Is Your Community Transit, Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly?

6_22_09_mid_wilshire.jpgPhoto of a Wilshire Rapid via Googiesque/Flickr

Last Friday I received a forwarded email from Dana Gabbard of So.CA.TA. fame from someone looking to move to Los Angeles.  This future resident wanted to know what the best neighborhood for transit riders was in L.A.  While Gabbard can certainly offer a take on pretty much any community in Los Angeles, we thought it would be better to let residents speak on behalf of their own communities.

So how do you feel about your community?  Do you think it’s the best one in Los Angeles for living a car-free lifestyle?  If so, feel free to submit a short essay to me, via email with your thoughts and we’ll publish it here on Streetsblog.  As essays come in we’ll send them to our future resident and in the end we’ll find out who wins when we find out where he moved to.

Tomorrow we’ll feature Gabbard’s post on his community and later in the week I’ll write a post on Fairfax.  We look forward to hearing from everyone else out there…

  • The Big Blue Bus is excellent.

    Santa Monica/Venice/Westwood is a great place to start. Santa Monica even publishes a bike map for the city.

    Hollywood and North Hollywood near the Red Line are interesting as well.

    I also recommend anyplace along the growing rail network. If someone is starting fresh and new to Los Angeles County, I’d recommend finding a place within walking distance to a rail stop, or at the very least a RAPID Bus stop.

    Be sure and not just look at the inside of a new potential house/apartment and the surrounding building, but take a walk, both during the day and at night to see what is comfortably within walking distance.

  • Brent

    Dan has good pointers. Another factor is to find a place as close to work as possible. I’ve been lucky to live within walking distance to to my office in Century City, which also puts me close a major shopping center with movie theaters, grocery store, gym, etc. With all these services in my neighborhood, transportation access becomes less necessary.

  • M

    I’d really say this depends on where you work, where you friends are and what sorts of things you enjoy doing in your spare time. I work and live next to rail stations and many of my friends live within a couple of miles of rail stations, so rail is important to me. If I needed to get to the Westside for work from where I live in Studio City, ha. Pasadena is pretty nice and there are many basics available within pedestrian friendly distances, although for someone like me, Pasadena is lacking in necessary pet store resources. I don’t have too many problems living without a car in Studio City, but the traffic and 101 freeway are the bane of my existence. I would love living in Studio City if there weren’t cars.

  • I lived in Los Feliz for 5 years starting at about when the Red Line opened, and I lived and worked in the same place. I found it pretty easy to live car free (I owned a car but used it only once a week or so for business reasons like deliveries and large supply shopping). I moved downtown in 2004, and I think downtown is really the only place you can live completely car free. All transit in LA is downtown-centric, so you really can do everything on transit. The real weak link for transit in LA comes after 9 or 10 pm when frequency dips, and after midnight when service becomes rare. But the bright spot is that the system runs pretty much almost exactly on schedule.

  • DJB

    It’s true that the best neighborhood for alternative transit depends on where you work and do stuff.

    If you’re active around central LA, it’s hard to beat Koreatown (technically Wilshire Center) around Wilshire and Vermont for transit. It’s at the crossroads of the red and the purple lines as well as a plethora of rapid and regular buses. It’s dense, mixed-use, walkable, and by the standards of LA, affordable. It needs improvement on the bike front, but I can say that about a lot of places in LA.

  • Mel

    I’ve been car-free in Studio City for 3 years. One rapid bus stop away from the red line, making it easy to get to Hollywood, downtown and the east side. The 218 shuttle makes it easy to get to the west side but only really during the day since it stops running after 7pm. Why is that?!? I’ve got most everything I need within walking distance, including a great farmers market, good bars and restaurants, and cool shops – but when biking to places outside my pedestrian radius, Ventura Blvd can be a hairy scary mess.

  • Wad

    Mel wrote:
    The 218 shuttle makes it easy to get to the west side but only really during the day since it stops running after 7pm. Why is that?!?

    Low ridership.

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