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Old May 23rd, 2008, 08:21 AM   #241
redspork02
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LA workers swap cars for subway
By David Willis
BBC News, Los Angeles



In Los Angeles, the rising price of petrol is prompting people to travel to work by train rather than by car. According to figures from the city's subway system, the number of passengers increased by more than 14% in the first three months of 2008.


America's second largest city is a sprawl. Fifty-two suburbs in search of a city, so the old saying goes

I am going to let you in on a little secret, but promise me please you will not breathe a word, otherwise I may never be able to show my face in certain parts of this town again.

This week I did something which - in nearly 10 years of living in Los Angeles - I have never, ever done before.

Cue the drum roll: I travelled to work on the subway.

I did it because the figures suggest it is the trend. And (hem hem) being the trend-setter that I am, that is the only excuse I need.


Labyrinths of freeways


You see - like most people here - I would rather stick pins in my eyeballs than hop on a bus or a train.


That is not because I am a snob, but because America's second largest city is a sprawl. Fifty-two suburbs in search of a city, so the old saying goes.

And the prospect of sitting in grid-locked traffic on one of the labyrinths of freeways, only to pay the equivalent of a small dowry for the right to park, may sound miserable, but given the distances involved, it is still invariably quicker than public transport.


In the early 1900s, Los Angeles boasted the largest urban rail network of any city in America, more than a thousand miles of track



Yet certain things have happened here which have prompted some in this car-crazed city to question their betrothal to the internal combustion engine and weigh the possibility of a trial separation.

Congestion is at times so bad there are fears the place could one day grind to a halt. And on top of that there is the rising cost of running those gas guzzling machines.

Although motorists in Europe would give their right arm for petrol at nearly $4 (£2) a gallon (assuming of course they steer with the left), here it is nothing short of the end of the world as we know it.


Old glamour


All of which accounts for an unprecedented spike in the number of people taking to public transport, and explains why yours truly found himself in the sepulchral surroundings of Union Station in downtown Los Angeles earlier this week.



The last of the great train terminals to be built in the United States, Union Station fuses Moorish and art deco architecture to truly spectacular effect.
I noticed the first draw-back of the LA subway system: it didn't go anywhere I wanted to go


It was here - amid the marble walls and frescoed ceilings - that movie stars of the 40s would arrive in Hollywood flanked by their agents and assistant.

This was back in the days when train travel was seen as glamorous and genteel, and Union Station epitomised the promise of a glittering future for the railroad.

Such promise was realised, for a while at least. In the early 1900s Los Angeles boasted the largest urban rail network of any city in America, more than a thousand miles of track.


Limited routes


Yet by the mid-1960s train travel had all but hit the buffers. Only in the last few years has there been a modest revival, prompting hopes that LA's cinderella subway system may be catching on.


After the sort of false starts that I believe to be entirely consistent with getting used to public transport (buying the wrong ticket, getting on the wrong train), I noticed the first draw-back of the LA subway system: it didn't go anywhere I wanted to go.



I scoured a map of the entire system for somewhere fun to spend the day - what about shopping in Beverly Hills? Sorry, not on the subway route. Santa Monica beach? Ditto. Burbank, where the big movie studios are based? Uh-huh. Well I could always go to the airport to watch the planes take off? Er, not on the subway I couldn't.


Being stuck in traffic is, after all, that much easier when the roof is down, the palm trees are swaying gently and the sun is shining brightly in your face


So I opted instead for a trip to the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, where the annual Oscars ceremony takes place.

Sitting next to me was accountant Chris Peterson, who said he liked the subway because you could always get a seat. Which didn't come as a surprise to either of us, since, aside from not really going anywhere, the network's other failing seems to be a chronic lack of self promotion.

Chris said he had only just discovered there was a subway system in LA - and he has lived here for 30 years.

Part of the psyche

As we arrived in Hollywood, I got chatting with Bradley Chapman, who makes those life-sized cardboard cut-outs of movie stars which cinemas use to promote their films. Like Chris, he had recently taken to the subway because he could no longer afford the price of petrol.


