Separate but Equal Treatment via Rail Lines in L.A.

The Rail around Indiana

If you look at this photo you wonder what is this? And how did anyone think this was safe?

Why is the safety method on the Eastside going to be of the “pull yourselves up by the bootstraps” variety via cameras to blame personal drivers and old men in yellow vests reminding people to “be safe,” while the City of Los Angeles west of LaCienega get the “silver spoon” variety of safety with expensive barriers and elevated stations?

Why will there will be no testing out Darwinism theory of survival of the fittest on the Westside?

Only the neighborhoods with higher concentrations of poor people and brown and black people are tested with sink and swim theories.

The rail dips just one mile into the magic dividing line of LaCienega and the people on that side of LA who don’t walk or even use public transit as extensively as people on the Eastside get all of our tax dollars spent protecting them from being hit by a train that most of them won’t even take or even be near outside of driving by its protected barrier.

(This is an excerpt of a very long post entitled “Cameras Aren’t Going to Make Fewer People Die.”)

by Browne Molyneux

124 thoughts on “Separate but Equal Treatment via Rail Lines in L.A.

  1. Very Simple, constructive activities? You mean like going to blogs and harassing Chicanos? That’s all you do.

    yes if you don’t agree with them your harassing chicanos

  2. Fallopian,

    You spend alot of time revisiting old comments. 40 + comments have been posted and you still comeback to talking about Bob Marley and calling Eastsiders Goons. Get over it, move on.

    I never insult people first, I reply.

    Go back under the bridge, Troll!

  3. Newsflash to Monica. I was born and raised in the Eastside and happen to not agree with Hector. So what! I am not claiming to speak for any other Chicano and neither should you.

    Sorry if I don’t fit your Chicano thought-process ideal. I could care less about some stupid name just because I don’t agree with you

  4. roberto, expressing the same disagreement over and over like a broken record when the point has been noted and including personal insults is harassment.


       [huh-ras, har-uhs]


    1. to disturb persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; bother continually; pester; persecute.

    2. to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.


    ^^^ Perfectly describes Very Simple’s presence here, and his defenders like you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you are him.

  5. @caxcan

    Ahh….come now “caxcan”. You brought up the Marley reference and I was explaining what the man most likely really meant considering it within context. Anyway, playing the victim with me probably won’t work to well as it has with them others, I kinda know too much and what’s more I’ve probably experienced many more “isms” than you could ever bear before hurtling yourself off of the 1st Street bridge.
    I’ll repeat: I’m assured that our end goals are the same, so like Art suggested why don’t we find a common area to work on transit equality for our people, the folks who need it the most.

  6. We’re going to have to start a drinking game for every time one of the Chicano bashers in here says they were born and raised on the East Side, like Just B and Very Simple. We’d be shit faced by sundown. Newsflash, Very Simple: Nobody cares that you’re from the East Side. Like I said, we have a name for people like you who grew up on the East Side but feel the need to bash Chicano culture at every turn. We have someone like you in our family. I won’t even say what we call you guys. It’s too fucked up.

  7. Fallopia, who’s playing the victim with you? We’re talking about the people in charge of the rail line, not you. You’re not even in the picture. Tune the drama down just a tad bit. You’re like my homegirl who thinks every fight is over her.

  8. i keep bringing it up because i keep seeing it here, i mention canadian health care and i am chicano bashing and i am against universal healthcare in america when i never mentioned it.

  9. roberto, your attention span matches your grammar. I was talking about Very Simple, and you stuck up for him. You vouched for Very Simple’s insults toward Chicanos. He calls anyone who takes a remotely liberal Chicano view a MEChA member. He once called a local politician an india gordita (meaning fat, dark girl…in a discussion about rail lines! All class.). I wasn’t even talking about you, so stop trying to twist shit.

  10. Damn,I had no idea that Caxcan was going to send his mom to come talk to me, damn I feel like an elementary school principal. So let’s play along…….
    Well, since you’re here Ms. Caxcan your son seems to have issues with victimization and has an unhealthy fear of trains. Now the reputation of this school is to teach our students self-fortification and to give them a realistic visual of the world that lies outside for them, well in particular ehmm…black and brown children. He also made a ruckus in class the other day over a Bob Marley song that we played during the children’s naptime and kept claiming that he was a victim much like the Jews of the holocaust and the homosexuals. You could just imagine how that disturbed the other children were by his behaviour.
    Now Ms. Caxcan, I’m sure that if we can work together we can steer your boy in the right direction. He nearly pulled my hand out of its socket as we crossed Soto and approached the wonderful new choo choo train that even Sup Molina has said is an asset to our underserved community. I just know that we can work this through because remember, we’re all in this together and we all want the same things such as: a decent job, healthy kids and above all transportation equity. By just looking at you Ms. Caxcan, I just know that we can keep your boy out of prison and help him find a vocational job as soon as he graduates. We can work together Ms. Caxcan, we really can.

