Rush Snack Bar opened yesterday on Monday during an interesting moment in LA’s transit history. During the past weekend, the climax of Carmageddon ended on Sunday as construction actually finished earlier than expected and drivers were given the false sense of security that the 405 was on the “track of progress.”
Adding a single HOV lane will cost taxpayers $1 billion and its imminent construction brought our mighty metropolis to its knees, wrapped in fear of the worst traffic nightmare anyone can fathom. A fear that sent shockwaves around the globe, where once again, LA broadcasted to the world how embarrassingly dependent we are on the automobile. At $1 billion, that would be enough to fund the last 3 miles of the “Subway to the Sea” from its current planned terminus at the VA Hospital near Westwood. Where are our priorities?
However, even with all the hype surrounding Carmageddon and the 405 freeway, another symbolic force on the opposite side of the city opened with much less hype, but way more substance. Rush Snack Bar, a “simple convenience store” to some naysayers, is part of a new wave of transit amenities that will truly help elevate LA to another level of urban maturity that some “billion dollar freeway widening project” will never do. In fact, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the 405 will remain a parking lot with or without the new HOV lane. So the status quo reigns supreme on the car-obsessed Westside (until they get the Expo Line and Purple Line extension down Wilshire Blvd of course).
As I watched transit riders walk by the new Rush Snack Bar, almost 100% of them felt compelled to turn their heads and get a peek inside this oddly placed, yet wonderfully new and interesting store inside a subway station. In a city like New York or Madrid, transit riders would be blasé about this kind of thing, but forgive our curiosity! We’re a trying this “new” thing here in LA. It’s called urbanism.
Click here for more pictures of Rush Snack Bar from the opening day and a great write-up by Fred Camino from Metro’s official blog, The Source.