what’s that word? MONORAIL!

Ray Bradbury has suggested that Los Angeles build monorails.

And he has suggested it without a single trace of irony.

Doesn’t he realize that the whole reason L.A. has to build a subway is because the wealthy denizens of the Westside do not want an aboveground rail system in their backyards? So, although Los Angeles never hesitates to slap a freeway in a poor residential area (*cough* Boyle Heights *cough* Echo Park), apparently, they’re going to respect Beverly Hills and Mid-City and not unroll an above ground system down Wilshire.

Which kind of makes me want to slap someone upside the head and remind them: WILSHIRE AND OLYMPIC WERE ORIGINALLY RED CAR LINES! They were widened to accomodate cars in the 40s and 50s, in addition TO a mass transit line! So was Venice Boulevard! Any ONE of those streets could take an aboveground monorail line like the one that runs down 4th in Seattle.

Sigh.

When you devote as much time and energy as I do to studying why L.A. is so fucked up, it’s a little frustrating to be reminded that there’s ways to make it better – that aren’t being acted on. I think Ray Bradbury lives in a slightly unrealistic world, and that he’s seeing 2006 through the eyes of his own stories. I think his visions are better suited to his work than to reality. But his visions had a basis in reality, in social science fiction, at a time when Los Angeles was making these decisions, that would ultimately prove to be, well, wrong.

So. What’s that word? MONORAIL! It wasn’t quite the right solution for Seattle (who doggedly pushed forward with outdated traffic patterns), but Bradbury’s article (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-bradbury5feb05,0,6921963.story?coll=la-home-sunday-opinion) suggests that it could be a better one for Los Angeles.

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