It has been over two months since I became a regular bus rider. As I shared in my previous article, my office recently moved from Koreatown (where I was able to reach with ease riding the subway) to Alhambra (which is not served by Metro rail at all). Thus my morning commute now consists of 15 minutes of walking, a short ride on the subway, a 30-minute bus ride, and another 10 minutes on foot. This is just to get to work; I have to do the reverse to return home. Taking public transit to and from a suburb located about nine miles east of my home has been anything but convenient. It would be easy for me to just complain about it endlessly or even give up on the bus altogether. However, I have chosen to stick with it for now because I cannot dismiss riding the bus as an entirely bad experience. As a planner who tends to think about and reflect upon my experiences (perhaps too much), I want to share the following observations about bus riding in Los Angeles. I must clarify though that my comments are from my perspective as a public transit user only, not as a transportation planner, since I lack formal training and experience in the field of transportation planning.Continue Reading Riding the Bus: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I have been learning a lot lately. No, I have not returned to school or taken a few courses through Planetizen. Instead, I have simply been playing with my five-year old daughter and gaining a few insights along the way. Some of her favorite toys these days are Blockitecture sets which consist of colorful wooden blocks of buildings, parks, green spaces, rivers, and lakes. Together, we have built neighborhoods and had humorous conversations about what makes a city “fun” or “awesome,” two of her most often-used adjectives. Of course, this has brought me, a plannerd and father, much joy and satisfaction, knowing that my daughter is beginning to understand what I do as a planner and that she may even aspire to be one in the future (well, I am not sure about this yet). All kidding aside, I have seriously learned a few things through our play sessions that I would like to share below. . . . Read More
One crucial aspect of contemporary debates on spatial politics, socioeconomic stratification, and immigration is the issue of public transit. Prior to the question of a person’s right to be in a city (or supposed lack thereof in the case of undocumented immigrants), there is the question of a city’s duty to provide feasible means for moving around in its space. Albeit mundane, it is a key factor determining a person’s economic and educational opportunities, to name only two. And it hardly bears mentioning, but moving around in San Diego all but requires a car.Continue Reading Public Transit as a Social Justice Issue
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is unequivocally my favorite holiday of the year because it gives me more time to both spend with my family and think about how blessed I have been. And I believe that it is important and good for my soul to reflect upon what I am particularly thankful for. Here are the things that quickly came to mind and perhaps you can relate to them as well.Continue Reading What is this Planner Thankful For?
At one time, Los Angeles had the backbone of a great transit system. Today, it does not! Why not?
A regional plan designed to improve the Chicago area’s traffic congestion and air quality will receive a boost from federal transportation funds focused on improving transit, roads, as well as bicycle, and pedestrian facilities.Continue Reading Transit, Road Projects to Get Boost from Federal Funds
Anyone who ever lived in Los Angeles, or who saw the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit knows about the program (or as some refer to it, conspiracy) from the 1930s to the 1950s by General Motors and other companies to purchase and dismantle street car systems across the nation. Continue Reading Is High Speed Rail the Victim of Another Roger Rabbit Conspiracy?