Raising Wilshire

A blog about parenting and car-lite living in Los Angeles

Month: March 2019

How to take transit to the Cayton Children’s Museum

Via Cayton Children’s Museum Facebook Page

We’re getting a children’s museum in Santa Monica! And it’s super accessible by both train AND bus!

The Cayton Children’s Museum (formerly known as the Zimmer Museum Presented by Sharewell) had its last day at its old location in Mid-Wilshire in late February. It is on track to open in its new location on the third floor of Santa Monica Place on June 1.

You should consider taking public transportation to visit the Cayton. The Cayton touts its proximity to Expo Rail, but what about those of us who live nowhere near a light rail station? The bus, I’m telling you!

Within one block of the museum, there are twelve bus routes operated by 3 agencies, providing one-bus access to communities as far west as Malibu; north as West Hills in the San Fernando Valley; east as Commerce and East LA, and south as LAX and Inglewood.

Super High Level

Big Blue Bus: 20 bus routes serving the Westside

Route 1: Westwood to Santa Monica via Santa Monica Blvd.

Route 2: Westwood to Santa Monica via Wilshire Blvd.

Routes 3 and Rapid 3: LAX to Santa Monica via Lincoln Blvd.

Routes 7 and Rapid 7: Koreatown to Santa Monica via Pico Blvd.

Route 9: Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica

Los Angeles Metro: 4 bus routes end in Santa Monica, plus the Expo Line

Line 534: Malibu to Santa Monica via Pacific Coast Highway

Line 704: Downtown LA/Echo Park/Silver Lake to Santa Monica via Santa Monica Blvd.

Line 733: Downtown LA to Santa Monica via Venice Blvd.

Line 720: East LA to Santa Monica via Whittier Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd.

Metro Expo Line: Metro Center (DTLA) to Santa Monica. Last station is 1/2 block from museum

Los Angeles County

The Beach Bus: Woodland Hills and Topanga to Santa Monica via Topanga Canyon Blvd.

This map shows how ridiculously close the museum is to these major bus stops:

The mall is across the street from the end of the Metro Expo Line, which means the Cayton will be accessible to so many more families around Los Angeles

Looking for tips on how to ride transit with kids?

I always refer people to this great blog post by Seattle Bus Chick.

Until next time,
Sirinya

Wilshire’s Toddler Walk Shed

Wilshire at the Water Garden…which is also across from the train station.

Wilshire Matute is very enthusiastic about walking around his neighborhood. He will happily walk with us to the park, CVS, daycare, the cleaners, and the mailbox. He likes walking to the bus stop and the Expo Line station too. But make no mistake: Wilshire is not a wunderkind walking enthusiast. These destinations fall neatly within Wilshire Matute’s Toddler Walkshed.

Eric Feldman, a DC-based urban planner, was probably the first to write about toddler walksheds, which he defined loosely as the distance that a curious and perpetually-distracted toddler can navigate city streets on foot in 10-20 minutes, all the while insisting that her parent pushes an empty stroller – and safely.

In my mobility planning circles, we talk about “pedestrian sheds” as a metric to evaluate a neighborhood’s livability and walkability. In drawing these sheds, we ask: What kinds of quality destinations can you reach within a five-minute walk? And safely too?

The racially and socioeconomically diverse San Fernando Valley neighborhood I lived in as a teenager puts this to test. It has many noteworthy destinations within a quarter-mile, including a full-service bank and grocery store. However, accessing them necessitates walking along a stretch of street without sidewalks and then along a busy boulevard lacking street trees, which is simply brutal in the summer heat the Valley is well-known for.

This was taken near my mom’s house. There are sidewalks only on one side of the street. It was beautiful but you don’t want to be on this street in late August, when it’s over 95 degrees.

Things are different in the part of Santa Monica I am so grateful to call home.

Wilshire’s Toddler Walkshed is probably on the lower-end, an amorphous shape that is roughly ⅓ of a mile from home and roughly 5 to 10 minutes in any given direction. As Wilshire gets older, I am optimistic that his walkshed will get a little wider. (It has to. There’s a Trader Joe’s opening 0.6 miles away – although who am I fooling, we’ll probably use a stroller to haul the groceries home.)

Here are some field notes from walking around the neighborhood with Wilshire:

Until next time,
Sirinya

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