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Called Out for Transit Apathy

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It's hard to find people as passionate about LA's underrated downtown as some of the folks at LAist, but we have to admit the readers of Los Angeles Downtown News might give us a run for our money in the downtown passion department. In particular a reader by the name of Frederick, who had a "glass half empty" response to the downtown BID's recently published (and very self-congratulating) 2006 Demographic Study of New Downtown Residents and called out his fellow downtowners for bringing a suburban ethos to the center city.

Impossible to dismiss as a rant, the reader made some pretty awesome points about the surprising statistic that 61.4% of downtown residents "very rarely or never" use public transportation, despite having it (quite literally) at their front door:

"Angelenos are stereotyped as being very image conscious, and typically I write that off, but I have to wonder what exactly about the "urban setting" Downtowners prefer to the suburbs (beyond the brick in place of the stucco) if they fail to take advantage of the real resources our urban setting offers. Much of Downtown is a work-in-progress; soon we will have a supermarket; soon we will have a restaurant row; soon we will have L.A. Live; soon we will have the Grand Avenue project; soon we will see ground floor retail. Essentially, soon we will have the things that other parts of the city already offer, albeit in a more "suburban" setting.

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The one thing Downtown does have to offer right now that no other part of the city can claim, and the one thing that truly makes it an urban setting as opposed to a suburb with tall buildings, is its undisputed place as the transit hub of Los Angeles. No other place in L.A. can claim to have three Metro Rail lines, all Metrolink commuter lines, 53 local bus routes, 17 limited stop routes, three Rapid routes, 50 express routes, and six DASH routes. If there was ever a place in Los Angeles where a car-free lifestyle could be embraced, Downtown is it."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Frederick.

Photo by jasonsisk via Flickr.