Before participating in a Zócalo Public Square panel on the future of the 710 Freeway in May, Lewis Center Director Brian Taylor was interviewed in the green room about what it’s like for a transportation expert to be stuck in traffic. Here’s what he had to say….
I don’t believe in picking favorites. Especially when it comes to the plant world. So I tend to be very neutral on all things related to cellular life that doesn’t involve a spine or live birth.
I actually try to think about why I’m not given priority as a traffic expert. My kids love to say, “Who’s responsible for this, Dad? What kind of moron is responsible for a system that’s chronically clogged every day?” But I’m not in traffic much because I live very close to where I work.
Public radio, laptop computers, people asking off-the-wall questions, photographers trying to get candid shots in very artificial situations. Those things all inspire me.
I actually don’t track that particular line of data. I’m guessing on the order of — are we counting sandals? What about swimming shoes? [Any footwear.] About a dozen. Two dozen shoes — a dozen pair.
I’m not great at clearing my mind. I’ve tried meditation; it doesn’t work for me. I suppose I enjoy just getting out and walking my dogs, honestly.
I was on a quiz program last night, so does that count? I was a participant. We have a quiz bowl at UCLA. Before that, I was at the Louvre, and I saw some artists in residence doing some work.
We came in second this year. Won it last year.
1964; the Los Altos area of Los Angeles, California. I did well for a while, but then the road curved, and I went into the bushes. Sort of a rocky end to that first ride.
Without question Magic Johnson’s. I was cursed to be a 5-foot-by-9-inch endomorph when I really needed to be a 6-foot-9 ectomorph. There’s only one thing in the world I like more than transportation policy and planning, and that’s basketball.
I had a day about 10 years ago, and I got three tickets in one day. Two parking and one moving. So for some reason that I don’t understand, I got a ticket for not having a parking permit in my car at UCLA even though I had a parking permit. Then I went to a parent-teacher meeting at my daughter’s elementary school, I parked on a street, and I came out of the meeting and all the cars were gone for street sweeping, and I had another ticket. And then I took my kids to an art class and on the way back, they’d just put in a no-right-turn sign, and I got a ticket for that. We got home, and my younger daughter said, “Dad’s not usually grouchy, but he is today, so don’t say anything to him.”