ve based their decisions on where to live, where to work, where to be entertained around the automobile (and then complain about traffic). Metro isn’t the problem. YOU are the problem.

      • But when metro ignores reality and runs the bare-minimum acceptable headways for frequent urban rail service (like running every 20 minutes past 8 pm) or worse on most bus lines then one can start to see why people prefer to drive. Most good urban transit systems run much more frequently and that is key.

      • I take exception to this comment. More people will use Metro if it’s within walking distance. I take Metro to get to El Segundo via the Green Line, but I have to use my car to get to the Metro station. It’s a 30 minutes car ride. The morning commute is 1.25 hours total with walking included. The return commute is 2.5 hours with walking included. This is a terrible waste of time, but it’s the best we got. We treat the Metro construction as a boondoggle. There’s no attempt to make it more efficient and quicker. Government piles upon delays and budget overruns with service cuts and higher prices/costs. Meantime, traffic continues to get worse and we justify doing nothing with green initiatives, induced traffic excuses, high gas and sales taxes, and more laws and regulations.

        • There’s a limited amount of funds so Metro rail could not obviously be built to “within walking distance” of everyone (though most people ARE within walking distance of a bus). If you wish to rely on Metro (and really only then do you get to complain), you have to first organize your life around it.

          If it’s a much shorter car ride for you then the no-brainer solution is to drive, and you must then bear the burden of traffic, parking, vehicle costs, insurance, and taxes because you’ve chosen a more wasteful mode of transport than the rest of us. If you do not like those costs, you can change where you live or change jobs (or get on a bicycle). The problem comes back to you and the lifestyle you’ve selected, not Metro.

          • “If you do not like those costs, you can change where you live or change jobs (or get on a bicycle).”

            Then Metro is irrelevant because you have no use for Metro. LA is so big that no one can make Metro their first choice or second choice for transportation. Moving to a new location to solve YOUR transportation by using Metro will not fix the problem for anyone that moves into your former place. Your argument is of no use.

            Metro is not a solution and you make it sound like it could be. Cars will continue to be useful for the vast majority of residents in Southern California.