Coalition Grows in Opposition to Proposed No-Growth Ballot Initiative

The Meridian Apartments would replace a commercial building and surface parking less than a block from the Vermont/Beverly Red Line station. The proposed ballot initiative would put an end to similar projects.
The Meridian Apartments will soon replace a commercial building and surface parking less than a block from the Vermont/Beverly Red Line station with 100 affordable homes. The proposed ballot initiative would put an end to similar projects.

Communities United for Jobs and Housing, a growing coalition of affordable housing developers, community leaders, climate activists, transit advocates, and elected officials, has formed to oppose efforts by no-growth activists to pass a November ballot measure that would severely curtail, among other things, the city’s ability to address Los Angeles’ worsening housing shortage.

Nearly 40 people and organizations have begun to coalesce around stopping this initiative, spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, which seeks to  freeze in place the auto-centric and sprawling growth model of yesteryear

(BREAKING: Father Gregory Boyle, director of the nonprofit Homeboy Industries, was quoted as a high-profile endorsement of the initiative in a recent L.A. Times story. He has rescinded his support of Weinstein’s initiative, according to the L.A. Times).

“If this initiative passes, construction of affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles would grind to a halt,” said Robin Hughes, president & chief executive officer for the affordable housing provider, Abode Communities.

“This measure strips away essential and established processes and procedures for the approval of vital affordable housing developments, and would significantly contribute to the ongoing affordable housing deficit here in Los Angeles,” she said.

In addition to seeking a two-year moratorium on all development, one of the main goals of the proposed initiative is to eliminate the practice of city officials granting individual projects general plan amendments, usually for additional height and density or parking reductions. But without that practice, Hughes said about half of Abode’s projects, which provide homes for households making 60 percent or less of L.A. County’s area median income, would never get built.

To get a better idea of what that means, in 2015, L.A. County’s area median income for a household of four people was $64,800, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. In order to qualify to live in one of Abode’s projects, a household of four people would have to make less than $38,880 a year.

Providing housing for working people to be able to live near to the jobs where they work is vital, said Hughes, and preventing affordable housing from being built in jobs-rich areas would only result in increased commute time for workers and more time away from their families, not to mention more congestion on the streets.

What’s more is that the measure would also continue to squeeze the middle-class by severely restricting the amount of housing that could get built in L.A. in general, Hugh said.

“The way in which the measure is written now and its constraints… would have a significant impact on residential construction overall,” she said.

Hughes isn’t alone. National Organization for Women (NOW), Hollywood Rail Passengers Association of California, The Transit Coalition, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and Climate Resolve have joined the opposition to the ballot initiative. Jay Handal, chair of the West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and vice chair of Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, and Sandra Figueroa-Villa, executive director of El Centro Del Pueblo, are also listed as opponents of the proposed initiative, as are six of the sitting L.A. City Council members, including Mitch O’Farrell and Joe Buscaino, and former City Councilmember Ruth Galanter.

“I find that the premise [of the proposed initiative] is incredibly deceptive. We cannot have Los Angeles circa 1950. It just won’t work. The housing crisis is out of control; the homeless situation is out of control. People can’t find affordable housing,” said Jonathan Parfrey, founder of Climate Resolve and CicLAvia.

He said that the restrictions imposed by the initiative would also likely prevent Los Angeles from successfully competing for cap-and-trade funds to build affordable housing near transit stations.

It would “increase traffic, encourage sprawl, add smog, and greenhouse gas to our already polluted skies,” he said. “It would discourage sustainable communities, stymie the construction of public transportation and hobble efforts to build affordable housing, all of which our city desperately needs,” he said.

He conceded that the ballot initiative is framed around some valid complaints, acknowledging that there are bad development projects out there. “But with this measure, they are throwing out the good with the bad,” he said.

Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition, had similar concerns.

“This initiative is a roadblock for services our city and its residents rely on simply to get to work every day. If this passes, the transportation network Angelenos have spent tens of billions of dollars on will be left incomplete. If this passes the rich will be just fine but everyone else will be out in the cold,” he said.

Alan Bell, former deputy director of L.A. City Planning, is another opponent of this initiative, saying that it “flies in the face of planning practice” and would only make it harder for communities to improve their quality of life.

