By Anna Chen, March 4, 2015
Stana Katic moderates In Her Shoes, a panel discussion on women for a car free L.A. Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.
Earlier this week, Metro and Alternative Travel Project (ATP) hosted a panel discussion about access, safety and opportunities for women seeking alternativea to car travel. The panel was moderated by actress, activist and ATP founder Stana Katic and comprised of: Metro DCEO Lindy Lee, LASD Transit Policing Division Chief Ronene Anda, LADOT Pedestrian Coordinator Margot Ocañas, Director of Community and Innovation for the Goldhirsch Foundation Shauna Nep and USC Professor James Haw.
Discussion highlights include:
- More getting-around options means more independence — important when you are car free by choice, but even more important when you’re car free by necessity.
- Safety is paramount. If women are going to leave their cars, they have to feel it’s safe to do so. This is an issue that is being tackled in multiple ways, from engineering — LADOT mentions the timing of crosswalk lights to allow pedestrians to walk first, increasing their visibility to motorists — to education (how to report issues while in transit) and technology (cameras on buses and trains, Metro’s Transit Watch app).
- Better first mile/last mile solutions. More people would be willing to try alternative modes of transportation if it were easier to start and complete trips. Shauna Nep mentioned that car sharing options, such as Lyft and Uber, are increasingly popular ways to connect to public transportation.
- Nep also mentioned that owning a car is becoming less important than having the latest tech. Millennials — myself included — prefer spending money on gadgets that connect us to our social feeds. And then transit gives us time to use those gadgets. So basically, tech > driving!?
- Less cars on the road means better health for everyone because today’s cars — while significantly cleaner than in the past — still pollute. So even if it’s just one day a week, won’t you try going car free? Think of the children!
- Stana Katic mentions that while naming rail lines after primary colors is fine, she personally hopes for a “Zebra Line” someday. #IStandwithStana