How We Roll, Nov. 30: how much parking in our region is too much?

Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. And back to the grind we go as 2015 enters its stretch run….

ICYMI 1: The Silver Line is expanding to the San Pedro on Dec. 13.

ICYMI 2: The three-month closure of the Gold Line’s Little Tokyo Station begins Friday night to accommodate construction fo the Regional Connector. More about the project and shuttle buses here.

Current HWR movie endorsements: ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Creed.’ Rocky I through Rocky IV had flashier opponents, but the new movie is terrifically entertaining even if you haven’t digested the previous six Rocky movies multiple times (as yours truly has done). BTW, the new ArcLight in Santa Monica is open and is steps from the downtown Santa Monica Station of the Expo Line, which is scheduled to open next year.

Art of Transit: 

Growth of parking infrastructure in Los Angeles (UCLA)


DTLA in 1960. Photo is courtesy of the Herald-Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.

Here’s a graph with some telling numbers from the new study, published recently in the Journal of the American Planning Assn.:

We estimate that there were 18.6 million parking spaces in LA County in 2010, which includes 5.5 million
residential off-street, 9.6 million nonresidential off-street, and 3.6 million on-street spaces. There are approximately 200 square miles of parking infrastructure of one type or another covering 14% of the incorporated land area of the county, 1.4 times larger than the 140 square miles devoted to streets and freeways. This means that there are 3.3 spaces for each of the 5.6 million vehicles in the county (California Department of Motor Vehicles, 2010).

Check out the above link, where you can find some nifty maps and graphics that go along with the study.

If memory serves, there have been some similar estimates over the years when it comes to showing how much land is devoted to parking in L.A. The study also suggests that as parking availability grew, so did traffic. Why?In a lot of areas people could safely assume there would be a free or cheap parking space available at their destination, leading to

I think this study goes a couple steps further by estimating the number of spaces and suggesting how this information can be used by policymakers and residents.

From the study website. Click above to visit.

From the study website. Click above to visit.

The study authors suggest that given the number of parking spaces available, it would be helpful for cities to perhaps reduce the amount of parking required of any new development. They also say that may not be enough. There’s so much parking available that even new parking rules may not do much. Perhaps, the study says, cities could also make it easier to convert existing parking (i.e. home parking garages) to other uses, such as housing.

Of course, I’m pretty sure that for every person who says there’s too much parking in our region, I could find someone saying there’s not enough. I’m not inclined to outright dismiss the ‘not enoughs’ as there are certainly parts of town where parking is tough. Overall though, I think the study hits the target — look around and there’s an awful lot of space devoted to parking and a lot of it is under-used a lot of the time.

We’ve written before about the effect of too many parking lots in places such as DTLA — acres of concrete may keep the parking cheap, but certainly doesn’t add much to the experience of being in a downtown, which is supposed to be a dense cluster of buildings. Remember, density is good for transit, as it means that more people live and/or work near transit.

As for transit, this is a tougher issue: if parking encourages more people to drive, then the implication is that an over-parked region hurts transit. There’s probably something to that. On the other hand, I’d argue that frequent, fast, accessible and reliable transit will attract a healthy ridership.

Your thoughts on parking in our region? Too much? Too little? The right amount?

Driver-less vehicles and the future of L.A. transportation (LAT)

Gabe Klein’s advice for Los Angeles (Streetsblog LA)

Good interviews with the futurist Gabe Klein. He thinks self-driving cars are coming in a big way. And he foresees fleets of them being shared by people, who can summon a self-driving car from a carshare/rideshare service when they need to get somewhere — instead of everyone owning their own car.

Key excerpt from LAT:

How do you get enough people to change their habits?

By increasing the cost and inconvenience of owning and operating a car. You can raise parking fees and reduce or eliminate street and off-street parking. You can charge higher vehicle registration fees and higher sales taxes for cars. Copenhagen, for example, has a 180% tax on new vehicle sales, and there is a proposal to ban cars from downtown Oslo. Laws also could be passed to limit the number of cars people can own.

Those measures must be combined with expanded transit systems and more compact development that brings homes, workplaces, shopping areas and recreational opportunities closer together. We have the potential to reinvent the way cities feel. Then they will become more viable as cities.

I think we safely put that in the ‘easier said than done’ category. I also wonder exactly how many L.A. Council meetings Mr. Klein has attended 🙂

From the Streetsblog post:

Here’s the question we typically end with. If you had a magic wand that would grant one wish – that would change cities in one way – what would it be?

