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Old 03-12-2015, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
When I was in the Bay Area a bit over a year ago, I met a Dutch guy who found it surprising (or maybe just very different?) how few people biked to the BART stations. While the Bay Area isn't like the Netherlands, bikes do seem rather practical for local trips. I'd assume most BART riders are coming from at most 2-3 miles from the station, except at the end stations. And the weather is very bike friendly. Dutch suburban rail is about 44% bicycle park and ride.
I think Drive CarePhilly is perceiving a bigger gulf between the transportation cultures of the Bay Area and Southern CA than actually exists. While there is more of a history of active transport in the Bay, it's not a huge difference (other than in core areas, obviously SoCal doesn't have anything like eastern SF). I mentioned it way earlier in the thread, but I walk for the vast majority of errands in my neighborhood and I'm not a "unicorn" among my neighbors. To be fair, Pasadena is one of SoCals' most pedestrian friendly cities.

It also makes a difference that in LAs core, the vast majority of walking and transit riding is decidedly working class and non white - it makes sense because those are the areas demographics. In SF you get a lot more white collar workers taking BART into work and walking around inner neighborhoods, because its core is much more gentrified.

While I agree with the sentiment that LA is building rail through already dense areas, keep in mind these areas developed around the old PE streetcar lines. As someone said in the Twitter link you posted, LAs density map could practically be a map of the Red Car lines. It's not just random density in LA County, these were streetcar (later bus) hubs for decades.

Last edited by munchitup; 03-12-2015 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I think Drive CarePhilly is perceiving a bigger gulf between the transportation cultures of the Bay Area and Southern CA. While there is more of a history of active transport in the Bay, it's not a huge difference (other than in core areas, obviously SoCal doesn't have anything like western SF).

It also makes a difference that in LAs core, the vast majority of walking and transit riding is decidedly working class and non white - it makes sense because those are the areas demographics. In SF you get a lot more white collar workers taking BART into work and walking around inner neighborhoods, because its core is much more gentrified.

While I agree with the sentiment that LA is building rail through already dense areas, keep in mind these areas developed around the old PE streetcar lines. As someone said in the Twitter link you posted, LAs density map could practically be a map of the Red Car lines. It's not just random density in LA County, these were streetcar (later bus) hubs for decades.
Yeah, I always found it curious that neighborhoods south of DTLA and especially surrounding USC were considered less desirable given the location. I wonder if there's a displacement/gentrification transformation going on in that area of LA just south of downtown right now? I remember hearing some complaints about USC's new housing expansion going on.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Yeah, I always found it curious that neighborhoods south of DTLA and especially surrounding USC were considered less desirable given the location. I wonder if there's a displacement/gentrification transformation going on in that area of LA just south of downtown right now? I remember hearing some complaints about USC's new housing expansion going on.
A little bit, but scary things still happen in that neighborhood (like Chinese USC students murdered in their car). And yeah the USC Village thing is rolling right along.

It's a blessing that immigrants filled up all of the inner neighborhoods around LAs core, otherwise a lot more neighborhoods probably would have been redeveloped ala Bunker Hill.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post

While I agree with the sentiment that LA is building rail through already dense areas, keep in mind these areas developed around the old PE streetcar lines. As someone said in the Twitter link you posted, LAs density map could practically be a map of the Red Car lines. It's not just random density in LA County, these were streetcar (later bus) hubs for decades.
So, in effect, the city is re-creating the past? Morphing back towards its streetcar roots?
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Randal Walker View Post
So, in effect, the city is re-creating the past? Morphing back towards its streetcar roots?
I guess you could say that - Expo, Blue, Orange and the Pasadena branch of the Gold Line run on old Pacific Electric right of ways. The upcoming Crenshaw Line will spend a portion of its journey between Inglewood and LAX along the old Harbor Subdivision. A portion of the Green Line (once it exits the 105 around its western terminus) is also on an old right of way.

There is talk of a line between Los Angeles and Cerritos (and possibly Santa Ana if OC does their part) and that would also utilize a former right of way.

