To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, August 29, 2014

Long Beach, Los Angeles port truckers allege employers violated L.A. mayor’s truce


By Karen Robes Meeks, August 29, 2014

Father William Connor delivers a prayer and blessing on the truck drivers involved in a labor battle against the companies. LA/LB port truck drivers say  massive violations have occurred during a cooling off period made in a deal with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who struck a truce with truckers and employers after four days of strikes at port terminals. Truckers argue that companies Total Transportations Services Inc. (TTSI), Pacific 9 Transportation, and Green Fleet Systems have continued and in some cases, escalated retaliatory activity. Compton August 29, 2014. (Photo by Brittany Murray / Daily Breeze)

 The Rev. William Connor delivers a prayer and blessing on the truck drivers involved in a labor battle against the companies. LA/LB port truck drivers say massive violations have occurred during a cooling off period made in a deal with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who struck a truce with truckers and employers after four days of strikes at port terminals. Truckers argue that companies Total Transportations Services Inc. (TTSI), Pacific 9 Transportation, and Green Fleet Systems have continued and in some cases, escalated retaliatory activity. Compton August 29, 2014.

COMPTON >> Truck drivers who carry goods in and out of the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports said Friday that three harbor area trucking companies violated a truce brokered by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

State and federal labor regulators also ruled Friday against two of the companies in separate cases.

At a press conference across the street from Total Transportations Services Inc., truck drivers and their supporters contended that Total Transportation, Pacific 9 Transportation and Green Fleet Systems have continued, and in some cases escalated, retaliation despite a July 12 deal with Garcetti, who asked truckers and employers to cool it after five days of strikes at port terminals.

“We put down our picket lines because we trusted Mayor Garcetti when he said that he would investigate the violations that have been going on at our companies,” said Santiago Aguilar, a Pacific 9 driver. “Since I went back to work, Pac 9 has continued to break the law by firing several of my coworkers. The mayor has to do something to stop this because if this continues we’re going back on strike.”

Representatives for the trucking firms declined to comment Friday.

Under the deal, the firms agreed to accept all drivers back to work without retaliation and without being forced to sign away all future rights in new truck leases
In turn, drivers would stop picketing and return to work on their regular shifts so that the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners can have time to look into what drivers say are worker safety issues and unfair labor practices. The commission is expected to report back to Garcetti with its findings.

But truckers said employers reneged on their promise to the mayor, demanding that drivers must sign new leases on the condition that they will drop their wage claims against the company.

“Otherwise, at the end of the month, we are out,” said Hugo Mendez, a driver for Total Transportation.

Carson Councilman Mike Gipson called the companies’ treatment of drivers reprehensible.

“It’s modern-day slavery. ... It should stop now,” he said. “We’re asking this company to stand by what you agreed on with the mayor. No retaliation. Let the workers go back to work.”

After the press conference, a group of drivers and their supporters marched to Total Transportation’s front doors to hand over a petition signed by drivers asking that the company recognize Teamsters Local 848 in bargaining.

Garcetti said in a statement Friday that he called for a cooling-off period so that both sides can “resume normal operations and engage in productive dialogue, not engage in actions against each other.”

“These allegations are very serious and I want to be clear — putting our port operations at risk is unacceptable,” Garcetti said. “Cool off and focus on an agreement.”

Friday’s actions came on the same day the Long Beach office of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ordered Total Transportation to give back pay to 14 truck drivers. The state labor department determined that the drivers were employees and not independent contractors and that the drivers were entitled to get back money for fuel and other business costs deducted by the company.

Also, Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board announced Friday that it is also revoking a March settlement agreement with Pacific 9 and is filing a complaint after the company told drivers that the agreement was not applicable to them. The settlement had been made with the Carson-based company after allegations surfaced that drivers were threatened and interrogated over union organization.

For five days in July, truck drivers and their supporters picketed the three harbor area trucking companies and port terminals in Long Beach and Los Angeles to protest what they say is the trucking firms’ misclassification of drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. They argue that the misclassification allows companies to skirt labor laws and deduct fuel, maintenance and other fees from their paychecks.

The trucking companies have denied any mistreatment or unfairness and countered that the actions were the Teamsters’ attempt to unionize drivers.

