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LA Times: City Council Should Take Responsibility for Lack of Transit Oriented Development
An editorial from the Los Angeles Times calls the Los Angeles City Council to task as it considers a new plan for neighborhoods around the Expo Light Rail Line.
The City Council will soon vote on the Expo Line Transit Neighborhood Plan, which is the first in a series of “transit neighborhood plans” that rewrite the rules for development in communities directly around rail stations to allow more homes, offices and shops. The plan has sparked opposition among neighborhood groups worried that denser development will worsen traffic and erode community character, so the vote will be a test of the City Council’s commitment to addressing the housing shortage. It’s also an opportunity to show Sacramento that “local control” isn’t code for “no development.”
The editorial places the debate about the Expo Line Transit Neighborhood Plan in context of the failed state legislation, SB 827, which the Los Angeles City Council voted to oppose out of concern over maintaining local control.
In the process of defending the Expo Line Transit Neighborhood Plan from its opponents, the Los Angeles Times editorial board also gives a succinct argument in favor of robust transit oriented development:
Taller, denser, more walkable and more affordable development around transit stations represents the best way to solve two of L.A.’s worst problems — the staggering cost of housing and the crushing toll of traffic. Concentrating new development near rail and bus lines can help reduce Angelenos’ reliance on cars, ease traffic congestion and cut vehicle emissions that are polluting the air and fueling global climate change.