I would like to go back to the 1950s and not get rid of the streetcars. If I could do that, the culture, the world that we live in would be completely different, if we’d reinvested in our streetcar system and ground transit – and not gotten rid of it – and not driven freeways through our cities.

Maybe that’s two wishes, but I feel like it’s part of the same problem. So, if we didn’t kill the streetcars and didn’t do the whole urban renewal, then I think we would be a very different society – in lots of ways.

Speaking of, here’s a pic from the Metro Library’s great Flickr stream showing the old Main Street Station in DTLA:

024 - MCL 5118 Main St. Sta. During Strike 19580115 AKW

Metro, responding to critics, puts $105 million Northridge track build on hold (LAT)

The project involves adding a second track for Metrolink, Amtrak and Union Pacific freight trains to use for 6.4 miles between Van Nuys Airport and Chatsworth. The tracks pass residential areas that include about 700 homes, according to the LAT.

The residents are asking for a full environmental study of the project, which some say would put tracks too close to homes. Metro had initially sought to avoid a full-blown study, saying that there had not been any negative response from the community:

Key excerpts:

Metro officials say the project will improve safety, reduce air pollution and speed the movement of freight and passengers by reducing the need to hold trains at one end to let another train pass on the single track. [snip]

The residents “do have a good reason to be angry,” said Paul Gonzales, a Metro spokesman. “That is why Phillip Washington put the project on hold. We have to start again from scratch, and that is what we are doing.” 

As the article notes, there are considerable stretches of the Metrolink system (as well as Amtrak) in Southern California in which there is only a single track to be shared by passenger and freight trains. That’s one reason that train travel in our region is on the slow side; that said, it’s a tough situation as there are a lot of homes near train tracks, as the high-speed rail project is also finding.

Hamburg says no to hosting 2024 Summer Games (BBC)

Hamburg Speicherstadt

A slim majority of voters said ‘no thanks’ on Sunday, meaning the race boils down to Los Angeles, Budapest, Rome and Paris. Please see our 2024 Summer Olympics edition of HWR for more about the L.A. bid, transit and transpo.

Recent HWRs: 

Nov. 25: How to talk about traffic with your family, transit chief resigns in Phoenix amid allegations of inflated travel expenses.

Nov. 24: California has work to do as world environmental leader, shifting money from trains to water

Nov. 23: Will the LAX people mover be up and running by 2023?

Nov. 20: how to address all the short trips county residents, more reaction to Reason Foundation’s traffic plan.

Nov. 19: the Reason Foundation’s $714-billion plan to fix traffic in Southern California.

Steve is on Twitter. And he has a photography blog. Questions? Email me.



17 replies

  1. You could compromise by charging for parking for those who live outside the Metro district. RTD in Denver charges out of area parking fees for people outside the RTD district, and many cities charge separate rates between residents and nonresidents for City owned Metrolink parking lots.

  2. There is a valid point that people who wish to still use Metro to avoid traffic jams and paying for the parking lot fees in DTLA will likely opt to pay a little extra in parking fees at Metro stations and will be willing to pay more for lengthier trips.

    Even a dollar a day would be dollar more to Metro to help pay for maintaining that parking lot and a dollar less that LA tax payers need to be on the hook for than giving it out for free. And it would be in the best interest for Metro to recuperate the cost of providing transit to those who travel longer than making the riders in LA who mostly do short trips to pay for that person’s long ride.

    Parking lots are a terrible waste of space and Metro is not being a good example by giving away free parking. The free parking lots Metro owns should be converted to paid lots and we really should be looking at charging people by the distance they travel so as to make prices more equitable. Even if the parking lot costs $1 per day and the ride for the Blue Line for a lengthy ride such as from Long Beach to DTLA was increased to $5.00, it’s still cheaper than paying for parking at DTLA and a lot less stressful than driving on the traffic jams on the 110. OC people like James Lampert will still likely pay $1 for the parking and $5.00 for a long Blue Line ride.

  3. “I once read an article (here I believe) of a woman that lived in Victorville and had a car shed drive to the San Bernardino Metrolink Station to catch her train into L.A. ”

    “I have a good friend who commutes from Claremont to Compton, which can take two hours in one direction.”

