Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Metro Project: May 6 (AM) Detour Fun!

On Los Feliz in Atwater Village, this woman is standing at a 180/181 stop wildly waving at the bus driver and yelling.

Now, the 780 is a "Metro Rapid" bus, which means it doesn't stop every two blocks like "Metro Locals" like the 180 and 181. The 780 overlaps the 180 and 181 routes from about Eagle Rock (further into Pasadena for the 180) until Hollywood and Vine, where the Locals stop, but the 780 keeps going. The Rapids tend to stop only at intersections with other major lines. Consequently the ride is much faster and also smoother when you don't have to stop every two blocks. From my stop, I can watch a 180 go by and wait 10 extra minutes for a 780, and still get to my Hollywood stop before the 180 does.

Anyway, the woman is most definitely not at a 780 stop. Then I realize we're about to make a left turn where we don't make a left turn. (I consider later. Perhaps the 180 and 181 actually went past this stop because they have to make a left turn at the intersection... In that case the smart thing to do is walk the two blocks back to the last stop and wait there, where it can still stop on the right side of the road and get over the two lanes for the left turn. This was a young-ish woman and consider how vigorously she was waving, it's not like she would have been physically incapable.) Anyway, I look to see why we're turning. The police have the westbound Los Feliz lanes blocked off with cars and yellow tape.

Anyway, the last left turn before that goes down a residential street, and since everyone is on the same detour, it's slow. We make it to Glendale Blvd, but Glendale diverges from running parallel to Los Feliz at this point, and because of the layout of the Los Angeles Drainage Ditch, er, River, I can't think of an easy way to get back up to Los Feliz. Actually, Interstate 5 would have worked, but anyway.

Oh, wait, Riverside actually intersects Glendale, so we make a right. Cars are totally backed up. We actually pass a 181 and another 780 on their right sides. I realize there's no way that the bus could make its normal Riverside/Los Feliz stop. If they haven't marked the detour, some people are going to be very unhappy. Actually, at this point I'm pretty unhappy, too, as there's no way we're going to make the DASH now.

As we're waiting to turn left back onto Los Feliz, a passenger walks past me (I'm sitting about in the middle) and goes up to the driver, asking if this is the bus to Fairfax and why we're not on the right route.

Driver: "If you'd been paying attention, you would have seen the police were blocking off Los Feliz." (Cranky!) Passenger: "Well, I wasn't paying attention."

There's some stuff I can't make out, then the passenger starts walking back to his seat, saying, "Just pay attention and drive, bitch." (The driver was male.) Driver: "Shut the f*ck up." The guy keeps up his posturing and bitching (who's the bitch?) all the way to the back. Another logic breakdown on his part: telling the bus driver to pay attention when the driver was the one who had noticed the road was closed in the first place.

Ok, even though we're going to miss my bus, this makes up for it in sheer entertainment value.

It's still not clear to me if this was a planned street outage or not. I'm too lazy to check the Metro site for scheduled detours, because it's not accurate most of the time anyway. I think the last time I checked, it listed about 3 stop closures due to construction for all its lines. Um, that's about half the number closed in Glendale alone on any given day.

I get off at Western right as the southbound 207 starts coming down for the stop. A timely red light and I make it exactly. I get off at Melrose and start walking the half mile to work. It's kind of a seedy area, but I don't mind during the day because there's plenty of traffic. I would never walk it alone at night, though.

When I'm still a couple blocks from work, a DASH stops next to me, even though the next DASH stop is a block away. I guess the driver recognized me, knew where I got off even though this isn't the direction I usually come from, and was nice enough to stop for me. I was fine walking, but since she was being so considerate, I got on, and actually made it to work the same time I would have if I'd gotten my regular DASH.

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