Los Angeles is the future -- watch your back New York! That's what the New York Post told readers a month ago, and it wasn't tongue in cheek. Writers Andy Wang and David Landsel were effusive in their praise for L.A.'s transformation: "A decade of building real transit... Of creating truly walkable neighborhoods... For the first time in generations you will soon be able to travel by rail between downtown and Santa Monica. Soon after expect a subway stop on Rodeo Drive."

It wasn't the only such story. In April, an Atlantic Cities story asked "Is SoCal America's Next Environmental Success Story?" And a story on Slate speculated whether Los Angeles was becoming "America's next great mass-transit city." Apparently the media noticed there were three transit lines under construction this year for the first time in LA County history, or at least since Henry Huntington was building the Pacific Red Car lines a century ago. Next year work on three more lines begins.

Measure R, the half-cent sales tax passed by voters in 2008, has ushered in a new era of transportation choices -- making it possible to double the size of the rail system and the number of stations in 30 years. Meanwhile, commuting by public transit is up 11 percent, according to the 2009 American Communities Survey, taking a lot of cars off the road.

Measure J -- on the ballot next Tuesday -- would usher in this new era with a bang, making L.A. County more healthy, prosperous and sustainable, with cleaner air, in about a decade. Measure J would construct seven iconic transit lines and eight highway improvement projects all over L.A. County in 13 years instead of 27, as is currently planned under Measure R.

Read the rest here.


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