* I am glad The Times is paying some attention to the new Red Line subway extensions to the San Fernando Valley, the related reinvigoration of the NoHo area and parking problems. The subway is wonderful, the potential is great.
However, one of my longtime concerns, which your articles have touched upon, is: How do you get to the new subway--particularly in NoHo--efficiently without using a private vehicle? I've found actions of elected, transit, community and commercial leaders to be puzzling regarding this very practical matter, because actions seem to be centered on increasing private vehicle traffic rather than on building good alternatives. For example:
* There is not good public transit to the North Hollywood station from the Valley. (Ironically, there is pretty good transit to NoHo from say, Long Beach, Redondo Beach and other points served by the Red Line, Blue Line or Green Line).
* Cafes and other things of interest are about a 10-minute walk from the North Hollywood station.
* The only reasonable bus service to the subway is along Ventura Boulevard to the Universal City station, eliminating NoHo as part of any start-to-finish public transit trip. Additionally, the only reasonable bus service in the Valley west of the 405 Freeway, outside of commuter hours, seems to be on this same Ventura Boulevard route.
* There is not reasonable bus service to the Ventura Boulevard bus lines. Therefore, the only people in the Valley with decent rapid transit service to the subway [are] within a short walk of Ventura Boulevard.
* There are not good parking options at the Ventura Boulevard bus line and neither are there bike parking facilities (bike racks) along Ventura Boulevard at the bus stops. Apparently you can put bikes on at least some buses but need to send away for a permit. Additionally, the Red Line does not allow bikes on during certain key hours.
It almost appears that Valley city / civic leaders are leading Valley commuters away from the NoHo area, except for the private vehicle users who can park--or attempt to park, as it turns out--at the station. While there is hand-wringing over solutions to the parking problems, why not seriously consider quickly improving mass transit to the station to a wide geographic range of transit users and potential users, so that private vehicles are not necessary?
* Re "MTA to Clean Up Trash Near Subway," July 25.
It disgusts me that some commuters choose to spoil the appearance of the subway station. I suggest: Follow Singapore's example and impose a fine on offenders.
Maybe to post these lines near the station would act as a deterrent:
Maintain this subway neat and nice
Before you toss trash, please, think twice,
Go litter a station on an MTA line
And you run the risk of hefty fine.