“The way the initiative is worded, it could limit the ability of the city to correct planning decisions made in the past that allowed” nuisance uses, like auto shops and recycling centers, in certain neighborhoods. It would also make it much harder for low-income neighborhoods to attract the investment they would need to raise the quality of life, he said.

While the proponents of the initiative frame it as an anti-displacement measure, it in fact is the exact opposite, Bell said.

“Mixed-use development in Los Angeles occurs on commercial development. It’s rare you are going to replace existing housing,” he said. “If you cut off the opportunity to the develop commercial boulevards or along transit corridors, developers are going to look at redeveloping rent-stabilized units. You’ve created a huge incentive to knock down existing affordable housing.”

And, he said, the initiative won’t stop growth. In fact, the Southern California Association of Governments predicts that the city of Los Angeles’ population will increase by about 763,000 people by 2040. That’s roughly the current population of Long Beach.

“Where are all those people going to live? Where are they going to work? If you restrict economic development and restrict housing development, it just means unemployment is going to go up, rent is going to go up,” Bell said.

  • You should link to the text of the proposed initiative It’s actually an interesting read. There’s a lot of vagueness in the standards for how the General Plan is supposed to be amended in accordance with the initiative. For example, you’re supposed to make sure that a General Plan update will not result in development that is “inconsistent” with development within a quarter mile radius (Section 5.D.(5)). So what does “inconsistent” mean exactly? Since the term is not precisely defined, the result will be more lawsuits against the City any time it tries to amend the Land Use Element of its General Plan.

    Luckily California law has some good provisions that require cities to back off of some of their zoning standards for projects that set aside a certain percentage of housing units as affordable (see “Density Bonuses and Other Incentives” at CA Government Code Section 65915 et seq.). However, a density bonus works relative to what is allowed to begin with, so a lower baseline there means the density bonus won’t provide as many units. Market-rate housing developments will definitely suffer as the initiative is designed to keep land use designations from being changed to allow more density or mixed uses.

  • scrubjay

    At a recent meeting of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council Zev Yaroslavsky said that there is additional capacity for 1 million more units in Los Angeles without any increase in zoning. Thus, all the hand-wringing is only the lament of mega-developers who would be thwarted from getting the expected increase in the value of their land purchases that comes from the upzoning of their parcels.

  • Sine Metu

    Raising rents and property values via scarcity benefits whom? Who does it hurt?
    Attempts to cryogenically freeze LA in some bizarre expansive suburbia is foolishness and must be overcome if we are going to fix this mess.

    As usual, avarice and nostalgia attempt to thwart social equity and progress. I admit, they are becoming more clever and nuanced in their modus operandi though.

  • Casey Maddren

    The claim that the NII is going to deprive Angelenos of affordable housing is based on misguided hopes rather than solid facts. In actual fact, LA has lost thousands of affordable units over the past 15 years, in large part because of reckless development practices. Encouraged by the City’s willingness to allow zoning changes and grant entitlements, investors and developers have demolished or converted thousands of RSO apartments since 2000. At the same time, the City of LA has barely constructed enough affordable units to replace the lost housing stock. It’s also important to point out that building new affordable units is far more expensive that preserving existing units. This is crucial, since federal and state money to build affordable housing has dwindled to a trickle. The claim by NII opponents that the measure would stop the construction of affordable housing is based on the misguided belief that the City will step up its efforts in this regard. In 2013 there were 308 Ellis Act evictions in LA, in 2014 that figure rose to 725, and from what I’ve been seeing I feel sure that the numbers will go up when we see the totals from 2015. The owners of the Villa Carlotta evicted the tenants from its 50 units based on the belief that the City would change the zoning. By placing a moratorium on zoning changes, the NII will remove one of the key incentives for Ellis Act evictions. Rather than opposing the NII in the hope that the City might create more affordable housing in the future, critics should look at what the City has actually been doing. Allowing the development juggernaut to continue unchecked will only encourage developers to target more affordable units.

  • SZwartz

    Lots of stuff happens which we never see. January 24, 2016, Zwartz Talk, How Judge Allan Goodman’s Bait ‘N Switch on the Hollywood Community Plan Forced Citizens to Bring the Moratorium Ballot Initiative,

  • SZwartz

    There you go again — with your facts and rationality.

    Don’t you realize LA runs on Buzz words and ad hominem attacks?

