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. bullshit is blaming someone else for *our* problems like voting against the heavy rail subway extension to East LA. Don’t pretend like someone else forced this on us.

    Uncalled for is bringing out the nazi/jew reference. That’s not even relevant or proportionate.

  2. JustB, what does La Raza stand for? You said you love everything La Raza stands for. Elaborate on that. Give us your best definition of La Raza.

  3. Just B, why do you have to emphasize *our* when saying “our problems”? Are you paranoid that people don’t believe you’re Chicano?

  4. Voting and Democracy. Ask the anti prop 8 people how they feel about voting and democracy. And, although the Nazi reference was not proportionate it is relevant.

    Bob Marley,
    “No chains around my feet,
    But Im not free”

  5. “We should never forget the evils of the Nazis and we should never stop referencing them when needed.”


    Referencing the Nazis and the Holocaust when the subject matter is non-existent rail trains on the West-Side is relevant how?

  6. @Caxcan

    I won\’t even go there with you Caxcan. And a Marley reference to boot! Goes well with a line in \”Redemption Song\”:

    \”No one but ourselves
    can free our minds\”.

    I won\’t even touch the Prop 8 issue because you just got silly on that one.

    Many times we ourselves are partially the cause of our own demise because putting Marley\’s words into context that you quoted: There are \”no chains around my feet but I\’m not FREE\”. This fits in well with his ideology that I quoted earlier which says: \”no one but ourselves can FREE our minds\”.

    The Eastside voted (or worse didn\’t vote at all) along with everyone else to discontinue local funds going to a subway, effectively killing their own chances at a subway on the Eastside. From what I read the turnout for this election wasn\’t even that great so as a mobilized force with say Molina at the helm this could have been taken care of swiftly and without question. The Eastside dropped the ball……sorry.

    Then when I attend a Crenshaw meeting with scant attendance it\’s the same thing. The Inglewood mayor has pleaded for more people to get involved early and attend these meetings so that we can have world class transit running through our hood. But nah, we\’ll just wait til the thing is built and then complain.

    The last thing our community needs is a narcissist who \”just loves to upset the status quo\”. Someone who may be a full grown degreed adult but who is still very much an adolescent at heart, we\’ll call it the MJ effect(rest his dear soul). We need real leaders in our communities who don\’t think it\’s just \”fun\” to go up against the grain and run around video taping a train that has already been built and was under construction and planning over the past 10 years. Nah, these type of folks are only self serving and indulgent who like to pop up in the 4th quarter and act like some kind of hero. We no longer need these type slugs in our communities any longer.

    As a sidenote I saw Damien on channel 4 the other day talking about the Blue Line along Washington and this is the guy that I came to like. He was poised and gave only the facts. Hopefully he can get enough folks interested in the Crenshaw Line early so that we can have the best LRT alignment in the country.

  7. Hector – I’m not chicano, 100% caucasian if it matters. by *our* I mean ‘East L.A. residents’ – read into that what you will. The ‘La Raza’ reference was trying to diffuse the racist accusations that would most likely follow.

  8. arguing on the internet is like the special olympics. even if you win you’re still retarded.

    Browne, keep up the posts on LA Eastside & The Bus Bench. someone needs to tell it like it is!

  9. Oh, and Caxan I was WAITING for the prop 8 reference. I was going to pull it out myself but thanks for doing it for me.

    It’s exactly the same thing. Now that gay marriage is illegal we have only ourselves to blame.

  10. Blue Demon, the thing is Browne is NOT telling it like it is. Her posts have an annoying, victim tone that’s totally unnecessary. I know I’m not the only regular Laeastside reader that thinks that way. In the ‘real world’ my friends that read the blog all complain about her posts.

  11. Fallopia,

    I don’t believe Bob Marley was contradicting himself. Chains on ones feet is a physical action as apposed to freeing ones mind is a spiritual thing. Totally different. Have you heard of a happy slave? The slave is not happy because he/she is a slave. The slave is a happy person who happens to be a slave.

    If you think the whole prop 8 issue is silly, well I think you just pissed off alot of people.

    You are the status quo and so it bothers you when people confront you. It reminds me of a queen who once said, “Let them eat cake.” Well…, do you know what happend to her?

  12. i got to say i agree with justB.
    However, i have to admit i like the conversation this article started. This is probably the most comments i have seen from readers and a wider array of them, not the regular readers. Thou, some of the comments are a mean spirited from both sides.

  13. @caxcan – what the hell is a happy slave?

    A slave that’s happy is a deluded slave. I think being happy when you’re unfree is real “mental slavery.”

    Here’s one thing that’s bothering me abut justb’s attitude – it’s like free people telling slaves to “free yourself”. Yes, everyone has to free themselves, but, it’s also the responsiblity of those already free to help liberate the unfree.

    If all this train crap was crystal clear to you, were you out there explaining it to people who clearly didn’t understand what was going on?

    I’m saying this as someone who’s lived more than half his life on the “ignorant folks” side of reality. And I’m not some dummy here – I went to a great college, was fortunate to go to a good local high school, and have a few neurons to rub together. There’s just this little issue of a lack of “knowledge”, “access”, and “experience” that seems to go along with being a minority/immigrant family/lower middle class family.