    For all I care, there might be a person living in Fresno who commutes to LA all day if you look hard enough because LA’s housing prices are terrible, but that doesn’t mean we should spend our taxes to extend Metro Rail all the way out to Fresno so as to satisfy that person’s commute which involves such a long distance everyday at $1.75 either. If the person is whining and complaining about his/her long commute that he/she made the choice of doing so, then it is not up to government or taxpayers in LA County to solve that problem. That person also has the free will to move closer to where they work (sans excuses of “better neighborhood” or “better schools” which is hypocritical as it usually means “I don’t want to mingle with poor minorities” who do not have the luxury to get out those neighborhoods) or find a job closer to where they live. There’s also nothing stopping from someone living in Victorville or Claremont to find a job within Victorville or Claremont rather than take the long commute into LA and expect taxpayers to pay for their commute.

    There’s an old saying, “the needs of the many outweigh the benefits of the few.” Numerous studies has shown that people who do long trips on Metro are the few and that the vast majority of Metro riders are the poor who rarely do long trips. The average bus ride is only 3 miles and the average Metro Rail ride is only 12 miles. The poor who rely on Metro, cannot afford a car do not utilize the free parking lots and are subsidizing the costs to provide free parking to the people who take advantage of park and ride lots that make up only a small percentage of the entire Metro ridership base.

    Free parking lots should go away and become paid parking at all Metro rail stations. Those who will want to use Metro will still pay for parking and pay the price of parking rather than deal with driving or traffic jams, and those that don’t want to pay for it, they can go back to driving the car and deal with the bad traffic jams. It’s not about encouraging people to try out Metro anymore by giving them free parking, it’s about the competition of Metro providing faster, traffic jam free service as opposed to the jammed packed freeway system and people who are stressed out with the latter option will pay an extra premium to take Metro at whatever cost, in which cost can come in paying for parking and paying more for a longer ride.

  4. Free parking encourages people to ride, yet is a double edged sword since its first come first serve. Metro should be able to inform people how many parking spots are there via app, as should many parking structures. Santa Monica is pretty awesome for sharing this info via display when they show up (226 spaces left).

    A big problem with the way that our patterns are configured is that many assume parking is a given at there destinations. Strip malls have fostered this idea that we pull into the lot with a big swirling sign of the establishment we’d like to visit, go inside and shop, check out, wisk our baskets back to the lot, load up and go home. I want Costco Pizza all of a sudden so go figure.

    Its also easy to assume that everyone criss crossing the city lives here when its just not the case. I once read an article (here I believe) of a woman that lived in Victorville and had a car shed drive to the San Bernardino Metrolink Station to catch her train into L.A. Once She arrived at Union Station, she had a second car which she drove to the water garden in Santa Monica. Seems ridiculous, but its absolutely not up to me to judge. Thats over 200 miles? Maybe?

    People would begin to drive less for the same reason they may not want to take a train; availability. “I take the train into Manhattan because there is never parking.”, where as in California, “I drove there because there is never a bus or a train when I arrive at the station”

    • To be fair a lot of these people are not making the commute by choice, or are more accurately making a deliberate choice to choose not paying rent and paying for their commute in time and gas instead. I have a good friend who commutes from Claremont to Compton, which can take two hours in one direction. He is living at his mother’s home and cannot afford something safe near his workplace. I tell him to try transit but the last mile from Del Amo Station to the office park where he works is too much, as well as having to do two transfers and drive to the station.

  5. Agreed.

    There’s just too many Europhile leftist and progressive article writers who fail to dig down deeper into their research and only see the surface of what Europe is like without asking themselves what the consequences of those actions are.

    Europe may have universal healthcare, free universities, and great mass transit. Some people like Bernie Sanders like to point that out that that is what the US should become like and many seem to agree with that idea. But what they don’t tell you is that in order to keep those social programs in place, Europe has become broken, high taxes, tremendous debt, massive unemployment, low birthrates, declining economy, immigration problems, loss of freedoms, etc. What they don’t tell you is that in exchange for universal healthcare and free universities, Europe had to give up something, which includes tolling their highways, privatizing airports, railways and their postal systems. These are things that the mainstream media fails to point out too which can be easily Googled. You can’t have everything paid for with taxes, something has to give. Europe is not an utopia that the mainstream media and socialists in America believe to be.

    LA will never be Oslo and Copenhagen or whatever city in Europe that bears no resemblance to the massive size and population that LA has. Article writers need to realize that LA problems cannot be solved by importing ideas from smaller European cities that we have far surpassed in population years ago.

