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Navigates in the new pickup system at LAX



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Few things unite Californians – or really anyone who has ever been to LAX – quite like complaining traffic at LAX.

Last week, however, travelers were introduced to a new part of the Los Angeles International Airport experience that has sent the usual gripe to overdrive.

Search "LAX" on Twitter and you would think that some kind of Thunderdome had opened just east of terminal 1. The words "chaos" and "nightmare" are often displayed.

But, no: LAX-it – pronounced, for what it's worth, "LA exit" – is just the expansive new party where you have to grab Lyft, Uber or taxi, since almost all take-out shares and taxi pickups now is forbidden.

Getting to the party was okay. Outside the luggage door, a green shuttle arrived within about a minute. The drive through the central terminal loop to the lot took about 10 minutes.

In the party itself, workers chirpily offered water bottles and instructions. Two food trucks were open nearby, although most were heading straight for the cab lines. A few people sat under lime-green umbrellas on benches and charged their phones at kiosks.

I met Michael Christensen, the airport's Deputy Chief Executive of Operations and Maintenance, near where handlers had arranged with Eve and The Dude, a couple of lovely English settlers working as therapy dogs.

Mr. Christensen told me that conditions had improved significantly since Thursday night, but that employees were watching closely for waiting times and adjusting traffic routes to better keep things moving.

He emphasized that traffic was moving through the top-level escalator areas – where drivers of ride-share before picking up passengers – about 35 percent faster.

And although LAX officials consulted executives who had implemented similar systems at San Francisco International Airport and La Guardia Airport, Christensen said "a major operation is unique."

As such, he said, frustration was not unexpected.

"We monitor social media," he said, "which takes a strong stomach."

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the president also posed a threat to withhold federal aid that was almost identical to one he made last year after the deadly camp fire.

Mr. Newsom replied to President on Twitter, saying: "You don't believe in climate change. You will be excused from this call. "

Read more fire coverage:

  • The collection comes not long after Mr. Newsom described a paradox that hinders California's efforts to meet climate change . The president said, "Do everything right to respond to these disasters and everything wrong to fix what is happening to cause them." [The New York Times]

  • The Maria fire, which led to evacuation and burned thousands of acres in Ventura County, was 50 percent contained on Sunday . And all evacuation orders were canceled. [The Ventura County Star]

  • Seeing the moment the Kincade fire exploded via a growing network of fire cameras. [The New York Times]

Here is more about how scientists started that camera network . [ The New York Times ]

In other news

  • After five people were killed in a shooting at a Halloween party in Orinda last week, Airbnb said it took steps to remove "attachment houses" from the platform. [The New York Times]

  • Representative Adam Schiff who has become a kind of hero in his district extending from West Hollywood to the San Gabriel Mountains is in the spotlight as he heads the inquiry to the president. The president, meanwhile, has tried to make him a punching bag. [The New York Times]

  • In Silicon Valley, anywhere, real estate is power . So who owns the land? And can they fix the housing crisis? Explore these questions in this great feature. [The Mercury News]

  • Lori Loughlin pleaded not guilty to new charges in the college shooting school case, signaling that she and the husband plan to continue fighting the charges. By contrast, Felicity Huffman has already completed her two-week sentence in a prison in Dublin known for its luxurious features. [The New York Times]

  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg commissioned fossil fuel companies and gathered youth to fight climate change in Los Angeles on Friday. [The Associated Press]


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