Living Car Free - Took the Metro to Overa Street.
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01-23-06, 10:10 AM
This is one of my on-going attempts/actions to go car-lite/car-free. I convinced my wife to take the new Orange Line from the west San Fernando Valley to the Metro station in North Hollywood and then take the Red Line to Union Station so that we can visit Olvera Street with our grandson, 2 1/2 years old. At first she was hesitant but she agreed to the relaxed, easy-going tempo of the trip as oppossed to crazyness of driving and finding parking. We caught a local Metro bus 2 blocks from the house that took us down to the Orange Line at the southern side of the valley and were on our way. We went from Union Station across the street to Olvera Street to do our "touristy" thing. Had lunch, took photos and over-all had a great time. Total cost: $6.00 ( two adult day passes, our grandson rode for free) for transit, not including lunch & shopping. Parking down there would've cost at least $6.00 if not more; most of the city parking lots I saw were labeled as Full. Best of all, I didn't have to drive!! My wife told me later at home that the start/stop motion of the Red Line train was starting to make her naseatious and that she may not do that again; might have just been the seasoning of lunch. Now, if the job comes thru that I'm hoping for, I'll be able to ride the Metrolink to and from work and finally get rid of the car.
01-23-06, 03:02 PM
So how is the Orange Line? I've considered using that for cross-valley travel. I'm in Burbank and use the somewhat-new dedicated bike path that goes all across Burbank along Chandler to Cahuenga (where it becomes a regular road again). Then it's just a couple blocks to the North Hollywood Metro station on Lankershim.
IMHO the Red Line is the ONLY way to go when you're headed from the valley to Hollywood or downtown. Parking in Hollywood on a Friday near Hollywood/Vine can be 20-30 bucks!!!! The Metro drops you off right there for one buck and change! Add to that, the metro ride is a much more social atmosphere with friends since you can all just sit around and talk. And then, of course, there's the speed. 15-20 minutes from North Hollywood through the Cahuenga pass into Hollywood. When I use to try and drive that on a Weekend night it could take over an hour, especially if anything was going on at the Hollywood Bowl.
So yeah, thank god for the Red Line. I hope your wife comes around. It can help, sometimes, to make sure you're facing the direction of travel rather than with your back to it.
01-23-06, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the reply. The Orange Line is quite nice. The bus is more like a short train on rubber tires; smooth and relatively quiet. The only part that concerns me is the motor morons who don't pay attention to the stop lights and signs at road crossings, most of the accidents to date have been motorist's errors. Other than that concern, it's great. A short walk across the street to the Red Line and you're ready to go almost anywhere in LA. I also rode the bike lane along the Orange Line route during the summer. The bike lane on surface streets in No. Hollywood was unexpected but not a major problem but the wait at stop lights at major intersections in the west valley was kind of a pain. Kinda a fun ride going under the 405 from the Balboa park region. When I have some time I'm planning on going from the west valley via Orange/Red lines and take the Gold line to Sierra Madre; it's current terminus. Should be fun.
01-28-06, 06:11 PM
My wife told me later at home that the start/stop motion of the Red Line train was starting to make her naseatious and that she may not do that again; might have just been the seasoning of lunch.
Make sure she sits facing forwad next time - perhaps near the door for fresh air and with a view to look outside (for those portions that are above ground). Women are more susceptible to motion sickness.
02-05-06, 02:15 PM
I am glad that fellow Los Angeles Residents are rediscovering mass transit (plus bicycling). The Red Line can be disorientating especially for someone who is probably used to riding with scenery rushing by (it is dark and somewhat dimly lighted). For me I tend to look straight ahead at the direction that the train is traveling to prevent depression.
The only problems I had is the amount of people discovering mass transit at the same time, bring additional stress to an otherwise formally relativity stress free experience. The bikes and baby strollers that litter the aisles is increasing like mad-along with rudeness and other problems. As for me, I limit my times on mass transit and still depend on my bikes almost as I did 30 years ago when mass transit was for mostly poor people and students-a necessary evil. I would not be quick to give up my car completely as we had 2 transit strikes in 5 1/2 years (2000 and 2003). Each lasting longer than the last one.
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