Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne has been one of the more critical thinkers at the Los Angeles Times these last several years. Over the weekend he weighed in on the growing conflict in Los Angeles between those that see a future for the city with subways, light rails, bike lanes and inviting places to walk and those that can’t see beyond the dashboard.
Critics Notebook: There’s a Growing Disconnect on a Better-Connected L.A. should be read in its entirety. After juxtaposing the public’s reaction to CicLAvia to the media’s lazy reaction to the Westside Subway EIR; Hawthorne closes his piece by clearly defining the battle lines, and the path to victory, for those that want a “connected city.”
More and more, I am convinced that the gap between those who welcome additional density and crave mass transit and those who are on guard against such change is widening, and indeed will come to define the political landscape in Los Angeles for the next decade or two. To a certain extent, CicLAvia and events like it have a role to play in helping bridge that gap, mostly because they provide a way to see the cityscape with fresh eyes and at unusually close range.
But in the end, it’s not CicLAvia and other special events such as the Tour De Fat that will define Los Angeles, but the concrete changes in the way people move in their day to day life. Hawthorne, and apparently the people that read his piece, get that.
Hopefully, everyone with a dashboard perspective can join him soon.