  14. Just B, rather you’re Chicano, white, black, Asian, Russian, Samoan, or Aborigines, you said you “love everything la raza stands for”. What does it stand for? Yes, I’m indeed reading into it. And now even more so, since you said you’re white. When a white person says they love everything la raza stands for (when they were never asked…), it’s Q and A time, hombre.

  15. This is an amusing discussion. The hard part about this topic is that its creates a lot of emotional responses, and those touchy subjects often require legnthy disclaimers in order to keep people from gathering offense. I would believe that despite her often appropriate gripes, Browne will use this line and appreciates its existance and future opening, as she often makes trips to Eastlos and is dependant on public transit. Anyone who knows a little about the author should realize she values enhanced transit amenities for working class communities such as this soon to be opened light rail line, but that same concern is what is fueling her opinions on the subject, and for the most part she is not wrong.

    For the record, I agree with much of what Browne said, and have attended numerous esgl meetings years before the train began construction for the purpose of helping create the best outcome. I followed the eastside rail fiasco since the original redline plan was scrapped (the day after they cut a ribbon on the project) as a transit nerd, eastlos resident and PT user. I know the eastside got screwed, and understand what went down because I vehemently followed it like a broken hearted lover infatuated with what he lost (Im not joking, ask my wife and exes). I know that dissonance and indifference are much more of the reason why the MTA churned out this project as acceptable, and economic reality mixed with desperation to give the eastside any kindof rail service possible, as well as local furvor stirred up by populist outrage from the mishandled hollywood redline are all part of what got us here.

    That being said, I went to the community meeting for this rail line, and voiced my concerns about the specific locations causing the safety problems we are dealing with today. In fact, a personal friend who is dealing with the esgl issues sat down with me recently and joked about how “I called it” on almost every problem they are having (sans the electrical issue leading them to break up portions of the alignment right now on 3rd). Im sure there is record of my comments and suggestions regarding the esgl, as I attended and spoke at several meetings on my concerns (specifically the lorena to 3rd portion), as well as made several lenghty calls to MTA officials, and wrote several letters pointing out my concerns. And I wasnt the only one, several local residents and many merchants voiced the same concerns.

    Another commenter noted how Browne and anyone else now complaining shouldve raised those issues during the scoping meetings and EIR process (which is correct in terms of actually making changes in the most impactful manner), but those same people now bitch and loathe Damien Goodmon doing that very thing today. I tend to disagree with Mr. Goodmon’s “stop the train’ stance, and for that reason did not raise a ruckus when I realized much of my insight was not acted upon nor given any valid reasoning why it was dismissed once finalized plans and physical construction began. I sucked it up and was greatful for rail finally getting into eastlos, which I will use a lot when ever the hell it opens.

    I was elated to see they put entrances on both sides of most stations, which was not originally planned and advocated by myself. I appreciated the enhanced landscaping that I also had mentioned, and a few other quirks I advocated. But a lot was ignored, mainly the Lorena-3rd alignment, which I had vehemently raised issues about and given them a pretty cost comparable option for (running the train along the south side of 1st in a trench, mitigating the ped-auto crossing hazards whic his the big issue). Another one was the atlantic station parking lot, or not putting the power substation exactly on corner, which they did. I know a lot of it has to do with money, but Browne and D Goodmon and the BRU folks and anyone else who rides the bus/rails and understands that transit equity has a LONG way to go will never be at a loss for ammo when the MTA can magically find money for underground trenches and extra stations for USC students and elevated structures along culver city streets when they are at-grade at much busier intersections a few miles eastward in a much more dark complected community. (despite leaps forward) But I digress…

    My point is, being a person who is giddy for this train to open, who participated in the conceptualization process, who is happy to get this upgrade in transit, blah blah blah…..

    Am I allowed to raise my concerns, and are my concerns and the notions i develop because those concerns were not addressed, whiney overvictimiztion? Does the fact that I said almost every thing that is now becoming safety issues mean that the complaints by Browne and others here any more valid? If you dont belive me go look up my comments from the Friends4Expo discussion board from 5 or 6 years ago, I was raising those issues back then and here we are now.

    Anyways, I put my issues with the alignment to bed a while back, Im just happy that a train is nearby in in my community. I now think the best use of this energy will be in advocating the best transit service options for future projects and plans on the east and south sides (the west side has enough advocates, as illustrated in the speed they put up a west hollywood redline extension) where people are often too busy working or arent aware of the development process for projects in their area.

    I dont think the Supervisor acting mad at the eastside getting shortchanged (which it was) will do any good for her constituency now, now is the best time to help direct the train in the best path for phase 2, and to advocate for the best transti service for other eastside corridors.

