63.8 F
Los Angeles
Thursday, June 13, 2024

3 out of 4 bus stops in L.A. Koreatown does not provide any shade

Must read

- Advertisement -

Three out of four bus stops in Los Angeles Koreatown do not have shades installed.

With the recent shade design for bus stops by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) being criticized as a debacle, urgent improvements to bus stop shades are needed, as seniors who frequently use public transportation in Koreatown are exposed to the heat.

The Korea Daily analyzed the current status of bus stop shade installations in Los Angeles using data from the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. The table shows the latest results of the institute’s survey of 15,270 bus stops in L.A. County.

First, in District 10, which includes Koreatown, only 114 out of the 468 bus stops have shades installed, meaning only about 24% of bus stops in District 10 are shaded.

“We requested the installation of shade shelters and chairs at bus stops in Koreatown at the LA Metro public hearing in January,” said Moon Seop Chung, chairman of the Koreatown Senior and Community Center.

“Especially since seniors in Koreatown are highly dependent on public transportation and summer is approaching, the installation of shade shelters is the most urgent issue to prevent sunstroke and other health problems.”

The issue of a lack of bus stop shades is not limited to Koreatown. L.A.’s public transit riders are also exposed to heat and direct sunlight.

The Korea Daily analyzed the bus stop shade shelters by neighborhoods.

District 5, a neighborhood on the west side of L.A., which includes Westwood, has 102 out of 318 bus stops (about 32%) with shades. Despite having one of the highest installation rates in L.A., less than half of the bus stops are shaded. This is followed by District 13 (27%), District 4 (26.5%), District 7 (26.1%), and District 1 (25.6%).

On the other hand, District 2 in Sun Valley (18.7%), District 9 in South L.A. (19.4%), District 14 in Downtown L.A. (18.8%), and District 15 in San Pedro (17%) have a significant lack of shades at bus stops.

In L.A. as a whole, only 1,257 (about 21%) of the 5,867 bus stops are shaded.

“In Los Angeles County, bus riders are predominantly low-income people of color,” said Madeline Brozen, deputy director of the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, adding, “L.A. bus riders are chronically underserved and exposed to heat while waiting for transit at stops that lack shade shelters.”

Bus stops in the heat without shades also threaten the mobility rights of Korean-American seniors.

“In 100-degree weather, there are no chairs to sit on if you miss the bus,” said Jeong-Soo Yoon, 73. “In summer, I carry water with me in case of exhaustion, and the nearly hour-long wait for the bus is just painful,” he said.

Installing shade shelter requires active involvement from the city of Los Angeles, but the city’s current policy landscape worsens the situation.

“Each year, extreme heat kills more Americans than any other natural disaster. Heatwaves increase hospital admissions for cardiovascular, kidney, and respiratory disorders,” said MoveLA, a nonprofit advocating for better public transportation in Los Angeles.

“The fact that seniors who rely on the bus to get groceries in 100-degree weather do not have a place to escape the heat is a serious problem,” said MoveLA Director Eli Lifman. “Installing shade shelters requires approval from eight different city agencies, including the LA City Council and the Department of Public Works, and this system is slowing down the process.”

The Koreatown Senior and Community Center actively requested public transportation improvements, such as shade shelters at Koreatown bus stops, at a public hearing held in January.

BY YEOL JANG [support@koreadaily.com]