    Has anyone of these Europhile article writers ever considered that the LA Metro area ranks 18th in the world and the only European city that outranks us is London (17th) and that the only other US city that outranks us is New York (11th)?

    And the difference between LA and London is only 770,000 which means that in a few years, it’s likely that LA will be more populous than London and we will have no one in Europe to compare to. Oslo, Copenhagen aren’t even on this list. Lest for Sao Paolo (9th), Lagos (8th) and Mexico City (6th) every other major metropolitan areas are in Asia.

    Unless something drastic happens which the population of LA starts to decrease (which never has happened), LA’s future outlook in solving our metropolitan problems is going to be more about learning about what Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai has done, not Oslo, Berlin, or Copenhagen which we have surpassed in population long ago.

    • (1) Low birthrates are a GOOD thing. European children get lots of attention and love from their parents. American right-wing “pump-em-out, wanted or not” policies towards children are terrible.
      (2) Universal healthcare is actually cheaper than the horrendous mess we have in the US, as well as providing better health care. EVERY other country in the world is adopting universal healthcare. Not just Europe, but all of Asia (including Japan, South Korea, and China) already has it, and now the third world is adopting it. When Mexico has universal healthcare (which it does) and we don’t, we have a PROBLEM.
      (3) We USED to have free universities. This was the period when the US was on top of the world. Since we got rid of them, we’ve been declining economically. Coincidence? Maybe not.
      (4) European *and* Asian railroads are owned by the public — only operations are privatized. US railroads are owned by private for-profit landlords, which is working very badly; they have an incentive to undermaintain their track and dismantle lines for scrap.
      (5) Our highway system, paid for out of general taxes, is unaffordable. Toll roads might allow us to retain a highway system.
      (6) “Loss of freedom”? You’re criticizing Europe for this while writing from the USA, which is the country with civil asset forfeiture (police stealing stuff and getting away with it), police murdering people with impunity, the NSA spying on literally everyone, the TSA stealing and nudie-scanning and inventing arbitrary no-fly lists, et cetera et cetera? Most European countries have more “freedom” than we do these days, which is *embarassing*, and it’s a change from when I was a kid — the US got a hell of a lot worse under George W. Bush and Barack Obama (who seem to be identical when it comes to this).

      Frankly, you seem to be well-meaning, but you have failed to do your research. If you look at Asian cities, you get the exact same lesson as if you look at the European cities — the US is being stupid and should pay attention to worldwide best practice.

      • Nathanael,

        There are so many things wrong with your statements, but in the context that this is The Source, I will focus on the part that only relates to transit related issues:

        “European *and* Asian railroads are owned by the public — only operations are privatized. US railroads are owned by private for-profit landlords, which is working very badly; they have an incentive to undermaintain their track and dismantle lines for scrap.”

        Both are incorrect. Metro owns their own tracks and right of way, they own real estate, and yet they do absolutely nothing with them. If Metro was a “for profit landlord” they would not be stupidly giving out free parking and making absolutely no money off of the 80 Metro Rail stations they own other than just being an empty space full of Metro propaganda to wait for the train. They would be doing things that Europe and Asia does which would be to charge for parking and expanding the uses of the train station for mixed uses to gain additional rental income or even going into the retail business themselves in form of operating a convenience store or something.

        Your claim Asian transit is publicly owned shows that you have failed to do your research into this matter as well. If it were in government hands, run by taxes and not for profit, they would not have their companies listed on their respective stock exchanges. Why would any company put up a company to trade on the stock market if there was no profit motive involved? You are free to Google search the ticker symbols for private transit operators in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea.

        In addition, you seem to leave out Japan, an Asian country, that is the perfect example of privatized mass transit, multiple ones at that, all competing with each other in healthy capitalist competition. The railroads in Japan are completely privatized, regardless whether they are JR that used to be nationalized as the JNR (which most people on the left claim as an example that Japan’s trains was once government owned, correct to a certain extent but…), or the other private railroad systems that have been in operation and laid out their own tracks since the late 19th and 20th century (…which the left seems to conveniently disregard as it hurts their claims and proves them wrong that mass transit can’t run for profit).

