Los Angeles

Sources for Our "Southern California Stuck in Drive" Story

Joel Kotkin and I wrote in the Orange County Register that transit work trip market shares in the Los Angeles area had changed little, from 5.9 percent in 1980 to 5.8 percent in 2013. In a response, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMTA) noted that we did not cite sources. Fair enough. Our source was the 1980 US Census and the 2013 American Community Survey, a product of the United States Census Bureau.  read more »

Big things that were never built in Los Angeles

One of my lesser historical obsessions has been the grandiose stuff that's been proposed for the Los Angeles area and never built. Things like the amusement park that Walt Disney proposed for Burbank before he put Anaheim on the map with Disneyland, or the assorted hotels, parks, monorails and highways that were given ink in the newspapers but either fell through or were never that real to begin with.  read more »

USC Extorted by the City of Los Angeles

With California State Redevelopment Agency money gone, the city of Los Angeles ought to welcome new large-scale private development, and the economic stimulus and job creation it brings, with open arms. City Hall, faced with an anemic municipal budget, could also use the increased tax revenue. One such project that would help abate the city’s budget woes and create new jobs for the city is the University of Southern California’s proposed $1.1 billion “The Village at USC” project.  read more »

The House Home Savings Built

After doing his duty for the Navy in Washington D.C. during World War II, my father returned to Los Angeles, and my parents moved into the Talmadge Apartments between Western and Vermont. They’d been married for 17 years without having any children. So my father informally adopted his two nephews.  read more »

The Incredible Shrinking Paper

A crazy owner and inept management are destroying a critically important  Southern California institution.  And I’m not talking about the Dodgers.   read more »

Subjects:

Los Angeles Metro Bus System Compares Favorably With its Peer Group

As the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) prepared for its most recent round of major bus operations reductions, Metro CEO Art Leahy has been quoted:

"(T)oo many bus lines with excessive service has led to regular budget deficits1."  read more »

Learning the right lessons from LA’s “Carmageddon”

Carmageddon has come and gone, and the world didn’t end. The catalyst for the predicted disaster was the closure of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles for construction for the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July. Freeway closures aren’t all that unusual, but the 405 is not a regular freeway. It is both the busiest, and most congested road in America. The 405 carries an estimated half million vehicles per weekday. Had traffic been even close to normal volumes—even weekend volumes—the event would have earned the nickname. However, less people drove. Way less people.  read more »

Blight Envy - How Development Works in LA

I never thought I’d say this, but I think I want to live in a blighted neighborhood. Well, actually, a community redevelopment area (CRA). They used to be one and the same, but no longer. Apparently you have to live or do business in a redevelopment area to get any “love” in Los Angeles … love being when the government takes your tax dollars and gives them to someone else no more needy.

Let me explain.  read more »

Hollywood Unions

If you work in L.A. in film, tv, radio, music, news, live or “new” media, there’s a very good chance you’re in a union.

That’s true if you’re an actor, camera operator, broadcaster, hair stylist, electrician, costume designer, truck driver, writer, production manager, art director or stunt man or woman.

It’s one of last industries in America with what’s called “union density,” in which collective bargaining determines wage scale, residuals, medical and pension coverage; and sets work rules and jurisdiction (who does what).  read more »

Bus Versus Train: A Dying Debate

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s cutbacks on its bus line, eliminating about 12% bus service, illuminate the problems of mass transit in LA, specifically the relative inefficiency of trains in the city. This 12% is a further reduction after the 4% cutbacks six months ago, sparking anger from the Bus Riders Union.  read more »