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   powerline corridor land use in Los Angeles
Tuesday, June 6 2006

setting: Woodland Hills, California

Yesterday's drive into and back from Torrance had coincided with the two wide bands in the LA daily schedule known somewhat optimistically as rush "hour." We'd hit some "traffic," but it hadn't been too bad given the possibilities. Today, though, we set out in the early afternoon and returned in the evening, managing to miss the inevitable snarls. One advantage we have even when the traffic is bad is the new HOV lanes, which cover most of the distance we travel southbound on the 405. Since the vast majority of rush hour vehicles contain only a single human being, the HOV lanes, while not wide open, are often moving briskly even when everything else is jammed up. The HOV lanes are designed so they can only be entered and exited in select places, meaning the traffic pressures contained within them or outside of them mostly remain isolated. On radio traffic reports one frequently hears of a breakdown in an HOV lane, and these must results all sorts of chaos, since there's a huge fine for crossing out of an HOV lane in an undesignated area, though I'm sure there must be an exception for this situation.
Before we began work Luc drove us to Redondo Beach, where we would have had lunc at a place called the Ragin Cajun had it been open, but since it wasn't we had to settle for a French Crepe place next door.
There's a big natural gas powered electric power plant sited directly on the coast in Redondo Beach and it was interesting to observe the land use pattern associated with the corridor of transmission lines leading away from it. There were ordinary residential buildings directly outside this corridor, though judging from the advertising about the nature of their kitchens, etc., it was clear many of them were rentals. In the corridor itself there were no residences, but the land wasn't going to waste. In some places it was broken into community gardens, nurseries, or even greenhouses. In other places it was being used for something one doesn't see a lot of in Los Angeles: community open space. There's was at least one well-used dog park, but it looked more like a dusty horse track than a fun place to exercise, say, a Sally or an Eleanor.

After our day of work Luc picked up an order of Thai food Vikki had phoned in. One of the items she'd ordered was chicken drumsticks stuffed with glass noodles. These looked like the disturbing results of extreme infestations by parasitic worms.

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