This is just another part of the on-going narrative that I've crafted together that makes me want to vomit.
- Surprise, surprise, the NY Times discovers LA actually has transit, and wants to build more of it in a serious way. (Story begins like this: "This auto-obsessed city - a place where people love their cars almost as much as they hate the traffic..." Yet, it goes on to report that the region had, at the time, 79 miles of heavy and light rail, and 1.5 million riders on Metro Bus and Rail.)
- And that it's possible to be a tourist around LA without driving. "When I told people I was visiting LA for a week without setting foot in a car, one word came up more than any other: 'impossible.'"
- But just in case you didn't catch it the first time around, the New York Times runs a more detailed story on sightseeting sans car in its travel section, this time in in DTLA. (The sprawl, the scale, all that freeway time--for many Los Angeles is an acquired taste. But not downtown. New York-like in its density...)
- People in LA have been trying to make this a better place to ride a bicycle for a VERY long time--in fact, someone even got a letter to the editor published in the Times back in 2000 to challenge its false assumptions. And yet, in 2012, the Times runs a story about our fourth CicLAvia under this headline: "LA lives by car, but learns to embrace bikes." They described our CicLAvia as a 'celebration' that produced a sight previously imagined as 'inconceivable'. Note: LA roads get shut down routinely for marathons and parades. Whatever.
- April: Per the Times, LA experiencing a setback when a report comes out to state that LA is 'at risk of decline". In the report's defense, it was an appropriate and critical call for alarm, but it didn't go after the determinants of our housing crisis, which is what I think is what will do this region in. Moreover, it's a crisis of our own making,
- December 2014: On the upside, the New York Times is pleasantly surprised to discover that you can walk in LA. (""Had I been driving I would not have stopped here.")
- The New York Times runs a story about the migration of its people to LA, and mostly focuses on so-called creative types who are like, whoa LA is so cheap (but then not so cheap when you add the cost of car ownership. To which I would reply, then don't buy a car. You already know how to get by without owning a car. Don't do it unless your work legitimately requires you to do it!)
It humors me to read about New Yorkers coming to LA. There are some people in LA who view Manhattan as the ultimate threat. More specifically, they are alarmed - terrified - of the transformation of their low-slung sprawl into anything resembling the built environment in Manhattan. They call it the Manhattanization of LA, and that's shorthand for anything tall (which is subjective). These Manhattanites arrive in LA knowing how to live without a car, but also quickly adapt to LA's ways, which is to complain about traffic without the self-awareness to realize they have joined the problem by buying cars and demanding free parking at their destinations.
I have plenty more to say about how you can see LA becoming more like New York when on the search for affordable housing, but that's outside the scope of The Juan Percent.