Today’s Headlines

  • L.A. Weekly Spends a Day on Metro with Amusing and Horrifying Results
  • Brown: Now That State Has Better Fiscal Future, Let’s Talk HSR (LAT)
  • Also Proposes Consolidating Bike/Ped Programs in 2014 Budget (Cyclelicious)
  • Metro Board Waits 2 More Months to Maybe Take Action on FasTrac Transponders (The Source)
  • L.A. Opening Parklets in February in Eastside, Downtown (Curbed)
  • Fight Over #RoadBond Shows Power of Neighborhood Council’s (Daily News)
  • More Bike V LAPD: Cop Caught on Tape Nearly Dooring Cyclist (Biking In L.A.)
  • L.A.’s Mayors Have to Be Consensus Builders by Design (KPCC)
  • In CA, Prius Is King of Cars (LAT)
  • Cars Really Having a Rough Time on the Roads in SoCal This Week (Daily News)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Erik Griswold

    FasTrak!!

    Not FasTrack
    Not FasTrac

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FasTrak

    ;-)

  • Davistrain

    I had the LA Weekly article about “All Day on Metro” sent to me by two different transit observers/railfans, one of whom does not drive.  The comments are especially interesting, such as the one that labeled the article as “slumming”.  There was another article in the same publication about drunk driving, and a common theme in its comment section was
     “Public transit in LA Sucks!”  I do use Metro whenever I can; what’s especially fun is to take the Gold Line downtown, and then use the Red and Blue to visit the LA Auto Show, or take the Purple and a Wilshire bus to the Petersen Auto Museum.  On the other hand, if I had to depend on the infrequent local bus to get me to the Gold Line, rather than my own car, the “fun” element would be diminished.  Now I’ll probably get some flak merely for being a “choice rider”.  Another comment about the Metro article said that it reinforced the notion among many Angelenos that Metro is strictly for the poor, the deranged and the defective.  Or as my late ex-wife might have put it “I’ll give up my car when they pry my cold, dead hands from the steering wheel” (and no, she did not perish in a collision). 

     Last year there was an article in LA Times about a family from Northern California who came to LA by bus and train, and explored the city by local bus and Metro Rail.  Although the article by Nita Lelyveld was quite positive and interesting, the headline (nearly all newspaper headlines are written by someone other than the author of the article) implied that the family had gone on an exotic adventure worthy of Indiana Jones.

  • This is a rather well worn genre of journalism — doing a write-up of experiences riding transit as if it is some sort of exotic novelty. Both in conventional media and blogs. For someone who gets around on buses etc. you tend to read it with a “and your point is” or “and this suprises you” sort of attitude. At least I do.

  • davistrain

    Don’t feel bad–it’s been over 40 years since Amtrak started running, and some people still write “Amtrack”–even on railfan websites!

  • calwatch

    It’s the same for any kind of activity that you personally don’t do. You would probably look at an article on climbing Half Dome as some sort of novelty because it isn’t something that most people do, even though thousands of people do it every year. 

    The problem is when this disdain gets transmitted to the authors, which only turns them off and makes them less likely to write about the subject. I was in the room with David Lazarus when he spoke at SO.CA.TA a few years ago, as folks belittled him for his lack of perceived knowledge about transit. While Lazarus may not have been completely aware about all the governance and technical issues that prevent effective public transportation in Southern California, after that shellacking he never wrote about transit again. Which in my mind was a shame since he had a bully pulpit of the hundreds of thousands of Times readers. This is the kind of talk that prevents average folk from trying transit or writing about it, since they might miss some technical foamer detail or some obscure nuance about the fare system or governance. We need more writers like the LA Weekly author, not less.