  • SZwartz

    The developers want to place all the additional development on very small parcels of land in order to steal all the profits from everyone else. It is one means by which the 1% steal wealth from everyone else.

    They have Transit Oriented Districts [TOD] which mean that they will crowd thousands of people into one 1/2 square block thereby making the value of their land sky high on a per inch basis. Then Garcetti subsidizes their projects, but meanwhile a small developer who wants to construct an office units on the periphery so that rush hour traffic will go against traffic gets shafted by city hall.

    The city hall policy is to make a very, very few landowner owners extremely wealthy by concentrating all future population growth onto a few parcels of land. We know that TODs make air pollution worse, we know that TODs make traffic much worse, and we know that he overwhelming majority of people hate living in or near TODs. None of that matters to the 1%.

    If city hall were not so corrupt, we would see offices being constructed where it makes sense — on the periphery and not in the center. Office complexes near the core draw tons of cars from all over into tiny spaces creating traffic night mares like the 405 – 10 Freeways. When we build widely space offices on the edges away from Century City and DTLA, life is better for everyone. Then people can get to work much faster as they are going ‘against” rush hour.

    Also, the wealth of owning an office building is spread around rather than concentrated in the hands of the 1%.

    The Moratorium is not the total solution, but it does stop the greediest of developers from stealing all future population growth and putting it i their TODs.

  • Matt

    No where does this stop the use of the Ellis Act. If you had an apartment building that was falling apart and needed hundreds of thousands in earthquake repairs, you wouldn’t consider taking it out or selling if you couldn’t come up with the cash? Most of where the Ellis Act is taking place is in neighborhoods, not on commercial streets where zoning variances are needed.

  • Casey Maddren

    Whether it’s zoning variances or entitlements, the City’s practice of freely granting both encourages owners, investors and developers to evict tenants using the Ellis Act. When it’s clear that the City is happy to increase FAR, reduce setbacks, and relax height restrictions, it makes it more tempting for property owners to use Ellis. Aside from putting a moratorium on zoning changes, the NII will require the City to update its General Plan and Community Plans so that development can take place within a coherent framework. Rather than the haphazard, patchwork approach that the City uses now, they need to involve citizens, including landlords, in planning for the community. Then, with a framework in place for future growth, developers would have a clear idea of what the parameters were. Instead of the time-consuming and labor-intensive process of seeking multiple entitlements, they could build by-right projects without fear of legal challenges. The NII encourages planning for growth, instead of the City’s current practice of making it up as they go along.

  • MultiKdizzle

    What you call vagueness, others call flexibility.

  • Mike

    Let’s us dissect this piece-by-piece…

    A. The majority of TOD’s going up in LA are between 4-7 stories about the average density of Paris (92 dwellings per acre). LA city blocks are among the largest parcels in US metropolis ~2.5 acres. So at a 1/2 block, these new developments are accommodating about 150 dwellings certainly a far cry from you “thousands of people per 1/2 block”

    B. Garcetti is not a despot nor does his administration subsidize any part of development. They are known for creating “exceptions” and zoning amendments, but certainly not subsidizing anything. I pinky promise.

    C. YOU clearly know nothing of TODs, and YOU can sift through development filings and case reports to discover that development proposals are varied by applicant, not in control by a handful of single operators… That’s called “putting all your eggs in one basket” and that isn’t prudent. TOD’s inherently support mass transit which mitigates both traffic and pollution. “And we know that the overwhelming majority hate living in or near TOD’s” right… which is why they are among the most common programs being developed all over LA, because everyone vehemently opposes and hates them.

    D. You’re justified in wanting to diversify job centers, the city could benefit tremendously is breaking up land-use segregation by providing sustainable pockets of the city which hold housing, commercial, retail, open space, medical and education all within close proximity. That’s would certainly help alleviate car dependent workforce from all traveling to the same places.

    Remember, the most efficient and fascinating cities developed as the market demanded (without zoning regulation) not in some overly complicated car oriented masterplan. (Irvine comes to mind… which is clean, but sorely lacks as a “city”)

  • You could also say that rent control results in a loss of affordable housing because it incentivizes landlords to stop being landlords. If you were a landlord and you were facing a choice between continuing to rent out your property at below market prices or selling your property to a developer to build condos at market rates, it would probably be in your financial interest to sell to the developer.

