Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Silliest Question of the Election Season: "Where are we going to park (in Downtown L.A.)"? - Gloria Molina

One candidate made me laugh at loud with a question so utterly ridiculous that I was literally stunned speechless (but not for long).

After complaining about "too much density" in downtown Los Angeles, former Los Angeles Supervisor Gloria Molina asked the question "where are we going to park?"

I am frequently baffled by people who genuinely still expect a 1970's Southern California style low-density, low-traffic, car culture transportation experience in 2015 in the middle of popular urban neighborhoods, as opposed to in the genuinely low-density suburbs.  But for any politician who's been in office for as long as former Supervisor Molina to imply that Downtown has "too much density" in hope of extending her political career just a little longer is among the worst form of NIMBY-ism I've seen in awhile.

Here is a hint to Ms. Molina and anyone else who may be upset about "too much" density in downtown Los Angeles.  Downtown is where density is SUPPOSED to go.

The Red and Purple heavy rail subway lines are there.  The Blue and Gold and Expo light-rail lines are there.  The regional connector is being build there.  Union Station and Amtrak and Metrolink is also there, along with the DASH bus system and buses from every transit authority in the County.  Even modern streetcars are coming back there soon.  Every major metropolitan city in the world has a vibrant downtown area with lots of density and lots of transportation options in addition to driving an automobile and parking a car.

So let me answer the question for the former Supervisor with sincerity rather than being snarky -- for it is entirely possible that someone who is still caught in the old car culture mindset is genuinely baffled about how to respond to the changes taking place to Southern California transportation to make it multi-modal as every other world metropolis.

The answer to "where do I park?" in Downtown Los Angeles is as follows:
  • You leave your car at a Metrorail or Metrolink train station, or an express bus park and ride and commute into downtown.
  • You leave the car at home and hop on a bus heading downtown with millions of others, or grab a Taxi or Uber or Lyft.
  • You use a mode of "active transportation" and hop on a bicycle and walk part of the way.
  • You use one of the downtown parking lots with expensive parking rates because the law of supply and demand rations those limited spaces according the laws of capitalism.
To find out more about Metrorail and Metro buses, click here.

To find out more about Metrolink Commuter Rail, click here.

To find out more about Los Angeles Department of Transportation Commuters Buses and Dash circulator buses, click here.

Your local transit authority probably also has an express bus going to/from Downtown.

Is this really so hard?  Downtown Los Angeles is NOT a suburb.