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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2022, 9:17 PM
MAC123 MAC123 is offline
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It's not just rail that's needed. A good buses system, amazing bike infrastructure, and an actual ability to be able to walk the city.
I won't say the improvements are enough, but they are a major step in the right direction.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 3:23 AM
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LA will likely remain autocentric for the foreseeable future, because of the physical cityscape and entrenched car culture. But that doesn't mean transit will never increase its share of local trips, or that someday in the future transit will play a much bigger role in LA's mobility and culture. It is entirely possible that younger generations of native Angelenos as well as newcomers from other places will come to embrace transit more than their predecessors, as the system becomes more comprehensive and is seen as an established part of the cityscape and one of the reliable, available mobility options. In fact, I think it's likely--but not right away.

In the meantime, transit capacity is especially useful for large one-off events, which LA has a lot of (street festivals, major league sports events, concerts, etc.). It's possible that transit leaders can convince many people attending such events to use transit on such days, rather than brave traffic paralysis--if transit leaders can both sell it to the public, and set things up right (enhanced day-of service, bus-only lanes, etc.). This is what happens in the Bay Area--suburbanites who usually drive everywhere for everything nevertheless pack BART to the gills when they come into SF for ballgames, festivals, large protests, etc.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 4:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Transit ridership is much if not mostly by people who can't afford a car. It only takes a single car to enable 4-5-6 dirt-poor people to almost completely avoid riding the bus.
That’s not necessarily true. Ridership is high in cities where it’s the better alternative to driving. There’s plenty of white collar workers that commute via public transit in cities with higher transit usage, where employee parking is limited and traffic is horrendous due to bottlenecks on freeways. During peak times, twice as many people cross the Bay via Transbay Tube vs the Bay Bridge.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 4:35 AM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
LA will likely remain autocentric for the foreseeable future, because of the physical cityscape and entrenched car culture. But that doesn't mean transit will never increase its share of local trips, or that someday in the future transit will play a much bigger role in LA's mobility and culture. It is entirely possible that younger generations of native Angelenos as well as newcomers from other places will come to embrace transit more than their predecessors, as the system becomes more comprehensive and is seen as an established part of the cityscape and one of the reliable, available mobility options. In fact, I think it's likely--but not right away.

In the meantime, transit capacity is especially useful for large one-off events, which LA has a lot of (street festivals, major league sports events, concerts, etc.). It's possible that transit leaders can convince many people attending such events to use transit on such days, rather than brave traffic paralysis--if transit leaders can both sell it to the public, and set things up right (enhanced day-of service, bus-only lanes, etc.). This is what happens in the Bay Area--suburbanites who usually drive everywhere for everything nevertheless pack BART to the gills when they come into SF for ballgames, festivals, large protests, etc.
That has already been happening in LA for quite a number of years now, definitely pre-pandemic. LA Book Fair at USC and USC football games at the Coliseum, would always make the Expo/E Line crowded, as well as the LA Auto Show with the Blue/A Line. Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game would make the Gold Line/L Line crowded; in fact this recent Rose Parade/Rose Bowl Game, my partner and I noticed the Gold Line was very crowded, with plenty of riders wearing red sweatshirts (I guess Utah and Ohio State are both red). Metro Rail doesn't go directly to the Rose Bowl, but there were shuttle buses running between the Memorial Park Station/Parsons lot and the Rose Bowl.