  11. Yeh, you’re like an elementary school principal, Fallopia. You’re the mature voice of reason in here (not).

    A principal moderates problems, and doesn’t jump into them. You’re more like a 2nd grade drama queen than a principal. But call yourself whatever you like. Afterall, Very Simple calls himself Chicano, and we all know how much of a joke that is.

    And here you go with this victimization thing again. People here are talking about the politicians in charge of the rail line. Unless you represent them, it aint your fight. If you’re an East Sider and you disagree with Browne, say so and state your reasons. Then accept the fact that you’ll probably change no one’s mind. That’s life. Now see, I’m acting more like the principal than you are.

  12. Chicano bashing Monica? What the fuck are you talking about! I have never made any sweeping generalizations about Chicanos!

    If you want to twist references I have made about *individuals* and apply them to an entire group of people, go ahead. There is a short bus for people like you.

  13. I’ve already given examples of your Chicano bashing comments. Don’t play dumb. Accusing anyone who shows any kind of pride in being a Chicano of being an extremist or a MEChA member is a sweeping generalization. But I’ve noticed you stopped doing that. Now you’re just keeping it “very simple” by calling me an idiot. Or, maybe when called on your obvious agenda you start to back pedal. Other readers can decide.

    And your short bus comment is very insulting. Your hateful spirit calls for some class of people, other than wealthy whites, of course, to be insulted. Since you’re back pedaling on insulting Chicanos, the physically and mentally disabled are now your targets of mockery, hence the short yellow bus. Chicanos and Chicanas, like me, will fight back. But the disabled aren’t known for being fighters, so when you need to vent after taking a beat down from people representing an ethnic group…. turning your venom toward the disabled is’ very simple’, isn’t it?

  14. Someone call the Waambulance again!

    I’m not gonna bother with you anymore. If you consider blaming everything on the “white man” an example of Chicano “pride,” well have fun with that.

  15. ^^^True to form, he defends white people one last time before leaving.

    All the best, simple one. You were fun. 🙂

  16. Slow your roll homegirl, since when did they start letting chickenheads have computers?
    If you must know and if you can muster your hair trigger no ejumahcation ass to read the entirety of the blog you would know that right before you stopped watching your soaps and dragged your ass over to the compudah you would have seen that I was the one fostering a conversation with Art about Sup Molina’s role in the Prop C debacle of 1998….but you don’t hear that. If you would have just actually read my posts you would have seen that I thanked Art for bringing balance to this discussion and at the end of every post henceforth I asked how could we all work together…..but you don’t hear that. I guess because your glaucoma was acting up you couldn’t read that shit, huh? Lay off the greasy food my girl it aint good for you. We got enough of that in our community already.

    But whenever you want to have a sensible conversation and talk about transit equity, just lemme know, aiight fly chick!

    And yeah, me being a “nobody” that’s cool actually. I’d rather be a nobody and work for the betterment of my community and foster a real conversation meaning a discussion that might even have DISSENTING views and not try to villify everyone who doesn’t agree with me. Calling fellow black and brown people Uncle Tom’s basically because they don’t see the world the same way that you do is weak ma! And you still haven’t spoke about ANY facts concerning transit equity in our hoods!!!! All you’ve done thus far is run your useless trap on shit that was even directed to you. I’m ready to begin a discussion on transit equity in our city but it seems many of you on here are too busy playing cops and robbers and enjoying the hunt after “da man”. Save for a few most of you are too distracted to actually do shit, so shit won’t ever get done. 1998 all over again. Shame, I say.

    Let’s do this Monica. You drag yourself back in front of the tv and watch your soaps along with Maurey “who’s my baby’s daddy”, Sally Jesse and Tyra and don’t say shit else to me unless you want to do some real talk.

  17. To Fallopian,

    You have way to much time on your hands.


    You said, “The Eastside dropped the ball……sorry.”

    What the f**k are all those dots suppose to mean?
    Giving us the customer service-smile-pause-shrug sorry.