What Every Tourist Needs to Know Before Driving in Europe


By Richard Guy Martin, August 19, 2014


 You’ve rented a car in Europe, you’re headed out on the open road—life looks good. But before you rev up that massively sexy convertible and blast down to the Cote d’Azur, might I have a word? Conservatively speaking, I do about 30,000 miles across Europe by car per year and there are a few things you should know before taking the wheel.

They’re Tracking Your Every Move. Italy is probably the most fun country to drive through, period. With its winding roads through rolling hills, it’s no wonder Italians make famously good Formula 1 drivers. Tiring of this racing style on the public roads, however, the Italian government has installed the ominously named “Tutor System” of speed monitoring, even on two-lane country roads. First, you’ll see velocit√† controllata warning signs; then come the eye-level radar “kiosks” that also read and record your license plate. If your plate’s registered as arriving “too soon” by successive radar stations, the software marks you as too fast. The longer you keep this up, the heftier the fine gets. The hurt can run into the thousands.

The workaround: Pull over for a tasty espresso between radar kiosks. Or, you know, just obey the speed limit.
Tailgating Is 
A Sport. Tailgating at high velocity is a beloved sport across Europe, but nowhere does it attain such razor sharp aggressiveness than in Germany where stretches of the Autobahn still have no speed limits. My best guess about the gleaming black Mercedes E-class that squealed its tires, braking to within six feet of my rear bumper outside Munich last week, was that it was going 150 mph. I was doing a perfectly legit 105 mph myself, passing a group of lumbering 16-wheelers. He could have killed us all.

The workaround:. Your rear view mirror is your best friend. When one of these madmen runs up blinking his brights at 120 mph, calmly roll your window down, stick your arm out, palm down, and pat the air softly until you can safely move right. It’s the international "slow down, you bastard" hand signal.

Sundays Are Your Best Days. Depending on the type of truck, European truckers are forced to travel under, or at, the equivalent of 60 mph. This means heavy clogging of the right lane, where the trucks run, and thus of the left lane, where you run. On the weekends, however, especially on Sundays, the trucker population tends to park and live at the gas stations. Let's call it The 90/10 Rule—90 percent of the truckers are off the road in Central and Western Europe, 10 percent are on the road (though the percentages may be slightly different in Eastern Europe). In general, though, on the "day of rest" you will have fewer trucks—and kamikaze tailgaters in the left lane—to tangle with.
The workaround: If you have the time to do it, save your long hops for Sundays.

Read The Fine Print When Parking In Town. You are beloved by your host country in many ways, but as a foreigner you are a third-class citizen, automotive-ly speaking. Tourists could have their car towed for the slightest parking infraction because arcane rules apply (and are usually only displayed in the local language). Traffic authorities in Berlin, for example, have only recently begun to presume English as a "parking language" worthy of printing on their almost universal ticket machines. If you ignore the paid hours in the tourist-heavy neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, you risk a fine of $10–$40, depending on the length of the offense. It gets worse if you park in a “fire access entrance,” which translates as Feuerwehrzufahrt, meaning an entrance to a playground or an industrial area (and they’re not always clearly marked). Let these fines add up and you may just get booted off the road entirely in that country.

The workaround: Learn some French, German, and/or Italian parking-sign legalese.

Skip That Glass of Wine. In Berlin, a driver is allowed the blood-alcohol-content equivalent of a glass of wine with dinner—which is interesting because in the far heavier drinking Prague, just four hours south, you're allowed zero alcohol in the blood and Breathalyzer ambushes are common. Remember that you’re a third-class citizen so as a “drunk” foreigner in a car, let’s just say this can involve handcuffs and long hours in rooms with very bright lights.

The workaround: Hard as this is to follow under convivial circumstances, leave the car behind if you plan to drink.

EZ Pass = Vignette. In France and Italy, highway tolls are collected based on distance traveled, much like in Pennsylvania or New York. Germany has no tolls for cars. Austria and the Czech Republic, however, work on flat-rate, time-based vignettes, or stickers that you must actually pull over and buy at the border. You can get a sticker for one week, 10 days, one month, or one year. There are some digital vignette-reader gateways over the autobahns, but you might be forgiven for thinking that they really don’t care. A small example, however: If you are caught on an Austrian autobahn without a vignette, it will run you €400–€4,000, or, roughly speaking, $530–$5,300. If you’re a foreigner, of course, they’ll just take your car until you figure out where that five grand is coming from.

