Sunday, January 18, 2009

LA's Stealth On Ramps

Who would have thought you needed a map of LA highway entrances like you need a map of the stars' homes? Only in LA are highway entrances like secret nightclubs with members only passes. I'm used to highway entrances being announced with huge hoopla. I'm used to highway entrances looking like highway entrances. In LA, highway entrances come up slyly. You're on top of them before you know it, and the only way you know it's a highway entrance is because the GPS keeps screaming at you to turn left. Only then do you see a small "freeway" sign just out of your sight of vision. And even then, you don't trust the sign because the entrance is just a tiny road that looks like it's going to deadend into a private parking lot (or worse). No lights, no nothing. Just a dark curve, which, like a bad dream, merges instantly into a busy highway.

For a city that was built around the car, LA doesn't make much sense. Every nightmare scenario in my Driver's Ed class has come true, and then some. I hope Beijing looks at LA and goes screaming back to bicycles.

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