About Wilshire/Vermont

Los Angeles is a place of contrasts. In the span of three blocks, development can go from high rise office or condominium buildings to small apartment buildings to single family homes. In terms of transportation Los Angeles is known as a freeway covered, auto-oriented and sprawled metropolis. Outsiders, and indeed many who live in the City of Angels, formed this view behind the wheel of an automobile. Approaching Los Angeles as a pedestrian and transit rider, a new city emerges.

The title of this blog comes from the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. This intersection is a snapshot for the beauty and dysfunction of Los Angeles. Hundreds of thousands of transit riders on the Metro Red and Purple Line subways and 720 and 754 Rapid Bus lines converge on this small square of land. It’s oddity is striking: Wilshire and Vermont are hugged by a Shell gas station, the Wilshire State Bank high rise, a vacant lot and the Wilshire/Vermont Subway station and Transit Oriented Development. There is something magical about that corner.

In the last twenty years, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has built over 90 miles of light rail, busway and heavy rail subway. Metrolink has opened over 500 miles of commuter rail and bus ridership has soared to over one million riders per day. These accomplishments are amazing, but there is much to be done to transform Los Angeles into a true transit city. Measure R, a sales tax for transportation, will help but over the next 30 years Los Angeles will see a pace of transit expansion that does not come close to matching the last 20.

That is where Wilshire/Vermont comes in. We are here to advocate the advancement of Measure R projects, follow their progress, and comment on their design. Beyond Measure R and Los Angeles, we follow transit around the nation and will often cover other cities and systems.  All of our contributors are college students at the University of Southern California, so expect coverage of different areas between May and August. Following are quick bios of contributors.

Thanks for reading.

Karl Tingwald

Karl just finished his Sophomore year at the University of Southern California as a civil engineering major and jazz studies minor. He hails from Albany, California where he has ridden transit and a bicycle his entire life. His interest in transportation planning began with BRIO trains as a five year old and continues to this day with his pursuit of a career in transportation planning and engineering. He worked on the Transbay Transit Center Program during the summer of 2010, learning the ropes on the largest in-construction transit project in California. This summer, he is working as a civil engineering and transportation planning intern in San Francisco. Karl also plays jazz saxophone with the band Down to Funk and rides road and mountain bikes competitively for the USC Cycling Team.

Sam Levy

Sam will fill out this bio at some point.

  1. I work for the national nonprofit Reconnecting America. We follow news and events relating to transit-oriented development with our Tracks email newsletter and our Half-Mile Circles blog.

    Your post “Feasibility of a South Vermont Subway Line” was included in the most recent Tracks newsletter.

    We are putting together a list of people who would like to receive news about our efforts. Can we add your name and address?

    More about Reconnecting America:

    At Reconnecting America, we help transform promising ideas into thriving communities – where transportation choices make it easy to get from place to place, where businesses flourish, and where people from all walks of life can afford to live, work and visit.

    Reconnecting America provides both the public and private sectors with an impartial, fact-based perspective on development-oriented transit and transit-oriented development, and seeks to reinvent the planning and delivery system for building regions and communities around transit and walking rather than solely around the automobile.

    Our website is http://www.reconnectingamerica.org or http://www.ctod

    John Hughes
    Communications Manager

    Reconnecting America
    jhughes@reconnectingamerica.org

  2. My name’s Kedar Iyer and I’m the president of UCLA’s Bruins for Transit, a small group on campus that works to improve transportation in Los Angeles. We’ve been looking for the USC equivalent of what we do here for a while now and didn’t hear about you guys until today. If you’re interested, we would love to collaborate with you guys on some future projects and maybe even contribute occasionally to the blog. Send me an email and maybe we can try and meet sometime soon.

    -Kedar

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