Learning Lessons from Los Angeles on Bold Transportation Planning

The Bay Area Council last year took pride in touting a book by a prominent UCLA professor detailing how our region has outperformed Los Angeles over the past 40 years in the race for economic dominance. The book highlighted early strategic missteps by LA at the same time the Bay Area was making moves to position itself to lead the coming internet and digital revolutions. The praise was warmly welcomed, but Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman also cautioned against complacency as our economic success amplifies long-standing housing and transportation problems.

A Los Angeles Times story this week served as another reminder, detailing how Los Angeles is making bold strides in expanding and investing in its transportation network while many of the Bay Area’s mass transit systems suffer severe overcrowding and deterioration. The Council is taking the lead to ensure our region stays on top of these issues. We recently led an executive delegation to Los Angeles to learn from leaders there about what they’re doing. We’re working with top political and regional planning leaders here to develop a strategic transportation initiative. And we’re supporting key transportation funding measures on next Tuesday’s ballot, including Measure RR to fix and upgrade BART, Measure B in Santa Clara County to expand transit and fix roads and Measure X in Contra Costa County. To engage in our transportation policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Michael Cunningham.

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