Indeed, travel by subway can make those differences more pronounced. When you're riding underground, even along a single boulevard, Point A becomes distinct from Point B; sections of the city become discrete locations rather than parts of an asphalt continuum. Transit-oriented development around subway stops can further this sense, though the design of projects on land controlled by the MTA -- such as the Hollywood and Highland shopping center or the Archeon Group's proposed $160-million condo tower for the intersection of Wilshire and Western -- is hardly encouraging along these lines.
Most of us would rarely if ever take the line for its full route. But it would make all the difference to know that we could. With a subway connection to the beach, after all, residents of El Sereno, Koreatown or downtown could reasonably think of themselves as living in the same city as somebody in Brentwood.