    Because of that, I dont want the esgl to go down to the whittier blvd corridor and belive the 60 orridor alignment is the most logical. It will be too long of a ride, will skip the biggest PT depednant communities along whittier blvd and is not politically palatable east of Garfield avenue. In terms of the eastside getting adequate rail coverage, a red (or purple or whatver they call it) line extension from 7th street metro center east thru DTLA then along whittier from Lorena all the way grade seperate is what east LA needs and deserves. The LRT goldline should run along the 60 corridor (not on the freeway but for a brief portion where the train can take advantage of grade seperation) clear into the SGV and the more transit dependant areas along the 605. And the El Monte Busway lanes should be converted into an SGV redline extension (with sheltered stations) for a cheap effective rail linkge to the most congested corridor in the central eastside and the SGV.

  16. @art

    just a thought, but dont some of your proposed railways just fall in line with Metrolink line both the San Bernardino and Riverside line

  17. justB,

    “When a white person says they love everything la raza stands for (when they were never asked…), it’s Q and A time, hombre.” Hector Sr

    Yeah what he said, with your “our people” talk and “La Raza” talk you were trying to act like you were a POC, so yeah you need to answer some questions. I guess you thought pretending like you were Latino would have gotten you some slack as if we’re prejudice like you are (this is probably one of the reasons you don’t like me right…lol…)

    I guess since I called you stupid you thought you might as well just come out and tell the truth since pretending was getting you nowhere, because I don’t care and neither does anyone here.

    We don’t care if you’re disabled, transgendered, native born, an immigrant, black or white or Latino or Asian or purple or a combination of those things it’s what you say.

    justB and you and your friends are going to probably keep disliking me because I don’t write for you. I don’t write for your benefit. I’m writing for the people who have to go to the library to use the computer.

    Oh and by the way Art, that was a post, why don’t your write a post and stop making these really insightful comments in the commenting section 🙂


  18. rob,
    yes you are correct, and that very fact is a good example of how far we have to go in terms of transit equity and how complicated pt issues are.

    let me explain:
    the 2 metrolink lines serve their purpose well, and are 2 of the highest rideship m-link lines in the city, but they do what they are suppoosed to do, shuttle business people into the city from far off suburbs. The communities along each corridor these lines serve are gereally pre ww2 suburbs for at least 10 miles out, meaning they are dense and working class. To expect a suburban commuter train that charges $6 a trip to provide the same service as LRT/HRT is a bit of a stretch. Look at the 10 corridor, which has a solid stretch of communities with densities well above 15k per square mile, communities of working class asians and latinos for over a dozen miles: boyle hts, east la-city terrace, alhambra, monterey park, rosemead, el monte, baldwin park. Every one of the east west bus lines heading into DTLA from these points is stuffed much of the day, whereas 90% of these local commuters are not on the metrolink either because there are too sparse of stations for such a dense corridor or it is too expensive.
    Same goes for the 60 corridor- riverside line: boyle hts, east la, montebello-commerce, south san gabriel, bassett, la puente, valinda. These are corridors that deserve much more than a service to help wealthy commuters.
    Which is why they are a good example of transit inequity, the eastside, which holds one of the largest blocks of working class minority communities has an abundance of suburban commuter lines that are priced above a realistic range for most of the residents who live wihtin the first 12 miles of its alignment. On top of that, these lines have far too few stations for such a dense urban area (another reason why this mode of transit is not a good fit to service these communities, the train needs to go quick which means few stations) and they are in poor areas wher patrons must either drive or catch a bus-shuttle to get there. Which is why every metrolink station within the older suburb core of LA county is in a industrial area and has a huge parking lot.

    In terms of the El Monte busway redline conversion, the beauty of it is how easy it will be. All you gotta do is move the actual HOV busway onto that extra lane now empty, and place rail down and stations along the lane where the HOv lanes currently exist. The communities around this freeway were built around the old PE line that the 10 follows, so they are dense and full of transit dependant locals (drive down valley or garvey and see what I mean). In fact, this conversion was part of the original MTA rail plan as well as was a major future project when they built the metrolink and hov lanes alogn the corridor 20 years ago.

    The 60- riverside line corridor is a bit different, because after the garfield-wilcox area of montebello the density around the corridor falls off (for the actual riverside alignment density is nonexistant as the line runs thru industrial areas, which is why nobody walks to the montebello metrolink stop, which is really Commerce). Because the esgl phase 2 extension would run thru sparse areas and the whittier narrows rec area for 5 miles with few crossings, this would be perfect way to mitigate the bogged down travel time the street running section will have. This will connect the desne areas of the 605 area, fill in a major commute gap, and continue the esgl following the corridor it now will currently run along the 1st-3rd-SR60 corridor. The transit service needs of the eastside are FAR too big for one light rail line to criss cross corridors to hit, and for the most part it already misses the nearby destinations because it was built on the cheap so the eastside could get some kind of rail (calle brooklyn, calle primera, eastlos whittier blvd, atlantic square, the maravilla strip of chavez).

    Rail transit onthe eastside, up until the esgl, has been almost like freeways, planning for people beyond the barrio. it is ironic that people assume metrolink adequately services the eastside when the demographics of metrolink patrons and eastside residents are rarely the same thing. Dont belive me, ride the 76, 70, 68, 487, arrow hwy bus, 79, 40 and every other east-west running bus thru the eastside, they are stuffed during commuting times and often for much of the day.

