Friday, October 29, 2010
Finally, A Subway Extension West
Things have gone in the right direction. A 10-0 decision to build the west-side subway extension along Wilshire Blvd! Plenty illogical decisions were made before by the MTA - including a green line that could be called the green 'cut off' line, ending just short before LAX. Finally the city seems to have matured enough to make sense. A quote by Genevieve Giuliano, director of USC's METRANS Transportation Center, hits it on the head:
"A subway is the single biggest item on the transit construction list, and this is the single busiest corridor in the entire region. If there should be a subway anywhere, it should be there."
Yes, yes. It shouldn't be built along Exposition blvd, or say, "Manchester blvd", for it to make sense. It should be built under Wilshire blvd for the reason mentioned above. Duh, most people and most commerce. A subway there would equal more customers plus less car traffic. Should NIMBY's win over all that? In their minds, they're all that matter. But a responsible leadership should think about the greatest good for the greatest amount of residents. A subway extension along Wilshire blvd is just that. For now, the project begins in 2013. That's better than nothing, considering just recently it appeared to have been a possibility only in the very distant future. Read the second paragraph below to see how such developments can increase Los Angeles as a city overall.
In a side note. The finally added monitors to the existing subway platforms display cartoon like train images, and don't display time information about upcoming train. Folk, only right before the train arrives, will we let you know that it's arriving. Before that, stand and wonder, will it arrive in 5 minutes or 15 minutes? At least there are now display monitors, whereas before their installations, the subway platforms felt even more deserted. But enough information is apparently too much for their riders. "Here's a half cookie, don't you eat the whole".
Ok, now, back to the west side subway extension. If L.A had an all covering, effective transit system, preferably city trains and subway lines, it would be a super-city. Instead of staying home, many more would travel around the city more, and help businesses at their destinations, as well as improving their own quality of life. Moreover, tourism, would increase to the point of being more proportional to L.A's size and amount of landmarks. The lack of efficient public transit has so far been a major obstacle to tourists' appreciation of what the city actually has to offer. They hear how it's a chore. People frown when hearing about how going to say Santa Monica from the city center or Hollywood takes over 1 hour. Hours back and forth get tiring. In NYC, all parts of the city are easily accessible, and prospective visitors know that. They know that if they visit NYC, experiencing the very city they're visiting won't be a major hassle or headache. Many tourists don't want to, or can not, rent a car. Nor is renting a car economical compared to the relatively affordable rates of public transit. Hopefully the west side subway extension is the beginning of a larger, eventually all-covering train system in L.A, that will make tourists forget about cheap fast food joints at their nearby intersections, and instead focus on where they want to go, and being able to do so efficiently. Instead of remembering the hassle of traveling around the city, they'll remember its destinations and landmarks better.
The 10-0 vote on the west side subway extension is clearly a sign in the right direction. Let not NIMBY's prevent the immense benefits of building it and/or others. If they want to be NIMBY's move to/back to the country side. L.A is a metropolis. Apology, but some facts sound condescending.
Alright, here we go. 'Beverly Hillbillyhills' - a deep rooted resentment of anything that reminds them of "urban", except their own comfortable proximity to it: NIMBYism always on time.