Chinatown Summer Nights, CicLAvia, New Year's Eve at Grand Park, protests, etc., would also make for crowded Metro trains.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 4:51 AM
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I think this has got a lot to do with it. DTLA still has far too many surface parking lots and garages. In fact, one of their recent proposals is building a residential tower on top of an existing garage, rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. Lots of new towers in South Park but they're all on massive parking podiums. Seems like DTLA has been adding more parking rather than decreasing it. I bet if you eliminated 50% of parking downtown, public transit usage rate would increase dramatically. Make parking more difficult and people will have no choice but to take the train into DTLA.
Well, because of zoning requirements, somewhat ironically, parking did indeed increase in downtown LA because they built more residences---each unit of housing has to have parking.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 4:57 AM
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As a sometimes transit user in LA, I can tell you the biggest obstacle to using the system for me was the 'first mile/last mile' challenge. I'm fortunate to live in a neighborhood that actually is served by a metro stop. However, I am just a little too far to comfortably walk to the station (~25 min walk). I don't have a bike, and I wouldn't want to take it on the train and to work with me anyways. I can take a bus, but it takes a bit of planning and good luck to make the bus and make the train. Subway headways are 10 mins (at peak! more like 20 outside of that). Just way too many hurtles to jump when I can drive in 25 mins and park pretty cheaply. If there was a better connection to the subway, I'd use it way more. But it's just too much effort to use, when driving is faster, easier, cleaner, etc.
I'm a sometimes transit user too, but I guess I'm a little fortunate in that the nearest Metro Rail station (South Pasadena station on the Gold/L Line) is only a little over a half mile from where I live. Depending on traffic lights and how fast I walk, I can get there in 12-15 minutes. Pre-pandemic, when I was going downtown more often, I was taking the train instead of driving downtown.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:25 AM
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LA will never be anything other than car centric, probably for forever. The city is gigantic, is doing very little to densify. At this rate, there will not be any significant change in density, since outside of very few locations we do not see true density being built. A 6 story apartment building with at least one parking space per unit is not density that will propagate an urban environment that supports a populace that mainly uses public transport.

LA could be much denser, but the politics show that many locals prefer a high density of homeless to higher density residential developments.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
LA will never be anything other than car centric, probably for forever. The city is gigantic, is doing very little to densify. At this rate, there will not be any significant change in density, since outside of very few locations we do not see true density being built. A 6 story apartment building with at least one parking space per unit is not density that will propagate an urban environment that supports a populace that mainly uses public transport.

LA could be much denser, but the politics show that many locals prefer a high density of homeless to higher density residential developments.
And where do you live?
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
And where do you live?
Is there a rule that says only native Angelinos are able to comment on this thread? If you don’t like my message you can just ignore it.

Im closing on a place in Silver Lake, am I only allowed to comment after the keys are in my hand?

The LA pumpers on this thread are some of the most ridiculously fierce defenders of LAs shortcomings. No wonder things change at the pace of molasses around here.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
Is there a rule that says only native Angelinos are able to comment on this thread? If you don’t like my message you can just ignore it.

Im closing on a place in Silver Lake, am I only allowed to comment after the keys are in my hand?

The LA pumpers on this thread are some of the most ridiculously fierce defenders of LAs shortcomings. No wonder things change at the pace of molasses around here.
No, I was just curious. No need to get your panties wadded up. Where are you from originally, if I may ask?
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
Is there a rule that says only native Angelinos are able to comment on this thread? If you don’t like my message you can just ignore it.

Im closing on a place in Silver Lake, am I only allowed to comment after the keys are in my hand?

The LA pumpers on this thread are some of the most ridiculously fierce defenders of LAs shortcomings. No wonder things change at the pace of molasses around here.
I don't think anybody is pumping anything in this thread. It seems like the LA forumers are very aware that they live in an autocentric place. Most, if not all the posters have stated this already. The point is, it's improving and as urbanists we should promote development and infrastructure that continues to improve it.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
LA will never be anything other than car centric, probably for forever.
Never say never.

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The city is gigantic, is doing very little to densify. At this rate, there will not be any significant change in density, since outside of very few locations we do not see true density being built. A 6 story apartment building with at least one parking space per unit is not density that will propagate an urban environment that supports a populace that mainly uses public transport.
At least you changed your perennial negative bloviating about LA to 6 stories--it was hilarious when you claimed that "nothing over 3 stories ever gets built" here, and then we showed you Urbanize LA, etc. So--6 stories it is, and still unacceptable to you. It's hard to believe you're actually moving someplace that you've been shit-posting about for so many years. At least, if it's true, you'll actually learn something about LA.

