Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Westside transit meetings

Hope you saw S M Distress Monitor's Traffic Jam on Oct. 15. Here are three Westside transit meetings you could attend, from Friends 4 Expo:

Tonight, is the City of Santa Monica Industrial Lands workshop, including the Bergamot Station and Mid-City Expo Line station locations, part of its Land Use and Circulation Element update. It will be at 6:30 (6:00 registration), Lincoln Middle School cafeteria, 1501 California Ave. See the City's website for details and RSVP.

Or see how many Cheviot Hills homeowners get heated at the Expo Line Phase 2 Initial Screening Results third meeting, also 6:30 tonight, at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services Gymnasium, 3200 Motor Ave., LA.

And Metro added a sixth Westside Extension (aka Wilshire "Subway to the Sea") Alternatives Analysis public meeting in West Hollywood, Mon., Oct. 29, 6:00 p.m., Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.


Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in Mar Vista and lived in Palms for 10 years next to Cheviot Hills. I worked downtown for many years and commuted on the freeway express buses for one year. The Exposition light rail line will be heavily used by a many people who commute to downtown.

However, the Cheviot Hills crowd have been fighting that line for decades since they don't want the poor folks commuting through "their" neighborhood. In fact, no property owners on the westside are in favor of mass transit since only poor people in L.A. ride use it.

People talk about saving the environment but when it comes to their property values and keeping the Mexicans and blacks out, we know where their true values are. And everyone reading this blog knows exactly what I'm talking about and don't try and tell me otherwise.

former bus rider said...

How many people reading this have taken the number 10? When I used to take the Santa Monica 10 downtown, the riders on that bus were not the people that would be buying houses on the westside.

The folks taking the 33 or 333 down Venice Blvd are virtually all minorities and poor. These are the people who could benefit the most from the Exposition line.

The people that clean the offices downtown take the 10 and the other buses. I'm sure that the residents on the westside are eager to help out their fellow poor citizens who now must rely on slow and crowded buses.

Yeah right.

Don said...

My wife rode the 10 for a while when we were living in Garden Grove and she was commuting to Santa Monica. I ride the 5 or the 7 (depending on which shows up first) nearly every day. We're both computer programmers who were using transit out of choice, not necessity. It's people like us who are the future for transit in L.A.

Anonymous said...

Let me start off by saying that there are many racist people on the west side. Racists are despicable.

However, there are non-racist reasons for not riding in transit. For example, our society has decided to let thousands of mentally ill people out of mental institutions. Therefore if you ride public transit you may be sitting next to a mentally ill person (probably white) who has not bathed in months and who is violent loud and abusive.

since most riders of public transit are poor minorities, it would benefit the poor minorities the most to have public transit enforce rules of civilized conduct - no crazy behavior, no violence, etc. Public transit could have a normal, non deviant feel.

However, no one stands up for the transit riders and thus public transit is often hellish. blame the ACLU for forbidding any common sense rules against crazy violent unbathed people.

As soon as civilized standards of behavior are enforced on public transit, plenty of middle class people will start riding it.

I know whereof i speak - in NYC the overwhelming majority of the middle class uses public transit to get in to the city from the suburbs.

It is the ACLU that keeps Los Angeles transit so hellish - westsiders that donate to the ACLU deserve the blame

Don said...

anonymous: Are you claiming that the ACLU is powerless in NYC? I find that doubtful. And having ridden public transit in NYC and Chicago as well as Los Angeles, the numbers of unbathed mentally ill on transit are the same in all cases. It just seems less in NYC and Chicago because there are more people overall on transit.

former bus rider said...

The anonymous poster claiming that mentally ill people who smell bad are the reason why middle class people aren't riding public transit in L.A. is either an idiot or is making a lame attempt at humor.

Blaming the ACLU is a red herring, too.

This portrait of MTA riders is the white middle class stereotype found in conservative Cheviot Hills households. It does not reflect reality.

In my experience the vast majority of riders on the MTA were nothing like this idiotic post. Most affluent people in L.A. have absolutely no intention of abandoning their luxury vehicles (by "luxury" I mean Volvos, Lexus, Acuras, Bimmers and MB, even entry level models. I know that it may shock some people that an Acura TSX may be considered a "luxury" car.)

What are we really talking about here? Face it, there are a lot of areas on the westside that are poor working class neighborhoods and many of these are filled with minorities, ie Hispanics and blacks. There's the Mar Vista Garden housing projects and Oakwood. These people of "diversity" are just plain undesirable--they mess up the schools for the college bound white kids, they bring gang violence and drugs to the streets, and they just don't belong on the Westside.

Gentrification is the strategy to "reform" and improve the Westside. You see it happening to Oakwood. While we all celebrate "diversity" and multiculturalism, in reality everyone on this blog wants these riff-raffs out of the Westside as fast as possible. The only Mexicans you want to see are the housekeeper you hire and then you want her to get on the bus and get the hell out of town and go back to the barrio. Go drive down Wilshire, Sunset or Santa Monica at the end of the work day in Beverly Hills and look at who's standing at the bus stops--they're all the Latina housekeepers who are catching the eastbound buses. That's the kind of diversity Westsiders celebrate.