        You are free to Google and Wikipedia search Japanese railway companies such as Keio, Keisei, Odakyu, Tobu, Seibu, Hankyu Railway companies and plenty more all across Japan, all of which can be easily searched on Wikipedia articles and other scientific journals and even corporate data profiles, whom have been in private hands since the late 19th century and early 20th century, owns the rail tracks, the stations, the real estate and the operations, and check out their listings on the Tokyo Stock Exchange whose stocks are freely traded on the stock market. In many ways, Japan’s private railroads was just like the P&E that Henry Huntington built in LA, built privately, run privately, run for profit, until the car came along and the Great American Streetcar scandal occurred with GM and their cronies. The difference is that Japan never had Toyota or Nissan buy out private railway companies like Keio or Hankyu and therefore has continued to run for profit as a private company to this date.

        In contrast, have yet to see Amtrak, LA Metro, NYCMTA or any other US transit operator going IPO on the NYSE.

      • Low birth rates:
        There is no such thing as 100% pro and zero con. There is a pro and con list to everything and if you consider yourself to be smart and acknowledge the scientific method, low birth rates is is not an exception. There is a con to low birth rates which includes unsustainable social security and Medicare (see Japan’s social security problems, loss of a productive workforce, and increased reliance on immigration in which to a certain extent is positive to promote multiculturalism and those that share common core values as us, except when you start bringing in those people who take advantage of our freedoms and saying things like “F— Europe, F— America.” (

        Universal healthcare
        Universal healthcare is good and I support it. But at the same time, I’m also realistic that in order to have universal healthcare, something else has to be given up. As you state, everyone else is adopting universal healthcare. But at the same time, everyone else is also starting to privatize once owned government entities like airports, seaports, rail systems, postal service systems, and downsizing the military to pay for it. You are free to Google search these facts yourself and educate yourself about these realities in Europe and Asia. Realistically, it’s a tough call, no one in the US would like to see these privatized or downsizing the military anytime soon for universal healthcare and you can’t have everything state owned and operated, otherwise, you get something like Cuba and North Korea which are not your ideal utopian societies either.

        Free universities
        Sorry, a Google search on “US had free universities” show up with nothing so you need to elaborate where you got your information from. Hopefully it’s not one of those “I heard it from a friend I know” types of arguments which aren’t backed by anything and therefore are worthless arguments today.

        Public transit in Europe and Asia
        Paul C. seems to have answered this

        Tolling highways
        Agreed, but you’re also going to have to realize that tolled highways are not going to be the norm across the entire US Interstate Highway System or across entire California either. At best what can be done is to toll the freeways in LA County and it’ll be a gradual step of first adding more tolled ExpressLanes throughout our freeways in LA and gradually expanding the “pay to use the freeway” idea to the general lanes as soon as you get on and off the ramps.

        Loss of freedom
        Bush and Obama are not responsible for the actions of municipal police departments whose respective chiefs are usually appointed by the city council or whose county level law enforcement Sheriffs are elected by the people. Said police brutality also is not a trait that occurs solely in the US and numerous Youtube videos will show you that police brutality and questionable airport screening measures occurs elsewhere in the world whether it be Canada, Latin and South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, or Australia.

        If you feel that freedoms have been lost in the US (mainly in California) and reminisce the good old times, then your major beef is with the Democrats. They are the ones who are passing nanny state laws dictating things like what you can or cannot drink, how a farmer should raise eggs, banning stuff on what you can or cannot eat (whether it be dog meat, cat meat, horse meat, shark fins, foie gras or whatever PETA doesn’t like), what video games you can or cannot play, piling on stupid government regulations and making stuff illegal towards things they can’t or don’t know how to regulate (Uber, Lyft, airbnb, hoverboards, driverless cars, e-cigs, etc.), further restricting our 2nd Amendment rights and more recently even our 1st Amendment rights, and so on. Whatever your positions are on these matters, your answer that “America used to be free” is going to be hypocritical if you say all of these are okay because you agree with the Democrats on this.

        Put it this way: Democrats control the the governor’s mansion in California, both houses in Sacramento, and LA is majority Democrat in the city as well as in county. I still see no legalization of marijuana (ironically, GOP candidate Rand Paul supports it), legalizing gay marriage (Prop 8 didn’t pass, sorry I don’t buy the argument that the wording of the proposition was confusing when people could’ve just Googled that if they were for gay marriage, they should’ve voted “no”), the housing market in LA sucks, there are more homeless people in our streets, taxes are higher, more jobs are leaving LA and this state, and all I see is more stupid laws that don’t make sense, with political plays by the public employee unions and their donations rather than listening to the people. If you remember the good old days of your childhood, then I agree, and in my childhood, the President was Ronald Reagan and Bush the Elder, the Governor of California was George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, and the Mayor of LA was Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan. By far the make up was moderate Republicans and a pro-business Democrat mayor (Tom Bradley) and definitely not the Democrat types we have in power today.