Bradley's new commute is the antithesis of the LA norm. As well as taking the train, another part of his journey actually involves putting one foot in front of the other, a heretical notion that simply will never catch on.

The man from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the body which runs the LA subway, seemed to agree its route was a little limited.

He told me there were plans for expansion but admitted it could be 10 years or more before they reach fruition.

Despite the rise in oil prices, it is my guess there will be seats on the LA subway for some time to come, so much are cars a part of the psyche.

And, being stuck in traffic is, after all, that much easier when the roof is down, the palm trees are swaying gently and the sun is shining brightly in your face.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
I find this astonishing. In Toronto the Bloor-Danforth line is 27.5 Km long and attracted 478,790 boardings per week day in 2006.
It's very easy,density
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Old May 25th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #243
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From SSP
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Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post
Metro Gold Line Almost Completed

May 23, 2008

Today, Metro announced that the Gold Line East Extension is 80% completed. But don't think that means you'll be riding into Little Tokyo and out to East LA by the end of this summer. Metro has always conceded that project will by done by the end of 2009, yet construction is now almost six months ahead of time. That means it could open in the summer of '09 if all goes well with the remaining 20%. Keep your fingers crossed.

Also, Metro is happy to report something unprecedented in construction safety: after more than 3 million work-hours, there have been no accidents causing construction to stop for a single day or more.

The Gold Line is a six-mile extension from Union Station to East LA with eight stations, two of which are underground. Currently, the Gold Line goes from downtown to Pasadena. Metro shared some sneak peak photos of what things are looking like:


Tunnel between Mariachi Plaza station and Soto Station, under First Street.


Mariachi Plaza Station (platform in construction)


Same location from the tracks floor


Same location: taken from the mezzanine level toward the platform


Atlantic station @ Atlantic and Pomona boulevards, East Los Angeles


Maravilla station, at Third Street and Ford St.


Left: Catenary system at Third Street, between 710 Freeway and Mednick, East Los Angeles | Right: Maravilla station, at Third Street and Ford St.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bori427 View Post
It's very easy,density
Toronto is not dense by world standards. Neither is LA.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
Toronto is not dense by world standards. Neither is LA.
But Toronto has pockets of density, particularly around its subway lines, which allow for transit orientated development in those areas and decent ridership.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #246
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Nice to read slavery seemingly making its way back into 'merica, no?

Would a local LA'an please define the pictogram found in the bottom left corner in the photo just above here, please, coz its caption`s been cropped?

Come to think of it, does its (adjacent) neighbour mean to prohibit -- what -- dancing?
Forget yelling, rollerskating... what kind of police state is LA that you can't eat or drink on the subway? Provided one's not a total slob and litters, it should be reasonable to carry a snack with you on-board. $250 for fare evasion perhaps, but for eating ?!!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:32 AM   #247
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Quote:
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But Toronto has pockets of density, particularly around its subway lines, which allow for transit orientated development in those areas and decent ridership.
By Canadian standards we're #1 in terms of population density. The metropolitan area has 2.6 million residents. Another 4 million live in the outlying suburbs. Our metros aren't exactly being built around density at all though. It's more the opposite, we build subways first in suburban hinterlands, then the developers come.

Large swaths of the downtown core, several college campuses and even the international airport still go without a subway link. Consider yourselves lucky if your cities have that infrastructure already in place and is now just filling in the gaps.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENTROBATE54 View Post
Forget yelling, rollerskating... what kind of police state is LA that you can't eat or drink on the subway? Provided one's not a total slob and litters, it should be reasonable to carry a snack with you on-board. $250 for fare evasion perhaps, but for eating ?!!
Food and drink is not allowed on the Hong Kong metro either.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #249
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Food and drinks aren't allowed on buses either here in LA. You can carry your food and drinks with you, just not eat them while riding the bus.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer J. Simpson View Post
Toronto is not dense by world standards. Neither is LA.
By American standards it is and maybe you should look up just how dense it is.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #251
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Great pics, congrats to LA for completing construction ahead of schedule! BTW, food is not allowed on the DC Metro either. They handcuffed somebody for eating a fry on the train a couple years back...
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Old June 6th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #252
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Alternative Alignment Study for Westside Metro

Here are the different alignment proposals for the Westside subway. Some are just along Wilshire, others have deviations to the Grove and Beverly Center, while others include lines from Hollywood and Highland meeting at the Grove or in Beverly Hills with the main line.

