Archive for the ‘commuting and transportation’ Category

How Could Better Public Transit Help Los Angeles?

2011 08 23 - 1626 - Washington DC - McPherson Sq Metro Station

You can get an idea from this Streetsblog Capitol Hill post, which shows what Metro has done for DC. Among other things, please note that transit = economic growth.

Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr.

Why Drivers Should Want More Cyclists, Not Fewer

Look how much more room there is for your car when people bike or ride the bus! Lavish!

Image is poster in city of Muenster Planning Office, August 2001. Credit: PressOffice City of Muenster, Germany

Commuter Express Congestion

I hope that LADOT realizes that they don’t just need new buses. They need more buses. And, by extension, more drivers. Yesterday there were 16 people standing the entire way from the Encino Park and Ride (and most of those got on a few stops before that point) to the first stop in Westwood. That’s a long time to stand, especially when there aren’t good places to hold on. (Seriously, LADOT officials, try holding onto an overhead bar for an hour in stop-and-go traffic. Not good for the wrists or elbows or my carpal tunnel. And what about the people who can’t reach the bar?

Five Years of Public Transit

Commuter Express Neoplan

For the past five years, I’ve commuted primarily by public transit. I had a brief flirtation with multimodalism (I used to bike to the bus stop on the home end of my commute), but that ended when the need to take our daughter to day care began.

When we lived in our apartment, I took Big Blue Bus to work. When we moved, we started taking Metro. I took the Orange Line to the 761, and John biked to the bus. But both of us found it really onerous–me, because my commute involved a lot of backtracking, and therefore took two hours in the evening, and John because he usually had to wait for at least 30 minutes to find a bus with an open spot on the bike rack.

Then we discovered LADOT Commuter Express, which picked us up and dropped us off just as conveniently as Metro, but on a much more direct route (and with better odds of bike space). So for nearly three years, we’ve used that as our primary mode of commute transit.

Yes, there are days that we drive–but they’re decidedly in the minority. I rode the bus until my last day at work before maternity leave, and started up with my first day back.

So, what are my thoughts on five years of riding the bus?

Well, I feel good about how I commute. I am delighted that I can get to work without being the one behind the wheel. I love having a chunk of time every day to read. I’m happy that I only have to pay for a tank of gas about once every 10 days. And I’m thrilled to be using our cars much less than many Angelenos do.

I’m also really looking forward to those new buses that LADOT is supposed to be rolling out this winter. Trust me, a 22-year-old bus is old.

Photo by LA Wad, via Flickr.

Guilty on All Charges

Christopher Thomas Thompson, the Brentwood doctor accused of deliberately causing a car crash involving–and resulting in serious injury for–two cyclists on July 4, 2008, has been found guilty on all charges. Day-by-day coverage of testimony can be found at Velonews.

Moral of the story? Don’t be a vicious idiot with no sense of irony.

Move It!

Illuminate LA has a great post titled “Why Non-Cyclists Should Care About the LA Bike Plan.” I have another reason.

Annoyed by traffic? Don’t like all those other cars in your way? Then support cycling. It means fewer cars between yours and your destination.

I’m joking. Except I’m kind of not. Because plenty of people are never going to give up their cars. But wouldn’t it benefit them if others did, at least some of the time?

Elevated Trains

This past weekend we were in the Chicago area, and on one of our trips to downtown, we took the train. And while the El is a convenient, fast, and affordable way to get around town, honesty compels me to point out that it is, without a doubt, the loudest form of public transportation I have ever ridden.

Seriously, I wish I’d taken hearing protection with me.