    Not to mention that the whole “the westside doesnt have rail and the eastside does” comparison is not relevant to begin with. The westside runs for a little more than 10 miles west from DTLA before it hits the ocean, with a ridge of mountains to the north and more water to the south of it. The eastside connects DTLA and the central city (including the westside) to the rest of the nation, to the rest of the state, to the rest of the La metro area (with the exception of the 405 and cahuenga pass). 90% of trucks that radiate out from our ports and downtown dont rumble thru the west side of LA, they run thru the eastside. The eastside also connects the 2 million person San gabriel valley to Los Angeles, one of the most heavilly urbanized valleys in the country; as well as the 3 million person Inland Empire and 3 million person Orange County.

    Sorry Browne.

  19. Never mind the safety issues. When the Eastside Extension raises property values the new bitchfest is going to be about gentrification. I can’t fucking wait.

  20. Seriously Browne your tone is exactly what I was talking about. I’m not prejudiced, but since I’m white you assume I am. Typical – especially for you.

    I wasn’t pretending shit, FYI, I’m married to a wonderful Chicana and I live in East LA. East LA problems are ‘our’ problems. I don’t see where I misled anything, just sympathizing with Caxan’s anger but commenting on the tone.

    And ‘Alienation’ I had no attitude of ‘free yourselves’ I have the attitude that you should use your common sense not to get run over by a freakin’ train! My neighbor’s 12-year-old kid seems to have a pretty good grasp on the subject – sure, there are better ways to deal with the safety issue but at some point we have to take some responsibility for our own actions.

  21. One last comment – Art thank you for your clear, reasoned explanation of the issues. You should make it a post.

  22. justB,

    Why don’t you stop whining like you are four years old?

    I don’t think you’re prejudice because you are white. I think you’re prejudice because of the things that you type on your computer and just for reference anyone can be prejudice, latinos, african-americans, asians, white people, yeah everyone. It’s a human trait.

    You were freaking pretending. You’re married to a Chicana so you think that gives you the right to say “we” and “our people.” I live on the Eastside are you referring to me when you say “our people” I bet you’re not.

    Your explanation of that just makes no sense. On one hand you think I bring up race too much, right? And you think we’re all one race the human race right? Cause you seem to be that type, but yet on the same token you’re going to segregate yourself and pretend to be one race that you’re not by using terms you know damn well signifies what you were trying to lie and say you were.

    First you clearly implied you were Latino, then when you realize that doesn’t work you try to use your white privilege to shove your superiority down people’s throats (how stupid everyone else is and how smart you are) and then finally you use your wife, you use her as some kind of flag to wave how you are ok.

    You should have just been yourself. No one asked about your ethnicity and no one assumed anything about you, I certainly did not. You were the one that implied you were Latino and then you were the one who brought you were white and then it was you who brought up your wife. You should have just said what you needed and supported it with facts, instead you come on here with a bunch of bs personal anecdotes about how you know because you live here and have a Latina wife.

    What does your wife’s ethnicity have to do with anything? Does your wife catch the train? Does she take the bus? Do your kids, because that would have been a reason to bring them up. Does your wife know that you are writing this regarding her? Does your wife know that you are using her so you can win brownie points on a freakin blog? What the hell is that?


    The main people who have an issue with people who talk about racism are always the ones who have some sick relationship with race.


  23. Just B, it’s unfortunate we never got your explanation of what la raza stands for. Maybe you’re still looking it up on Wikipedia, or trying to get your Chicana wife to tell you.

  24. BTW, Browne, amidst all the chaos on this thread, you nailed it with another great blog entry. Everyone with a brain knows if the East Side was a wealthy, white area more effort would have gone into safety when building the rail lines. It’s the people insisting it’s not so who are the real antagonists. Speak truth to power and let the lemmings yell whatever they want as they file toward the cliff.

  25. Fuck all the whining and fights, lets use this website as a means of advocating what the EXS deserves, real appropriate rail service.

    I have 3 ninos (incluyen 1 newborn),a full timey job, run an nonprofit org and juggle falmigns shite on the side. My email is

    Lets organize some intelligent, transit oriented eastisders to help decide what goes where in the next steps, it took those pansies west of la brea less time to get the MTA balling on some BS santa monica redline extension thru west hollywood. Sup Gloria is growling for some REAL constiuency to light some fire under her nalgas, lets do it.

    I got plenty of excuses to not do shite, all i need is the push of someone else with some ganas. Let me see it, email me……

  26. Art,

    I believe the trench at Flower/Fig/Expo has nothing to do with USC and everything to do with traffic. Please correct me if I’m mistaken, and if in fact there are intersections on the Gold Line to the eastside that see as many cars as Expo/Fig (plus the numerous on- and off-ramp lanes for the 110).

    However, I do find it absolutely ridiculous that there will be 3 stations adjacent to USC. I find the proximity b/w the Expo/Vermont station and Expo Park station particularly galling.

    As for Darwinism, the Expo line becomes at grade east of Trousdale Parkway, a very popular path for walking to/from campus and the Coliseum. We’ll see how many inebriated football fans are fit to survive.