The workaround: Pull over and get the vignettes (about $10), available at most roadside gas stations.

How to Navigate Los Angeles Without a Car


By Sara Lieberman, August 28, 2014

New York has the apple. Wisconsin has its cheese. So what best represents Los Angeles? Hint: It's got four wheels and it's forever in traffic on the 405. Yep, you guessed it—it's an automobile. No matter where you are, the talk in California always turns to driving:

"Hey, good to see you!"

"You too. But man, the 101 was insane."

"You took the 101? Why didn ' t you take surface streets?"

"Because I knew that Wilshire is all dug up because of the Metro construction, so I figured I ' d try the 101 to the 10. Bad move."

This can go on for ages.

To be fair, Los Angeles is a large, sprawling city, and to some, navigating it without your own car seems preposterous. But on a recent West Coast sojourn, during which I stayed in Santa Monica, I was determined to prove them wrong. "What's the big deal?" I said. "I'll take the bus. Or ride a bike. Or get a ride." My sister, who now owns a Volkswagen Tiguan after a lifetime in New York, looked at me as if I'd suggested lining up for a Cronut at 10 a.m.

While it wasn't an easy challenge, I did it—and, as an added bonus, it did allow me to have that extra cocktail after dinner at The Tasting Kitchen. Here are a handful of ways that you can get around Los Angeles sans vehicle, along with some tips from L.A. locals

The city of Santa Monica is the most two-wheel friendly area in Los Angeles—those who live elsewhere typically don't ride around the city. But if you're in this part of town, you can rent a two-wheeler for about $40 per day from spots like Helen's Cycles, which has six locations throughout L.A. You can zip from a casual lunch at The Courtyard Kitchen on Montana Street to a coffee meeting at Dogtown on Main, followed by a yoga session over on Abbott Kinney in no time.

What the locals say: "Everyone on the west side has a bike; it's the preferred method of transportation on the weekend," says Dave Kuba, a VP of Development for a production company who lives in Marina Del Rey. "But you can only go so far—I could bike 15 miles, but then I'd be sweaty, so that's exercise and not a mode of transport."


Asking your friend who lives in West Hollywood to pick you up in Santa Monica for dinner in Silver Lake is like asking a your friend who just gave birth to respond to a text—it's not gonna happen. But ask a stranger—for a fee—and you've got yourself a deal. That's the idea behind Lyft, the ride-sharing program that began in San Francisco and has since expanded into cities all across the United States. Download the app, type in your destination, and a number of locals driving in that direction will offer you a ride. You can't miss your ride; cars that participate in the service are outfitted with large, pink, furry mustaches on the hood.

What the locals say: "Lyft is totally cool," says Mike Elling, a television editor who lives in Brookside. "It's just normal, everyday people like you and me giving rides for cheaper prices than Uber and cab companies."


If you're staying in the Santa Monica vicinity, the Big Blue Bus is a cheap and fairly reliable option. For $1, you can take it from Santa Monica to Venice, or as far as Brentwood or Beverly Hills on the west side. If you want to leave the beach and head east, though, you'll have to brave the local bus system, of which there are 200 lines going via local, rapid or express routes. It will likely take you a good hour, even without traffic, but it costs a mere $1.50.

What the locals say: "I've taken the Big Blue Bus a few times from the westside to Hollywood and once to K-town. That's quite a scene," says Regan Riskas, an associate producer who lives in Venice.


It does exist! But Los Angeles' rail line, which began operation in 1990, is probably the least-used mode of public transport. (Expansion plans are currently in the works and expected to be completed in early 2016.) What's more, the 80 stations are few and far between, leaving you with the problem of getting to the station. While the fare is only $1.50, the six lines that stretch from Downtown L.A. to Hollywood, Pasadena and Culver City, slow their roll at midnight.

What the locals say: "I live in Los Feliz and I can take it all the way to Culver City," says Amy Feitelberg, photo director at Los Angeles Magazine. "Its reach is limited, but I also love to take it if I have tickets to something downtown. No fuss, no muss and no money for parking!"