This rail-based past is also why Southern California was able to get the (rarely used but very extensive) Metrolink system up and running so fast and why it reaches so many places in the region.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I think Drive CarePhilly is perceiving a bigger gulf between the transportation cultures of the Bay Area and Southern CA than actually exists. While there is more of a history of active transport in the Bay, it's not a huge difference (other than in core areas, obviously SoCal doesn't have anything like eastern SF). I mentioned it way earlier in the thread, but I walk for the vast majority of errands in my neighborhood and I'm not a "unicorn" among my neighbors. To be fair, Pasadena is one of SoCals' most pedestrian friendly cities.
I'm not saying that people in LA don't walk places. When I visit I don't normally rent a car and I've never found it to be a burden. I see other people walking places. But LA is ~2x the size of the Bay Area so there is more of everything. I know there are plenty of places in the Bay Area where people drive everywhere.

But I mean the Bay Area has a transit/walk/bike split of 10/3/2 (for JTW, anyway) and in LA it's more like 5/3/1. But when you start to look at all trips transit and cycling fall but walking goes up to 10.5% - and that's including the very sprawly San Jose and North Bay.

Then there's the fact that the ratio of cars to workers is higher in LA than it is in SF. The two metro areas have really similar transit ridership numbers even though one is twice the size of the other. All of those transit riders, even those who drive to the train, are still pedestrians when they get to their destination.

Quote:
It also makes a difference that in LAs core, the vast majority of walking and transit riding is decidedly working class and non white - it makes sense because those are the areas demographics. In SF you get a lot more white collar workers taking BART into work and walking around inner neighborhoods, because its core is much more gentrified.
I'm not making a distinction about who is walking - I'm just looking at the numbers. I think it's pretty well established that LA has a weaker overall non-car mode share because its core has been pretty weak for the last 50+ years. But I wasn't talking specifically about the core anyway.

Quote:
While I agree with the sentiment that LA is building rail through already dense areas, keep in mind these areas developed around the old PE streetcar lines. As someone said in the Twitter link you posted, LAs density map could practically be a map of the Red Car lines. It's not just random density in LA County, these were streetcar (later bus) hubs for decades.
I think it's safe to say that the density has increased in those areas quite a bit since they last saw rail in the 1940s or 1950s - and a lot of it happened irrespective of the presence of the Expo or Gold lines. No doubt that a rail line will push it further but relatively dense, walkable places like Santa Monica or Pasadena existed (or still exist) for a long time without a rail stop.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
When I was in the Bay Area a bit over a year ago, I met a Dutch guy who found it surprising (or maybe just very different?) how few people biked to the BART stations. While the Bay Area isn't like the Netherlands, bikes do seem rather practical for local trips. I'd assume most BART riders are coming from at most 2-3 miles from the station, except at the end stations. And the weather is very bike friendly. Dutch suburban rail is about 44% bicycle park and ride.
I've been to the Netherlands but man, the Dutch sanctimony is a tough pill to swallow. The entirety of the Netherlands is about as hilly as Delaware (or Alameda if you prefer a local example).

Given the lack of local infrastructure it shouldn't really be a surprise that there aren't more bikes - still - the mode split for bikes to BART, even at these very suburban stations is at or above the regional average in spite of generally hazardous road conditions and a lack of secure bike parking (bike theft is high). I think that's pretty impressive.

Even with Dutch style infrastructure you're not going to get anywhere close to Dutch style ridership around the Bay - it's just too hilly and e-assist bikes are just too expensive for most people. Even if you quadrupled bike/ped spending and sustained that for the next 20 years I don't think you're going to break 15% for bikes . . . although I'd love to be wrong about that.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:22 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Meh. Inner East Bay (near most BART stations) is mostly flat. Outer East Bay, less so, but it's more spread out in general. I was agreeing with him. Obviously the infrastructure is less friendly, but that's part of the point: it could be more popular with better infrastructure.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
It also makes a difference that in LAs core, the vast majority of walking and transit riding is decidedly working class and non white - it makes sense because those are the areas demographics. In SF you get a lot more white collar workers taking BART into work and walking around inner neighborhoods, because its core is much more gentrified.
It also makes a difference that SF's employment is much more centralized.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
It also makes a difference that SF's employment is much more centralized.
Indeed. Metrolink can't live up to its potential when there are so many Westside jobs only accessible by bus. Purple Line to Westwood should help and to some extent the Expo Line to Santa Monica (though good luck convincing someone to ride an extra 45 minutes from Union Station to SM after already being on a commuter rail to get from burb to DTLA.
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