    Lastly, is anyone going to take a stab at explaining why the Expo line will be at-grade in Santa Monica?

  27. My apologies Jon, you are correct about the trench. I actually meant that extra station for USC, which will be a couple hundred yards away from the Vermont station and is ridiculously unecessary.

    Im all for personal responsibility, and despite the blue line being a glaring example of disregard for community in transit design, almost every person hit or killed by the train had nobody to blame but themselves. That being said, I dont really think social darwinism has any place in this debate. The pedestrian environment in LA is totally different than SF or Amsterdam, and although this is not a call to exonerate people of acting cautious, to be a pedestrian in many parts of working class LA means having to break rules and undermine authority to get where you have to go.

    That has bit to do with the biggest safety issue on the esgl so far, the people who walk across the ROW between el mercadito and the tamaleria/ party store across the street, especially on busy weekends. Personally (and Ive told this to officials now trying to mitigate this problem), I think the easiest fix is to put up a metal fence on either side of the ROW on that stretch, people cant cross it any more. I dont agree with the MTA using a ticket heavy approach to safety, it is the usual way they handle things in the barrio (but not wealthy areas) and has not been very productive in terms of results.

    Regarding the Santa at garde situation. This elevation was chosen by the community because the train will generally follow a pre-existing right of way that the old PE line ran on. When you have an existing ROW, the physical area around intersections is often much better suited for integrating the train with the community and safety. Which is exactly what is going on with the santa monica section.

  28. Browne, seriously WTF? I brought up anecdotes to give my comments some context, not to get ‘points’ as you put it. The same kind of crap you do in every post. Your whole post, in fact, was couched in racial terms (as are most of your posts)

    FYI my wife reads and usually posts on LA Eastside more than I do, so get over yourself.

    I typed/wrote/said nothing prejudiced from the beginning, and nothing that had a whiff of ‘superiority’ – I don’t think I’m better than anyone and ride the bus all the f-ing time. I just live here and I’m thrilled that ‘we’ (better watch my usage of that word, I guess) get a state-of-the-art light rail line of ‘our’ very own.

    Anyway, back to regularly-scheduled programming. I apologize to the regulars for wasting precious electrons on this petty crap.

  29. This Just B has a mouth on him, doesn’t he? I’m betting the Chicana wife sends him to the couch a lot of nights, just to get some peace and quiet, if anything. And, I’m sure the Chicano community in East LA appreciates a white outsider, who basically married his way in, speaking for them, Just B. Keep up the good work.

  30. Hey Joe, I’m a Chicano and I feel exactly the same way as JustB. Don’t let these reverse racists get you, JustB. You make too much sense for most of these myopic posters.

  31. “I grew up in San Francisco, where non-grade-separated streetcars ran through what were then almost entirely white neighborhoods. People didn’t walk or drive into streetcars.”

    I must admit that I have little tolerance for intellectual laziness. Its a large part of the reason I refuse to answer folk who ask questions that have already been answered in detail on the FixExpo blog or in the very forum where the question has been posed. All one has to do to know that people do get hit by street cars in San Francisco is google “Muni accident.” Do that and you’ll find out that San Francisco averages about an accident per week on their system, which amazingly still is fewer accidents per mile than the Blue Line some years.

    “You know it was initially proposed by Supervisor Molina that it be fully underground, but thanks to the westside supervisors that’s not the case now.”

    That’s the story. Politicians were against a Red Line subway extension for the Eastside/East LA, but now are for a western subway extension for their own backyard. And I find it ironic that no one calls out the people who claim, “The eastside was against the subway too.” It’s amazing to see how so many people really do just make shit up to defend MTA’s insane process and policies. The eastside was so against subways, these people expect us to believe, that they tolerated a 1.8 mile portion of the line being placed in a tunnel???

    You don’t have to be Einstein to realize that Doesn’t. Make. Sense.

    Re: Expo Phase 1

    Notice how Fix Expo has focused the environmental injustice issue on Expo Phase 1 (and only Phase 1) and Culver City. See here. Also notice how those who feel there is no E.J. issue talk about everywhere except Culver City? They want to talk Amsterdam, Pasadena, San Francisco, but refuse to talk Culver City. Just why is that?

    Fix Expo’s claims are rather easy to understand, and if anyone tried they would see that it is reflective of a larger problem at Metro. Simply, MTA bows to communities which have the power legally and/or political to derail/delay their projects, but for all others they get screwed. And its no coincidence that the ones getting screwed are exponentially more likely to be minority and/or poor.

    Re: Expo Phase 2

    As many others have said, the City of Santa Monica’s desire for street-level crossings can be attributed to a desire to kill the businesses on Colorado Blvd during construction, much as occurred/is occurring on the eastside so that they can redevelop. Their “more pedestrian friendly” argument is total B.S. to anyone who actually takes a look at the proposed plan (multiple street closures/closed sidewalks, no additional stations, less walk time for pedestrians, etc.). “Easier to redevelop with dead business” is what they’re really saying.

    With respect to currently proposed at-grade crossing at Sepulveda/Westwood/Overland, the city of Culver City and Figueroa (by USC) had street-level crossings when they were at the same point Phase 2 is at in its EIR. I’d expect and hope that a similar process occurs there.

