SGV Connect: L.A. County Parks Re-Openings and Long-Term Planning Across the Region

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This week, SGV Connect talks to government executives that are overseeing some of L.A. County’s largest departments as they respond to COVID-19 and do long-term future planning.la. count

First, Kris talks to Norma Garcia, the Acting Director of the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation. Fortin and Garcia discuss the county’s plans to continue to re-open public space, should the numbers support greater openings, and the experience inside of the re-opened parks and trails last weekend. So far, things seem to be going pretty well. Fingers crossed that the COVID-19 numbers stay low.

Next, Damien talks to Kome Ajise, the executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, the regional planning organization for the six county Southern California region. A little under two weeks ago, SCAG approved Connect SoCal, its long-term plan for the region. Connect SoCal helps guide development in large cities and small municipalities throughout the region.

Efforts were made to change plans for density, citing how overcrowding is partially responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in some cities. However, Ajise and the SCAG staff resisted. Ajise aptly describes the difference between density and overcrowding in the interview. That section of the plan remains unchanged from the draft in the fall.

During what is usually a short between-interview segment, Damien asked Kris his take on the SCAG plan. Kris had been engaged with SCAG on behalf of Santa Ana Active Streets, and he gave a detailed extended answer. Kris is something of an expert on SCAG’s process and long term plan. Late last year, Kris interviewed Ajise for SGV Connect #56, and got into greater detail on the plan then Damien did with today’s post-COVID-19 overview.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Catch past episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

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