ALPERN AT LARGE--This Saturday, as stated in my last piece, there will be a national conference in Mar Vista (home of the secondary highway-turned gridlock/business roadblock on Venice Blvd. Among other things, the politicization and ideological hijacking of transportation will be discussed.
Yet everyone there, regardless of political background, will have a similar common sentiment:
1) Transportation isn't social engineering, but rather a search for a better way (or ways) to get from Point A to Point B.
2) Ideology and wishful thinking have no business being prioritized over engineering when it comes to the laws of physics, environmental science, and safety.
3) Being pro-train, pro-bus, pro-van/carpool, pro-bicycle or pro-pedestrian is NOT the same as being anti-motorist...and vice versa. We should all have reasonable access to all forms of transportation.
4) Those screaming about those "rich, noncaring motorists" the most (and for some reason, I keep hearing "white, rich, noncaring motorists) are themselves very rich, and use their cars more than most (and, if it makes a difference, usually white, and presume that race makes a difference in what should be a non-biased, non-bigoted issue)
5) We didn't, as a community, fight and pay for the Expo Line and other lines only to have service drop--we've proudly paid a heap of money for better rail transit, and we deserve nothing but the best for our blood, sweat, tears, and money). And we definitely didn't pay for bike lanes to be implemented OVER bus and rail projects and service, only as a nice and necessary supplement.
6) Road diets might please a few folks who WANT motorists to suffer, but the safety issues that include mobility for emergency vehicles are very, VERY real no matter how much those promoting them (with hidden agendas, of course) distort and spin otherwise.
7) Businesses who suffer from either road diets, decreased parking, or both, are run by very real people and who deserve support, not more burdens that force them to leave the cities or the state.
On a more local note, the Los Angeles Community Plan Update appears to be shirking its job in creating Parking Demand Studies to determine how much parking is needed in a densifying City of Los Angeles.
This is especially true as the numbers keep noting how MORE car purchases and ownership are occurring, and despite more money spent on rails, bus service, and bicycle lanes.
If City Planning and the Mayor don't include these necessary Parking Demand Studies to determine the necessary infrastructure needed to build and densify more, they're not doing their jobs.
And they damn well know it.
Hence we have the conference this Saturday in Mar Vista at the Mar Vista restaurant starting at approximately 8 AM.
And then the effort will keep going on.
Because the same miserable commutes, overdevelopment, and reduced quality of life that made L.A. City and County residents join arms and tax themselves to build more mass transit and roads...
... is only getting worse and aggravated more by City and County officials who knowingly have misspent these taxes in ways that the citizenry never intended them to be spent.
And because the gridlock and the frustration, the environmental risks and the fury, are only getting WORSE.
(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was (termed out) also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)