“But merchants in East L.A. said the sting of progress is even more painful here, an area that was struggling economically before the construction started.
“‘The people are different, the businesses are different,’ said Rocki Esparza, owner of Manny’s El Loco Restaurant. ‘People that have businesses here are barely surviving.’
“Esparza’s fast-food Mexican eatery has been on the corner of 3rd Street and Atlantic Boulevard for 16 years, building a regular lunchtime crowd of neighborhood residents and area workers.
“Large concrete barriers and small orange cones along this section of the construction zone have limited access to the restaurant’s parking lot — turning a once lively spot where seating was scarce during peak hours into a place with plenty of empty tables.
“Esparza has turned to catering events and delivering food to homes, as well as laying off two of her 10 employees.
“‘I think I’ve lost my customers, and I don’t really think that they’ll be back,’ she said. ‘The only reason I’ve stayed in business is because we’ve been well-rooted. But I’ve depleted my savings, and I’m wondering about my future.'”
Gold Line work upsets East L.A. merchants,
MTA officials say the light rail line will bring prosperity to businesspeople. By Jean-Paul Renaud, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, December 27, 2007
MTA officials say the light rail line will bring prosperity to businesspeople
Maybe, if they survive the construction phase of it.
And, I live in Lincoln Heights, which is not too far from East LA, but I’ve only had gone over to Self Help Graphics twice in the 10 years I’ve lived here. So, I’m not sure where all this new business is going to come from.
I’m not against public transit, hell, I loved it when I lived in Europe, and I feel terrible for the business people getting fucked over by the metro construction. But when the MTA says anything they do will bring prosperity to anyone but the MTA, they’re kidding everyone. The MTA’s only goal is its own enrichment. And if they destroy a string of East LA businesses in the process, I’m sure the MTA couldn’t care less.
They’ll never do this, but if all public transport in LA were put on a donation basis, we’d have useful public transit that might even reduce our carbon footprint or whatever that snappy phrase is. What we have now is an overpriced system that car owners, like me, don’t use. And, sorry, I’m no angel, but why should I pay whatever it is (MTA’s webpage sucks for fare information, too) to take the often late train from LH to Pasadena when parking in Pasadena is free?