Friday, February 22, 2008

Take 205 and Save the Drive!

The name of this post can be freely used by the Ponte Vista outreach team as another slogan they can use to attempt to get folks interested in buying a 1/3 Million Dollar condominium at Ponte Vista, or one priced more.

In researching the Metro Transit systems bus availabilities for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project I found all the Metro lines that go past the project's site, both northbound and southbound.

My total of number of bus lines going past Ponte Vista, as far as Metro goes is.....ONE.

Below is a map of the route of good old 205 and below that is the timetable for Mondays through Fridays.

Now you can left click over the items to enlarge them, or right click over them, if you are using a P.C. type of puter, to save an image or print the image of your choosing.

So what does this information tell us about the mitigation Bob is proposing for his weapon of mass development?

First we find that Ponte Vistans, (Gee, I think I just made up a new moniker for residents who buy dwellings at the site) have the opportunity to walk to the corner of Palos Verdes Drive North and Western Avenue to catch the one Metro Rapid Transit line that serves the project.

We then find that if these good people wish to travel all the way into downtown L.A., they will have two stops that they can change transportation vehicles at, to get to possibly, their jobs downtown.

It takes a mere 56 minutes for the bus to travel to the Artesia Transit Center where they can take a Rapid bus along the Harbor Freeway and into downtown.

They also can take the one-hour, twelve minute ride to the Imperial Transit Station to catch either the Blue Line, into downtown, the Green Line either east or west, or catch another bus to continue their journey, wherever the buses go.

Now, do you feel that this can be considered "smart growth" when the development's site is almost one hour, by bus, from the closest rapid routes into downtown and twelve minutes longer than an hour to get to the light rail lines?

I'm still not seeing anything "smart" about that.

I gathered the timetable while attending an symposium related to how south bay municipalities may deal with the future where "Baby Boomers" enter the age of being senior citizens.

I learned quite a bit of stuff that doesn't seem to jive with the marketing go on for Ponte Vista, but since I learned information from PhDs in fields directly related to demographics, transportation, and other issues, perhaps Bob is smarter than all of them.

Statistically, Baby Boomers tend to remain in the homes they lived in since their forties and early fifties. Baby Boomers are considered to be Americans born between 1946 and 1964 when the economy showed growth enough for our parents to have more children than younger generations are having now.

Baby Boomers' parents gave birth to an average of four children. But Baby Boomers tended to start smaller families and seemed have an average of only two children.

What this means is that when Baby Boomers live into their eighties and nineties, there will be fewer younger folks to assist them and provide a tax basis for the services the Baby Boomers will need.

Baby Boomers tend to live longer in one home than folks in the generation preceding them. Baby Boomers' parents lived through the depression so they made sure that their kids had more opportunities than they did.

In 2030, The U.S. will have over 83 Million drivers considered to be Senior Citizens.

Baby Boomers drive longer, by age, than previous generations did. What this means is that Bob's claims that seniors who buy condos at Ponte Vista will, in fact, keep their cars longer and drive more than he probably figured for.

Since medical advances have increased the lifespan of Americans, the mere size of the Baby Boomer generation, as compared to generations before and after them, will create the highest need for infrastructure services for these seniors between 2010 and 2030.

Baby Boomers are also much more active in their retirement years than the generation preceding them. Bob's senior housing will have a large percentage of seniors still working and doing more recreational activities than he may have considered.

These seniors, keeping their cars longer, driving more, and doing more work and activities, will suggest more like they are actually folks in their forties and fifties, instead of in their sixties and seventies.

In the symposium the attendees were warned that cities and governments are not yet prepared to deal with and care for a population which lives longer and thereby needs more assistance in their later years than earlier generations did.

One of the transportation mitigation Bob mentioned is transportation for seniors between Ponte Vista and their doctors', shopping areas, and other activities.

With the American with Disabilities Act, the small bus transportation companies like Paratransit have costs they won't be able to cover in the long run without tremendous support from local governments.

Case in point. A senior needs to go to the doctor's for a visit. The senior calls the Paratransit company to arrange for transportation. the senior may be charged $5 or $10 dollars for each way on a round trip, but the actual cost to the paratransit company for EACH WAY of a round trip is, on the average, in the south bay, $29.28 for the company to drive each rider, each way.

But on the other hand, many of these same seniors will keep their cars longer and keep their licenses renewed unless they are challenged by the DMV.

The majority of transportation now given to seniors who no longer drive is by a member of that senior's family.

If there are no family members living nearby, that can create problems.

My sister and I drive our mom wherever she needs to go. We are typical of families living in this area and the rest of the south bay.

I learned quite a bit today and I think I need to rethink my "dream" of allowing 55o senior units at Ponte Vista. Seniors who may live there should be treated like non-age restricted residents as far as traffic and transportation goes. That would change Bob's vehicle counts and daily trips generated by residents of Ponte Vista.

I'm done.

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