Los Angeles County: Equity Atlas
December 30, 2013 1 Comment
As Los Angeles County continues to build out its transportation network, especially its transit service, it’s extraordinarily helpful to have data and recommendations from policymakers from public agencies, academics, housing experts, economic developers, community based organizations, public health leaders, school districts, foundations, elected officials, and more on how to collaborate to support the impact, value, challenges and opportunites those investments present. That’s why we’re so excited to see the California Community Foundation’s report published in the Fall 2013, the Los Angeles Equity Atlas.
Major themes of this report:
- Increasing Mobility, Access and Connectivity: Increasing mobility and access choices for transit-reliant residents by making supporting investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
- Preserving and Creating Affordable Housing, and Managing Neighborhood Change: Prevention of displacement of low-income rsidents from well-connected transit, communities and production of housing at all income levels to increase the supply, ensuring that 40% of new development is affordable to extremely low, very low and low-income households.
- Supporting Economic and Workforce Development: Increasing economic opportunities for low-income, less-skilled workers by removing transportation barriers to training and educational opportunities, and increasing access to moderate-wage, quality jobs.
- Investing in Healthy Communities: Increasing opportunity and reducing disparities in underserved neighborhoods near transit, including access to fresh food, health care, open space and parks, cleaner air, transportation safety and freedom from crime and violence.
It is fantastic to see a lot of great transportation data and analysis, and we love that data and encourage you to read the full report for more, but for this post, we wanted to point out a few of the strong connections made between land use, economic development, housing and transportation policy ideas made in this report (and the great data sources behind them).
Among the interesting findings and recommendations:
- “Core riders cannot be a casualty of new investment and the growing desirability of well-connected urban neighborhoods, or the region will not meets its goals.” page 5. Encouraging Los Angeles County to provide affordable housing and reduce displacement. A goal inspired largely on the work of researcher Stephanie Pollack who found in a 2010 study, that new housing around transit corridors often attracts residents with higher car ownership rates and higher incomes.
- “Since the mid-1990s Los Angles has remained the nation’s capital of low-wage labor, with 28% of full time workers in Los Angeles county making less than $25,000 a year. Chicago by comparison can claim that only 19% of workers make $25,000 or below.” Source Meyerson, Harold, The American Prospect, L.A. Story, 6 August 2013.
- “In this study, the willingness of the public sector to support transit-oriented development was the strongest predictor of future economic revitalization.” Source: Hook et all. More Development for Your Transit Dollar. Institute for Transportation Development and Policy. September 2013.
- “63% of transit-dependent riders on LA Metro are 65 years or older.” Source: 2011 Metro on-board survey.
- “In 2005, nearly 20% of County residents reported having a disability. 17% reported transportation as a barrier to receiving needed health care, vs 5% of residents without a disability.” Source Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, “Adult disability in Los Angeles County,” Los Angeles CA 2006.
- “By 2021, 40% of new housing developing in Los Angeles County must be affordable to low or very low income households in order to meet the regional housing needs.” Source: Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG): Regional Housing Needs Assessment.
- “The State of California Surplus Land Act encourages surplus land owned by school districts and local agencies as well as state agencies to be used for affordable housing when agencies intend to dispose of it.” Source Public Council, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, East LA Community Corporation, Little Tokyo Service Center, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation“Transit Law’s Impact on Local Joint Development: An Explanation of. Real and Perceived Barriers to Affordable Housing.”
- “Between 1994 and 2000 pedestrian fatality rates for children in Los Angeles under 4 were almost triple the national number and rates for seniors over age 70 in LA are double the national level.” Source: Pedestrian Collisions in LA 1994 through 2000
- “Vacant lots and low visibility areas are also associated with higher rates of crime. A study along the Green Line in Los Angeles County also found that crime rates were higher in areas with alleys and mid-block passages to the rear of buildings, and near stations with physical features that block visibility and natural surveillance such as freeway pillars.” Source: Ligget, Robin, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Hiroyuki Iseki, “Protecting Against Transit Crime: The Importance of the Built Environment,” UCLA Jan 2004.
And an insightful chart on several Los Angeles County cities planning per resident expenditures (found on page 34):
This report offers a rich array data and policy recommendations for discussion, especially for developing a equity framework for transportation investments in Los Angeles County. Read the full report here.