Monday, August 4, 2008

Crossing the street and surviving

Kidlo and I went to the California Science Center on Friday. I decided to take the bus since I'm a big believer in public transportation and I just didn't feel like driving.

The bus trip itself was great. I caught the DASH F line on Flower & 7th with no problems--bus came quickly, I was able to get Kidlo's stroller folded and on the bus with minimal hassle and Kidlo loved being able to check out fellow passengers and look out the window. In fact, he liked the bus a lot more than he likes riding in the car--being able to sit on mom's lap and check out scenery is way cooler than being strapped into a car seat alone with nothing to look at.

But when we got to Exposition Boulevard, things got a lot more unpleasant. Phase 1 of the Expo Line is under construction and it's a complete pain in the ass to get across the street. I won't complain too much about that since it's for a good cause and I'm sure I'll use the light rail once it's built.

But I will whine about the traffic lights at that intersection. They just don't give you enough time to get across the street. I practically had to sprint while pushing Kidlo in his stroller--what about older people or disabled people? What if you're just loaded down with packages and can't get across in the 22 seconds allotted? And this is in a university neighborhood where presumably there are a lot of students without cars. This is a dangerous situation, made worse by the fact that Exposition and Flower are big streets and adjacent to the freeway.

C'mon city planners. I know that you have an interest in keeping traffic moving. But with oil prices up and mass transit becoming more popular, you have to start keeping walkers in mind too. Don't make pedestrians feel like they're in a remake of Mad Max every time they cross the street.

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