Press Play: Making LA »

Making LA: Traffic

Posted June 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the nation, but the solution may be more complicated than building more rail lines. In fact, we might have to wait for driverless cars.
Everyone has been stuck in brutal freeway traffic and Angelenos know the familiar feeling of not crossing the city for fear of never getting there. And it’s getting worse. Traffic dipped during the recession, but …

economy, Issues, News »

Judges take aim at ‘pay first, fight later’ traffic tickets

Posted June 8, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

If you want to fight your traffic ticket but you can’t afford to pay the fine upfront, you’re suddenly in luck.
Faced with mounting complaints, the state’s rule-setting Judicial Council voted unanimously today to require counties to change their policies so people can fight tickets without paying them first. The only applies to drivers who show up for their first scheduled court appearance. It goes …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

On Route 66, a gas station is history worth saving

Posted February 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Vicente Villamón/CC/ Flickr

In 1964, my parents packed up our old Ford and took my brother and me on a cross-country trip from San Diego to Washington, D.C. and back. Part of our trip was along the famed Route 66. Even though I was only four years old, I still have vivid memories of that trip and watching the ever-changing countryside.
Route 66, dubbed the “Mother Road” by …

Commentary, Education, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Undocumented, and riding shotgun

Posted January 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/CC/Jared eberhardt

Up until my early 20s, I rode shotgun. With my high school and college sweetheart, I flipped through the soft sleeves of our shared CD binder in search of the right music. I double-checked our drive-through orders for extra ketchup. I pointed out the sights only I caught in time.
In 1991, my family left the Philippines for California, where my aunt had been living …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Why shutting down the freeway was the perfect way to protest Ferguson

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Photo by Craig Dietrich 
#HANDSUP! Justice for Ezell Ford and Solidarity With Ferguson

After grand juries in New York and Missouri failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, protestors across the nation vented their outrage by shutting down roads. In our own freeway metropolis, marchers temporarily shut down the 110 and 101 freeways, blocking two of Los Angeles’ central arteries.
Why freeways? Why not buses, streetcars, parks, lunch counters, or other ordinary spaces that have …

News »

Why is it so hard to stop texting and driving?

Posted October 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/ cc/ viviandnguyen_

We all do it, or at least have done it. We’re driving down the road, hear a ‘ping’ and instantly reach down to pull out our phone to see who in the world sent us a text message. But can we stop?
Emerging science behind texting and driving is showing us that reactions like this aren’t just an issue of lack of self-control, but a distraction …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Issues, LA Noir, News, Summer, The Mixer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Lane-splitting motorcyclists

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t have to tell you how much time we spend in our cars here in Southern California. You’re probably reading this in your car right now.
I hope not.
Because it’s hard (and illegal) enough to take your eyes off the road to avoid crunching the guy in front of you. You also have to look left or right to make sure you don’t cause …

Arts & Culture, Education, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

Wildfires: The (long) season of living dangerously

Posted May 16, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]

A badly burned body has been found in a transient camp in Carlsbad – the first apparent death connected to a series of wildfires ranging in San Diego County. At least five fires continue to burn, with homes threatened and thousands of residents under mandatory evacuation orders. Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of trying to spark brush fires in Escondido and investigators …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, Politics, Warren Olney, Water and the Drought »

Residents keep wary on hillsides as rain pours down

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

Concerns about mud and rock slides are increasing as a second, more powerful storm drops heavy rain on Southern California. Residents of more than 1,000 homes in the foothill communities of Glendora and Azusa have been ordered to evacuate, and the CHP has shit down a 10-mile stretch of PCH north of Malibu. Forecasters say the storm that blew in last night could drop …

Environment, Issues »

Study says Expo Line is getting people out of cars

Posted December 16, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

If you build it, they will come. That’s the upshot of a new USC study that looks at the impacts of the new Metro Expo Line on commuter behavior. The study finds that since the light rail line connecting downtown L.A. and Culver City opened, people living within half-mile of a station tripled their Metro ridership and reduced their carbon emissions. Families in the …

Arts & Culture, News »

Tech and cars at the LA autoshow

Posted November 20, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

Saul Gonzalez headed to the L.A. autoshow, where he ran into Scott Frank and Keith Leung of Airbiquity, a company which makes data platforms connecting cars to the Cloud. Listen below, as they show off a system in a Nissan Rogue. Is it really safe to drive and tweet?

