Tag Archives: Los Angeles

(1265) Los Angeles

The general look and feel of Los Angeles, California is readily understood by anyone who has spent any time near North America’s sprawl lands.  The sheer size of Los Angeles, and the inequality and environmental racism it contains — however familiar it’s basic form — is enough to give pause to anyone, though.
Certainly there’s visual evidence nearly everywhere of what is said to be a homeless population now numbering fifty thousand.  Beat up recreational vehicles are homes to many Angelenos.  You come across them constantly.   People camp everywhere from the lawns at city hall to highway medians.
By the late 1970s it seems that a sense of dread had become so attached to this brutally car-dependent collection of over eighty municipal entities that a truly massive investment in rail-based public transit was kicked off.  While plagued with construction challenges, including major cost overruns, this program has been bearing fruit for a while now.  There are also voices fighting for cycling and walking and the bus network.  The latter is especially important to the working people of Los Angeles.
Please take a look at this Los Angelist video about the Metro Red Line.  Much of the rationale found in it is applicable to Canadian cities, to sprawl lands found anywhere.  The sheer enormity of Los Angeles helps bring these issues into focus perhaps in a way much more raw than they might be encountered where you live but there is much to be learned.

(1135) Cycling along the poverty line

This is a moving feature on the role a bicycle can play for lower income folks living in the sprawl.  Los Angeles is the place but we know for a fact lives like this are found in Canadian communities as well.
How low income cyclists go unnoticed. There really is a world where people pedal to work, use bikes for everyday transportation and by riding, form close communities of friends and neighbors – and it exists right in your town
image: bedrocan via Flickr/CC

(832) Hampcompton, USA

guaTwo US ‘burbs.  A continent between them.  Both household names.

Straight outta suburbia.  A rap album made Compton an icon of urban decay, but the struggles of that California town are common to inner-ring suburbs

The workers catering to the Hamptons’ super-rich: ‘this is not paradise for me’.  Among the women paying $1,000 for a massage and the men lounging in $100m homes in the billionaires’ playground of the Hamptons is a largely unseen, mostly Latino, workforce toiling all summer in order to survive the winter
video 5:10

image: screen grab theguardian.com

(819) LA low income car sharing pilot program

if a jurisdiction hasn’t got tens of millions for transit infrastructure it could still come up with funding for something like this: a car-sharing service accessible to lower income working people.  Why not mix such a thing into a broad mobility strategy, even as an interim step?

LA’s bold plan to bring car-share to the poor. A new electric vehicle pilot would provide access and savings to those who need it most

See also: (487) Ridin’ poor no more

image: Justin Pickard via Flickr/CC

(653) Bikes are so cool

redbikeTwo cool items from the world of cycling.  One, at the micro level, describes a young man’s efforts to cope with his world with his bike as an ally.  The second piece is a macro level view of what cycling has added to the economy of an entire continent at a fairly shaky time in its history.

Happier, healthier, and biking to school momentummag.com

Europe’s cycling economy has created 650,000 jobs. Cycling industry employs more people than mining and quarrying with potential for a million jobs by 2020, says new study theguardian.com

image: By Henry… via Flickr

(608) …and up through the ground came a bubblin’ crude, oil that is.

OIL DISTRICT of LOS ANGELESPumps and derricks in retail parking lots and next to residential cul-de-sacs or automotive junkyards. There is a nicely literal quality to this contemporary colour photo essay about Los Angeles and its oil industry on Atlantic Cities.  The exemplar of sprawl and car-dependant living has been producing crude for a hundred years.

The urban oil fields of Los Angeles

image: Los Angeles oil rigs in 1895: British LIbrary via Wikimedia Commons