Sun, May

Transportation LA: When Boring Ain't Boring!


ALPERN AT LARGE--Despite the attempts of sneaky and agenda-driven idiots, ideologues, and creepy developers to ruin the good that transportation does for an economy, and for civilization, we're now getting into the BORING, the TUNNELING portion of our mass/rapid transit efforts for 21st-Century Los Angeles.

To be sure, the $5 billion approved by the LA City Council to design and operate the elevated LAX People Mover (connecting Metro Rail to LAX ... finally!) isn't small money and isn't insignificant.

And the surface/elevated rail extensions to the eastern, southwest, and southeast portions of L.A. County aren't exactly insignificant, either.  In fact, they're huge.

Yet the BIG, and very expensive, projects, have still yet to be resolved.

Yes, we've fast-tracked the Wilshire Blvd. Subway, a project discussed LITERALLY for over 100 years.  It will happen, and it will carry up to hundreds of thousands of commuters a day.  It will be preferable to many forms of transportation, but it involves deep digging, which is both expensive and fraught with environmental and engineering challenges.

There was once a time when this subway was the "holy grail" of LA's rail transportation efforts, and now that this Wilshire Subway, and the Downtown Light Rail Connector Subway (too often forgotten!), are on their way to becoming a reality, we turn to the next "holy grail":

The Sepulveda Pass Subway, with the potential to connect the Valley with the Westside, and even with LAX.

Both Metro and the Los Angeles City Council are using their own resources and those of Elon Musk to best figure out how to do this once-dismissed, once-impossible-to-hope-for project.

We need to learn how to dig inexpensively, and efficiently, and the people/commuters/taxpayers just don't want to wait another 20-30 years.

Things are getting interesting, with Metro's efforts primarily focused on moving people while Elon Musk's approach is predominantly for cars (but also for pedestrians).

There will be words thrown around like "skates", and "capacity" and "private/public partnerships", but Elon Musk's Boring Company, and Metro's boring efforts, will be anything BUT boring.

And when our commutes have become a living hell, the idea of improving our commutes, and raising the stakes to 21st-century technology, will be anything BUT boring.

Things are again getting interesting in the world of transportation.

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at [email protected]. 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.)


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