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the skunks of los feliz
8.06.2004
 
The furor over the Orange Line has once again revealed a major contributor to the Los Angeles region's poor air quality. Am I talking about diesel trucks? Power plants? Leaf blower emissions? Not in this post. Today, I'm talking about Southern Californians, about the absolute refusal of many Angelenos to draw a connection between their behavior and our congestion and pollution problem. People here bitch (deservedly so) about our horrible traffic. They sit in that traffic because there is really no alternative for most of them. There is no alternative because every MTA project faces an uphill battle from every conceivable segment of society: homeowner's groups, business groups, civil rights groups, the Bus Rider's Union, the Federal government, even, illogically, environmental groups. Don't get me wrong, sometimes NIMBYism is the correct course of action, as seen in the defeat (for now) of CalTran's disastrous 101 widening scheme. And, I'll be the first to say that the MTA is an imperfect agency, at best. But at some point we've got to pull this thing together and realize that traffic will only get worse as the region's population continues to swell. Increased traffic means increased pollution. Both mean lower quality of life. Surely, no one wants that.

Either we put a moratorium on development, or we get serious about accommodating all those extra people, including giving the region alternatives to solo driving. To paraphrase Pogo: "We have seen that asshole who cut me off on the 405, and he is us."
 
Comments:
Amen. If I could take the Subway from it's station at Wilshire and Western (within easy walking distance of where I live) and Studio City, where I work, I would be on it every day. But the subway only goes the opposite direction. To downtown. Too bad I don't need to go downtown. I think it was incredibly shortsighted of everyone involved not to extend the subway along Wilshire to Century City, and even to Santa Monica. How awesome would that be??

But no way am I getting on dirty, nasty carcinogenic diesel exhaust spewing buses to get to work. It's rail or car in my opinion.
 
Amen. If I could take the Subway from it's station at Wilshire and Western (within easy walking distance of where I live) and Studio City, where I work, I would be on it every day. But the subway only goes the opposite direction. To downtown. Too bad I don't need to go downtown. I think it was incredibly shortsighted of everyone involved not to extend the subway along Wilshire to Century City, and even to Santa Monica. How awesome would that be??

But no way am I getting on dirty, nasty carcinogenic diesel exhaust spewing buses to get to work. It's rail or car in my opinion.
 
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