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Monday, August 07, 2006


Many Things are Lacking In L.A.

MTA, after all, seems to be only one aspect of a general pattern of, shall we say, sloppiness in L.A. Just think about it. It's not that any place or city is perfect, but in L.A. there are lacks in several fundamental areas. And that includes public transportation.

A partial list of areas that either lack or are in excess in L.A.:

  • Police officers (lack)

  • homelessness (excess: leader in the U.S)

  • Traffic light synchronization (lack: a simple thing, but a lack)

  • Gang violence (excess: leader in the U.S)

  • Green space (lack: overall)

  • LAX airport (lack: too low-end for the city)

  • Affordable housing (lack: working people are getting evicted)

  • Jail beds (lack: the overcrowding is one of the nation's worst)

  • Hospitals (lack: there's about one major hospital in the entire South L.A.)

Those were not mentioned for the sake of it. Rather it's because MTA's sloppiness seems to be part of a larger pattern here. Maybe it's that L.A. is young, sprawling; it's hot etc. Maybe it's just the weather that makes people here too lazy to care enough. It's just that when it comes to fundamental issues, like public transportation among other things, that laziness really hurts.

But when looking through the lense of that general pattern, it's not stunning to see why public transportation can be so bad, when even housing is. Many profound areas of L.A. are bad in terms of being low prioritized or under-funded. In those cases, such as under-funded jails or neglected homeless people, a negative bias could be argued to lie behind. Public transportation becomes extra weird, because it encompasses all types of people and isn't an area of crime or illness. But not even that appears to make any difference in this city. MTA doesn't care. They don't seem to distinguish between regular citizens and those with special needs.

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