    LA is a progressive city, so rent control is hard to touch, but if you look at it like an economist, there is definitely a case against it, even for those of us who care about affordable housing.

  • SZwartz

    (A) The Crossroads alone will have over 800 units plus additional hotel rooms. That places the number of persons into the thousands. Other projects are similar and the Palladium is about 1/4 a sq block

    (B) The city council has run according to an criminal voting agreement contrary to Penal Code 86. The council’s voting is so corrupt that a project which gets zero votes is reported as passing unanimously. The voting scam allows each developer to construct whatever he wants without regard to the zoning code or even court orders, e.g. 5929 Sunset, The target store, the Hollywood Community Plan, the Hollywood-Gower Project, the Millennium Towers.

    (C) The city does not collect developer fees which is the same as giving tax subsidies — it is public money that ends up in the developers’ pockets. Until the CRA was abolished due to corruption, it sucked over $2.5 Billion of incremental property taxes out of the public coffers and gave the money to developers, which is why there was no money for streets, sidewalks, pensions funds, paramedics, etc.

    Then the city give hundreds of millions of tax breaks to developers like Korean Airlines and the Chinese government. The city often “co-signs” on loans and when the LLC or LLP which the developer formed goes BK, the city is left with the debt. The Hollywood-Highland Project cost $625 Million to construct and then was sold to CIM Group for only $201 Million. That was the largest real estate write down in history. Garcetti gave $17.4 M to CIM for the Sunset-Gordon project, about $11 M went to CIM for the north side of Hollywood-Western, $52 Million to Eli Broad for a parking garage. Look at the hundreds of millions which the city passes to developers through HCIDLA.

    It is mathematically impossible for a fixed-rail system to serve a huge circular city. Because the subway and above ground rail lines can never serve more than a small fraction of the urban area, people will always need to own cars. By constructing TODs, the city creates pockets of extreme traffic congestion which will make the freeways and streets in that part of town non-functional. That was the opinion of CalTrans for The Millennium Towers and the reason Judge Chalfant threw out the Millennium EIR.

    The courts my be corrupt, but they know that destroying the city to make a few developers wealthy is a dumb idea — corrupt judges have to live here — whereas the developers do not.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    The city of Los Angeles is 468 square miles and has a population of 3.9 million. Tokyo is much larger with 845 square miles and a population of 13.3 million. The Tokyo area has 158 commuter rail lines, 2,210 stations and 2,923 miles of track. There are .61 stations per 1.6 square mile of developed area. 40 million passengers use the system daily. Subway use is 22% of that total. There are an average of 0.5 cars per household in Tokyo.

    Tokyo disproves your theory that it’s mathematically impossible for a fixed-rail system to serve a huge circular city and that people will always need to own cars because of that.

    Caltrans makes sure that the freeways are always functional, no matter what the number of cars that are trying to use them, by the use of traffic signals at the on-ramps to limit the number of vehicles that can access the freeway at any one time.

    Parking spaces are the fertility drug for driving. Reducing the number of parking spaces will keep the volume of driving in check. TOD projects should have less parking spaces available per unit compared to other areas of the city.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    dude – buy this guy a magnum of the best hooch

  • Casey Maddren

    It’s an interesting question. I’m sure there are landlords who get frustrated with rent control and sell their units. But I’m skeptical of whether the current “market rates” really reflect the market. In recent years developers have made a practice of paying more than market value to buy a property, intending to pass the higher cost along to tenants. This means tenants who can’t afford the higher rent by themselves get roommates to share the cost. Owners of new buildings are also able to rent vacant units as short-term rentals, which has been reported by tenants at Sunset/Gordon, The Dylan, The Jefferson and Easttown.

    I know economists almost universally decry rent control, saying rents would be cheaper in a free market. But neighboring cities, like Burbank, Culver City and Pasadena, don’t have rent control, and their rental prices are all higher than LA.

  • calwatch

    On the other hand, the unincorporated County also doesn’t have rent control. Rents in East LA, Willowbrook, Westmont, and View Park are similar to their neighboring Los Angeles communities. Rents and housing prices in San Fernando and Huntington Park are similar to their adjacent communities. The higher rents in Burbank, Culver City, and Pasadena have more to do with the demographics and quality of the schools in these non-LAUSD communities than the presence or not of rent control.

