Glancing over today’s “Behind The Wheel” column in the L.A. Times (link; registration required) I dismissed the moanings of staff writer Steve Hymon who related how the 50 minutes (horrors!) it took him on the Gold Line to get from home in Pasadena to work on Spring Street downtown was so tedious as to finally drive him back into his car. Seems that whenever an MTA product is in that column’s sights, more often than not the ink there is used to bitchslap and bag on doing anything besides commuting by car.
Now, I’m not some delusioned bus hugger whose unconditional lust blinds me from seeing the vast improvements that could be made to L.A.’s public transit system ó there’s plenty to do. But I have spent a fair share of my time utilizing those components and good, bad or ugly, I’m always going to be one of the few not to apologize… to encourage, not dis.
In fact, right here and now, I’m going to put my public-transpo love where my piehole is and decree August as my own personal Car-Free Commute Month.
Indeed, Mondays through Fridays next month will find me heading to and from work either on foot, by bike, by bus, or subway, or a combination of all of ’em ó most importantly by choice. Taking pix along the way and blogging all about it, no doubt. What am I, nuts? Well, yeah. But why not? Gonna take Hymon’s and the Times’ lemons and make lemonade, baby.
Wouldn’t be the first time I did hard commuting. Hell, when I totaled my car on my lunch break from my mid-Wilshire job five years ago, and was subsequently without a ride for the hellacious commute from Encino and back for more than two months, I had to ride my bike almost seven miles north to the Northridge Metrolink depot, took that to Union Station and then either boarded the Red Line to Western or biked there. Reverse that and you’ll have my afternoon trip.
Sure it took a helluva long time, and frankly I quit doing it the nanosecond I got a new wagon, but during that mass-transit span I met some very cool people, got a lot of reading done, lost weight, reduced my stress, lowered my blood pressure, and saved some money.
You do what ya gotta do and sometimes you do what you don’t gotta do. Just because you can. Or because no one else will.