There’s a lot of talk about infrastructure needs and jobs these days. President Barack Obama will address both Thursday evening, with L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa in the audience. It will certainly be a closely watched speech here at Metro as the agency hopes to hear the President publicly ask Congress to approve the America Fast Forward plan to use federal loans and financing to speed up construction of Measure R transportation projects.
What’s the above map from the U.S. Census Bureau have to do with this? I think it nicely portrays three key trends:
•The state’s population growth has almost doubled in the past 40 years and has grown by at least 10 percent in each of the last four decades, although the pace of growth has decreased in the past two decades.
•The vast majority of the people in the state are living in large metro areas — L.A., the Bay Area and San Diego to be specific.
•The age distribution chart shows there’s no shortage here of young people who one day will need infrastructure of all types.
It seems likely that California and our region will continue to grow, if history is any guide. Whether taxpayers and elected officials are willing to spend money to accommodate the growth and help those already living here, however, remains to be seen.