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Can Ditching Your Car Make You Feel More Free?

Angelenos talk about how getting rid of a car changed their relationship with the city.


Los Angeles once showed the world that the car equaled freedom. Our vast parking lots and spacious two-car garages offered the utmost convenience. Even our roads were named after the idea—freeways—that automobiles provided this feeling of independence as a personal transportation experience. It worked for awhile. That is, until those painted lanes choked with Sigalerts and gas nosed towards $5.00 per gallon.

"The freeways are not so nice!" howls Eddie Solis, frontman for the metal band It's Casual. In his song "The Red Line," Solis opines about how our freeways have morphed from the promise of the open road into soul-crushing prisons. And Solis, a resident of Boyle Heights, on the east side of Los Angeles, has become somewhat of a local spokesperson for the small but growing group of Angelenos who are choosing not to drive a car, and swearing that their lives are better for it.

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How to Make Public Transportation Safer on a Shoestring Budget

How can a city like Los Angeles make its streets and transit more comfortable for women—and for everyone?


For the past five years, I've ridden trains and buses in Los Angeles at least three times a week. But many of my female friends won't join me because of very real concerns about safety.

Such fears are common in every city, but especially sprawling ones like Los Angeles, where riders must walk further distances to our stops, and often through less populated environments. For women who have a choice about whether to drive or take the subway, the thought of a crowded platform or dark sidewalk is enough to keep them in their cozy cars. So how can a city like Los Angeles make its streets and transit more comfortable for women—and for everyone?

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