Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Posts Tagged ‘Transit’

New Blog Project: The Sauce!

Posted by Roobs on January 19, 2012

I have branched out and created a new blog:

The Sauce: No transit updates. Just beer and liquor near LA Metro.

It is a project I have been thinking about for the past several years and my move to Los Angeles afforded me the opportunity.  The site is devoted to bringing Los Angeles residents and visitors a list of great bars and clubs easily accessibly via LA Metro bus and rail service.  Better yet, it is provided by those who know how to navigate a transit system on their way to alcohol: urban planners.  The database at present includes five bars in the Los Angeles area and will be adding more soon! Readers are encouraged to provide their own reviews of their favorite transit-accessible bars and clubs.  So have at it!

Please visit my new site and enjoy the reviews.  And for your next night out, make sure to enjoy the uncomplicated benefits of public transit.

Know Metro. Love Metro. Go Metro!

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the blog, The Sauce, are solely those of the authors.  The Sauce is in no way affiliated or an official project of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority or the blog, The Source.

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Posted in Food, Urban Planning | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How F*** is SF Muni?

Posted by Roobs on April 5, 2011

Transit riders hate waiting. It’s not only fact is actually a really big problem in the effort to increase ridership on bus lines.  The only thing more depressing than running up to a bus stop just as your bus is pulling away is the uncertainty that follows; not knowing exactly when the next bus will come.  Thankfully, we have a few ways to help in that respect.

First we have NextBus, a website and smartphone application you can download that can track GPS enabled buses and tell you exactly when the next bus will arrive.  Sure, it still may be 15-30 min. away, but at least you feel better about it.  Yes! One is coming!

But, dare I say, NextBus is soo last year!  With transit agencies struggling to meet demand with fiscal crisises left and right, it’s time we stop being nice about this. It’s no longer a question of whether or not your bus is delayed or not, its now a question of how fucked up is it today.

Enter the vanguard: “How Fucked Up Is Muni”.  A website created by a friend of mine that tracks the  ratio of delayed vehicles to total vehicles as well as the largest and smallest gaps between cars to create the overall picture of “how fucked up” your SF Muni route is.

At this moment, the majority of Muni’s lines are “not particularly fucked”.  But just like the weather in SF, that can change pretty quickly.

Posted in Urban Planning | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Defense of Los Angeles

Posted by Roobs on December 13, 2010

In the great battle between  San Francisco and Los Angeles, LA is the butt of many jokes when it comes to urban planning.  But they are more often than not ill comparisons.


On a sunny yet cool weekend in Berkeley, CA, my mother, friends and I began to pack up my long time college apartment at the corner of Blake St. and Ellsworth St.  I had lived in this apartment for five years; from my sophomore year at UC Berkeley to my time working as a paralegal at a law firm in Emeryville.  Sure, after a while, I got tired of my neighborhood.  The constant trampling of drunken college students who were just one shot away from alcohol poisoning was beginning to become tiresome.  But I loved my apartment itself and the great view of the Golden Gate bridge it offered from my floor to ceiling sliding glass window.  But that was all over now.

After graduation, I found my true professional joy working in the field of urban planning.  And come early summer, I accepted admission into UCLA’s masters of urban and regional planning program.  This meant I was to move to Los Angeles, a city I have spent a great deal of time in and enjoyed but, nevertheless, often maligned and teased, if not lovingly.

We all know the stereotypes of Los Angeles:  Its a culture-less wasteland yet the capitol of car-culture in America; representing everything that is wrong with urban sprawl.  Not only can you NOT walk in Los Angeles but nobody does.  Transit is incomplete and is only for poor people, anyway.  The list goes on but you get the picture.  Columnists like Steve Rubenstein at the San Francisco Chronicle, fully displaying the semi-serious battle between Northern and Southern California, gets his jollies from railing on America’s second largest city:

Contrary to popular notion, it’s legal to walk in Los Angeles. In fact, some people walk in L.A. by choice, it being the accepted means of getting to and from a parked car.

Is all this teasery true?  Is Los Angeles the glowing city on a hill in the middle of a parking lot?  My quick answer is… yes and no.  But some qualifiers are definitely needed.  But let’s get some things straight.

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Posted in Pop Culture, Urban Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BART: When Good Deeds Go Bad

Posted by Roobs on August 12, 2010

What is it about no temporary fare cuts, more capital and service improvements does BART not understand?

Last month, we heard the rare good news that BART was ending its fiscal year with a $4 million surplus.  Happy with the good news, the BART Board of Directors decided to do something… well, nice.  They wanted to offer a temporary fare reduction to passengers; a 3% decrease over four months.  They conducted a survey to see how the public felt about their brief exercise in altruism and found something odd.  The public had said “thanks, but no thanks.”

Nearly 4 out of 5 BART riders oppose the idea of a temporary fee rollback, according to BART’s in-house survey. […] What they do want is longer service hours and cleaner cars.

Read more at SFGate.com

Following these results, the BART Board decided to table a vote on what to do with the $4 million surplus.

Yesterday it was announced that BART has discovered another $4.5 million dollar windfall, bringing the total unexpected surplus to $8.5 million.  The board is expected to meet in two weeks to decide what to do with all this money.

And what were they still talking about doing with all this money?  Yup, fare rollbacks.  Temporary fare rollbacks, despite the fact that over 75% of riders do not want them.  You would think that, especially in this economy, when riders are actually rejecting an offer to briefly save them money that they must really really want something else and that the Board would take that to heart.

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Posted in Politics, Urban Planning | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »