Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Musing on the American Dream

The American Dream has always been about the pursuit of freedom and happiness.  For a time, this could be achieved by purchasing a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs.  However, a combination of traffic congestion, land use policies, and rising automobile operations cost have eroded the freedoms afforded to suburban dwellers.  Now, many young people achieve their American Dream by living in the city and riding a bicycle.  This affords access to friends, recreation, arts, culture, and food not possible with an automobile-based suburban lifestyle.

In the 1950s-1990s, land use and transportation policy acquiesced to the pursuit of the American Dream.  The big challenge now is adjusting land use and transportation policy to support the pursuit of the American Dream.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Change in transit commuting for areas around some LA Metro stations, 2000 to 2005-2009

I was interested in finding change in transit ridership between 2000 and the 2005 to 2009 period captured in the American Community Survey, so I mapped the ACS2009 5-Year data and Census 2000 data at the block group level, then joined it with station areas, using area-weighted allocation for any block groups only partially within a 1/2 mile radius area.

We have a lot of data that is currently being used in research projects, but I wanted to share some of the findings below.

Which station areas experienced the highest growth in total number of transit commuters?

RED/PURPLE - WESTLAKE / MACARTHUR PARK2530.5
RED/PURPLE - WILSHIRE / VERMONT1784.8
PURPLE - WILSHIRE / NORMANDIE1711.1
RED - VERMONT / SANTA MONICA1172.4
RED - VERMONT / SUNSET743.3
RED - HOLLYWOOD / WESTERN610.5
RED - VERMONT / BEVERLY601.1
BLUE - ANAHEIM461.4
ORANGE - RESEDA STATION431.4
ORANGE - VAN NUYS STATION297.6
bold denotes a new station

Which station areas experienced the greatest change in the percentage of workers who commuted on transit?
GREEN - I-105 / AVIATION8.24%
BLUE - WILLOW6.19%
GOLD - S WEST MUSEUM / FIGUEROA5.95%
GOLD - ALLEN AVE5.62%
RED - VERMONT / SUNSET4.23%
ORANGE - DE SOTO STATION4.12%
GREEN - I-105 / AVALON4.09%
GOLD - MISSION ST4.05%
GREEN - NASH / MARIPOSA3.92%
GOLD - HOLLY ST3.57%
bold denotes a new station

Many of the green line stations in the second table have very few workers in the area, so the numbers are skewed. For instance, the I-105/Aviation station only had 800 workers within 1/2 mile, and 40 of them took transit.

Obviously the new Gold and Orange lines would be expected to create new transit commuters, since they opened in between the two Census surveys.  I think the big success story is the Vermont and Sunset station, which added 743 transit commuters and 2,023 workers between 2000 and 2005-2009.  This likely indicates that many people moved to the Vermont/Sunset station area specifically because they wanted to take transit to work.

What do you think?