This blog was started by Jane Tsong and Mike Woodward. We soon asked Severin Martinez, of Walk Eagle Rock to join us. By chance, we represent three generations! We encourage you to share your comments and ideas with us.
Pedal, Walk, Talk
Growing up, hedgerows and vacant lots were our playground. Our favorite toys included fireflies, milkweed, japanese beetles, mud, and pussy willows. In high school, I would walk for hours through cornfields and new growth forests, to see what I might find. Those spaces are still my favorite: the ones that have no name or fixed use, that are full of possibilities…
I passed over Los Angeles via LAX many times before actually moving here. My first impressions were of a vast landscape of uniformly gridded streets, lit equally uniformly at night. Even in a car, you could drive for hours and the landscape hardly appears to change. Learning more about the history of land use in this area, I was relieved to find that all those featureless flat stretches of the city actually once had their own quirks, ruts, swampy areas, creeping inhabitants, things that only an adventurous local of a certain vintage might know…. all those things that make each place different from every other place in the world, all those things that make you feel something when you know a place.
Experienced on foot, the land is full of idiosyncrasies. It just takes a little looking to discover the patterns in the gaps between asphalt and infill. Even among this big grid, rigged to support artificial microclimates mimicking every part of the world with botanical things from everywhere, every place still has a spirit of place.
— Jane Tsong
Getting Back On My Feet
This blog is going to be about ped power. Not just about pedestrian issues, but also cycling and the use of public transportation.
I have been an ideal Angeleno since moving here in 1971: I drove everywhere. I only took public transportation when my car was in the shop. I bicycle for recreation, not for business. And I don’t really walk to get anywhere; I drive some place then go for a hike.
I want to change my ways. And, in the ego-driven world of the twenty-first century I’m going to blog about it so I can inflict the trials and tribulations of that change on the general public.
At this point I know almost nothing about the public transportation system, though I do like riding the Gold Line. I haven’t ridden my bike on the street very much because, frankly I’m afraid of being run over. And, while our ancestors thought little of walking six miles to visit the neighbors that seems like a long way to me.
So my goal in this is to undertake an exploration of public transportation, to overcome my fear of death and ride my bike on the street, and to be one of the daring few pedestrians in Eagle Rock.
I want to look at the basics of transporting myself without a car like, figuring out where the buses actually go; how to get and use a TAP pass; putting your bike on the front rack without it getting squashed by the bus.
I also want to look at destinations by bus, foot and bike. What’s within a short walk from each bus stop? Who has bike racks nearby?
What are the obstacles to a more pedestrian lifestyle, besides the aforementioned vehicular manslaughter?
After exploring how to make it in Eagle Rock, and as the song says, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, I’ll begin branching out, but with Eagle Rock as the center, after all, it is my home.
– Mike Woodward
It’s The Choices We Make
You might know me better as the author of Walk Eagle Rock. I have lived in Eagle Rock permanently since 2003 but only started to view our town from a pedestrian and bicyclist perspective in 2009.
I am a college student and have never driven or owned a car. However, until I started walking and bicycling and taking transit by choice, I aspired to learn how to drive, borrow my mom’s car and get places with an automobile like many people my age. I principally bike, walk, and take transit now because I want to support a more livable community. It is a privilege to join Jane and Mike, I hope to contribute as meaningfully as they have.
– Severin Martinez