    Unfortunately, MTA is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t grade separate the streets. If they don’t the project won’t be built legally. If they do, the project can’t be built legally. The biggest impediment to the completion of Expo Phase 2 is not West LA community groups, but the failure of MTA/Expo Authority to grade separate the major crossings in South LA. How sad that so many “transit advocates” have failed to make the connection. I guess when folk are so busy demonizing people advocating for additional transit funds that there’s little brainpower left.

    Re: Eastside extension

    I have just four questions:
    1) Has anyone claimed that the at-grade portions of the Eastside Extension (none of which have crossing gates) won’t result in the deaths and injury of people on the eastside?

    2) Has anyone claimed that the Eastside Extension was not intended to be an eastern Red Line extension?

    3) Has anyone claimed that the forces that killed the eastside Red Line extension are now aligning to lobby heavily for a much more expensive version of not just one, but TWO western subways extension of the Red Line?

    4) Has anyone claimed that those westside subway lines will be appreciably more safe and less disruptive than the eastside extension?

    I don’t see anyone claiming the above. Yet I see so many claiming that concerns about systemic discrimination and environmental racism are baseless. There’s a certain level of cognitive dissonance going on here.

    And I totally disagree with art with respect to Fix Expo being about “stopping the train.” That has never been the message of Fix Expo. It has always been clearly and concisely:

    You’re going to hit our people, screw up our traffic and cause other adverse community impacts, and you don’t have to if you put the appropriate money in the community which we deserve, and which you have shown you’re willing to do in other areas.

    We have marched, lobbied, pointed to the funds available and people now take offense to us getting legal after the political avenues have failed? That’s like getting mad at a battered woman for “breaking up her family” by leaving her abusive husband after years of trying to get the asshole to go to A.A. and marriage counseling to no avail.

    In the end what is going to get MTA is their process of disregarding concerns and communities of color, while simultaneously allotting resources in other more affluent and majority Caucasian communities. They know it. They also know we’re at a point which calling the chickens home will cause the maximum amount of financial consequences to the agency. We in South LA are willing to go to these lengths, because first, we’re right, and second, Metro can do something about it. Just because some aren’t willing to go to the mat, doesn’t mean every community should give up and start talking about the color of the trees.

  32. thats what happens when you a difference of opinions here you get attacked and labeled a racist. browne why don’t you debate your point instead of insulting people and calling them names or is that all you have.

  33. Damien,

    Thank you for the informative post. A previous poster stated that MTA makes decisions re at-grade vs. grade-separated based upon traffic/congestion. I’m quite familiar with the congestion on Wilshire, but less so with South LA and the Eastside. Does the previous poster’s claim have merit? If not, can you point me to any statistics that refute such a claim? (Apologies for my laziness, which hopefully isn’t of the intellectual sort).

    I hadn’t previously heard the argument re Santa Monica agreeing to at-grade rail for the purpose of driving out existing businesses. I do recall reading about merchants in other areas having similar concerns, but being pleasantly surprised at the increase in business and foot-traffic resulting from new accessibility to rail transit. But that’s because their stores survived decreased patronage during construction.

  34. Damien,

    Took a quick look at the fixexpo blog. Re the trench at USC, please see my exchange with Art above. Fixexpo makes it sound like the Expo line is grade separated all along USC, but it’s just at Flower/Fig/Expo, and is at-grade at one of the most heavily used intersections (at least during football season): Trousdale/Expo. Yes, please speak out against the abundance of stops at USC ($ allocated to the Expo Park stop could instead be allocated for, say, grade separation at Dorsey and Foshay). But it does not appear that grade-separation was done for USC’s sake. As I recall, USC wanted the entire length of the Expo line b/w Fig and Vermont to be underground, and also didn’t want the Expo Park stop. Well, it looks like USC is getting screwed too.

    In the fact sheet entitled “Accident and Fatality Rates of Rails vs Cars”, why use train miles instead of passenger miles? Are freeway and train passenger mile statistics unavailable? Freeway passengers must be fewer than train passengers, per mile driven/operated, but are they 18x fewer?

  35. No surprise there, Very Simple, that you agree with Just B. You always side with white people, no matter what. That’s what Very Simple stands for. The simple thing to do is just agree with the white man. It makes life easier. It’s….Very Simple.

  36. Roberto,

    I don’t have to debate my point, my post and my original post says I wanted it to say and quite a few of the people commenting have some good points.

    I simply come on here sometimes, because it’s entertaining to me personally.

    justB came after me first, so if people don’t like me getting personal don’t get personal with me first, because I don’t care. I’m not above name calling. I am not above cursing you out. I’m completely ok with coming on here just to call you a dumbass, so get personal I’ll get personal want to talk about the facts then read the post and the post linked to it.

    You respect me I respect you, you disrespect me, good because I love disrespecting people.

    I mean come on you came on here just to tell me “you shouldn’t get personal” as if I care what you think, I don’t.