  • Casey Maddren

    Then you agree that rent control doesn’t seem to be the determining factor in rental prices?

  • Slexie

    LA county is over four thousand square miles. Are you saying places like WeHo, Santa Monica, Torrance, Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, etc. that are not part of LA City don’t count when it comes to transit? Because that brings the population up to 9.8 million. Your comparison to Tokyo falls flat. Tokyo is much smaller and denser. It is in no way close to the size of LA County and to compare the two isn’t genuine. They don’t have enough in common to be comparable.

  • Slexie

    “They are known for creating “exceptions” and zoning amendments, but certainly not subsidizing anything. I pinky promise.”


    …, the City Council made the conscious, but ill informed, self-serving decision to use our cash strapped City’s limited funds to subsidize the Westfield Corporation…

    “-In March of 2014, the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 25 year, $48 million giveaway to help the $28.5 billion Westfield Corporation finance its $250 million development, The Village at Westfield Topanga..

    The city is letting Westfield keep 42% of the sales tax revenue for the next 25 years. That sounds like a subsidy to me.

  • Mike

    If this sounds like a subsidy to you, I suggest you look up the definition of a subsidy (HINT: it’s not the same as “partial exemptions”) The difference between upfront funding by way of federal or state grants vs not collecting a portion of tax adjusted over 25 years.

    You have to question the validity of an article that blatantly accuses the city administration of corruption, links to notoriously anti-developer CityWatch (broken link…) and incorrectly states the value of tax exemptions by an order of millions (FYI: It was actually 59M)

    I’m not happy about the tax break either, but for an entity that spent over 1 billion dollars in Los Angeles in the last 2 years, I’m okay with letting them keep $5,500 a day in uncollected tax revenue for the next 25 years…

    Also, I’m flattered that you dug into the archives to attempt to prove me wrong, but unfortunately that’s not gonna change the reality of how are city is developing.

    Nice try though :)

  • Sine Metu

    So you’re saying it’s impossible to get around the city by any other means than by car? That nobody walks, cycles or takes buses in LA?

    In fact, LA is absolutely ideal for getting around al fresco. It’s flat, temperate and absolutely stunning once you get outside of your car.

    I haven’t owned a car for over 12 years and somehow I manage. In fact, I’m thriving at age 43. Never been happier.

    ‘Impossible’ is a limitation that folks impose on themselves to rationalize their sloth. With attitudes like this, it’s little wonder that his country has become soft (literally and figuratively).

  • Dennis_Hindman

    I was responding to the statement that it is mathematically impossible for a fixed-rail system to serve a huge circular city. I disproved that by using the example of Tokyo, which is a much larger city than the city of Los Angeles. Transit does not work as well for lower population density areas in much of the county of Los Angeles as it does for the city of Los Angeles. That’s why its called mass transit. It works best where there is a mass of people.

  • Slexie

    So even though you’re trying to discredit my source, you know it’s true. A billion dollar company doesn’t need a subsidy from the city of LA. Please don’t ever run for office. You’re just as corrupt as the City Council. You’re flattered that I made you look silly again? Whatever you say.

  • Slexie

    No kidding. I’m saying using Tokyo’s size and transit as a barometer of what will work in LA isn’t genuine. I think it’s pretty well known that transit works in high density areas. But there are 88 cities in and around LA City, it’s not really comparable to any place else. It’s not like the places not part of LA City are in some barren outlying area.

    I know what you’re saying, but even for answering a question it’s not accurate.

  • Slexie

    Could you quote me saying anything you’re accusing me of saying? Because I never said anything like:

    “impossible to get around the city by any other means than car? That nobody walks, cycles or takes buses in LA?”

    I don’t even really want to answer you, because you might make up something even more ridiculous. Attitudes like what? The one you made up in your head? I really don’t even know if you meant to reply to me. Weird.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    Tokyo is a city and the city of Los Angeles is a city. The statement was that’s it is mathematically impossible for a fixed-rail system to serve a huge circular city. Then you bring up the county of LA and compare it’s size to the city of Tokyo. Los Angeles County is a conglomeration of a lot of cities, which is irrelevant to the claim which concerned one city.

    Another claim that is repeatedly made is that Los Angeles is too spread out for bicycling to become significant. Tokyo has a 16% bicycling rate for all trips and its a city much larger geographically than Los Angeles.