It's no Venice or Rome, but Los Angeles has seen an increasing number of motorcyclists in recent years. At Route 66 Modern Classics on Lincoln Boulevard, scooter rentals start at $49 a day (including insurance), while Harley rates start at $225. They offer a sliding-scale, though, so the longer you rent, the lower the price.

What the locals say: "I primarily scoot everywhere," says Becca Major, who lives in Santa Monica and owns a Genuine Stella 125 automatic. "I zip to Hollywood, Los Feliz, Downtown. There are almost no restrictions."

Uber Has an Enormous Wait Time Advantage Over Regular Taxis

In San Francisco, unlike with taxis, people rarely wait more than 10 minutes for a ride service.

By Eric Jaffe,  August 29, 2014


It's become a given that ride services like Uber et al are disrupting city mobility, but for all the digital ink spilled over that trend, we don't have much data on what exactly the disruption looks like. (That is, other than the occasionally questionable data the services supply themselves.) So it's important for outside observers to pull the veil back a bit, and a research team at UC-Berkeley led by Lisa Rayle has done just that with a new working paper on "ridesourcing" services, as they're calling Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and friends.

The study focused on ride-service users in San Francisco. Some were intercepted immediately after a ride, some discussed a ride they'd taken in the past couple weeks. The researchers compared their findings with two 2013 data sets on taxi ridership—one a survey conducted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the other a trip log from a local taxi company.

The report is wide-ranging and worth a full read, but here are some of the highlights. Ridesource users tended to be 25 to 34 years old (with very few over 45) and a bit wealthier than the general population. The services replaced transit trips at times (24 percent of users said their alternative would have been to take the bus) and added traffic to the network (8 percent said they wouldn't have made the trip at all). At the same time, 40 percent of users said they drove less than before, and many trips began near a rail (28 percent) or bus (85 percent) stop, suggesting a possible transit complement.
That's largely in line with what taxis provide for a city. But there was a glaring distinction between the ridesourcing and taxi experiences with regard to wait time. Here, Uber etc. hold an enormous advantage, according to the new study. We've charted some of the data on wait times below.

(It's worth noting that the comparison isn't precisely apples to apples; the ridesource data represents all trips, and the taxi data represents dispatches to a rider's home as well as street hails near home.)
The first chart looks at wait times during a weekday. A whopping 93 percent of ride service users waited less than 10 minutes during this period. Compare that to 35 percent of taxi users who called a cab to their homes, and 39 percent who hailed one on the street. Not a single ride service user waited more than 20 minutes on a weekday; a considerable share of taxi riders did.


The next chart, showing evening ridership, reveals more of the same. Once again, more than 90 percent of ride service users waited less than 10 minutes. At this time of day the cabs performed even worse. About half of all taxi riders waited 10 to 20 minutes for a cab called to their homes, and street hails were split pretty evenly among the three wait times.


The weekend data confirms the weekday figures. Ridesource users wait a little longer on Saturdays and Sundays, with only 88 percent waiting less than 10 minutes, but they still get their ride long before those calling or hailing a taxi.

The wait trend held true even when comparing specific zones of the city. In Zone 1, for instance, which includes downtown San Francisco, the share of ridesource users waiting less than 10 minutes ranged from 85 percent (on weekends) to 89 percent (on weekday evenings). The lowest Zone 1 wait times for taxis, meanwhile, occurred for street hails on weekdays, when only 53 percent waited less than 10 minutes. In Zone 1 on weekday evenings, only 17 percent of people calling a cab to their home waited less than 10 minutes. And the data show that Zone 1 was by no means unique.

So the lesson—as true with car services as it is for public transit—is that people hate waiting for transportation. (About 30 percent of respondents in the present study chose "short wait time" as their main reason for using the ride service, second to "ease of payment," at 35 percent.) And the source of ridesourcing's advantage in this area is quite clear: the mobile system that connects drivers with the nearest passenger.

In other words, one might conclude based on this data that it's the smartphone, more than any particular transportation service, that's greatly disrupting city mobility. (That goes for transit riders using real-time apps, too.) The question then becomes: Why haven't official taxi companies (if not cities themselves) invested more time and energy into developing smartphone-based services? We'll have more on this next week in the Future of Transportation series. For now, it's worth wondering whether all the effort being poured into the regulatory fight against Uber would be better spent creating technology that mimics its key advantage.

