Hawthorne sees events like CicLAvia (which brought 100,000 bicyclists out onto the streets of the city) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plans to extend the light rail and the subway as hopeful signs that L.A. is moving past its sprawling history. But there is also a growing tide of naysayers that are having a deleterious effect on those efforts.
"Take a recent flap over proposed town houses in Echo Park - and City Council President Eric Garcetti's reaction to it. Garcetti is knowledgeable and thoughtful on issues related to density, growth, transit and park space. But like any L.A. public official, he remains vulnerable to the prevailing political winds, which often blow strongly against the idea of a denser city. Earlier this month, his office announced that it would not support construction of the controversial eight-unit project, which would be in Garcetti's district."