Could Los Angeles grow to become a “real city” like New York or London? Last year, LA gained at least 50,000 people, according to a recent report from the California Department of Finance, pushing the population to more than 4 million people for the first time in the city’s history.
“There has been a major change about how people talk about LA,” Robert Gottlieb, director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, told Motherboard. “People are recognizing that the car isn’t going to be as dominant in the future.”
Ah yes, the car. When I was born in Los Angeles in 1982, there was no subway system. Smartphones, and consequently Uber and Lyft, were decades away. You had to drive or take the bus, and the resulting traffic and smog seemed to kill any dreams that LA could handle any more people.
I left the West Coast for New York City and stayed for nearly a decade. When I moved back to LA, life in the city had changed so dramatically I wondered if I even needed a car.
Public transit in LA could grow even faster if the $120 billion Measure R extension passes in November. It calls for funding for more than two dozen mass transit lines and extensions, including a subway line running under the traffic-clogged 405 freeway and a much-needed connection between the Crenshaw line and LAX. […]