I grew up on the Westside when it was a great place to live. I watched my parent's neighborhood change from one where all of neighbors were gardeners or other working class folks, to where the new neighbors worked in the "industry" or some other worthless white collar job.

The couple that bought the house across worked in the "industry". They both drove Mercedes Benz SUVs and had two fat kids. The husband was the biggest jerk in the world. Compared to the humble gardener family that lived in the house for 40 years, the new six figure income family that worked for Dreamworks brought the neighborhood down about 10 points.

I guess the "industry" husband felt that because he could afford an expensive house and an expensive car, he was something special. The neighbor that I grew up with all my life was the salt of the earth and the best kind of person and neighbor you could hope to have, but he pushed a lawnmower around for 40 years.

I'm glad that I no longer live in my old neighborhood because the new people who are replacing my parent's generation are the most pretentious, materialistic, and worthless SOBs that I've ever run into.

Anonymous said...

There is a place for your hateful racist comments - it is

Let's leave this blog as a place to discuss housing not racist theories.

You will drive a lot of readership away from this site with racist comments. That doesn't benefit any of us in this web community

Anonymous said...

"or some other worthless white collar job."

Wow. That's not a broad brush, now is it ?

White collar workers make up about 60% of today's workforce in the US. I suppose in your perfect world everybody makes living mowing everybody else's yard.

DG said...

The reason people ride transit in NYC, London, etc. is its faster, easier, and more convenient than driving. Ever tried to drive a car, quickly, and then find parking in Manhattan? Very difficult. Until our transit trumps the car in terms of speed, reliability, and ease, transit in LA will be prodominantly for the lower income levels.

This is where light rail and subways come in. Who wouldn't take the subway to Century City or Downtown if it was faster, more convenient, and more reliable than driving. Same thing with the light rail. Who wouldn't take it to Stapples from the westside when the 10 is moving at 5 mph and you knew you would get there in 35 minutes on the rail.

Buses are slower, less convenient, and less reliable than a persons car and therefore the majority of people with the financial capability will still use their cars.

This is a major reason why efforts like the Expo line and the subway to the sea are so important. They give people options, that in many cases will actually be faster. I don't ride the bus currently, but have in a few instances, but would absolutely ride the light rail or subway if they were remotely efficient and reliable.

Thanks for the blog and discussion.

Westside Bubble said...

You're welcome, DG, and good comments.

Mike said...

Last night I attended the Cheviot Hills Expo Line meeting. I haven't really attended many community meetings like this in the past (although I did go to the Subway meeting in Westwood a few weeks ago), but it was fascinating and there was a lot bigger turnout than I expected.

My thoughts?

1) A lot of the CH residents/NIMBY's who oppose using the right of way were really rude, arrogant, bullying, etc., a lot of douche bags must live there. I think they can see that it's actually going to happen this time and they're getting desperate.

2) It's going to be hard for any alternatives to beat out the Expo ROW. Venice/Sepulveda would make a clusterf**k out of the streets and require the removal of a ton of properties, and Venice to the beach would have many of the same issues and low ridership since there aren't many large employers along the route. And a BRT? Yeah right. The MTA already owns the Expo ROW, it has way less crossings than the Venice/Sepulveda option would (only Bagley, Palms/National, Motor, Overland, Westwood and Military as far as I can tell), and it's the shortest route, which would decrease transit times and increase ridership, and wouldn't require the removal of any major properties.

3) The Expo Authority employees were very calm and level-headed in the face of some major antagonism from the CHers.

4) My general take from the meeting... nearly everyone who would actually want to ride the train generally supports using the Expo ROW. Those pushing for Venice/Sepulveda or Venice to the beach aren't doing so because they would actually like to ride on that route, they just don't want a train near their houses.

5) It's just a train, it's not like they're putting a garbage dump or coal-fired power plant behind your house. Give it 10 years after it's completed and most of the residents will be happy it's there.

Anonymous said...

I would like to get this train from Santa Monica to Downtown built as soon as possible.

I can tell you that the line from Pasadena to downtown is used by a cross section of society - there are plenty of middle class people that use it

In Europe and Asia, many trains have first class sections and coach sections. if it were up to me this train would have both - with the first class section costing a little more. This would pay for wider softer seats in first class. the availability to two different experiences on the same train - one experience similar to the bus for price of the bus and one experience that is more quiet and upscale for people that want to pay for that, would pull people out of the busses and would also pull some middle class people out of their cars

with cellular data cards now widely available, a middle class person in SM could settle in to a comfy seat and surf the internet with their laptop for the whole communte. The commute would really fly by in a pleasant, perhaps even productive way.

I challenge you to be optimistic - something better than the current traffic hell is possible

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