Friday, September 11, 2015

Those Who Live Downtown Should Never See The Ocean

I don't ask a lot of politicians. All I ask is they don't actively try to make life worse.  This, however, is too much to ask in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a city where anyone who can, drives.  As the population has grown, this has meant bumper-to-bumper traffic, which can make life miserable. The solution of the Mayor and the City Council?  Make life more miserable (the link is to The New York Times, which only allows ten free views a month).   You'd think they'd build more lanes, but instead have instituted a 20-year plan (so they'll be receiving pensions before the worst happens?) where they'll be removing lanes to make room for bikes and buses.

I support people walking or biking (though bikes can be dangerous) to places they need to go.  I regularly walk to get groceries, and even to nearby movies. But having a car is the most convenient way to get around in a wide, flat area like Los Angeles, and that fact won't change.

Mayor Eric Garcetti:

The old model of a car-centric different-neighborhood-for-every-task city is in many ways slipping through our fingers whether we like it or not.  We have to have neighborhoods that are more self-contained.  People want to be able to walk or bike or take transit to a movie.

Where to start?  First, it's "slipping through our fingers" because you are changing the system, and not trying to make it better the way the people would prefer. "Whether we like it or not"?  We don't like it, you do, so you and the City Council have decided the high taxes and poor services the city offers isn't enough, you've got to make it even tougher.

Second, we have to have neighborhoods that are more self-contained?  I'll believe that when you take a pledge to never leave your block. Heck, I'll make it easy on you--just promise to never leave the city.  People will mostly stay in their local areas if those areas offer what they want.  Why not programs to make those areas better, rather than make it more of a hassle to leave?  And anyway, what's the point of living in a big city if you can't try out the many things it offers?

Third, biking and walking short distances are no trouble, but once it gets over a few miles, cars are generally better.  And I've got no objection to mass transit, but in a place as widespread as Los Angeles, it will never be as convenient as a car, and I'm not sure if the subways we've got now are financially successful.

As a final argument, the mayor notes that car traffic is going to get worse no matter what he does.  So his solution is to make it worse right now rather than wait?  Apparently the only traffic the Mayor wants to see is people leaving town for good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More lanes always means more traffic. Look it up

4:02 AM, September 11, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is, does anonymous merge early, or merge late?

4:27 AM, September 11, 2015  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Don't you realize that by waving the magic wand of legislation, people will quickly modify their behavior to fit the utopian ideal? It's illegal for folks under 22 to drink (and in Colo. smoke pot), and we are fortunate that none do. It's illegal to cross the street in the middle, away from the crosswalks. Can you imagine the chaos if people still jaywalked?

Of course the mayor's plan will ensure abidance with one law - no one will ever challenge the speed limits on LA freeways. I doubt anyone will ever get near the speed limits.

8:09 AM, September 11, 2015  

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