LA and SF in dogfight over transportation rights


By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog

In San Francisco, a bus project over a decade in the making finally receives its massive environmental impact report. In Los Angeles, the mayor announces his first executive directive, launching a “Great Streets” program. It’s a tale of two cities — and two visions of the future of urban planning.

In both San Francisco and L.A., the political leadership harbors a strong interest in moving away from car-first living and working. The similarities and differences between the two cities, however, have set up an important contrast between the policies officeholders wish to use to get there.

Public transportation is already central for many San Franciscans; Angelenos typically rely far more on automobiles. San Francisco is notoriously dense; L.A., famously sprawling. Partly because of those different growth patterns, and partly because of tradition, although San Francisco neighborhoods have their own distinct identity, L.A.’s neighborhoods are bigger, more autonomous, and more self-contained. Residents often choose to spend much of their time near their homes, not shuttling from one side of town to the other unless their work requires it.

at Cal Watchdog.