Protected Bike Lane Bill Approved By Legislature, Awaiting Governor


By Melanie Curry, August 29, 2014

 Protected bike lanes like these ones on Market Street in San Francisco will be easier for cities to build. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

 Under A.B. 1193, protected bike lanes, like these ones on Market Street in San Francisco, will be easier for cities to build.

A bill that would make it easier for California cities to build protected bike lanes passed both houses of the legislature this week and has been sent on for Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

The bill, A.B. 1193, was authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition.

The bill serves several purposes. First and foremost, it requires Caltrans to create or adopt standards for a new category of bike lanes: protected, separated bike lanes or “cycletracks.” These standards can be used by communities that want to build protected lanes and want to refer to a set of engineer-approved guidelines to help design them safely.

At the same time, it removes a provision in the law that requires that any bike lane built in California adhere to Caltrans specifications, even if it is built on a local street that is not under Caltrans’ jurisdiction. This frees up local jurisdictions to choose other guidelines, such as the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide, if the Caltrans standards do not adequately address local conditions.

Caltrans endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide earlier this year but has not adopted it, meaning that currently communities that want to build separated bike lanes still must go through an official process to get an exception.

Last-minute negotiations on the bill addressed concerns about liability by adding several conditions that have to be met before non-Caltrans criteria can be used. A “qualified engineer” must review and sign off on a protected bike lane project, the public must be duly notified, and alternative criteria must “adhere to guidelines established by a national association of public agency transportation official,” which means the NACTO guidelines would could be used whether Caltrans has officially adopted them or not.

And unfortunately for lay people, Caltrans balked at removing its bike lane naming convention, saying it is just too embedded in its documents. So the new protected bike lanes category would be officially named “Class IV Bikeways” under the law. Other categories remain Class I Bikeways (bike paths or shared use paths), Class II bikeways (bike lanes), and Class III bikeways (bike routes). Memorize that.

Dave Snyder of the California Bicycle Coalition, said, “We’re very excited to have gotten to this point after months of harder-than-expected negotiations and stalwart support from Phil Ting. He really wants to see protected bikeways get more popular.”

Five Things I Learned at This Week’s L.A. Transportation Committee


By Joe Linton, August 29, 2014

Here are the top five things I learned listening in to this week’s Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee meeting. The public meeting took place Wednesday, August 27, at Los Angeles City Hall. If you’re nimble and/or having trouble sleeping, catch the full audio here.

1. Seleta Reynolds Hearts Car Share

In discussion of the city’s anemic car share program, new Transportation Department (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds described herself as a “long-time fan of car share and a frequent user of it.” Reynolds bemoaned the lack of a viable car share option in her new Silver Lake neighborhood.

Hertz car share didn't work out so well for Los Angeles. Image via Flickr user tom-margie
Hertz car share didn’t work out so well for Los Angeles. 

The GM announced an “immediate expansion” of the city’s provisions to enable basic car sharing planned for this September, with a more robust expansion, likely including point-to-point options, coming at some unspecified later date. Reynolds stated that she favors a system that would include multiple providers. This should prevent issues like those associated with the failures like the city’s selected vendor Hertz becoming unresponsive.

To be continued. I too dig car share, and am happy Reynolds is on it.

2. Protected Bike Lanes This Year – Or Probably Not

In public testimony (audio at 01:05 here) about Los Angeles some day maybe perhaps one day you know possibly getting around to implementing those newfangled protected bike lanes that are all the rage in other cities, LADOT Bikeways’ Michelle Mowery stated:
MyFig is certainly one of these [protected bike lanes]. We’re also looking at Los Angeles Street right now. We believe we will have that on the ground within this next fiscal year.
When SBLA tweeted the good news, LADOT Bike Program took to the Twittersphere to let folks know that no protected bike lanes are coming this year, but that My Figueroa construction will happen soon. SBLA will dig more into this story. Did Mowery mean “a Los Angeles street” or “Los Angeles Street?” Could it be part of longer-term plans for Union Station? In any case, I am looking forward to protected bike lanes arriving on these shores. Ones not inside tunnels, that is.

