IT’S ALL ABOUT TRANSPO--Congrats, LA! We're getting the Olympics in 2028! Now ... get to work! We've got a City and County of Los Angeles to prepare for the big event!
As with our last Olympics, Transportation is critical for this to succeed (and so is Planning, but they're both tied together), so here's a to-do list to focus on now. To some degree, this is a blessing, because the 2024 games have been awarded to Paris, so our current efforts now have four more years than previously anticipated to get things done right:
1) Security--I think that Paris has a LOT more to worry about than LA, but despite my previous article on the subject of better patrolling on buses and trains being a bit too tough on Metro, we DO have work to do.
The response to this article has been overall quite positive, but let's be honest and make it clear that San Francisco, New York, and other American cities have it much worse than Los Angeles with respect to safety--and Metro IS on the case.
That said, the Sheriffs didn't do a good enough job, and having other local city/police departments help is awaited with favorable anticipation. Get on/off the trains and buses without warning, and with sufficient frequency, and this problem goes away.
And the City and County of Los Angeles need to be a little less politically correct, and a lot more tough, on any homeless or scofflaw individuals who decide to make transportation into their "turf". When I hear more women tell me that it's just fine on these buses and trains, only then will myself and others be more content with the way things are going on our shared investment.
2) Public/Taxpayer Consensus--Experimentation has its role in transportation, but it's not hard to conclude that our outreach to all who voted and pay taxes is sufficient to date.
We've voted to raise our taxes multiple times, and likely we'll be asked to do so again multiple times before 2028, so LISTEN UP, City Hall!
My own neighborhood council, that of Mar Vista, has supported the Expo Line, mass transit, multimodal transportation, and the like. But we've voted MORE THAN ONCE to have a citywide sidewalk fix that's accelerated much faster than 30 years. FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS should be enough for most of the critical fixes.
And jumpstart any and all city, county, state, and federal funding/fixing efforts for the potholes for our streets and alley ways as well. Please stop declaring war on Washington, D.C. long enough to procure transportation funding for our successful Olympic Games in 2028.
Please the voters and taxpayers with the basics, and you'll find their confidence and wallets will open up to any future plans for the Big Shindig in 2028.
3) Think and Build BIG for 2028--The fight for a 2024 due date for the Wilshire Subway has a four-year extension, now, and we'll have a Downtown Light Rail Connector and LAX/Metro Connector by 2024 if not earlier. That's grand, but now we've got the potential to REALLY please all parts of the county ... so ...
a) Cut the Nonsense: make the South Bay, Southeast Cities, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel Valley by extending the Green Line to the South Bay, converting the Orange Line to a light rail line, extending the Gold Line to Montclair, and creating the Southeast Cities and Eastside Gold Line extensions to our light rail system ASAP. If we want their support, we can't just have them wait.
b) Cut the Nonsense: when the LAX/Metro Rail Connector is completed, the glaring "hole" between
Downtown, the south/southeast adjacent areas, LAX, and Union Station will be embarrassing. Do a Major Investment Study NOW, and really start on the "Second Downtown Light Rail Connector" between LAX and Downtown on the Harbor Subdivision Right of Way ASAP.
Avoid the PR nightmare, please!
c) Cut the Nonsense: A Sepulveda/405 Corridor rail line, almost certainly underground, between the Orange Line and the Wilshire Line, extending to the Expo Line, is fundamental for a successful 2028 Olympic games. It's the "Holy Grail" of our Metro Rail system, and the sooner someone advocates for it the better.
And maybe we can get our President to make a YUGE financial gesture to Los Angeles in preparation for the Olympic Games. Hate him or love him, Trump is a pro-mass transit, pro-infrastructure Republican--go figure.
Can LA do this list of "Olympic proportions"? Yes, it can! If we start thinking BIG, of course.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)