Monday, July 27, 2009

Paris: More like Los Angeles than New York

Human Transit has a nice post here with one of the author's "favorite urban heresies":
Paris is more like Los Angeles than it is like New York.
He goes on to explain that the New York metro area has its jobs extremely concentrated in the center, whereas L.A. and Paris have their job centers in multiple clusters.

He then goes on to note that the mass transit system in L.A. built over the last two decades (pictured above) has been very oriented toward Downtown. I've noticed that the system is like spokes without a wheel for a while now. With as much progress as there's been in the transit system, it's still in its infancy. I think starting soon, though, Metro is going to need to start thinking seriously about turning the system into a real network instead of just a bunch of lines going to Downtown.

Here's the Long-Range Transportation Plan and here is more detail on various ongoing projects. There needs to be a way to go north from LAX to the Westside... I guess we can blame Zev Yaroslavsky and Henry Waxman for the Westside being about 20 years behind where it should be.


At Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 6:29:00 PM PST, Anonymous Myles SG said...

Well, the point is sort of, that you wouldn't really want a wheel for LA. north-western LA has really nothing to do with the southern and eastern parts of LA. I could see transit being useful for college kids, but the only ones who genuinely need it for any serious sort of traveling, i.e. the USC kids, a good number of them have cars anyway. I think USC actually has a subconscious policy of making sure everyone's got a roommate with a car.

People at UCLA, given that they are already in the best and hottest part of town, hardly need comprehensive, city-wide transit.

At Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 8:31:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Westwood hasn't been that hot for a while. There are certainly a lot of people who live in the Valley and work on the Westside. Downtown may be the largest center in the city, but there are a number of secondary centers like Glendale, Pasadena, Century City, etc. that would benefit from being linked to each other more directly and not just by going into downtown as an intermediary. The current and near-future configuration puts a lot of strain on the mass transit downtown, for one thing.

I ride the Red Line every weekday and the Orange Line some days; college kids make up some of the ridership, but the bulk of it is just working-class or poor people, a lot of them Hispanic, although there are some professionals, particularly on the Red Line. I used to ride the Metro Rapid bus, and I was generally the only white person on the bus there.

At Friday, February 12, 2010 at 4:31:00 PM PST, Anonymous Myles SG said...

Well, that's quite accurate. I imagine LA is more Hispanic than white at this point. Although given what proportion of them are essentially residing illegally, it is difficult to account for them in public policy, at least on an ethical level.

I think the difficulty with public transit (or really any sort of public works) in Southern California is essentially that non-legal residents have formed such a critical mass of the population that it's difficult to win support for any sort of comprehensive, all-encompassing policy. Because, well people don't think of themselves as being the same community as the Mexicans.

At Friday, February 12, 2010 at 4:33:00 PM PST, Anonymous Myles SG said...

I mean, it's rather difficult to ring support for public infrastructure programs which appear to benefit mostly people who hardly speak the same language as one.


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