Sorry I do not know how to get images from .pdf files.

http://www.metro.net/projects_studie...esentation.pdf
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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:34 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
By American standards it is and maybe you should look up just how dense it is.
Given the density of that statement I think you should consider removing that post.

I have lived full time in the former borough of York since 1997.

I can't fathom why you may think you know something about the place that I do not.

Don't feel insulted though, its not like I have it set as my location.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:04 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmarODom420 View Post
Here are the different alignment proposals for the Westside subway. Some are just along Wilshire, others have deviations to the Grove and Beverly Center, while others include lines from Hollywood and Highland meeting at the Grove or in Beverly Hills with the main line.

Sorry I do not know how to get images from .pdf files.

http://www.metro.net/projects_studie...esentation.pdf
thanks for the link, looks like theyre leaning toward a wilshire subway - maybe even with the north spur (too good to be true?)
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Old June 7th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by DENTROBATE54 View Post
By Canadian standards we're #1 in terms of population density. The metropolitan area has 2.6 million residents. Another 4 million live in the outlying suburbs. Our metros aren't exactly being built around density at all though. It's more the opposite, we build subways first in suburban hinterlands, then the developers come.

Large swaths of the downtown core, several college campuses and even the international airport still go without a subway link. Consider yourselves lucky if your cities have that infrastructure already in place and is now just filling in the gaps.
Density over the entire metro, I'd agree with you. But the highest density in Canada is Vancouver (the City). The downtown Peninsula is the highest density population in North America (more than Manhattan Island per square kilometre).
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #256
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Now this is a piece of logic i am a little confused by:

The subway has to follow wilshire? Isnt the whole point to have a subway on the west side. If the subway is on santa monica, do you really think that people who are sick of payin $4 a gallon for gas are going to stick to wilshire to get to work? NO!!!!!!. As long as the city promotes PARKING for those subway stops... then people will divert their commute and take the friggin subway to downtown.

Or maybe that is too logical??
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Old June 7th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #257
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Quote:
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Density over the entire metro, I'd agree with you. But the highest density in Canada is Vancouver (the City). The downtown Peninsula is the highest density population in North America (more than Manhattan Island per square kilometre).
Nope....

Manhattan:
70,595/sq mi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan

Vancouver Peninsula:
31339/sq mi (121/hectare)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver#cite_note-59
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Old June 7th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #258
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but still though Vancouver is lucky that there getting a brand new subway not many other cities have that oppunity though.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 03:21 AM   #259
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how about we get back on topic?


The 4th option, with the line under Wilshire and the connector from Hollywood and highland is obviously the overwhelming favorite of Angelenos. imagine the destinations hit by the line. UCLA< Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Melrose Shopping, Miracle mile Museum row, Sunset Strip, and on and on. The greatest part is the future connections, like Expo, green line extension and 405 line at a Santa Monica Union Station, the 405 line from the valley through UCLA and to LAX, Crenshaw and Vermont Lines, Jesus. Its so important to LA its not even funny. These two lines together can push our daily ridership past 1,000,000 easy.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 05:18 AM   #260
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^sorry let me just correct him first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderGrad View Post
Nope....

Manhattan:
70,595/sq mi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan

Vancouver Peninsula:
31339/sq mi (121/hectare)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver#cite_note-59
i'm not aguing Manhattan's density is higher than Vancouver but you ought to know that you are comparing apples to oranges:

1) 2004 stats to 2007
2) Manhattan's 2007 statistics is an estimate (and you can scroll down to wikipedia page to see)

New Vancouver Downtown density is 40320 ppl/sq mile (as of 2006). It's higher than NY City, not Manhattan though.
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