The on-going news coverage on the impact of President Obama’s LA visit earlier this week on traffic touches upon how intimately mobility in the LA metro area- or the perceived lack thereof – may just very well be emerging as our generation’s cultural zeitgeist.
A rare sight: All lanes on Wilshire closed on a Monday afternoon. Picture by Kyrie Bass.
As many of you will recall, traffic on the Westside, and in Westwood in particular, came to a virtual standstill during the PM rush hour on Monday and the AM rush hour on Tuesday.
What most of the commenters on news accounts by outlets such as the LA Times missed, though, is the fragility of our traffic network, particularly on the Westside. Traffic came to a standstill for a variety of reasons during the POTUS visit, the primary one being that the Secret Service literally shut down Wilshire Boulevard. But it was, in my view, no different than if a fatal accident led to the complete closure of a crucial thoroughfare: the whole traffic network goes awry if one thing is out of order. And we have grown so dependent on the reliability of this road network that it costs us even more time and money when things are not in order.
Enough of me on my soapbox. Let me share some pictures taken by my colleagues Kyrie and Emilie; some of these were posted to our @uclabruinbus and @uclacommute Twitter accounts.
Top: Wilshire eastbound; Middle: Wilshire westbound; Bottom: The presidential motorcage travels from Brentwood to Hancock Park via Wilshire Boulevard. Pictures by Kyrie Bass and Emilie Koster.
My colleagues at BruinBus Headquarters (my nickname for Transit Operations and Rental Services, aka TORS) did their best to tweet about the whereabouts of their campus shuttle routes. At one point, the Wilshire Express went nowhere because of the closure on Wilshire. I tweeted that people should walk.