Westside Fights Smart Growth: Can Any Development Navigate L.A.'s Traffic Nightmare?

On the Westside of L.A., where rush hour traffic slows to a crawl on the best days, a proposed transit-oriented development called the 'quintessential example' of smart growth by the Mayor's staff faces opposition to its size and attraction to autos.

"Backed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the so-called Casden West L.A. project is one of the city's most controversial examples of transit-oriented development — shopping and housing concentrated around a planned Expo Line light rail station. While supporters call it socially responsible, critics say it will cater too heavily to the automobile, making congestion even worse," reports David Zahniser.

While some neighborhood groups have objected to the project's density, the proposed inclusion of a Target store has attracted the ire of transit advocates. 

"Darrell Clarke, co-founder of the advocacy group Friends 4 Expo Transit, described Target as the type of 'big-box' store that lures shoppers in their cars, not on foot. Although he described himself as a major supporter of smart growth, Clarke said that land-use philosophy should not be used to place oversized buildings where they don't belong."

"'To me, it all comes back to the sheer size of the thing,' said Clarke, who worked with his Sierra Club chapter to fight the proposal."

Full Story: Westside development fuels debate over growth -- smart or otherwise

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