Today’s Headlines

  • I shouldn’t be surprised, but transit isn’t even mentioned in the Westside traffic article.

    Lopez doesn’t even mention the possibility of leaving the car at home and taking the Big Blue Bus or Culver City Bus or the Metro, especially the Metro Rapid’s Lines 720, 704 and BBB Rapid’s 3 & 7.

    The article didn’t even mention the old canard about public transit being “inconvenient” (as opposed to sitting in traffic hours a day).

    It just ignored it as if sitting in traffic or staying at home are the ONLY options.

    Unbelievable.

  • Here’s a letter I wrote to Mr. Lopez,

    ————–

    I have to laugh at your article, “Driving on L.A.’s Westside: 10 miles in 60 minutes”.

    Nowhere do you mention the possibility of neither driving and sitting in worsening traffic nor in staying home — namely using public transportation.

    I’ve lived in Santa Monica for years and don’t use a car. I’m moving to West Hollywood in July and picked an apartment that is convenient for transit and is walking distance to the amenities I need.

    The Big Blue Bus is one of the best local bus transit systems in the Country. Using Culver City Bus is an option as well, of course, as the county’s Metro bus system, especially the Rapid Bus lines, allow many people to leave the car at home or not even own one.

    I constantly run into people who have no idea that the buses actually go places on the Westside. “You mean there is a Rapid Bus from Santa Monica that goes to Beverly Hills and Hollywood?” “You mean there are several buses that all go to UCLA and the Westside Pavilion from where I’m located?” Of course, many people don’t WANT to know this for they fear taking the bus for whatever reason.

    This whole argument about “freedom” and “independence” is a canard. Instead of sitting in traffic looking at the back end of the car for two hours a day, my time on the bus is my reading time, news in the morning, books in the afternoon. That I get to read, and don’t worry about the cost of a car payment, gasoline, maintenance, insurance, registration or parking was a real freedom all of its own.

    Granted, I do have to make practical choices about my lifestyle because I don’t own a car. I may not choose to pick a gym or an exercise class 10 miles away from where I live or work, but when I asked myself what CAN I walk to that is near where I live or work or easily convenient bus stops, it was amazing to discover just what and how much IS available without a car. And the occasional taxi ride is much cheaper than owning my own car “just in case”.

    The fortunate Passage of Measure R last November ensures that there will be funding to finish the Expo Line to Santa Monica and the Purple Line down Wilshire to at least as far as Westwood via Century City, making a transit-friendly lifestyle even more possible.

    Some people will never give up or even reduce the usage of their automobiles despite worsening traffic or the price of gasoline, just like some people will never give up smoking regardless of the cost of cigarettes, which is their right. There is nothing wrong with driving a single-occpuancy automobile if that is what someone wants.

    However, your article COULD have stated that there is another option to either sitting in traffic or staying at home — namely creating a transit-friendlier lifestyle.

    You’d be surprised at just how many people are doing this, not because they are poor and would only drive a car if they could afford one, but because there is far more to life than sitting in an automobile by oneself looking at the back end of the car in front of you.

    Best regards,