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LA could be much denser, but the politics show that many locals prefer a high density of homeless to higher density residential developments.
And yet you claim to be moving here anyway.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 7:04 AM
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To really address this question, we'll need to hear about buses. Rail plus the current bus system will have a limited effect.

LA has a lot of hurdles beyond infrastructure, but a better bus system would go a long way.
Exactly!

Toronto' subway ridership is very high yet the system is quite small for the city's size at just 75km. So why is it so successful?...............because Toronto has a great connecting bus/streetcar network with very high frequency all day and night. Toronto realizes that a rail network is only successful if you can get people to and from the stations quickly which is why it has the best surface transit system in NA. If Torontonians had to wait more than 5 minutes at any point during the day for transit they would bitch up a storm.

LA has fallen into this trap {like nearly all US cities with newer systems} of "build it and they will come" and that works with highways but not transit. Rail without good service from both the trains and the connecting buses is little more than a make-work project.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 2:21 PM
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To the OP's question, I say no and here's why, LA is a huge decentralized place of 19 million people scattered over 2,300 urbanized square miles. There is stuff everywhere and in all directions in the urbanized area. It isn't a city where everybody in the suburbs want to get to 1 or 2 centralized places for their 9 to 5. It's not that type of city. At build out you won't be able to see a difference in traffic congestion and the car will be as popular tomorrow as it is today in LA.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 2:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Exactly!

LA has fallen into this trap {like nearly all US cities with newer systems} of "build it and they will come" and that works with highways but not transit. Rail without good service from both the trains and the connecting buses is little more than a make-work project.
LA's bus system is very good by U.S. standards. The problem is that the buses get snarled in rush hour gridlock. Light cycle after light cycle with no movement.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 3:42 PM
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When I lived in Koreatown, I was just 1 block away from the Wilshire/Western Metro station so I definitely used the metro anytime I wanted to go to DTLA, Hollywood, or visit a friend in Pasadena. It's really about convenience and accessibility. A large portion of LA residents don't have that option.

And since there were no options to get me to the West Side without doing a major time-consuming detour, that's where my reliance on Metro would stop. I think the vast majority of folks who own cars in LA are in that same pickle - as much as one wants to be pro-transit, if it's not an easier option than the car, why go out of your way? Plus, surprised to see that nobody has mentioned this, but since 2020 crime and safety on Metro has become an issue in the news...people openly using crack/heroin on the train, a couple of transit workers were stabbed recently, etc., so this bad publicity has definitely not been helping with ridership combined with so many office workers WFH.

On a positive note, the purple line extension down Wilshire from DTLA to Westwood will be huge. I now live in Beverly Hills, basically at the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega where they're building a new Metro station (set to open in 2024 I believe). I will definitely take the Metro if going to DTLA, dinner in Koreatown, or even to The Grove which would be a short walk from the upcoming Wilshire/Fairfax station. Currently, a huge swath of the West Side is not served in anyway by a subway, but with the purple line completion under LA's arguably most important artery, that should definitely help.

What I wish we could get is that Crenshaw line connecting the purple and red lines, to go through West Hollywood. It's such a densely populated area and tourist-dependent area, it's so frustrating to see nothing on the books for that anytime soon.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:03 PM
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When I lived in Koreatown, I was just 1 block away from the Wilshire/Western Metro station so I definitely used the metro anytime I wanted to go to DTLA, Hollywood, or visit a friend in Pasadena. It's really about convenience and accessibility. A large portion of LA residents don't have that option.

And since there were no options to get me to the West Side without doing a major time-consuming detour, that's where my reliance on Metro would stop. I think the vast majority of folks who own cars in LA are in that same pickle - as much as one wants to be pro-transit, if it's not an easier option than the car, why go out of your way? Plus, surprised to see that nobody has mentioned this, but since 2020 crime and safety on Metro has become an issue in the news...people openly using crack/heroin on the train, a couple of transit workers were stabbed recently, etc., so this bad publicity has definitely not been helping with ridership combined with so many office workers WFH.

