Wed, 14 May 2014
Colin Marshall sits down at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law with Ethan Elkind, an attorney who researches and writes on environmental law and the author of Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail System and the Future of the City. They discuss the reason visitors and even some Angelenos express surprise at the very existence of the city's subway; the roots of the assumption that Los Angeles would always have a 1950s-style "car culture"; why something as essential as a rail system has required a "fight"; the persistent Roger Rabbit conspiracy theory about the dismantling of Los Angeles' first rail transit network; why so may, for so long, failed to consider the city's inevitably dense and increasingly less car-compatible future; Los Angeles' long-standing anxiety about joining the ranks of "world-class" cities, and how the absence of a subway fueled it; how Californian rail systems, Los Angeles' especially but the San Francisco's Bay Area's BART as well, physically embody the compromises of consensus-based politics; what some Angelenos mean when they talk about "Manhattanization"; the similarity between a city's expectation that its citizens all own their own cars and an expectation that they all own their own power generators; how much the conversation about rail in Los Angeles has to do with, simply, density in Los Angeles; why Metro pretends not to know about its own problems and resorts to "corporate PR-speak"; whether those who lament the limitations of Los Angeles rail can blame individuals (such as Henry Waxman); whether anyone can change the minds of Angelenos who want the city to return to 1962; the demoralizing effects of such far-flung completion dates as 2036 for the Purple Line subway to UCLA; and how every voter can come to consider the Los Angeles Metro rail system "a precious thing."
Direct download: NCC_S4E36_Ethan_Elkind.output.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am UTC