Sat, Feb

A Transportation Tirade: Busted Streets and Stupid Traffic Management are No Accident

GETTING THERE FROM HERE--Well, I just had another reminder or two about why my advocacy of interest, transportation, is of such daily importance to us all (well, most of us).  Yesterday, my long commute that I make once or twice a week to my dermatology clinic in Temecula had a few big roadblocks ... and they were all here in t he Westside. 

Why the idiots that got into a minor accident--no ambulances, no injuries, just a hellish, 40 minute wait on the southbound 405 freeway--didn't pull off the freeway (or get towed off the freeway) is anyone's guess.  The police cars with their sirens on with no obstructive cars?  Maybe there was an initial accident of some magnitude that I didn't see, but two greater questions persist: 

1) Should we consider ticketing and fining the begeezus out of motorists who can, but choose not to get off the freeway to address minor accidents when the cars are still drivable? 

2) Do the police emphasize traffic and mobility when there is an accident without significant injury or fatalities, and tow or direct cars off the freeway with all possible urgency?  Should some of the cops be asked to wave cars forward and make the rubberneckers pay attention to the road and DRIVE? 

I'm sure that many, perhaps most, of those reading this in CityWatch don't value the plight of motorists very much because they are saving the world from global warming, ISIS, the common cold, cancer, etc. one train rider or bicyclist at a time, but for those of us who do need our automobiles to commute all over creation to where our jobs are, will freeways ever be allowed to be a topic of debate again in the future? 

And, of course, after my long workday and commute home in Temecula, it had to be that cute little (well, maybe NOT so little) pothole on the southbound Sepulveda Blvd. just south of Pico Blvd. that blew out my right passenger tire sidewall after observing the well-kept roads of Temecula and Orange County (where my other clinics are). 

Nice to know that we're emphasizing and prioritizing so much money into a gazillion different endeavors in the City of the Angels, but just not the roads, sidewalks, sewers, parks, and other infrastructure that we need every day. 

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It should be noted that I am lucky to be alive to complain about all this--it wasn't me that was in the accident (which may have been much worse than what I saw), and the tire was replaced the next day (even if it should never have needed replacement if the roads were properly maintained). 

But while I still believe that light rails, subways, bicycle paths, pedestrian amenities, and the like should be shown a lot more love than they have, I wonder if those of us paying taxes will ever truly be listened to after election day about the gripes regarding our roads, sidewalks and infrastructure being ignored for so many different reasons. 

Because while transportation is critical to be addressed in a multimodal fashion, and I will continue to fight for that from the grassroots angle, I doubt I'll be able to take any trains, bicycle, or walk to from LA to Temecula any time soon. 


(Ken Alpern is 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 is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at  Alpern@MarVista.org.   He also does regular commentary on the Mark Isler Radio Show on AM 870, and co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.) 




Vol 13 Issue 94

Pub: Nov 20, 2015