    And I haven’t called ANY individual person a racist. No one on this board has the power to be racist. Racism is an institutional action that has to do with power, so don’t any of you naysayers of Browne flatter yourselves with the notion that I think you’re a racist. If you’re on this blog there is no possible way you could be racist, maybe prejudice (and as I said racism/prejudice as some people use it as meaning the same thing, those are human traits,) but not racist. You could support a racist institution, but you yourself racist, nope that takes a whole lot of money and a whole lot of power for an individual to even get near having the ability to be able to be racist.


  37. Had to drive through the “Danger Zone” at 3rd and Indiana after reading (a few weeks back, way before this post) about how many people where confused and getting cited by the Sheriffs Dept. Drove through today from Atlantic and followed the line all the way till it goes underground near El Mercadito, didn’t notice anything more dangerous than any of the Blue, Red, and Gold lines I drive by every week, sometimes daily. I’m not any smarter than anyone else living on the Eastside. People are infamous for being able to get used to anything. A little time is all that is needed. Time heals all wounds, too I hear.

    Change is hard for people is the simple answer.

    Reading this thread I am brought back to the opening of the original Blue line to Long Beach through, then called South Central, when it seemed everyone afraid of change was shouting and spewing that the gangs were going to hijack the trains and kill all the passengers wearing blue or red because the trains where passing through the “hood”.

    I can’t wait till the line opens so I can take a ride with my kids and get some Hot Wings and Barbecue at the spot just east of Indiana that someone posted about here on La Eastside a few weeks back.

    Has an Opening Rail Day date been released yet on the any “secret” website?

  38. “No surprise there, Very Simple, that you agree with Just B. You always side with white people, no matter what. That’s what Very Simple stands for. The simple thing to do is just agree with the white man. It makes life easier. It’s….Very Simple.”

    Oh please. Just because I don’t see life through MEChA-colored glasses doesn’t mean I agree with the “white man” or whatever the fuck that means. Get real.

  39. I don’t know anyone in MEChA, Very simple. Sorry. Keep swinging, compadre. I don’t even know where MECha stands on most issues. It’s obvious you do, however. After all, the white man told you that MEChA is the enemy, so therefore, YOU believe that MEChA is the enemy. You wouldn’t even have a problem with MEChA if the white man hadn’t have told you to hate them. Your invoking MEChA just goes further to prove my point. The white man would have invoked MEChA too, just as you had. But I’ll bet that makes you proud, right compadre?

  40. I am not your compadre. Who is the one going on and on about the “white man” here?

    Have fun playing victim to the “white man” all your life. I prefer more constructive activities.

  41. Damien.
    I appreciate your comments, but please dont treat me like Im stupid. If I have the logic and understanding to make comments and analysis about the esgl alignment that you agree with, why would that same logic somehow leave my body when forming an opinion on your actions?

    In every news article I read with your name on it, you are quoted as saying you will fight rail projects. Heck, you even said recently how you wouldve fought the esgl if you had the chance on the bus bench. What am I supposed to construe from that kind of rhetoric?

    I am not one of these buffooons calling you names or making up stuff about you to deflect the content of your position, my opinion is based in your actions and quotes. In fact, for the most part I agree with your position; about a year or two before you got back to LA from college I was making those same points (on the f4e website and transp scoping meeting).

    If I am incorrect about your position regarding rail then maybe a bit of introspection about your activities is due, rather than trying to indoctrinate me (being a 3rd gener east LA native whose family has been evicted 3 times for freeway construction, I found your comment to me about what environmental justice to be pretty patronizing and offensive; especially considering i speak to kids in east and south LA higschool on the subject monthly).

    Like I have said, if your intention is not to fight rail projects, but to make them designed in a more equitable manner than more power to you, but it does not look that way from my perspective. I am a brown kid who grew up on the RTD busses in Eastlos and is now an environmental planner, i agree with much of what you say. If I am a person who is educated on transp planning and the rail lines you are discussing, agrees with your agenda for the most part, and has laid out analysis of rail ines from which you have used in debates about transit equity and design, why would you merely dismiss my comments as “wrong” and try to teach me about env justice? Wouldnt you think that my comments, which you otherwise trust as being pretty logical, might be indicative of how you and your group come off? And not even to the average joe schmoe, but to someone who knows their shite on the subject.

    If you want to make friends and get people behind your cause, you need to explain your position better and why you are taking the course you have. To just dismiss others as wrong and try to continually indoctrinate them is a bad strategy, and has a lot to do with why so many people incorrectly call you names and hate on you so much. Take it as advice holmes, not an argument.

    Back to the subject:

    One simple fix I can see on the esgl that would mitigate some of the negative impacts of the train would be to restore parking on 3rd where there is still room to do so. That would be small portions between Indiana and Gage where a few spaces could be fit in areas with excess lane space, and would make a world of difference to the small street fronting stores that relied on street parking before the train was built. The second major space alon 3rd where there is gratuitous room is between eastern and the church near downey road. The streetside parking that the residents depended on and the church relied on for overflow service parking along 3rd is gone, yet there is an uneccessary lane that folds back into the other lane for several hundred yards, wher parking for the locals should be. This additional “cut-in” lane is totally unecessary, yet the parking needs along 3rd are pretty significant. So significant that when they were constructing the line the locals and church patrons would park on the construction easement that is now the extra lane I speak of. I thought it would be a no brainer to restore the parking with the extra space, but apparently not.