On a positive note, the purple line extension down Wilshire from DTLA to Westwood will be huge. I now live in Beverly Hills, basically at the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega where they're building a new Metro station (set to open in 2024 I believe). I will definitely take the Metro if going to DTLA, dinner in Koreatown, or even to The Grove which would be a short walk from the upcoming Wilshire/Fairfax station. Currently, a huge swath of the West Side is not served in anyway by a subway, but with the purple line completion under LA's arguably most important artery, that should definitely help.

What I wish we could get is that Crenshaw line connecting the purple and red lines, to go through West Hollywood. It's such a densely populated area and tourist-dependent area, it's so frustrating to see nothing on the books for that anytime soon.
I agree with you here.

Also, I'm surprised Glendale and Burbank haven't tried to lobby for Metro Rail transit into their cities. Both are big job centers, and whenever I'm in Glendale, the buses always seem well-used, and I often see people waiting at the bus stops. If not Burbank, then Glendale I would think would be a great candidate for rail transit---I'm rarely in Burbank but often in Glendale, so I see the transit use there.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:14 PM
kittyhawk28 kittyhawk28 is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
LA's bus system is very good by U.S. standards. The problem is that the buses get snarled in rush hour gridlock. Light cycle after light cycle with no movement.
In my experience the buses were actually pretty nice during the period when they weren't collecting fares (sadly that ends later this month). Boardings were fast, stop times at bus stops were relatively short, and buses often came at 5 minute intervals or better on key corridors. What I really like was how in the past 2 decades Metro basically put a high-frequency bus service on most of the main arterial roads of the city, and with rapid buses with limited stop services. Ridership is pretty high on these buses, especially the 720 bus along Wilshire (which I can see now why they are prioritizing building the Purple Line extension).

The problem is right now, even as rail ridership grows, bus ridership declines. I think one of the issues is LA's current anemic pace at rezoning for higher density housing around transit stops. They recently produced a promising rezoning plan for the next 8 years, with the aim of upzoning 243000 parcels across the city, many of which are around transit stops, for additional capacity of up to 1.4 million new units of housing in order to meet their 486000-unit RHNA goal by 2029, so maybe the declining transit ridership could turn around during this decade.

Here's a link to LA's 2021-29 Housing Element Plan: https://planning.lacity.org/odocumen..._High_Res..pdf

Last edited by kittyhawk28; Jan 6, 2022 at 5:28 PM.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:21 PM
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I don't think high(er) density is necessarily the issue. It's that LA land use/lifestyle/cultural patterns don't really fit with high capacity transit corridors, at least for the non-poor.

For example, there's that vaguely South Florida/Latin American-feeling high density apartment canyon between Westwood and Bev Hills. Not sure if that microneighborhood has a name:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0620...7i16384!8i8192

In theory, it would be perfect for high capacity transit. Tall, dense towers along LA's premiere linear corridor, with heavy existing bus service and rail eventually. But that area has very low transit ridership, isn't pedestrian friendly and is unlikely to ever morph into a traditional urban corridor.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2022, 5:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
I agree with you here.

Also, I'm surprised Glendale and Burbank haven't tried to lobby for Metro Rail transit into their cities. Both are big job centers, and whenever I'm in Glendale, the buses always seem well-used, and I often see people waiting at the bus stops. If not Burbank, then Glendale I would think would be a great candidate for rail transit---I'm rarely in Burbank but often in Glendale, so I see the transit use there.
I think the plan right now, at least in the short-term, is to improve Metrolink services to those areas by building two new infill stations between Burbank and LAUS, and improving service frequencies to 7.5-15 minutes. I think there's a long-term plan by Metro to build a Burbank-Glendale LRT, but that's currently a strategic unfunded project until another transit tax measure is approved or if Metro can get a new stable source of revenue from the state or Feds. For example, Metro is seeking the state to allocate $17 billion out of its $31 billion surplus this year to transit expansion in the LA area.
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