    Los Angeles began as a rail town. The Red Car streetcar system encompassed 1,100 miles in the Los Angeles region. Most of the Metro rail system being built now runs along the old Red Car routes.

  • Mike

    I guess you don’t understand what a subsidy is, nor did you bother to educate yourself. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter…

    Perhaps it’s time for a new hobby, one that doesn’t include trolling the comment section of a publication with diametrically opposing viewpoints from your own.

  • Mike

    And when do arbitrary borders cease to be a factor? Tokyo metro (county equivalent) is 5,400 sq miles and at ~6000 p/sq. m. their metro area is less dense than ours.

  • Slexie

    The fixed rail system works in Tokyo because a huge part of the population is going to the same place every day. That place is the financial district. It works because of that reason, and yes density. But imagine all that density and everyone is going to a different place every day.
    I don’t agree with you. I didn’t say anything about bicycles either. I know a lot about the history of LA transit too.

  • Slexie

    Why are you asking me? He said LA City, ask him.

  • Slexie

    No one is forcing you to comment at me. That’s on you.

  • Mike


  • Slexie

    You know that’s the response of a 12 yr old girl, right?

  • Dennis_Hindman

    Twenty-six of the fifty-one busiest train stations in the world are in Tokyo. Its train system is extremely busy throughout the city, not just at one location.

    Having population density with job centers spread out to many locations, like Los Angeles, creates a more efficient transit system with transit demand going in both directions for most of the day.

  • Slexie

    I never said their transit was busy in only one location. I said a huge amount of the population goes to the same place, the financial district. The population of the financial district is 7x’s larger during the day than the evening. So wherever they are coming from, they are going to and leaving the financial core of the city.

    The link you provided is about Houston and HSR, which isn’t part of Tokyo or LA. Our city has decided that all transit go through downtown. It’s ridiculous that taking the rail from anywhere south of Santa Monica to get to the Valley has to go through downtown. We should have density on the outskirts and low rise density closer to the core. But until everything stops going through downtown, I don’t see transit getting better. We have buses that don’t show up and trains that are in the same traffic as the cars. There is nothing efficient about that.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    None of the twenty-six busiest train stations in Tokyo are located in the financial district of Nihonbashi.

    The Human Transit article that I provided a link to above is about whether having a downtown area is important. You obviously didn’t read the whole article.

    Neither all Metro trains or buses go downtown. The Green light-rail line does not go downtown. The Orange Line is the second busiest Metro bus line and it does not go downtown. The Crenshaw Line that is being built won’t go downtown.

    The highest density communities in LA county are just west of downtown LA. That’s why the emphasis is on installing high-capacity transit lines in that area. It wouldn’t make sense to install them in areas that have much less population density.

  • Slexie

    I never said anything about how busy any transit station is. My point was that a good chunk of people are going to the financial district in Tokyo. You keep creating this straw man that I never mentioned about how busy their stations are. I can’t tell if you’re being difficult on purpose. Do you understand a large group of people using public transit all going to the same place, regardless of where they get picked up, has something to do with that transportation being especially useful, viable and efficient? Because if all those people drove every day and every night WITHOUT public transit, it would be the worst traffic ever, all going to the same place and leaving the same place every day.

    Where does the Orange Line bus take you? Back and forth to the Red Line Station. So unless you’re going to some place further into the Valley, like from NoHo to Topanga in a straight line, that’s about all the Orange Line is doing for you. Have you ever been on the Orange Line? It’s constantly packed with people. And a big chunk of people are parking along that route and taking that line to the NoHo Red Line Station.

    (Just as an aside, The Red Line in NoHo loses 1500 passengers a day because people drive there and can’t find a parking space. But please, let’s continue to remove parking from transit stations, so we can punish the people who are doing the right thing by taking transit for part of their journey. Because the drivers who don’t have time to wait for the bus, or who have to drop kids off at school before they go to work are clearly the problem.) Where does the Red Line go? Downtown. So if I want to go to the Westside, I have to go through downtown coming from the Valley. I can’t get off at H&H and cut through WeHo to Century City. Oh wait, I can. I can take a bus which will double or triple my driving time. But if I don’t drive, and the bus takes too long, then I guess I’m getting routed through downtown, aren’t I? The 405 is a parking lot every day and everyone knows that. Yet there is no train that goes along the 405. Why? Who knows?

