14 July 2012

Los Angeles Metro finally starts to get their act together!

I know this really has nothing to do with Disaster Communications but it is so rare that anyone in Los Angeles city government does anything right I felt that I needed to write something about it. 

thesource.metro.net has revealed that starting sometime this summer the Los Angeles Metro rail lines will begin running 'till 2:00 AM on weekends, and it appears that Metro is considering 24 hour rail service, but I'm not holding my breath.

For decades the city and business groups has been trying to revitalize downtown from the run down empty shell it became over half a century ago. They have succeeded in at least bringing a nightlife to the run down empty shell, but DTLA is still a good place to get your car broken into while you try to get a drink at some new hipster bar that specializes in Belgian wheat beers and irony. I remember less then a decade ago hanging out at "2nd Street Live Jazz" one of the only late night spots in Little Tokyo, street parking was plentiful and other then a few homeless people the streets were dead. Today, Little Tokyo on a Friday night is filled with people, several new bars, and a Gold Line station that closes before you can get a few drinks.

I live about two miles from the Sierra Madre Villa terminus of the Pasadena Gold Line, and I head to downtown LA several nights a month. Since the Gold Line opened to Pasadena in 2003 I have ridden it only a few times due to it's early closing. For four years I worked in Hollywood, and would have loved to not have to drive the 30 miles each day, but I worked nights, so it was impractical for me to "Go Metro".

Lets get one thing clear, I am not a proponent of mass transit in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles metropolitan area covers over ten times the area of New York City. We are too large of a city to have a rail system that effectively moves enough people from point A to point B, when just as many people need to go from point C to point D, or X to Q. We had a great interurban and local rail system in the 30's, but as LA grew we grew as a personal vehicle city. We are a car city, and that will never change. I am however a proponent of utility, and if we are going to blow tons of cash on a rail system, lets make it a useful as possible. Who knows you might save some lives keeping drunk drivers off the road.

At that note, Mr. Leahy, last call is usually around 1:45, and the bars don't empty out 'till 2:00, so if you really want to curb drunk driving extend service to 2:30 or 3:00. Also you may want to buy some sawdust for Metro Security to keep on hand.

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