Metro had their big board meeting last night about the future of public transportation in Los Angeles. From the looks of it, no one walked away happy about the outcome. In short, they want to get a half cent tax increase on the ballot to fund projects. They just don’t know what those projects are.
Actually, they do. They just don’t want to piss anyone off. If they say yes to the Gold Line, they make the the West side mad. Yes to a Subway to the Sea, they anger the San Gabriel Valley. And no matter what they say, people living in Cheviot Hills will never be happy.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There is one solution that would make everyone happy. Except maybe those old folks in Cheviot Hills. This solution is simple, yet bold. It is unlike anything any politician in L.A. would ever to dare to whisper on Spring Street. It is a solution that has only 2 parts:
1) Make the tax increase one full penny. My high school drama teacher used to say “Shit, or get off the pot!” We’re not stupid. Gas prices are ridiculous. Congestion is getting worse. The time to make L.A. the greenest, most walkable, transit-friendly city in America is now. That’s going to take more than 1 or 2 new rail lines. So suck it up, and do it already.
2) Give us a map we deserve. Yes, we’ve beaten this horse to an stinky, unrecognizable pulp. But, we’re going to keep swinging until Metro cleans up the mess. Make public a fully realized map of a rail network that connects the entire region. Make a completion timetable so that every single city knows when their train is arriving. It’s called a to-do list. It’s called full disclosure.
This is not East side vs. West side. This is not Gold vs. Expo. This is not Santa Monica vs. Wilshire. Therein lies the problem. This city deserves a complete system. We understand that a rail network is built one line at a time. We just need some assurance that one will eventually reach our part of L.A., right? Just give us a map and tentative dates for each line’s completion. It’s a lot easier to get votes for funding when people can see exactly where it’s going to go.
Oh, and one more thing: Stop funding road projects. Just, stop it.
Photo from CokeeOrg’s photostream