For a couple of weeks the Times has been promoting one of its staff blogs more prominently than the others — with a daily box on the California section cover for "Steve Lopez's Bottleneck Blog." Readers are invited to "join the dialogue with Lopez." It's a good roundup of local traffic and parking items, but it seemed funny to me — given the promos — that there was no actual dialogue with the California section columnist. The blog posts themselves are unsigned and sometimes refer to Lopez in the third person. Turns out that while Lopez has written many entries, the Times' new Innovation Editor, Russ Stanton, tells me that some posts have sprung from the keyboard of City Editor Shelby Grad. The blog, says Stanton, is run off the city desk.
"Your inquiry couldn't be more timely," Stanton emails. "We're changing the promo that runs on B1 to reflect the change." They will also make the blog more transparent by saying who writes it.
Easy one: Good roundup, yes, and going to get better I suspect — but not the most informed about Los Angeles streets. The top item on Bottleneck right now links to a YouTube video showing an aerial view of traffic flowing through the Brentwood intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente. The Times poster (whoever it is) couldn't place the only Wilshire intersection with a lush green lawn on one corner and three left-turn lanes feeding onto the boulevard. It's one of a kind — but it is 12 miles from downtown.