Sunday, October 18, 2009

USC planning student Alexene Farol writes about why public transit is hard for LA

Lex Rail writes (h/t Lisa Schweitzer):

The biggest complaint I repeatedly hear about L.A. is that it has a poor public transportation system. News flash: that's true, we're not New York or Tokyo by any means. Yet I often feel compelled to protect L.A. from empty criticism. The people who complain about L.A.'s public transportation system are complaining due to what I see as three major factors: 1) the effect of hearing other people complain (to which I have nothing truly helpful to contribute), 2) the absence of a transportation culture, like the subway-state-of-mind of New York City or even the let's-take-BART-to-the-Giant's-game compulsion in San Francisco, and finally, 3) the feeling of disorder and general lack of safety surrounding the systems we already have. Here's my take on those things.

So let's face it: in Los Angeles, we drive our cars. Everywhere, all day, every day. We jam up our freeways and complain about commutes and argue about congestion but still, we drive our cars. Historically speaking, there is a reason for this. East Coast cities were designed with pedestrians in mind; they are planned to some extent, but largely that American grid pattern wasn't implemented until we started growing westward. People still had few options but to walk when those cities began to develop and subsequently explode in population; hence those cities have easily identifiable centers. Like many European cities, the center is actually in the middle, creating a smaller but more concentrated radius of things-that-are-important-to-get-to: financial buildings and offices, cultural offerings, commercial centers, etc. Los Angeles, however, is a totally different breed of city. Most significantly, by the time L.A. took off in terms of population, Americans were falling in love with the automobile. (Isn't it just like a bad romance novel? The honeymoon period is magical and then we find out that the objects of our affections are shredding the ozone layer. Typical.) This city is not designed for pedestrians but for vehicles, which explains our lack of green space and, obviously, our general difficulties with creating a truly cohesive transportation network. Additionally, L.A. is a highly stratified city, partially because it contains so many levels of specialization and industry. L.A. has many centers - Westwood, the financial district, etc. - and subsequently has a harder time connecting them except by vehicle lanes. Given that information, it's hardly surprising that our public transportation appears subpar. Do you realize how much harder that task is for L.A. than for New York? The concept of reducing VMT (vehicle miles traveled) is a very new concept that is miles away from what L.A. was really planned for. Oh and while we're facing facts, don't lie: those of you who are complaining, you wouldn't ride public transportation anyway.

And why wouldn't you ride public transportation in L.A.? Because there's no guarantee that you'll be as safe as you would be if you were driving. Many of the complainers are students I go to school with, and further, many of those are members of my sorority. This is where the AYF (Attractive Young Female, or as Michael Jackson might say, PYT) factor comes in. Pretty girls are the best way to judge the success of a public transportation system, because they are a) the most noticeable and b) the most vulnerable, for either real or imagined reasons. Pretty girls will not ride public transportation if they don't feel safe. So here we reach another issue with L.A. public transportation: the pretty girls don't trust it. Now part of that, I think, is that these PYTs are expecting the hip subway culture that is not typical of Los Angeles, and as I said earlier, there's nothing we can do about that. They're also expecting fancy light rails with Starbucks and Yogurtland in them. Here's the problem with that, though: who rides public transportation in L.A.? Largely it's the low-income minority population, and they're not riding the fancy light rails. They're riding the derelict, overcrowded buses - the non-glamorous option, and thus, the one with less funding. There are no PYTs on these, nor are there likely to be while they remain in that state. And L.A., in all its innovative glory, continues to invest in highway expansions that don't work or rail lines with low ridership because that's what the PYTs - and higher income residents - want. In the meantime, we force our bus riders to suffer inadequate resources while we develop for the people who complain and yet do not provide ridership.

