Interesting lecture last night entitled "How We Move" at Platform LA, part of the Radical Optimism series, held through Ilan Dei Studio. There were a broad spectrum of stand points about how to solve the greater LA area's traffic crisis but with a title like "Radical Optimism" I had hoped for more surprising solutions or a more positive conversation. I could equally have been titled "Vent About Traffic And All The Ways We're Trying To Overcome It That Aren't Working", or "Wait Until We Have Autonomous Vehicles And That Will Solve A Huge Number (But Not All) Of Our Traffic Problems" but those are somehow less catchy.
That being said, it was interesting to learn about The Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica (Who knew wifi and USB charging stations were standard on buses now?) and what was being done to facilitate the public's transportation "needs" there. I'd just like to make the distinction that the night's conversation was really focused on alleviating traffic and not on people that had a hard time affording actual point A to point B transportation.
It was a very heated topic as everyone had strong views and a wide range of reasons for using single occupancy vehicles but somethings began to become clear: The issue needed to be broken down into smaller segments and there were going to be more interesting challenges in the near future- is it a traffic problem? public health problem? livability or economic issue? and how will autonomous vehicles affect traffic and ownership? -It seems like they all need to be looked at to help provide answers.
The challenge for public transportation to succeed became very simple towards the end of the conversation though. How do you make it better than driving your own car?
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