All those residential and commercial developments that planners and politicians like to promote near transit lines make getting around harder, since most occupants choose to drive and the businesses attract rather than discourage car trips. From Saturday's L.A. Times, which two spent months reporting on the habits of residents at such developments in South Pasadena, North Hollywood, Pasadena and Hollywood.
The reporting showed that only a small fraction of residents shunned their cars during morning rush hour. Most people said that even though they lived close to transit stations, the trains weren't convenient enough, taking too long to arrive at destinations and lacking stops near their workplaces. Many complained that they didn't feel comfortable riding the MTA's crowded, often slow-moving buses from transit terminals to their jobs.
Moreover, the attraction of shops and cafes that are often built into developments at transit stations can actually draw more cars to neighborhoods, putting an additional traffic burden on areas that had been promised relief....
The problem — reluctantly recognized by some of transit-based development's most influential boosters — is that public transportation in Southern California is simply not convenient enough: Either it takes too long to get places or, more important, doesn't take people where they want to go.
The region's transit system is limited, experts say, because it was built on two assumptions that have since proved untrue: that most traffic was generated by commuting trips and that most people worked downtown.
So let me understand — the mixed-use projects being encouraged to go up all over the city are part of the problem not the solution? Terrific. USC planning professor Peter Gordon's blog reaction: Told ya so.