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In the second installment of our new series, “Making LA,” we take on traffic in Los Angeles. We’ll never get rid it entirely, but there are ways to live better with the traffic we have. Then, Los Angeles is the capital of hit-and-run accidents in America. We get a personal story of trying to navigate the system after a hit and run. Then, a look at what the city is doing - and could do - to make LA’s streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Finally, Press Play is headed to Berlin. We kick off our coverage with a look at how filmmakers from Berlin helped launch Hollywood into its golden age.

Banner Image: Los Angeles freeway traffic by Myriam Thyes

Making LA: Traffic 16 MIN, 11 SEC

Last week -- in the inaugural segment of our new ‘Making LA’ series -- we talked about LA’s built environment. This week, we talk about something near and dear to the hearts - or blood pressure - of all Angelenos: traffic and transportation. As long as people have cars, there will be traffic and congestion. But with more Metro lines being built and the advent of driverless cars and services like Uber and Lyft, transportation in LA may be in for some interesting changes.

Brian Taylor, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
Michael Boehm, co-chair of the e4 Mobility Alliance at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

Posts from Press Play: Making LA

Hit-and-Runs in Los Angeles 13 MIN, 53 SEC

Last week, Liz Dwyer got a phone call that nobody ever wants to get. Her husband, Elarryo Bolden, had been hit by a truck while riding his bike. The driver fled the scene. Elarryo’s injuries turned out to be minor. But unfortunately, many victims of similar hit-and-runs each year aren’t so lucky. Los Angeles has been called the country’s hit and run capital. Twenty-thousand hit-and-run accidents happen in the city every year. Last year, 144 people were seriously injured and 27 were killed by drivers who didn’t stop. Yet only about 1 in 10 hit-and-run drivers are ever arrested or prosecuted. Why can’t the city get a handle on this problem?

Liz Dwyer, Take Part (@losangelista)
Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times

Thanks to This Good Samaritan, Maybe the Hit-and-Run Driver Who Struck My Husband Won't Get Away
For families of hit-and-run victims, haunting questions remain

Berlin and Hollywood 15 MIN, 58 SEC

Berlin and Los Angeles share a lot in common, especially movies. Not only has Berlin always been the heart of Germany’s film business, it’s been a stepping-off point for talent that’s had a huge impact on the American movie business. Carl Laemmle founded Universal Studios. Marlene Dietrich and her director Josef von Sternberg are synonymous with the exotic American films of the ‘30s. And Billy Wilder wrote and directed one of Madeleine Brand’s favorite movies ever, “Some Like It Hot.” Of course we know names like Dietrich and Wilder. But hundreds of lesser-known German immigrés have changed the way American movies look and sound.

Starting next week, Press Play will be in Berlin. Every day, we’ll be sending stories back about the political and cultural life of a city that’s both one of the most glamorous and grittiest in Europe.

Publicity photo of Marlene Dietrich for the film No Highway in the Sky also known as No Highway (1951).

Jan-Christopher Horak, UCLA Film & Television Archive

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