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Trying to Remake L.A. as a More Walkable City

A legacy of discriminatory planning exacerbated the low-density sprawl that's been so hard for Los Angeles to roll back.
April 28, 2018, 9am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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The Los Angeles stereotype is insane commutes and unwalkable streets. The stereotype is not completely unfounded, because of when the city was growing. "Social inequality is baked into the regional land use laws characterized by low-density sprawl that has contributed to car dependence," Emily Han writes for The American Prospect. The sprawl makes it particularly hard to grow public transit. "Long distances between home and work complicate walking and biking, while the absence of a high-frequency transit network also encourages driving," Han writes.

But many are looking to change that reality. "A walkable city means building more workforce housing, a robust bike network, and reliable transit that puts homes and employment in closer proximity," Han writes. Some road diets have been put in to slow drivers, but they've faced serious opposition, "despite the fact that road diets reduce fatalities, these projects have also generated considerable political controversy."

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Published on Friday, April 20, 2018 in The American Prospect
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