Friday, June 18, 2010

Park and Ride: Improving the Little Things

Parked vehicles near the Blue Line Wardlow station
Source: Google Maps street view

For me being back in suburbia means long distance commuting. Given my love for transit, I wasn't about to do that all by car, but given the time and distance involved I decided to compromise and drive to the train station. It saves me at least 30 minutes each way compared to the bus, which is testament mostly to how infrequent the service is where I live. The distance to the station (over 5 miles) would also be hard for me to bike, and there's no route that I would call good besides.

My focus here is where cars park at the Blue Line's Wardlow Station. The mostly free parking lot usually fills up quickly and cars park along a stretch of Pacific Pl., just to the north, where there are no sidewalks, just raised curbs and dirt.

I'm not trying to come off as a snob, but sidewalks are nice. They make it easier for the disabled to walk. The make it easier on people who have to wear leather shoes or heels to work. They're just a good idea. Without them, people are tempted to walk in the street.

It might seem like a little thing, but the quality of the transit riding experience is a sum of little things. They add up to an overall impression. In this case, the City of Long Beach and Metro should work together to make that impression better.

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