Do Psychological Barriers Doom L.A.'s Transit Transition?

Creating a culture of transit in Los Angeles will require more than just expanding the area's train and bus infrastructure. New riders will have to overcome the psychological barriers that prevent many people from ditching their cars.
December 3, 2013, 8am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Neon Tommy

D. J. Waldie looks at L.A.'s efforts to evolve its land use and transportation patterns in light of a new study by Steven Spears, a doctoral candidate at UC Irvine, that shows "fear, class, race, and even shame color the decision to get out of the driver's seat and into a seat on a bus, train, or subway."

Spears's work and other research indicate that "[e]ven if public transit is the best choice, some (many?) potential riders still won't ever ride," notes Waldie. "That will have unfortunate consequences for developers and urban planners who assume, it seems to me, that if you build dense neighborhoods in Los Angeles, then more transit will come, and when it does, people logically will choose to ride it rather than drive."

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Published on Friday, November 29, 2013 in KCET
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