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View Diary: Kossacks Under 35 : Going Carless (193 comments)

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  •  Honestly, people do live in L.A. without cars (5+ / 0-)

    Honestly. I used to know a guy in New York who had spent the 1980s in L.A. with no car. True, people thought he was nuts. He was the only middle-class white guy on the bus. He planned where he was going to go. I assume he was on the West Side a lot. But you can indeed go almost everywhere in L.A. on the bus. People use bikes too in the more accessible & friendly areas like Venice and Santa Monica.

    Somebody at my blog was just posting a comment about living car free in L.A. Today. Honestly.

    I'm over 35 - but I didn't own a car until I was 34, and I spent the years from 19 to 29 hardly ever getting into a private car for any reason - lived in NYC. Then I got a boyfriend with a car and it was so weird to be in a private car again. But I still didn't drive.

    If I were not in chemo right now I would be using my car 1/2 as much as I do here in Oakland, CA. I still walk to shopping and I take the bus and casual carpool to S.F. for chemo infusions. How's that for commitment to public transit?

    Dove's Eye View An Arab-American woman sees signs of hope

    by leilasab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 07:55:09 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I saw that above (4+ / 0-)

      A lot depends where you live in Los Angeles. For example, I grew up in a very suburban area. The closest business, a gas station, was a mile from my house. The closest supermarket, for example, was probably 3 miles. There was one bus stop within walking distance, but it would take at least 2 busses to take myself anywhere non-trivial within the West Valley.

      Yes, the neighborhood where I grew up was build under the assumption of an infinite supply of cheap oil.

      I got my degrees at UCLA. Although UCLA is close to the valley, there is no reasonable public transporation that could have gotten me there. UCLA offered a van pool service. ONE van, came to the West Valley, picked me up at 5:30 am, and left UCLA at 3:30 pm, making it impossible to take classes in the mid-to-late afternoon (2-4, 4-6pm classes were common in my department). In all honesty -- an this has been echoed many times by Atrios -- service like that is not a realistic alternative to driving. Hence I drove.

      Now, LA does have a few very good point-to-point links. The Warner Center bus station, for example, has a good link to Van Nuys, Hollywood, and downtown LA. And pretty much nowhere else. No reasonable links to the westside, LAX, etc.

      The local Amtrak is similar--a few well-placed stops, such as Union Station and Disneyland, but not good for generally getting around.

      I hate to say it, but the only way to build a reasonable public transporation system in LA is to AGGRESSIVELY use eminent domain. That would be political suicide, and probably unconscionable, since people would not get paid what their property is worth (ignoring Big Shitpile).

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