3. Streetsblog Hearts Great New Traffic Metrics

Spoiler alert: wonky acronyms ahead. I knew that changes in California’s traffic modeling was big news, with the state ditching its car-centric car-only car-always Level of Service (LOS) measures for evaluating California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental impacts, and instead using Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).

It was great to hear it from LADOT Assistant General Manager Jay Kim.

Kim stated that cities like L.A. “can only chase LOS so long” and that the new VMT standard “screams Transportation Demand Management,” also called TDM. AKA a little less driving, a little more everything else. Kim stated that VMT will encourage “changing behavior” and more active transportation, bike share, car share, transit passes, telecommuting, and bike amenities facilities.
OMG! LJS that LOS CEQA is RATVC, and VMT CEQA and accompanying TDM features will be AGNDFLA! Wooot! Wooooot!

4. Councilmember Koretz Seems Unaware That Cars Emit Lots of Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Paul Koretz is showing leadership on how L.A.’s Department of Water and Power controls its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). He’s the one who said “I want Los Angeles to lead the way toward a safer, more resilient, low carbon future.”

So it is very unfortunate to hear City Councilmember Paul Koretz not making connections between GHGs and transportation. Not to mention resilience. Or safety.

After LADOT AGM Kim explained how VMT was adopted as a proxy for GHG, Koretz responded:
I’m still a little confused about this legislation. What’s the goal of the change? The purpose for doing this? What are we looking to accomplish in this change?
Well, Honorable Councilmember Koretz, I know you’re under a lot of pressure from Westside homeowners who seem to just want more cars and more parking, but could you at least say stuff that makes us think you know that cars actually do cause climate pollution?

Luckily, Department of City Planning’s Claire Bowin jumped in and defended the new standard that Kim had already explained and explained. Bowin emphasized that, instead of following LOS, which Bowen correctly characterized as a “suburban model,” L.A. will be able to set more appropriate standards for its urban communities.

5. LADOT Bikeways Has New Staff

When questioned by Committee Chair Mike Bonin about what LADOT Bikeways successes have been, Mowery responded that, among other things, LADOT bikeways doesn’t have enough staff. I don’t doubt that LADOT’s bike group is understaffed, and woefully, but we’re not sure it is appropriate to bring it up when asked about successes.

Mowery did announce that one new staff member, Rubina Ghazarian, started this week as LADOT’s bike coordinator. Welcome Ms. Ghazarian! You’ve got a lot of work to do. Let us know how SBLA can be helpful.

Editorial: 'Go Metro' -- except to downtown's Labor Day weekend music festival?


August 28, 2014

It's going to be one of the biggest concerts of the summer, drawing performers such as Kanye West and John Mayer and as many as 50,000 fans to Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.
For weeks, organizers have been urging ticketholders to "Go Metro" and take the subway to the Made in America Festival over Labor Day weekend. But the subway station closest to the concert will be closed for three days, starting Friday at 7 p.m. Instead, revelers are being told to get off at nearby stations and make the roughly half-mile walk to the show. So much for convenient public transit.

Law enforcement and concert organizers asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to close the Civic Center/Grand Park Station for a number of reasons. The exits are inside the perimeter of a ticket-only concert, and officials determined that it would be impractical to check tickets inside the station. There were also concerns about crowd control and public safety if hundreds or thousands of people were crammed onto the train platform.

Those concerns have some merit. Made in America, after all, is expected to be the biggest gathering ever held at the new park — those estimated 50,000 attendees would be double the number who turned out for the park's New Year's Eve bash. And it's the first time the site has hosted a ticketed event of this magnitude. There is a learning curve to managing giant festivals in a new venue, and the detours caused by closing one subway station are hardly insurmountable. Fine.

In the future, however, the city of Los Angeles and Grand Park managers should make sure that events don't cut off transportation options. If concertgoers "Go Metro" downtown, it will reduce freeway traffic, eliminate parking headaches and make roads safer when bleary patrons head home. It's in everyone's interest to make public transit as appealing as possible. Moreover, it's important to note that the station closure affects more than the Made in America attendees; anyone who might use the Civic Center stop to get home or to work or to visit the area will be detoured for three days.

 Grand Park is a jewel, and it's sure to be in demand for more ticketed concerts and festivals, which bring a welcome infusion of money and vitality to a part of Los Angeles that was long dark after the close of business. In order to make the most of it, it should be reachable by public transit.