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Opening Post

11:04 AM PDT on October 16, 2007

Hello everyone,

Some of you know me, if there’s any luck this blog has been passed on enough that most of you do not. My name is Damien Newton, formerly the NJ Coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and a very new resident of Los Angeles. While I’m trying to figure out how best to fit in to the transportation reform scene out west, I’m going to try some reporting and other transportation writing right here at Street Heat.

Some of you may have heard a rumor that there’s going to be an LA branch of the transportation mega-blog, Streetsblog. While I might be involved with that when it starts, this blog should not be viewed as a prequel to LA Streetsblog. Instead, its going to be a series of observations about the transportation scene in LA, SoCal, California, and the world. Some posts will be a list of the day’s news, some will be media commentary, some will be “day in the life” stories about my adventures, and some will be more investigative pieces.

Los Angeles is a fertile place to find stories. Even coverage of a major story, like the recent disaster at Route 5, still misses major points…I haven’t seen anyone mention how fears of a closed highway and increased transit helped prove that we can control driving habits by restricting highway growth. The huge increase in transit ridership along the effected corridor is proof positive that people can and will take transit if they believe it to be more convenient. Sadly, the spending priorities of our governments are focused on building more and more highways, repeating the mistakes made in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

In the meantime, I want to grow this blog and all of you locals can help. I’m building the links on the right (thanks, Ron and Gen.) If you want me to add a link to something else, want to let me know about some event or story, or just want to chat or say “hi,” just drop me an email at

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