Sun, Jun

Fighting for Better Transpo Would Be Easier if the City Just Stopped Lying to Us

ALPERN AT LARGE--You like the Expo Line, a Subway to the Sea, and a Subway alternative to the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass? You like good, affordable housing that ISN'T just gentrification and more high-cost housing that's not just helping a few dirt-bag developers? 

So do the rest of us.  

And for those of us who fought like hell for the Expo Line, and for the Wilshire Subway (Purple Line), and for good, well-located rail lines, and who now fight for a Sepulveda Pass Subway? 

And for those of us who fight for affordable housing? Well, here's a reminder of what THAT really is: 

1) Student Affordable Housing--students and their parents are usually poor, although they're being treated like walking ATM machines. UCLA, USC, SMC, and all the local Cal State and community colleges need to start coughing up the money to enhance student life and housing as part of its overall college experience. And that means city/county/university/state-subsidized housing. 

2) Senior Affordable Housing--folks who cannot, and should not, drive and want to be with their loved ones who can drive and take care of them as they get older (the term is "Aging in Place") do well with truly affordable housing that is meant for seniors too poor or infirm to own a home. For all the controversy of Playa Vista's formation, that would arguably be a good location for this. 

3) Workforce Affordable Housing--lower-wage or minimum-wage workers could, in theory, have to take long bus routes to/from their work and other necessary daily destinations, but having them within walking range to their work allows fewer car trips, and a better quality of life, for those who are the "working poor" or "lower middle class". This is a win-win for all of us. 

But everything else, including the smokescreen of Abundant Housing LA, is just a big, fat, smelly, falsehood-laden pile of horse-manure. 

... And everyone woke to these developer-promoted slimy organizations who only want MORE housing, and not SMART housing, and certainly not AFFORDABLE housing, and want to WEASEL their way to more money WITHOUT proper mitigation, knows that--because they HAVE been fighting for TRUE affordable housing for years. 

It bears repeating (after mentioning this in previous articles) that those under the false advocation of affordable housing shams like Abundant Housing LA are either Tools, Fools, or Ghouls: 

1) Tools--those who are "useful idiots" (I have been one in the past) who are wonderful but naive individuals who honestly believe that the bottom feeders they're helping are going to create a net increase in affordable housing but will only just gentrify the neighborhood to unaffordable levels. 

2) Fools--those who think they'll benefit from helping the faux-affordable housing and well-connected frauds and posers by getting some affordable housing for themselves or their children. 

3) Ghouls--those who stand to financially benefit from overdevelopment, including those who are contractors who know damned well that what their building is being under-mitigated, built with insufficient infrastructure (including parking), and will be anything BUT affordable. This excludes, of course, developments that are honest about being market-priced and properly mitigated. 

So, YOU want a good Expo Line Corridor Plan? Well, so do the rest of us, including Barbara Broide and others (like myself) who lost friends, money and time aplenty fighting for the Expo Line only to see its Planning process be taken over by frauds and liars.  

I commend Ms Broide for her recent CityWatch piece that rightfully excoriates the City and the Times. 

Seriously, LA Times ... you have presided over an Orwellian slide of the City of the Angels, and it's no wonder why so many of us have just stopped reading your inaccurate, biased lies that portray those of us who want REAL affordable housing, and SUSTAINABLE planning and transportation, and FOUGHT the true NIMBY's, as just a bunch of troglodytes who haven't done our homework. 

A slide of Times readership, credibility, and City ethics and prudent policies ... hardly a coincidence. 

So ... you want a future Valley rail line along the Van Nuys Corridor from Metrolink to the Orange Line? 

Well, so do the rest of us! Too bad the same coin-operated Mayor Garcetti advocating for this light rail line will inevitably gentrify that route and hurt those of us who want to live along that line. 

So ... you believe that the Orange Line Busway should have been a light rail all along? 

Well, so do the rest of us! Too bad that prudent transportation planning will be eclipsed by inevitably lousy housing and other infrastructure planning that will lead to neighborhood transformation ...and NOT in a good way. 

But there IS the potential for the RIGHT densification, and even the RIGHT gentrification, along the Wilshire and other corridors as the Wilshire Subway works its way west. 

For those who want high-end, high-cost, market-priced housing ... just be honest--do the mitigation, build the doggone parking, stop lying how rich folks, and particularly families, will NEVER use their cars if developments are done right, and build away. 

And for those who remember what the TRUTH is, and what affordable housing really is, just focus on what works, and what will be approved by just about all of us--because some densification, and even some gentrification is needed. 

But the City, and the "affordable housing" shamlords, would do best to stop LYING to its constituents.  

The next election cycle isn't that far away ... and the City pols aren't the only ones getting "woke" amidst all this stench of brimstone and false truths.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father 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 alpern@marvista.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.)