  6. Parking at Metro stations is all about “first mile” (or in the case of, say, a Fountain Valley resident like me taking MetroRail into Los Angeles, first EIGHTEEN miles) access.

    • If you are resident of Fountain Valley, then your issue is with Orange County and OCTA, not LA County or Metro. You pay no LA County taxes, you pay no property taxes in LA, you contribute nothing to Measure R, you are not a resident of LA, you do not vote on LA County matters or officials, and as a non-LA County resident, you have no voice at Metro meetings. Whatever sales taxes you contribute to LA County while you visit here is minuscule and is not worthy of any likely argument that you somehow contribute to LA.

      If I may say, why should we, the taxpayers of LA, have to provide you with a cheap, long distance ride into DTLA all the way from FV when you choose to live so far away in a location that’s not even in LA County, at the expense of LA County taxpayers? While people living in East LA and going a short distance into DTLA are subsidizing the cost of your trip by paying the same $1.75 price for a shorter trip?

      Let me guess. You like the safer neighborhoods, better schools and the less crowded spaces that OC offers, but like to reap the benefits of cheap mass transit subsidized by LA County resident taxpayers to go to LA venues that you often make comments about.

      Put it that way, you deserve to pay at least $5.00 one way to get into DTLA from FV and $5.00 more for parking at whatever Metro station that you park at. And you will pay those prices whether you like it or not so long as you have a continued interest in LA venues that you are so interested in that will never be offered in OC. You are also free to take up driving on the congested freeways, pay the toll on the ExpressLanes and pay exorbiant parking fees at whatever LA venue charges. Either way, it is all up to us LA County voters to decide whether you will pay more for longer trips and pay more for parking that you currently are taking advantage of from LA County residents, and unfortunately, you have no voice in this matter.

    • Ah, so not an L.A. County taxpayer? Not only do you expect the residents of L.A. County to subsidize the cost of your fare, but you also want free parking too?

      Get rid of the free parking. Even a $1 charge a day could bring a lot of revenue for metro

      • Being that OCTA decided to use its money to build wider and better freeways instead of rail lines you need to address your issue with them. Anaheim, Gardner Grove and Santa Ana has been talking about talking about a rail line for years; However, nothing has come has happened. Conservative OC doesn’t want their money spent on rail…

  7. “As for transit, this is a tougher issue: if parking encourages more people to drive, then the implication is that an over-parked region hurts transit.”

    Of course, the ultimate hypocrisy is that Metro themselves provides more free parking near their stations despite understanding this and that Metro themselves as well as the board members of Metro has their own employee and reserved parking lot at One Gateway Plaza.

  8. “Your thoughts on parking in our region? Too much? Too little? The right amount?”

    There are definitely too much parking spaces that are used inefficiently in our region that can be better be used to develop more higher density buildings. An aerial view of the LA region shows that there are plenty of parking spaces in land owned by supermarkets, shopping malls, churches, and banks that could be better suited for redevelopment. The Vons and Ralphs on the corner of 3rd and Vermont is a good example in where the land space could be redeveloped into one with an underground parking garage in a fashion like the Ralphs at Wilshire and Hauser near the Park La Brea area and free up the land space for more residential development.

    “Copenhagen, for example, has a 180% tax on new vehicle sales, and there is a proposal to ban cars from downtown Oslo. Laws also could be passed to limit the number of cars people can own.”

    For every European point of view, there’s also the Asian point of view which shows that things can be done in other ways than just copying everything that Europe does. The other argument is that Tokyo and Seoul does not resort to such extreme measures such as imposing an 180% tax on vehicle sales or banning cars in the city proper as such laws will be detrimental to Japan and South Korea’s own auto industries, yet are perfectly capable of providing excellent mass transit services in their cities.

    Furthermore, I doubt measures like Copenhagen (population of barely 580,000 in an area less than 34 square miles) or Oslo (pop. of less than 650,000 in an area size of 175 square miles) has any resemblance to the urban development issues that City of LA (pop. close to 4 million within 469 square miles) or LA County (10 million population in 4000 square miles) has.

    If I may add is that Europe isn’t doing so well these days with their Syrian refugee crisis that Europeans themselves are re-thinking about this issue so I doubt that we should be jumping to conclusions that everything that Europe does is the right answer.