I've talked for a while now, so in conclusion: to the city of L.A., please put more money into the bus systems. Make the bus stops safer, clean them up - throw in a Yogurtland if you want - invest in better, more fuel-efficient buses, and make sure the buses are always reliable. Maybe you'll attract more people to them; but even if you don't, at least we won't shove the majority of our population into grimy
outdated machines.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

※提供全牛皮沙發、系統傢俱、進口家具、系統櫃、實木家具販售及居家空間室內設計規劃.全國領導品牌設計+裝潢工程+商品整合服務,全省抽油煙機展示中心資深設計師服務,價格透明,工程保固。
※無痛水刀抽脂,打造臀部、大腿黃金比例.利用新科技,水刀也能化身成手術刀應用時間的恢復期,一個月內就能看到立即的效果!提供整形美容服務、術後醫療照護,規劃整合整形外科、雷射中心及美學整形中心.果凍矽膠隆乳的費用是十六萬,如果妳很瘦的話,是不用考慮用自體脂肪豐胸的方式,因為脂肪不夠拿來補胸部,義乳的種類有傳統矽膠義乳、水袋義乳、果凍矽膠。一般人認為縫雙眼皮縫線容易脫落,雙眼皮皺褶一段時間就消失;由於技術的進步,縫線脫失的機會,現已大大減少。最新研發出爐的電波拉皮電波拉皮技術,不止可拉提,還具有更佳的雕塑身體曲線功能,電波拉皮可說是想要塑身的胖哥胖妹的救星.
※本公司即日起專辦大陸新娘入境,時間快速,收費合理,歡迎大家多利用.一名大陸新娘嫁到陽明山的泠水坑那邊,夫家是賣烤魷魚的,當地許多人都娶外籍新娘,因為到了假日許多觀光客,老公要做生意,這些大陸新娘或是越南新娘.

Anonymous said...

※提供全牛皮沙發、系統傢俱、進口家具、系統櫃、實木家具販售及居家空間室內設計規劃.全國領導品牌設計+裝潢工程+商品整合服務,全省抽油煙機展示中心資深設計師服務,價格透明,工程保固。
※無痛水刀抽脂,打造臀部、大腿黃金比例.利用新科技,水刀也能化身成手術刀應用時間的恢復期,一個月內就能看到立即的效果!提供整形美容服務、術後醫療照護,規劃整合整形外科、雷射中心及美學整形中心.果凍矽膠隆乳的費用是十六萬,如果妳很瘦的話,是不用考慮用自體脂肪豐胸的方式,因為脂肪不夠拿來補胸部,義乳的種類有傳統矽膠義乳、水袋義乳、果凍矽膠。一般人認為縫雙眼皮縫線容易脫落,雙眼皮皺褶一段時間就消失;由於技術的進步,縫線脫失的機會,現已大大減少。最新研發出爐的電波拉皮電波拉皮技術,不止可拉提,還具有更佳的雕塑身體曲線功能,電波拉皮可說是想要塑身的胖哥胖妹的救星.
※本公司即日起專辦大陸新娘入境,時間快速,收費合理,歡迎大家多利用.一名大陸新娘嫁到陽明山的泠水坑那邊,夫家是賣烤魷魚的,當地許多人都娶外籍新娘,因為到了假日許多觀光客,老公要做生意,這些大陸新娘或是越南新娘.

Anonymous said...

As a USC student without a car who rides the public transportation several times a week I've got a few comments.

1) You say that the poor minorities are not riding the light rail and instead choose the cheaper buses but in LA, the subways as well as the quite nice gold line to pasadena cost the same amount. $1.25 per ride or 5 bucks for a day pass which gets you on both. I'd argue that the poor are riding the trains as much as they can b/c they are quicker and more dependable and come regularly. The problem is that the trains don't go to as many locations and even fewer convenient locations. Furthermore, there are bad connections between trains, most of the time you have to transfer at union station even if that's the opposite direction of where you want to go.

2) The Dash (which is 25 Cents and thus more affordable for the poor) is usually quite nice and far nicer than the rapids or the locals of metro. Part of the reason seems to be because it is a smaller bus. With the giant metro buses, all sorts of undesirable activity can take place in the back of the bus without the driver noticing. My girlfriend is a PYT who takes the public transport and has had far fewer bad encounters and experiences on the Dashes and the trains.

Maybe we need more small buses in LA along with more rail lines that are better connected.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend the well-priced MSP software for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use Kaseya.com or GFI.com? How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central security management
? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!

zhuzhulee said...

PDF Créateur
TIFF en PDF Convertisseur
Texte en PDF Convertisseur
PowerPoint en PDF Convertisseur
image en PDF convertisseur
Excel en PDF Convertisseur
CHM en PDF Convertisseur
Word en PDF Convertisseur
djvu to pdf
pdf to png