    Another issue is the landscaping, which needs more shade tree canopies, especially those gawdawefull palm trees at the lorena portal and along 3rd that used to be shaded by ficus trees.

  42. Good idea Art for improvements along 3rd – the weird lane change thing is annoying for drivers and seems to be unnecessary. Street parking would be a useful addition to that. As well as trees – why is it that anywhere in LA County when they do new landscaping it’s all palm trees? ELA streets are a bit shy of trees in general, especially the area around there.

    One thing that I noticed in comparing the final alignment map on the MTA site with the way the streets are laid out is that the alignment map shows a left turn being allowed from EB 3rd street onto Woods, when in reality it’s signed as no left turn.

    I wonder why it changed and when? I suppose they’re just trying to avoid having cars turn left in front of the train, but it’s a definite obstacle for people who live in the area (since otherwise they have to go down to Atlantic or make a right and then a u-turn).

  43. just a quick thought about shading, trees and maintenance. Yes ficus trees are great for shade, but they are thirst trees usually requiring a lot of water, plus there roots tend to tear up sidewalks. Palm trees tend to require less water and there roots dont tear up sidewalks. Not trying to advocate that we only use Palm trees for landscaping, but i think we should be conscious of our environment and use landscaping that is appropriate.

  44. Art and Damien – thank you for going to meetings and bringing real issues up. It’s a lot of work (even if you enjoy it) and I appreciate that you are both out there doing the work.

    Re: left turn – maybe people will have to go north on Arizona and cross the freeway to get to Woods.

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

    Art, interesting points, as usual.

  46. Harrassing Chicanos? Good god sometimes the jokes write themselves. Who made you the voice of all Chicanos, Hector?

    Regarding Gold Line station landscaping, I agree more shade trees would be a good idea, as long as they are not ficus which tear up sidewalks with their thick roots, or palms which look nice, but offer no shade

  47. @caxcan
    I don’t believe Bob Marley was contradicting himself. Chains on ones feet is a physical action as apposed to freeing ones mind is a spiritual thing.

    Caxcan it is all figurative. Bob never had chains on his feet to begin with and even if he did most of his audience didn\’t. As \”freeing one\’s mind\” is to be taken figuratively/spiritually (not the cracking your head open to let your brain fall out) so is the unleashing of \”chains from one\’s feet\”. Good god, we\’re doing remedial Marley here! The first step in getting those figurative chains off of your feet is to free one\’s mind from in this case \”the man\” mentality which is an extension of a slave mentality. I\’m not saying that \”the man\” doesn\’t exist what I\’m saying is that the focus is to usurp \”the man\” before you find yourself in a position where you have to refer to him as \”the man\” and not just as \”a man\” who happens to be……..
    Running around videotaping a train that is already built and about to go into revenue service or yelling the irresponsible phrase \”we\’re going to have to go nuclear\” is all part of \”the man\” syndrome.
    And sweetheart, I\’m nowhere near part of the status quo if I were why would I be on this blog wasting my time with a bunch of goons like you?(smile) In reality you\’re more of the status quo at least on this blog than I\’ll ever be seeing that the really impo\’tant folks on this blog(you know the ones with the emboldened names)tend to be agreeing with you. Oh well, I think that the prevailing sentiment on this blog regarding transportation equality in particular is backwards and self-destructive but that doesn\’t mean that we can\’t work together in some fashion since I\’m despeeratly assuming all of our end goals are the same.

    Oh, one more thing. Marriage Equality imo is a civil right that is being denied to a certain population of our society. Transportation and movement are a civil right as well. These two things are the equals that should be compared not the MODE of transit be it subway, LRT or jitney. Just as not being able to marry in a church or a drive thru Las Vegas chapel (a mode or ways of getting married)is not at the crux of the marriage equality fight.

    Art, I would like to talk to you more about getting much more involved in transit equality in particular in this town. And thank you so much for commenting on this board and bringing some sense, knowledge and balance to what was becoming messier than a 3 year olds bday party.

    Question for Art: Since I was not living here in LA at the time and can only reference old articles about Zev\’s killing of the Eastside subway what really happened? Where was Molina? Where was the constituency on the Eastside which in such a low turnout election could have easily defeated this prop?

  48. If I might chime in here…

    Very Simple, you don’t want me to dig up all of your comments taking swipes at Chicanos, from bashing MEChA to using terms like “gordita indio”, your hatred for raza has been on display here for months.

    Your summation that the “jokes write themselves” reveals your inner belief that the Chicano culture in and of itself is a “joke”, to you.

    Your sarcastic description of Hector wanting to be a voice for all Chicanos attempts to pass off the notion that most Chicanos actually think like you. Only in Beverly Hills, simple one. I’m a Chicana from the East Side and I can tell you that almost everyone, including myself, thinks like Hector. We’ve got a name for people who think like you, and I’m not even going to say it. All the best.

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