The Architect’s Newspaper:
"PROTEST> DRIVING TOWARD BANKRUPTCY
Architect and urban designer, Gerhard W. Mayer, calls for a revolution in California’s car country.
Angelenos, we must build a different city—or drive ourselves broke…
According to the American Automobile Association, it costs, on average, approximately $8,500 per year to own and operate a car. An infographic from the National Building Museum finds that of that $8,500, less than $1,500 stays local. For every car on the road in LA, more than $7,000 per year goes elsewhere—much to international oil companies and car manufacturers.
Let’s do the math. In 2009, LA County had 6.7 million registered vehicles. 6.7 million times $7,000 not spent locally equals approximately $47 billion! This is the amount we are taking out of our local economy per year, every year, because we drive.
At the sunset of Mayor Villaraigosa’s administration we rightfully celebrate our city’s amazing recent accomplishments and return to public transit. However, we are only halfway done. The next steps won’t be easy, nor are they obvious. Yes, we need to continue to build new transit infrastructure, but we must also build a different city around the shiny new transit network that can maximize its benefits.
Decades of development and sprawl are rightfully blamed for the degradation of our quality of life, and for our near unbearable congestion. This has turned many Angelenos against development and into NIMBY activists ready to object anytime to anything. But contrary to NIMBY creed, we cannot do nothing. The path we are on is really an economic fiasco in waiting.”
Photo: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S NOTORIOUS CONGESTION WASTES RESOURCES AND BLEEDS THE LOCAL ECONOMY. JEFFREY TURNER