L.A. Metro Tackling Transit's Connection With Gentrification

New leadership at Los Angeles County's Metro says its planning efforts should consider much more than transit routes and service—including the potential for gentrification in the neighborhoods where it's investing.
October 14, 2015, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Phil Washington wants his agency to do more to prepare for gentrification around new transit lines and help prevent the displacement of longtime residents," according to a column by Kerry Cavanaugh.

"Washington, who has been on the job for seven months, said too many transportation officials believe their sole responsibility is the transit line and that they have no interest in the development that occurs around the stations. The result is that low-income residents and businesses are often displaced shortly after new transit lines open."

Washington's opinion comes out clearly on one side of a debate that has occurred around Metro for years—but especially as the system builds out new rail infrastructure all over the region, including into neighborhoods with large populations of low-income and minority residents. A sign of Metro leadership's agreement with Washington on the issue came in March 2015, when the Metro board of directors "[voted] to set a goal that 35% of all apartments and condos built on land no longer needed by Metro be set aside for low-income residents," according top Cavanaugh.

Putting its money where Washington's mouth is, later this month Metro will consider ten sites as pilot projects in its Transit-Oriented Community Demonstration Program.

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Published on Monday, October 12, 2015 in Los Angeles Times
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