Whitey Bulger, the Southie outlaw, didn’t have a car in Santa Monica.
He was a bad man.
A snitch too.
I lived in LA without a car in 1995. The bus from North Hollywood was my mode of transportation. It dropped me off at Santa Monica Boulevard, where another bus took me to work at the Milk Bar in Beverly Hills. My co-workers were befuddled by my resistance to not drive a car.
“Walking in LA gets you nowhere.”
That was true, but I wasn’t walking anywhere. Road rage was in vogue. Standing at the bus stops I studied the faces of the imprisoned drivers. Only 1 in a hundred was happy. The rest wore expressions of grim determination, as if they were running a life-or-death gauntlet rather than driving to work or home.
Traffic on the freeways was a nightmare.
The antithesis of the open road and this past weekend in LA newscasters had been predicting vehicular chais for the City of Angels, as road crews were scheduled to tear down the Mullholland Bridge over the 405 Freeway in order to widen the carpool lane. Pundits had nicknamed the 53-hour closure ‘Carmageddon’ after the violent car video game based on the 1975 movie DEATH RACE 2000.
The mayor begged Angelenos to stay of the roads and Jet Blue offered a $9 flight from Burbank to LAX. The construction will basically the Valley Girls from Hollywood.
Oh, the horror, however the actual event was a blessing in disguise. Cars disappeared from the freeways and the smog lifted from the LA Basin to reveal the true beauty of Southern California. A group of bicyclists raced a Jet Blue flight from Burbank to LAX. They arrived at the international airport in 90 minutes. The Jet Blue flight reached its destination twenty minutes later.
Death to cars.
This is only the beginning.