Update: Yesterday the leadership of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association decided to oppose the current draft of Assembly Bill 904, which seeks to lower parking minimums in transit-oriented areas. Here is the APA's letter (.doc) to bill sponsor Nancy Skinner.
Yesterday the American Planning Association proudly released the results of a recent poll entitled Planning in America: Perceptions and Priorities, which it commissioned indicating that Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of community planning. Given the state of national politics, it's no wonder that Americans are reserving their passions for local issues. Boss Tweed and Mayor Quimby are looking like angels by comparison.
Yesterday, at Day Three of the APA's National Planning Conference, a panel of planning directors and other city officials from Southern California cities offered their take on a range of issues – good and bad – that cities in the region are facing. The panel was designed for a non-California audience, and the panelists' take on statewide trends was telling.
Smart growthers tout transit-oriented development more often than any other strategy. Yet with the exception of a few few showpiece developments, TOD has yet to catch fire in practice. This year, the American Planning Association recognized one such development in the hopes that, finally, the trend will catch on.
P.J. O'Rourke once referred to the United States government as a "vast, rampant cuttlefish," writhing and squirting ink all over the place to no useful effect. I think D.C.'s tubluence has far exceeded even that metaphor, but taking its place lately are California's municipal general plans.