Permit me to describe my day, July 18. I am a lawyer with a fairly busy appointment calendar. I had an appointment at the Compton Courthouse at 8:30 a.m., but then a light day back at the office on Wilshire Boulevard. I live in Granada Hills.
I drove to the office with my law partner. We arrived at 7:15 a.m. I then walked one block to catch an air-conditioned bus, which transported me to Wilshire and Figueroa. Upon my arrival, I walked one block to Figueroa and 7th Street. I jumped on a sleek, air-conditioned shuttle bus for a short trip to Pico and Flower. To these eyes, which were born in Santa Monica, raised and strained in a car on a freeway, the sight of a Bay Area-type transit terminal, with gleaming signs, freshly painted fences and smiling transit workers was something for the ages. I approached the new train car, found an empty seat and thanked the heavens again for air-conditioning. It was just 7:45 a.m.
As we proceeded along the tracks, I saw the jealousy written on the faces of already weary motorists along Washington Boulevard. We passed through some areas of town I rarely see. I had never seen the Watts Towers before. At precisely 8:30 a.m. we rolled into the Compton Station. I walked to the courthouse and 1 hour later, business completed, I made my way back to the train station. I waited just 5 minutes, caught an amazingly full train, and proceeded in comfort back to Los Angeles.
I got back to Pico and Flower, feeling refreshed and relaxed. My limo (I’m sorry, shuttle) was waiting to take me to Figueroa and 7th, and to my Wilshire bus for the trip back to the office. I put in a usual day at the office, then proceeded to take a freeway flyer bus to the Valley where I made a smooth connection to a bus that dropped me off 650 feet from my home.
No, I cannot take public transit every day. For the sake of all of us in this urban soup, I ask but one small favor of my fellow city or suburban dwellers. I did my part on July 18, and yes, I even rather enjoyed it. When I rejoin the mad freeway rush, won’t someone else take my place on the bus or train. Who knows, maybe someday we will once again see 35 miles per hour on the Hollywood Freeway between 7 and 9 a.m.
GARY N. STERN