Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

Valley-Westside Rail
You Should Like This

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.

The Valley-Westside Rail project is now up on Facebook. You should like it.

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.

Continue reading “Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page”

The Carmageddon Train

North-South Purple Line Extension
The Little Subway That Could

8 days and counting until the traffic apocalypse. The 405 freeway is closing, and millions of people will be cut off from each other. Doomed to stay in their own neighborhood. Forced to eat, shop, and play local. Sure, this bus is free, and so is that other one, and that subway over there.

I used Metro’s trip planner to figure out how to get from the Valley to the Westside by 6:30AM that Saturday. I would have to leave today.

I once read somewhere that the reason the Gold Line is on a runaway course to Texas is because it is easier to get funding for an existing line. OK, fine. Let’s play that game.

Once the Purple Line reaches Westwood, let’s turn North. AND South. A subway connecting the Green Line extension at LAX, Expo Line, the Orange Line busway, and Van Nuys Metrolink & Amtrak.

The Transit Coalition gets it. Are you Carmageddon it?

 

 

July CicLAvia Canceled; October is a Go

CicLAviaFirst, the bad news: Earlier rumors from Twitter are true. There will be no CicLAvia this July. Bike all you want, but the cars ain’t stopping.

The good news: CicLAvia is expanding into South Los Angeles and deeper into Boyle Heights. More room for more people doing more things. Sounds like this thing is a hit. Since you guys are taking time off to do a little more planning, maybe we could get this thing up to Hollywood and the Valley? Pretty please?

The official post is after the jump.

Continue reading “July CicLAvia Canceled; October is a Go”

Cinespia Jumps Shark. Again.

Cinespia Status
Cinespia Status: Destroying our brand.

Another big change for movie night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery has created a WTF kinda backlash.

I should have known Cinespia’s days were numbered in 2009 when they screened Daze and Confused and it turned into amateur hour. You know the event to which I’m referring. One where the new new hipsters would appear in their ironic T-shirts and proceed to get hammered and search for burial plots to relieve themselves. Then came the news that this year’s screenings would be a retread of years previous.

Now this.

Cinespia, an event that has traditionally been “first come, first serve,” is now selling advance tickets online. Oh, they’ll still sell them at the door – if there’s enough left. The problem with this, is that the event is more than the movie. Half the fun is lining up early, meeting your neighbors, and experiencing something called “community.”

Not anymore.

Why ruin a perfectly good thing? From the looks of the comments on Cinespia’s Facebook page (to which they do not respond,) I am not the only one who thinks this was a terrible idea.

Cinespia Looks Back at 10 – With Reruns

Cinespia at 10
REDRUM

Cinespia. Classic films, under the stars, on the hallowed grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It is an experience that is unrivaled in a city that is chock-full of things to do.

So why the reruns?

for our tenth season, cinespia will be bringing back some of our favorite movies from past seasons

Checking the schedule so far, I’ve already seen two of the films at cinespia in the past 5 years, and a third has been shown by the LA Conservancy at a recent Last Remaining Seats. So what gives?

I know that many of cinespia’s patrons are returning customers. And some of those patrons probably go to LRS as well. (Can we cross-check our screening calendars, please?) With such a short season and so many films from which to choose, I find this baffling. Especially in Hollywood. And especially when cinespia asks fans to make screening suggestions on their own Facebook page.

I’m still going to go. It’s still my favorite thing on Earth. But, I am very, very disappointed.

Vertigo? Again?

Take Mom to Burn the Floor

Burn The FloorFull disclaimer: I’m not really into dance. Whenever “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Dancing With the Stars” get their DVR playback, I conveniently find a reason to go fix something in the garage.

But, if you’re looking for a cool last-minute gift idea for Mother’s Day that does not involve a spa or Mimosas, take her to see Burn the Floor at Pantages.

20 champion dancers from the hit Broadway show will blow your mind. It’s billed as “ballroom reinvented,” but, it sure didn’t feel like ballroom. It’s a phenomenal show, that makes you want to Patrick Swayze into the aisle.

Did I just type that? Ahem.

It’s a great gift for Mother’s Day, or a great date. And there are only 5 shows left.

Burn the Floor at the Pantages Theatre.

Tonight at 8:00PM
Tomorrow at 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM
Sunday at 1:00 pm, 6:30 PM

Meet Your New Neighbors: Hezbollah!

Remember all those sophisticated tunnels discovered under the border with Mexico? Just good old fashioned drug cartel shenanigans. Right?

Well… Apparently, some unfriendly militants have been setting up shop just 136 miles South of Los Angeles, in Tijuana.

Meet Hezbollah, “recognized by many experts as the “A” team of Muslim terrorist organizations.”

The group is blending into Shi’a Muslim communities in Mexico, including Tijuana. Other pockets along the U.S.-Mexico border region remain largely unidentified as U.S. intelligence agencies are focused on the drug trade.

Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Downtown Dodgers + Football in the Ravine

Apparently, the recent takesies-backsies of the Los Angeles Dodgers by Major League Baseball has quiet a few suits talking. Their discussions are starting to get interesting. Yahoo Sports takes a look at how the baseball power struggle may help L.A.’s bid for an NFL franchise.

In short, the Dodgers could move to a new baseball stadium downtown on the site of the currently proposed new NFL stadium. A new football facility would go up in place of Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. Stadium swap.

It’s a fascinating idea. Football fans would now be able to tailgate outside a brand new stadium, as opposed to the downtown site. It would also provide an opportunity to correct an injustice done decades ago – a new stadium could be situated to face Downtown Los Angeles instead of turning its back on the heart of the city. The new Dodger Stadium could also boast DTLA as a dramatic backdrop. Baseball would become more a part of the urban fabric of the city.

Take the subway to a ballgame? In Los Angeles?

What do you think?

 

High Speed Rail to LAX

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.

Your move, @villaraigosa.

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.

Everybody Into the Subway!

Did you know there was a bike ban on Metro Rail during rush hour? That ban is gone, effective immediately. The Source wants to know how you feel about that.

With gas prices surging, the city’s renewed interest in a viable bike network, and increasingly popular events like CicLAvia, this can only be a good thing.

But, exactly how will Metro handle the possible flood of fixies? There has been some talk of removing seats from rail cars.  Instead of simply placating cyclists, why not encourage them by going a step further?

What Metro needs now is a multimodal rail car with bike storage. Sound far fetched? Plans were drawn up in 1976.