There is a video out there that underscores a big concern for many in my little corner of L.A as the Gold Line slowly extends our way. The video isn’t available for distribution or sharing. You can google and view it “Dear Gold Line Station”.
How will we get there and will there be enough parking is a problem many of us see. The general plans have been down for years. Some folks are now awakening to the problems and trying to change them while there is still time. Is it too late to fix?
Aside from this, it really bugs me that the Gold Line has its own construction authority that is constantly trying to “sell” us on the idea that its a good thing. They even have a troll that scans the news and blogs looking for anything negative on the Gold Line to brow beat them down refuting it all.
Its New Years Eve here in L.A. and I read a startling statistic that there are nationally 25 deaths a day caused by drunk drivers over holiday weekends. July 4th weekend here in L.A for example had 1,000 DUI arrests. Please don’t be a stat tonight, rather have a great night and take public transportation. You can even ride the trains for FREE from 9PM tonight until 2AM tomorrow (New Years Day).
If you drive and find yourself too tanked to drive call AAA if you are a member or not, you can take advantage of their “Tipsy Tow“. All you have to do is call them at 1-800-400-4222 and they will pick you AND your car up and tow you up to 7 miles. Great service that can save you a DUI ticket or worse an accident.
I for one this year will be spending a quiet evening of family game night. What are your plans?
One of my most favorite art gallery’s in L.A. has got to be the L.A. Center for Digital Art. Maybe because I drift into that realm with my own art often, but the images shown there are technically at the top of that genre and media.
The current show that will run this month is the Electron Salon bringing in art from 24 different artists. Its opening reception will take place in conjunction with Thursdays Art Walk at L.A.C.D.A from 7-9PM.
If you are planning on attending this weeks Art Walk and the Artists Reception at L.A.C.D.A take a train to Pershing Square and walk the 3 blocks or so to Gallery Row. It beats the hassle of traffic and trying to find parking in the area of this well attended event.
As a sidebar the folks at Occupy LA have apologized for what happened at last months Art Walk. This was reported HERE in blogdowntown. (If you don’t follow blogdowntown add it to your reading list as it is a great hyper-local source of info on DTLA). Another Occupy L.A. event likely won’t happen again at this month’s art walk.
Way back near the end of the aughts — July of 2009 to be more exact — is when my disenchantment with Metro’s TAP cards began, producing two posts, linked below should you be interested in what a pain in the ass it was:
The card’s usage on various bus and rail lines in the interim since had been entirely without incident, until yesterday when I biked downtown to 7th Street to take my first trip on the shiny new Expo Line. The thrill at riding fresh rails into the westside was somewhat buzzkilled when I went to purchase my one-way ticket with my TAP card only to have the machine tell me that it had “expired,” and suggesting I visit a Metro customer service center for assistance.
Though I’m predisposed to some pretty elaborate grousing displays, I kept my outward petulance to a minimum and instead fished out the $1.50 needed for the fare. With ticket in hand I boarded the appropriate train, deciding that I’d bike back up to the Metro customer office on the corner of La Brea and Wilshire to have a representative answer me as to why the fuck does a damn TAP card still loaded with about $13 of my own money expire?
Short answer: So Metro can rip off TAP card-holding riders every three years.
Longer answer after the jump. Oh yeah: and it turns out the card hadn’t expired yet.
You’d think I live in Pasadena given how often I post about the place, I don’t, but they always have something of interest going on. This Saturday its the 10th Annual Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival to be held in and around the Armory Center for the Arts across from Memorial Park. Here’s the run down of things that will be at this FREE festival:
huge eco-market place with exhibitors private and public helping you to live green
Fallen Fruit will be there with its jam making wisdom. Feel free to bring in your found fruit from public spaces or your own back yard.
For gawds sake take public transpo to the Gold Line and exit Memorial Park Station…you’ll be right at the park and only a very short walk to the Armory Center. Show your metro pass or ticket at the Transportation Booth and they will have a gift for you…well a gift as long as the supply lasts. Beats the difficulty in finding parking in the area which can be expensive when you do find a space and don’t forget that PPD does patrol hard for scofflaws.
Details:Saturday April 14, 2012 11AM-5PM, 145 Raymond Street, Pasadena CA, MAP HERE
Go ahead, call me a train geek, I won’t deny it. While biking toward downtown along Exposition Boulevard yesterday, I got my camera out just in time to catch a brand spankin’ new Expo Line train on the move eastbound (raced by a hearse of all things). The line is not yet open to the public and there is yet a firm date set as testing of it continues, but this was sure a purty sight to see.
Like many Los Angeles area folks, I’m crazy about cars. Fortunately, I’m able to incorporate my love into my work, and covered the L.A. Auto Show on Press Day 1 yesterday. Unfortunately, my day was ruled as much by the cars on the roads outside than by the shiny new models inside the Convention Center.
With my camera rigged up to the eyepiece of my spotting scope (with duct tape and adhesive putty), from my backyard I pointed it at Sunset Boulevard between Descanso (just out of view at the bottom) and the Maltman bend in Silver Lake (at the top) to timelapse capture the afternoon traffic flow.
