Not long ago the City of LA released two documents for public review. The Mobility Plan 2035 and The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles are both intended to create a framework for the city’s future growth. There are many good things in both plans, and I certainly support efforts to improve public transit and develop a healthier environment. However….
I have to say I don’t trust our elected officials. If you take the documents at face value, they present a thrilling utopian vision for the city where everyone will have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. But unfortunately, the Mayor and the City Council have shown over and over again that they’re willing to put the interests of their wealthy buddies ahead of the interests of the average citizen.
The thing that makes me suspicious is that both documents talk about land use, and both documents promote higher density. This is not bad in itself. LA is notorious for its sprawling communities and there are many areas where we could reap significant benefits by creating greater density. My concern is that the Mayor and the City Council want to change land use policy not to build a healthier city, but rather to let their developer friends build skyscrapers wherever they like. We’ve already seen our elected officials playing fast and loose with the facts with the Hollywood Community Plan Update. They argued that greater density was necessary because Hollywood’s population had increased, when in fact they knew that the community had lost thousands of residents in recent years. Fortunately the courts set them straight.
But I don’t want to go off on another rant. I do too much of that already. As I said, there are many good things about both plans, and I encourage you to take a look at them. We should all be thinking about what direction we want this city to take. LA seems to be riding a new wave of growth, and it’s important that we make informed, intelligent decisions about how that growth occurs. If we aren’t involved in the process, others will make those decisions for us, and they may not have our best interests at heart.
Here are links to both plans.