Uncategorized »

Have the 110 Freeway toll lanes made driving any better?

Posted April 11, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
Recent tolls on the 110 are slowing things down for some

Los Angeles launched an experiment of sorts when it turned carpool lanes into toll lanes on the 110 freeway late last year. The idea, of course, was to get everyone moving more quickly (and to make some money to improve the Harbor Freeway corridor). The data is in and it’s not exactly what drivers and planners wanted to see. Drivers in the toll lanes …

News »

Tesla: ‘About as American-made as it gets’

Posted November 15, 2012 by | 14 Comments | ]
Tesla, an EV for those who can afford it.

This year’s Motor Trend Car of the Year Award goes for the first time to a Silicon Valley made car without an internal combustion engine. The choice was unanimous – Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S 4-door sedan. Warren Olney talks to Dan Neil, Auto Critic for the Wall Street Journal about the car. “I think the sheer novelty of the experience of the car behind the …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Interviews »

Congestion pricing comes to Los Angeles

Posted November 9, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]
photo by sanspoof via Flickr/CC

Starting this weekend, solo drivers will be able to bypass traffic on a stretch of the Harbor (110) Freeway by paying to use 11 miles of carpool lanes.
Existing “HOV” lanes will be renamed as “HOT” – high-occupancy toll lanes – allowing single drivers to use the carpool lane for a fee, depending on the traffic.
The so-called High Occupancy Toll lanes will be L.A. County’s …

California Elections, Politics »

California Propositions: Prop. 33

Posted October 26, 2012 by | 17 Comments | ]
Muscle Cars by  dicktay2000 (Flickr)

If Proposition 33 sounds familiar, it should. The measure is almost identical to a statewide proposition that was narrowly defeated two years ago. And just as in 2010, the Yes campaign is funded almost entirely by George Joseph, the founder and chairman of Mercury Insurance.
Joseph wants to give California drivers the right to retain “loyalty discounts” when they renew their auto insurance, even if …

News »

Can technology help your commute?

Posted October 10, 2012 by | 12 Comments | ]

Traffic data provider Inrix recently looked at a wide range of traffic information and crunched the numbers to come up with the top 10 worst traffic cities, based on the time drivers spend idling in their cars.  Believe it or not, Honolulu tops the list, but LA is number two.  Even with Kajon’s help, Angelenos spend an average of 56 hours every year idling …

Arts & Culture, Bad Driving, Interviews, Politics »

Are you ready for the driverless car?

Posted September 26, 2012 by | 22 Comments | ]
Google driverless car operating on a testing path.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation yesterday that will allow driverless cars onto California roads for testing.  The technology behind driverless cars is pretty much here, so why is it taking so long for the drivers to accept the idea? Will we have to give up autonomy and our love affair with the car?  Warren talked to the Wall Street Journal’s  Dan Neil about when we’ll actually …

Bad Driving, News »

Time to get serious about Carmageddon 2

Posted September 24, 2012 by | 8 Comments | ]
Photo by Clotee Pridgen Allochuk via Flickr.

L.A. knows a thing or two about making sequels. And this weekend one big one is coming to our freeways, Carmageddon 2. From 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning to Monday at 5:00 a.m. a ten-mile stretch of the 405 between the U.S. 101 and I-10 will be closed. That’s being done so workers can demolish one side of the Mulholland Bridge, which spans the 405.
Last …

Interviews, News »

Is LA the next great mass-transit city?

Posted September 19, 2012 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo by LA Wad/CC via Flickr

You may have heard, but the 405 freeway will be shutting down for a whole weekend later this month. Carmageddon II, as its being dubbed, will likely cause some horrific traffic jams.
But city and county leaders are hoping economic incentives will get people out of the Westside. Transportation officials are hoping drivers give up their cars and use their modes of transit for the …

News »

New late night service for Metro trains

Posted July 27, 2012 by | 7 Comments | ]
Metro Red Line train entering Union Station.

Good news for night owls seeking after-midnight public transportation.
This weekend Metro starts late night service on its light rail and subway systems. Depending on the line, the last trains will depart their stations between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The move is supposed to give more transportation options to people in the wee hours. Previously, the rail lines stopped operating …

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