Just Give Us the Damn Map

While you wait for the train to arrive, Metro would like to ask you a few questions.

Metro wants to know what you think about a subway running under Wilshire.

Metro wants to know what you think about a train running down Crenshaw.

Metro wants to know if you’ll Go with them.

Each year brings with it the same amount of noise. L.A. has traffic. Officials want you to take public transit. A half-hearted long-range plan is announced with a few traffic “corridors” to be studied. Debate ensues about subway, light rail, bus. Then, someone at City Hall realizes we have insufficient funds in our checking account. We shrug, and go about our daily lives on the 101, 405, 10, 5.

Why?

The problem isn’t that Los Angeles isn’t forward-thinking. It’s that we’re not thinking forward enough. Will we eventually need subways down Ventura? Santa Monica? Van Nuys? Can we really have above-ground trains running everywhere? How long can we actually make those buses until they can’t turn the corner?

Metro has failed you. Your city council has failed you. The mayor has failed you.

They owe you an explanation. They owe you a plan. They owe you The Map.

No, we don’t have the money to build it all. We hardly have the money to build any of it. But, other cities are finding a way. Denver is building 119 miles of rail by 2016.

Denver. Colorado. 2016.

Meanwhile, we have politicians in L.A. who would rather have meetings and argue about what color to call one rail line.

The irony of the situation, is that we elected these people. We elected them to ensure our quality of life. We elected them to fix the mess we’re in. It’s time they paid up. It’s time they said, you know what? We’re gonna do this. Here’s the whole map. Here’s the order of line priority. We’re shooting for 2020. Not sure how we’re gonna pay for it yet, but, heck… here’s The Map.

You’ll hear about Metro’s “community meetings” and “transit corridor studies” over the next few weeks. Go to one. Listen to the politicians. The bus riders. The Not-In-My-Back-Yards. Listen to officials talk about the possibilities of this one rail line, or that dedicated bus lane.

Listen. Then stand up, and tell them you want The Map. And you want it by the next election, or they’re fired.

After all, you do pay their salary.

Wilshire Meetings

Oct. 9, 6 to 8 p.m., Emerson Middle School, 1650 Selby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Oct. 11, 6 to 8 p.m., Pan Pacific Recreation Center, 7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036,

Oct. 16, 6 to 8 p.m., Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Oct. 17, 6 to 8 p.m., Beverly Hills Public Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Oct. 18, 6 to 8 p.m., Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Those unable to attend the meetings can submit their comments by writing to Mr. David Mieger, AICP, Project Manager and Deputy Executive Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Mail Stop: 99-22-5, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments may also be submitted through the “Contact Us” page of the project web site at www.metro.net/westside, or by phone on the project information line at (213) 922-6932. Comments should be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.

Crenshaw Meetings

Oct. 15, 6 to 8 p.m., Darby Park, 3400 W. Arbor Vitae St., Inglewood, CA 90305, (310) 412-5391

Oct. 17, 6 to 8 p.m., Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016, (323) 964-9768

Oct. 20, 9 to 11 a.m., Audubon Middle School, 4120 11th Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90008, (323) 290-6300

Those unable to attend the meetings can submit their comments by writing to Alan Patashnick, Metro Planning Director South Bay Area, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Mail Stop 99-22-3, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments may also be submitted through e-mail at [email protected] or by phone on the project information line at (213) 922-2736. Comments should be received no later than Monday, November 5, 2007.

Expo Meetings

Oct. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Santa Monica Civic Auditorium East Wing, 1855 Main St., SM

Oct. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Venice High School Auditorium, 13000 Venice Blvd., LA

Oct. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., (Cheviot Hills) Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services Gymnasium, 3200 Motor Ave., LA

14 Replies to “Just Give Us the Damn Map”

  1. Dude I am so ready for a real rail system. It’s not just the city of LA squabbling. You have state and other local officials sticking their hands in the pot. Trying to get their share as well as getting their own way and to hell with the rest.

    The problem is these special interest groups hide themselves under interesting covers and names. My personal favorite here in Far East LA is the “Metro Gold Line Extension” this group has a huge financial stake in getting rail out here. In spite of the Fed studies saying its not high on the list and pulling funding they set up their own little pac and added “.org” to their name. They now lobby for the money to get their way.

    It however, is not to make things better for us here and now. It’s seen as a basis of increasing density at the expense of limited natural resources or growth kept within sustainable resources.

    With them in action and similar ilk it’s going to be hard to get the rail up and running. It belongs in the Metro and Counties hands to approach it from a region wide basis, rather than with a bunch of developers and realtors fronting local pols in a pac addressing only their special interests.