    All the lines you mentioned are back and forth lines. Getting to them in the first place means taking a bus and people value their time more than that. Why spend 4 hours commuting on a bus when you can spend half that time commuting in your car? The colleges should all have rail near them. There will always be traffic in those areas by USC and UCLA and the smaller collages like CSUN etc. Instead, we have the Gold Line in Mariachi Plaza which is the loneliest transit station ever. The areas east of downtown need to get to the west side and that journey is as old as time. The domestics going west to serve the upper class is the classic hours long route for immigrants. Yet it took forever to get the Expo Line built and the subway still cuts north at Western. (I know all about Waxman and all that legislation, so you don’t have to lecture me about that.)

    The city is in the business of taxing the rich to pay for the poor. That means, traffic will never improve and people will continue to drive. Because the rich have no use for transit. That’s why there is no tram or rail paralleling the 405 or the 10, the worst freeways in LA. So whatever rail they want to put in, it will be primarily used by people without cars. That’s why traffic doesn’t change. The city needs to figure out what they want. I’m not voting for anymore money for transit if they don’t put it in places people need to be.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    The point about Tokyo is that the trains are taking people to places all over the city and not mainly to one location. The financial district is not the focal point as it is in Manhattan. Destinations and population are spread out much more evenly in Tokyo than in New York City.

    The Orange Line is not taking people mainly just to and from the Red Line station. Its also heavily used by students at a high school and two community colleges.

    Where has parking been removed at any Metro station?

    You assumption that people have to take a bus to get to a rail line is not correct. I recently stood on Lankershim Blvd just south of the Red Line station and counted pedestrians and bicyclists. There are many people going to and from that station who are on foot or on a bicycle. That station is busy in the morning peak hours taking people in both directions. The same is true about the Orange Line.

    The Red Line doesn’t just go to downtown. It also goes to Hollywood. There will be a subway extension built to UCLA and Century City. You will be able to get there from the valley without going to downtown.

    The Gold Line to east LA will connect to the Expo Line when the Regional Connector is finished.

    There is a train paralleling the 10 freeway. Its called the Expo Line.

    One of the transit projects for Measure R is to build a rail line from the valley to UCLA. This would parallel the 405 freeway.

    I’m tired of refuting your ignorant statements.

  • Slexie

    “You assumption that people have to take a bus to get to a rail line is not correct. I recently stood on Lankershim Blvd just south of the Red Line station and counted pedestrians and bicyclists. There are many people going to and from that station who are on foot or on a bicycle.”

    So how many people were crossing the street to go from the Red Line to the Orange Line? Because you have to cross the street to get from one to the other. So how many people were walking to the Red Line that didn’t come from the Orange Line? How many people were there to get on the Orange Line that walked up and were not from the Red Line? And I’m sure you watched who locked up their bike and got on the Red Line and who locked up their bike and got on the Orange Line, yes? So what percentage of pedestrians were taking the Orange Line? What percentage of pedestrians were taking the Red Line? And I’m sure you stayed all day to see the morning and evening rush. What were the differences? How many people walked up and went to their cars? I’m sure you saw that, because people do that. So how many people did that?

    Since you were counting and all.

    The Expo line covers the whole 10? Well I had no idea.

    The regional connector isn’t finished and any bus, or rail along the 405 I’m sure has already started, right? So tell us when it’s going to be finished. Where have they broken ground for that? When can I go from Sherman Oaks to UCLA without going through downtown? Since you know. Don’t be shy.

    I think we all know the Red Line goes to Hollywood. I think most of us are very aware that people bike and walk to the Red Line. And yes the Expo line covers a very small part of the 10, from downtown.

  • Slexie

    This is from a Streetsblog article about Metro transit stations and how people get there:

    “The majority of riders arrive by bus; approximately a third arrive by “other methods” including walking and bicycling.”

    So my assumption that most people have to take a bus to get to the station was spot on. Just wanted to let you know my statements are not ignorant.


Transit-Oriented Development and Communities of Color: A Field Report

(This article first appeared in Progressive Planner, the official magazine of the Planner’s Network and is reprinted with the author’s permission.  Gen Fujioka is the senior policy advocate with the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. This article was written in collaboration with the Urban Communities of Color Caucus which seeks to advance […]