    You said, “The last thing our community needs is a narcissist who \”just loves to upset the status quo\”. ”

    Why does disrupting the status quo bother you so much?

    By the looks of it, your agenda is much different than that from many resident Eastsiders.


    Don’t waste our time with stupid stories. Grow up.

  18. Art,

    I’m not an environmental planner. I am an activist and a legal and political strategist. If you don’t understand my rhetoric and my group’s actions it probably because you’re seeing it through the wrong lenses – that of an environmental planner, and not an activist and strategist.

    And to be frank, hombre, you’re not my target audience. Sorry to say man, environmental planners from the eastside aren’t the decision-makers in all of this. In fact, I’ve garnered a few laughs from folks when I tell them that some in the “transit community” take issue with the velocity of our rhetoric and actions. Those laughs aren’t coming from people within the Fix Expo circle, but elected officials – people who know how difficult it is for organizations to “fight City Hall,” especially those with no money and based in areas with limited political influence.

    There are two groups, and only two groups that have been able to convince MTA to put hundreds of millions of dollars into projects for poor/minority communities and began without a single political supporter. The fact that these two groups are the most demonized by the “transit community” speak to their total ignorance of political organizing.

    Our position is clearly laid out for anyone who dares to read our statements or website. And any and every elected official and member of the media we have sat down with knows our “Ask,” why we’re making it and equally as important, the lengths we will go if our request is not fulfilled. Our actions, rhetoric, coalition and strategy are entirely understandable given the political environment, which we operate within.

    And yes I will continue lecturing on environmental justice, because art, this isn’t a one-on-one conversation, but rather a forum, filled with people passing by who have no idea what it is or the process which is necessary to adequately address it.

    Sorry Art, I have no fear of my rhetoric or statements being inaccurately characterized as, what did you say, “rail fighting.” In fact, if some didn’t inaccurately characterize our effort that way, I probably would be reduced to talking about the landscaping around the line, instead of bringing the political pressure to bear to get an agency to appropriate hundreds of millions more into projects in South LA, money they NEVER thought they would have to.

    Yes, introspection is needed on your part. It might help you in your own backyard. I’m just saying hombre…

  19. Jon,

    We’ve never stated that the entire portion between Figueroa and Vermont is underground. In fact, we went to bat rather strongly for extending the trench to Vermont as the first part of the Expo Phase 1 grade separation project. See our powerpoint here:

    We share the safety concerns about the crossings, especially during large Coliseum events, traffic impacts, and the redundancy in stations. (See the powerpoint, where the Trousdale and Vermont station are combined into one station between Watt Way and Menlo.)

    That said, the undercrossing at Figueroa is where the overwhelming majority of USC pedestrian traffic is located. Rarely if ever do students cross at Pardee Way, Trousdale or Vermont. They’re all going to the parking structure and student housing located on/near the southeast corner of Figueroa. That’s not to say no ‘SC students use the other crossings or that they don’t run risk of being hit at those and other crossings; they do. Just that USC’s version of Farmdale, Western and Denker were taken care of with grade separation. Now the process that led to the undercrossing is no where near as clear as some would have people believe. The simple explanation is at some locations MTA is willing to be honest about the traffic impact and operational limitations than they are at others, which is largely dependent upon how hard a politician/stakeholder group pushes back. This is one where there was significant push back and compromises were made that otherwise weren’t made in other areas.

    And again, our environmental justice contention is with the portion of the track in Culver City vs. South LA, not so much USC, although clearly within the community there is a salty taste in many people’s mouths from the undercrossing at Figueroa.

    Re: Santa Monica, there have been desires to redevelop Colorado Blvd for quite some time. I’m just now coming up to speed about it. With it you can understand many of the city’s actions. Because their rhetoric totally does not fit.

  20. Fallopia,
    Im sorry it took me a while to respond, I am very busy at work and have a newborn baby. I want t make my response into a post at the busbench, but havent so yet but will post the link here whenever the hell I can do it.

    The corruption and shoddy construction of the hollywood and DTLA segments for the redline subway created a public outcry for blood. Contractor Tutor Saliba got the project thru shady means, and used wooden columns rather than steel beams which caused the streets on Hollywood and Broadway to sink (u can still see the damage on hollywood blvd today near cherokee) amongst other half assed ways to save money that eventually came back to them.

    When all these allegations occured, and businesses in these areas began to close, political leaders such as Zev Yaroslovsky used this climate of discontent at how the rail line was being built to gain political points and pander to reactionaryism. That’s when Zev’s law was passed, as well as the Waxman bill, i belive there is also something that dictates a rail line along chandler had to be grade seperated (hense the orange line busway).

