Today’s Headlines

Arge
Via Darrell Clarke: Rails were installed across Farmdale Ave. by Dorsey High yesterday, the last street crossing between the Blue Line at Washington Blvd. and Culver City! See more Farmdale photos here.

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I think I’ll use my “virtual presence” to disagree again with Richard Lee Abrams at City Watch.

    Luckily over 2/3 of LA County residents voted to tax themselves DURING A RECESSION to build the subway and the other Measure R projects, so I’d say his perspective on this is far out of the mainstream.

  • Oops, should have said “of LA County voters” not “of LA County residents”

  • David D

    Richard Lee Abrams at City Watch is flat-out delusional! His claim that “Virtual Presence” will eliminate 30% of freeway trips is not only completely unfounded, but also completely ridiculous.

    Does he not realize the irony of suggesting that the EIR is inherently flawed, and then providing completely imaginary statistics for imaginary technology?

  • marcotico

    I worked remotely from home for 4 years, where my nearest colleague was 3 hours away by car. It sucked. Eventually after 2 of those years, I got my company to rent a desk in a business center, so at least I would get out of the house. I would never take a job where I didn’t get daily contact with my colleagues. There are no technological barriers to virtual work right, now. Mainly people just like to be around other people. Its called community, and it is a major part of corporate success. While some people talk about virtual commuting for traditional industries, some of the most successful corporations in the virtual realm (software engineering) of the past ten years, are actually increasing their investment in the traditional workplace (Apple, Google etc.)

  • D Tappan

    Each of the last few weeks Richard Lee Abrams has fervently opined on how tele-commuting is the true solution to Los Angeles’s transit and congestion woes, and how all these studies and expenditures on highway, bus, and rail infrastructure are wasting money that’s better spent on teaching people how to be cooped up in their homes all day for work. There are no numbers, no studies on the practicality or efficacy, just a man who doesn’t want to leave his house raging against the transit machine with untested, farcical solution claiming to be the holy grail to transit in LA: “Too many people are trying to go places, so the solution is to make people not have to go places.”

    And it doesn’t really work like that.

    Now look. I’m all for thinking outside the box when it comes to transit solutions, and I’ll entertain anything plausible, but this guy is becoming an increasingly bigger crackpot each week. I’m at a loss for words.. it’s frankly starting to rise to the level of being at least somewhat embarrassing to citywatch, unless this whole thing is just a viral marketing construction thing to draw attention and conversation toward transit issues in LA.

  • PaulC

    I would have to agree with the others on here. When I was able to work from home at my last job, most of the time I ran down to starbucks to work there so that I could have some sort of social interaction that a chat service does not provide. Even though my apartment is really nice and cozy, it gets boring after a few hours.

  • Ah, brave new world, which has such people as Virtual Abrams in it!

    For a preview of his World, watch “.hack//SIGN”, which features game players stuck in virtual comas, unable to get out.

    It’s a fun show, but I wouldn’t want to live it.

  • Nathanael

    Richard Lee Abrams is monumentally stupid; the Wilshire Boulevard corridor serves *so many* trips that it serves many which *cannot* be made by “virtual presence”. Visits to the La Brea Tar Pits? Trips to the beach? Workers at such places? There’s a zillion others.

    He also uses the old canard of measuring transit effectiveness by whether it improves traffic flow for CARS. Which is stupid in the extreme.

  • James McCuen

    What ever happened to telecommuting? That was in place in the early 90s when we only had dial-up at home (pre-dsl, pre-broadband same thing)?

  • Scott Zwartz

    There is a 1993 Study by the City of Los Angeles based on telecommuting in 1992 and the Study concluded that it resulted in 30% reduction of travel including freeway trips and reduced the need for office space by 30%.

    Since the Study was based on 1992 technology, when Abrams opines that with 2011 to 2015 technology, we could see a 30% reduction in traffic, his estimate seems overly modest.

    The 1993 Telecommuting Study did not require workers to be at home each day nor did it require them to stay at their house. Despite all the flexibility when not commuting, the productivity of the non-communters statistically improved over the commuters. 9The Study is on line so anyone can read it for themselves).

    I did not notice that Abrams said anyone should use tele-commuting to visit the La Brea Tar pits. That objection was a straw man, which is the indication the writer could not compose a coherent objection to Abrams’ point.

    There was a lot of ad hominen attacking, which is another sign the posters could not find anything wrong with Abrams’ points.

    Because Los Angeles officially designated Tele-commuting, which is the predecessor to Virtual Presence and CISCO’s Telepresence, as Transportation, Abrams appears to have a valid legal point that the EIR has to consider it as an Alternate Form of Transportation.

    The person who objects to a draft EIR does not bear the burden to conduct the studies himself. That burdens rests with MTA.

    All matters considered, Abrams has presented a compelling analysis that an investment in Telepresence technology would do far more to improve Transportation than a $10 Billion subway.

    Without traffic congestion, buses will be very effective and due to their flexibility, buses are far more beneficial to the riders than a subway.

  • I can’t wait to telecommute to a museum with my kids, or to a restaurant downtown. Mr. Abrams and Mr. Zwartz are geniuses. Heck, with delivery grocery stores I might never have to leave my house again.

  • Scott Zwartz

    People who cannot deal with concepts invent Straw men and then attack the straw men. A Straw Man occurs with a person pretends that the other person said something which he neither said nor implied, and he attacks the Straw Man without addressing any bona fide issue.

    Restaurants: Abrams did not say anything about such nonsense as using Virtual Presence to eat food.

    Stay at home 100%: Abrams said nothing about staying home 100%. Based upon the 1993 Telecommuting Study by the City of Los Angeles, telecommuting would reduce traffic by 30% and the need for new office space by 30%. I added that I thought Abrams’ 30% estimates applied to the future were conservative, but I did not suggest staying at home 100% of the time. Abrams’ point was that a 30% decrease in traffic congestion meant that there is no need for a Subway. With a 30% traffic decrease, buses would be much more efficient as they could travel a full speed. Buses are more versatile and can take commuters very close to where they want to go. Also buses can have a plethora of routes and express and limited bus lines.

    Museums: The Westside Subway will not take you to the museums in New York, Paris, London, etc. With Virtual Presence, especially with 3 D wall size monitors, one can travel to all these museums worldwide. Nothing about Virtual Presence prevents one from also physically going to a museum.

    Icabod’s complaint is similar to bashing TV and insisting that only a real life stage production is acceptable, and thus, he must have a subway to take him to Broadway. Virtual Presence does not force anyone to do anything, but it will end traffic congestion so that when we do physically travel about the city, we are not impeded by unnecessary traffic nightmares.

  • Building a transit system is about more than “reducing congestion.” It’s about giving people options on how to move in their city without relying on a car. My argument is that we should give everyone ways to move around, freedom of mobility, that doesn’t rely on a car.

    Your argument is that instead of freeing people from dependence on cars, that we should instead make it easier for people to not need to go anywhere. That’s great as far as it goes, I’ve telecommuted before and liked it.

    But a subway and transit system gives everyone more freedom. Less dependence. Life is about a lot more than making life easier for people that want to drive everywhere.