LOS ANGELES - Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, began this afternoon's general assembly session by saying that the organization's 2012 - 2035 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy "isn't perfect, but it's good." In some circles, that sort of candid modesty would probably get Ikhrata fired, or at least booed off the stage. Instead, he got applause from general assembly members, and none of roughly 20 speakers who offer public comments offered lodged any major objections.
LOS ANGELES—For as long as I can remember, civic leaders in Southern California have been touting "regionalism." They insist that an area as interconnected as Los Angeles and its satellites really ought to coordinate how it grows and what it invests in. This sort of rhetoric usually goes no further than sparsely attended final panel discussions at a conferences about leadership or land use or some such. It's hard to "be regional" when everything from county boundaries to uncooperative public officials keep everything in its respective silos.