    Everybody got on the accountability bandwagon in light of the horrible joke the subway was becoming, Im not sure where supervisor molina stood but i would guess she agreed with the mass hysteria, she is a political animal and going against the tide would hvae not been politically advantageous. Either way, the entire county voted in favor of banning local funding for subway, in east and west LA due to the panic caused by the tutor saliba debacle.

    Unfortunately, the next phase of the redline was going to extend off this intiial trunk line. From ym memory they include the east la subway to whittier, a crenshaw heavy rail extension, the redline down wilshire and a valley redline extension. They all got scrapped because the local funds vanished (the initial subway costs also shot up greatly), which laid the frame work for today’s situation.I would say though, that the public outcry from teh subway mess was manipulated by political opportunists, with terrible results. The public recieved a lot of scare tactics and misinformation at the time, and wrongly equated “no subways” with accountability. I genuinely doubt most people understood the damage those bills created, and that the bulk of voters wanted to solely stop subways. But at the time subways in LA meant corrpution, high costs and possible damage to major activity strips. And people got so burned that they went for it.

    After the shitstorm and fallout from all the subway bans and bills, communities had to find alternatives (orange line) to rail or gather funding on their own (gold line to pasadena). Policymakers up thru the Riordan and Hahn admins wanted a busway to serve the east LA community, but local leaders dissuaded them inbehind the scene meetings by basically taking them thru east la and showing them how dense the area is and how dangerous and inadequate an at grade busway would be.

    In order to bypass the no local funds for subways rule of Zev’s law, the proponents of the esgl created an alignment that mainly was at-grade. Local funds were put into the non subway portion of the esgl, and the federally matchign money is what funded the 1.8 mile subway tunnel thru boyle heights. In order to put a rail line thru east LA that was primarilly at-grade, the alignment had to miss major deesination points and corridors that are too dense and narrow. The train is placed along the least dense and vibrant portions of 1st and 3rd streets (with the exception of the mercadito area they could not avoid), passing thru cemetaries and more residential portions of the 1st and 3rd street corridors.

    Fallopia, was that who emailed me with the bitchinatutu address. the wording of the link alarmed me, but would like to meet up if you are serious, as well as anyone else. Im all for positive transit advocacy in my barrio and all of working class LA, and would love to connect too others likeminded. I view the super’s anger as something we can channel into fighting for more transit investment into east and southeast la, hopefully. As a transit activist who grew up in a brown beret household, Im a more interested in optimistic advocacy. I spent too much of my young like stirring up shit and fighting the system, i think playing nice is more pragmatic.

  21. Thank you Art for that quite objective accounting of what REALLY happened in the late 90’s. I think you also forgot the BRU’s smelling blood in the water and forcing upon all of us the now infamous MTA Consent Decree. All too often we get caught up in fighting against our own interests out of ignorance and miseducation. My fight is to get our community on the pro-active side of the ball(like attending the Crenshaw meetings w/ overflow crowds) not merely and always reactive like running behind and videotaping an LRT and its supposed shoddiness on the eve of its opening.
    Art I hear in your words the heartbreak and pain you have seen snatched and dallyed away by not seeing the bigger picture. But there are many people who have a TRUE vested interest in the transformational power of transit and what it can do to lessen the weight of class/race isms that we face. Too many that have big mouths are working on a personal agenda. Or worse, they miss the forest for the trees and end up hobbleling entire projects that ultimately benefit our people first and foremost in this city.

    I hear the overwhelming sincerity in your voice Art and I believe in your present direction and would be very grateful to join you regarding transit in any way that you see fit.
    The best to you Art and I hope to be talking to you soon.

  22. Damien Goodmon

    I understand that you have safety issues at certain crossings but why do you kill the line that everyone will use? You think that we are stupid enough not to have at-grade crossings? Technically, you just called not only the Dorsey High teens, but all the teens in the city of LA retared. Retarted that we can’t supposedly tell if a train is coming or not. Retarted that that we can’t tell when to cross or not. We aren’t stupid to see a train is coming. If we were then God help us. So just stop this stupid fighting. And if you are saying Culver City students got special treatment, well, they didn’t. The nearest school is about a half-mile to a mile away (Hamilton High). About the Red Line extensions, the Westside Extension is a revived project that was put on hold for bans that it had on Hyde Park for methane gas.

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