Before The Event That Never Was, I wrote about the need for a rail line along the 405 corridor. I exchanged a few emails with Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition, who shared some insight as to how to get such an important piece of the transit puzzle off the ground (or rather, under.) He said they have been in talks with Los Angeles Council Districts 6 and 11, and that they would begin promoting through social media sites.
I asked Bart how people could get more involved. He said that we need to start by garnering support from neighborhood councils. So, that’s where I began, with a few emails of my own:
This past weekend, the closure of the 405 and the media attention it received resulted in a ripple effect on the entire freeway system. Drivers got lucky. Businesses did not. This further illustrates the need for viable transportation alternatives. Specifically, a more comprehensive regional rail network.
As a contributing author for Blogging.LA, I wanted to get your input on a newly envisioned Metro rail line from the Valley to the Westside, by way of the 405 corridor.
Had to go down to the Central Library Friday afternoon to pick up a book I’d put a hold on. Opted to leave the bike at home and instead catch the No. 4 bus from Silver Lake to Pershing Square, where I walk along Fifth Street from Hill past the park, Olive, the Biltmore and Grand. When I leave the library with book in hand, I decide not to return the way I came and instead step on Hope south to 7th and go underground, hopping the Red Line back up to Vermonica from there to stride the rest of the way home. On impulse I veer into the parking lot to make a stop at the Rite Aid, which puts me in the direct trajectory of a young lady who steps out from behind a car wanting to know if I speak English. I successfully fight back the urge to ask “What other do you think this loaf of Wonder Bread might speak?” and instead politely confirm that I do have a passing familiarity with that language. In turn, she casts out a weary line about trying to get Pizza Hut’s finest for her kids, but her debit card was refused and could I maybe spare some—.
“Sure!” I said, cutting her off. “I’ll buy the pizzas for you. How many you need?”
As expected she hadn’t set up for the curveball I pitched and the words stumble out of her mouth wondering if it would be OK if I just gave her the cash. I told her all I had was my debit card at which she shook her head. Her “Thanks anyway,” confirmed my suspicions that the pizza story was a fiction, and for their sake hopefully the children were, too.
Out from the Rite Aid the young lady starts for me again until realizing she’d hit me already and sharply turns away as if I don’t exist. As I head east on Santa Monica Boulevard I wonder if it’ll ever dawn on her that duh, she missed an opp for free pizza that if nothing else could’ve helped fuel the drive to her next fix. Oh well.
I pass the stately Cahuenga branch of the library where I startle a homeless woman who is changing clothes in the relative privacy of the library’s locked-up lower entryway. I pass the Little Temple club, cross Virgil, and look down upon the shack that used to be the beloved Jake’s Jay’s Burgers, but now since its eviction is home to the latest in a succession of nondescript and noninteresting eateries.
Next I eye a small mural and double back to get this snap of it (after the jump; click for slight enlargification):
Having participated in Bike Week going back to its beginnings in the mid-1990s, it’s good to see how far the events have come from such humble origins. But one thing that’s always perplexed me through those years is how big the collective emphasis is on biking “to” work, with pretty much a total divorce from that whole “from” part.
Though the Law of Commuting states, “What goes out, must come back,” year in and year out Bike Week organizers ignore that all-important second part. On the designated “Bike To Work Day” that “To” part is taken literally. Mornings are chock full of strategic events and pitstops and various freebies, sprinkled with the occasional councilpersons who’ll don helmets and grins and pedal under an MTA sign and past a camera pool. And if you’re in the right place as you pedal, you might find a few scattered Starbucks that’d give up a free drip coffee if you rolled there before 9 a.m.
But pretty much after that hour things are broken down and packed up and put away — which is literally half-assed; a willingly missed opportunity to keep the good vibrations and awareness going on for that integral return trip. Well, with this coming edition of Bike Week (May 16-20; with Bike To Work Day on May 19) I’m pleased to report some progress has been made. Not by the city or the county or Metro, but rather by the LA County Bicycle Coalition who for better or worse is gonna help returning cyclists get their drink on.
Chicago’s outgoing Mayor Daley wants high speed rail from the city’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. It would be the first of its kind in the United States – meaning that it would be fast, convenient, and far too logical for American politicians to actually build.
A few years back, I proposed the Metro Flyline – a rail network from Union Station to every airport in the region. It was kind of a joke, in that not many people need to hop a train from Downtown Los Angeles to fly their personal jet out of Van Nuys Airport. But what about a line that did service the major transportation hubs in the region? A high speed TRIANGLE, connecting LAX, Bob Hope in Burbank and Union Station.
Put it all underground. Run the whole thing elevated. Tunnel through every living room in Beverly Hills.
I don’t know where the money would come from. I don’t know ridership numbers. I don’t know environmental impact blahbitty blah. What I do know, is that people would use it. Isn’t that what mass transit is for?
The point here is that it’s time for Los Angeles to start thinking big again. No matter how far-fetched and ridiculous it may seem. Let other cities celebrate highway widenings and Target openings. We’re better than that.
Maybe someday, we’ll have a mayor that won’t mind rolling up his sleeves and putting in a solid 8 hours of work.