    Welcome to polictics at the local level. LA city can’t go it alone, there needs to be a single countly led entity putting it all togther so it works for all of us.

    Pardon my rant. I’ll go back to work now. ;)

  2. PS…I love the map. Especially the part with a yellow line from my ‘hood in the SGV foothills to what looks like Ventura Blvd. Damn I could REALLY use that one.

  3. It’s all bullshit with these people. Squable squable squable, do nothing, do nothing, do nothing. I think they’re afraid of pissing off the people displaced/inconvenienced by the construction, and worried they won’t get re-elected. To make an omelette you need to break a few eggs. Anyone remember the 101 expansion project that was shut down by a few NIMBYs from the valley?

  4. Nothing sucks more than having to rely on the regular bus to take you eventually to the light rail system. I go to CSUN, a heavily commuter school with enrollment at around 30,000. I always hear students bitching about traffic and parking (luckily I don’t have to deal with that because I live in the dorms and can just walk to class) and as someone from the Bay Area where BART is a crucial part of the typical commute, it baffles me why the local government won’t do more about public transportation/why everyone drives so much. True, they did put in a Rapid running along Reseda that works M-F, but that isn’t enough, because people still have to take a regular bus to Reseda and then get on the Rapid. Is it any wonder why they drive? If we had that expanded light rail system as advocated by the MAP people, then students might actually get to classes on time and would drive a lot less, which would improve the environment and air quality.

    What baffles me is why celebrities who are “so concerned” about the environment *coughDiCapriocough* don’t do more to improve publuic transportation in their own backyard. They want to cut down on emissions? Donate a chunk of money to the LA Transit system instead of to some corporate-style fundraiser that will only use the money to generate more PSAs that will be fairly ineffective.

  5. As someone who just came back from 5 months overseas to expired car tags, let me tell you what greeted me on my first few days back in LA.

    Shocker #1 – $5.00 day pass as opposed to a $3.00 day pass. OK, $3.00 was a great deal, but if you’re going to hike the price 70% can you at least keep the damned gold line running til 2 am? Is that too much to ask? If you can’t, (and all the late night cars are full, btw) can you at least have that bus that comes up broadway into lincoln heights come MORE often than once every hour and a half so you don’t have to sit on that “mugging bench” in Chinatown next to the liquor store and the gag-inducing fish market?

    Shocker #2 – Sherrif’s Dept. is UP MY ASS
    If I am riding to Norwalk and I have to change trains 4 times and someone comes on our empty trains to ask us for our ticket each time and when I get off the train in Compton you’re going to write me a ticket because I dropped my ticket and I even have my receipt then you’re gonna tell me that my nose ring is sexy and ask me to take your picture AS you write me a $250 ticket? F OFF. Doesn’t the Sherrif’s Dept have better shit to do than hit on passengers as they write them tickets and tell them that they don’t believe that they bought their shitty day pass? Like… maybe answering 911 calls? Funny, how when homeless people on the train don’t have tickets, they get kicked off. When I can’t produce my pulled out of my bag for the 4th time ticket, I get fined. Nice. Time for turnstyles like everyone else.

    Shocker #3 – Student Passes
    I can’t show up at the train station and show my student ID and registration and get a frigging student pass? F OFF. I am given a form and told in addition to the student ID and class registration form I need to fill out an application, get a notarized letter from the school stating that I’m a student on their letterhead, get a 1×1 photo and affix it to the application, mail it away and wait 4 to 6 weeks. F OFF.

    Shocker #4 – Empty Trains / Delayed trains
    Train capacity seems to be 1/3 of what it was when I left. Rate hike, jocking passengers, delays and malfunctions…. nice strategy MTA. You’re really trying to keep us ON the roads aren’t you? When I was the only person in the car of the front train of the red line and the conductor had to exit the train and manually do something on the track to get us into Union Station, well….that was just about the last straw.

  6. Bravo! You guys are all right on. Is there a link to the wishful rail map above? I’d love to look at it in more detail.

  7. YES. Fight for the map. The alternative is more traffic, less pedestrian oriented growth, and turning our major streets into six lane minifreeways. The era of the car was great: time for the era of the map!

  8. I’ve been forced to go into Hollywood and out to the Westside from my home in Pasadena quite frequently in the last two weeks, and each time I’ve made the drive into town, I’ve cursed the shitty MTA.

    I live right next to a Gold Line station, but unless I want to allow 3 hours each way for what is less than a 60 minute drive, there’s no point in me taking public transportation.

    And why do I have to go all the way to Union Station so I can go back up into the Valley? It blows my mind that there’s no straight shot from the SGV into the SFV.

    This is complete bullshit, and as our city grows it is going to continue to get worse. Someone needs to show real leadership and make The Map happen.

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