Or becoming less “pants” every day. Fantastic! On Wednesday, the House appropriations committee repealed the ridiculous and trumped-up 1986 Congressional ban on tunneling to complete the Wilshire subway line project. This was pushed through by Congressman Waxman, the same person who misguidedly got the ban instated in the first place. Funny how nimby-ness (and, arguably, fear of people who don’t look like you getting access to your neighbourhood) about public transportation projects crumbles when you finally realize that your SUV is at a standstill in traffic more often than not…. and all you were doing was driving five blocks to get a pint of milk from Whole Foods. (Found a bit more here on LAist.)
The Purple line right now is either two stops long, or several stops long depending upon how you count. (Click on map to right to see what I mean.) It’s effectively two, since all the other stops are Red line stops – it just runs two stops more to the West stopping a few long block away at Wilshire/Western. Hence the post title, expressing the hope that it will be several stops long, all the way out to the Pacific. It would be just great to go all the way to Santa Monica from downtown on a train. Why is that not obviously a super-wonderful thing to be able to do? Dinner and drinks on the Santa Monica pier at Sunset followed by a concert in the Disney Hall. No faffing about with traffic and over-priced parking. Is that not a dream worth running toward with open arms?
Next step, finding a ridiculous amount of money to build the thing because an overlapping constituency of narrow-minded people are not open to the idea of just running a nice light railway above ground down the middle of the city, which would be great, cost effective (I would not be surprised to learn that for the underground price we could build two above! One along Santa Monica blvd as well!), and quite wonderful. Sigh.
Well, looking at the positive side of things…. With this project gaining momentum, the Expo line underway (they tried for the excellent name “Aqua”, but it did not take), the bus system seeming to get rapidly (or should I say expressly) better every day, I think it is safe to say that the city is finally growing up. With good transport links, it can finally achieve the potential that is has. (See some more of my posts on these projects listed below, or digging in the archives, to find, for example this one and this one. Look under “environment” especially, since in the big picture, that is what this is all about. See a wikipedia article about the current rail system and some of the future proposals -like the Yellow line!- here.)
I hope these plans is not all scuppered by the distractions by the (entertaining but irrelevant) bedroom antics of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He’s a big supporter and cheerleader for the improvements of the public transportation…. we need him to help get these funds for the city, since nobody else seems to see as clearly how vital it all is. The public and press getting all hung up about his affair and confusing it with policy matters is just ridiculously and frustratingly naive.
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):