Radical change requires a solution that recognizes the interconnected nature of the task at hand. To make CarFree LA happen, we need all of these elements to work together to elevate the solution. Through the implementation of infrastructure, cultural, environmental, governmental and business frameworks, the City of Los Angeles will be the first city in the United States to receive the benefits of a car-free city.
The City of Los Angeles has made the decision to implement a zero-car policy for all personal vehicles. This initiative is meant to combat the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, environmental impact and excessive traffic concerns. This plan is to be implemented immediately and the goal is to give our citizens results within a year. You heard us right. One year until we have a CarFree LA. Join us in this monumental journey, and explore how we plan to do it and how you can become involved.
This most important aspect of the sensational vision of CarFree LA is how the four million residents of the City of Los Angeles will get their daily destinations timely and easily. The infrastructure adjustment comprises the largest investment plan, and ensures the city will continue to function as a world class metropolis.
What forms of transport will be available?
There will be plenty of options for each suitable distance that users need to travel.
- Walking, biking, and electric scooter share
- Buses running in the center and outskirts of the city
- A ring tram circling the intercity center hitting the most visited points
- Three large train lines running on the 405, I-5, and 10
- Many interchange stations that connect the different methods of transport
How will people transport items they cannot carry?
Cargo bikes, like the ones used in Denmark, operated by the stores themselves or customers can use their own. Electric delivery shuttles and vans will be allocated to businesses that need to transport large equipment (like gardeners, fumigators, or carpenters).
What will become of old parking lots and gas stations?
They will become bike service stations, bike parking, bus stations, and parks.
Making the shift from cars to other forms of transportation will mean there needs to be a drastic shift in the culture of LA. While it may seem like our focus is environmental sustainability, social and cultural sustainability are just as much a part of the conversation and are crucial elements in making this plan work.
What elemets are going to be changed?
Status: Currently, owning a car, or even multiple cars, is in many ways an expression of status in America. This has been part of American culture for many years, but in order to eliminate cars we are going to need to change the conversation and the American transportation experience. One of the reasons why using public transportation is seen as a signifier of low status is because it is often less convenient, unpleasant, and dirty. By providing transportation options that are convenient and pleasant we will be able to easily phase out the car.
Convenience: Currently public transportation options are simply not as convenient as transportation by car. This makes cars the default for many commuters, making a shift very challenging. We intend on investing in transportation infrastructure and providing many options for transportation that are timely, clean, and convenient in order to make the transition seamless.
Marginalization: We understand that oftentimes public transportation options, especially metro lines and light rails, are only possible and available in city centers, which are often places of higher wealth. Requiring everyone to get rid of their cars could marginalize those that live in less affluent areas. We are committed to providing transportation options that are accessible and affordable for everyone, including metros, busses, and bike lanes.
Lifestyle: Cars are very much part of the LA lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that this can’t be changed. Shifting from cars to other forms of transportation will actually be beneficial for all LA citizens in a number of ways and greatly improve their everyday lifestyle. Cars can be isolating and spending long amounts of time in traffic can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Additionally, cars create pollution which contributes to poor air quality and urban heat island effect. Because of these factors, eliminating cars will make way for a healthier physical and mental LA lifestyle.
What will this do with job creation and job loss?
Construction and infrastructure sectors will see the creation of many new jobs as well as government issued public transport inspectors.
How will this lead to a healthier way of living?
Cars can be isolating isolating and spending long amounts of time in traffic can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Additionally, cars create pollution which contributes to poor air quality and urban heat island effect. Because of these factors, eliminating cars will make way for a healthier physical and mental LA lifestyle and spending long amounts of time in traffic can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Additionally, cars create pollution which contributes to poor air quality and urban heat island effect. Because of these factors, eliminating cars will make way for a healthier physical and mental LA lifestyle.
How will this impact community connections?
Moving away from cars will enrich connections between communities in a number of ways. The use of cars is isolating and discourages interactions between others. By introducing new ways of transportation, citizens will have more opportunities to connect with others from different communities. Additionally, transportation hubs will become new gathering points which will foster a new sense of community throughout LA.
Why should you join this movement?
Cars disable us from living a culturally sustainable lifestyle. They detach us from our environment and our community, and create an unpleasant and unhealthy living environment. CarFree LA will create a rich culture of community and will allow for a happier and healthier way of life.
A Zero Car LA is extremely beneficial to the LA population, the economy and the environment . Los Angeles is home to 6,488,000 vehicles and the transportation sector accounts for over 52 million tons of CO2 (Global Green). This is a wonderful stride in climate change action and resiliency for the city of LA. The two most important considerations during this transition are: ensuring the environmental benefits, and utilizing the transitional methods with an environmental mindset and consciousness. LA will be a leading example for major cities around the world to strive for radical environmental change.
How are we going to implement that change?
We will see the changes stated above by investing in the education and implementation of sustainable practices. We will set limits upon construction companies and provide them with the information and materials needed to rebuild our city. Likewise we will assist with the education of workers in renewable energies that will run our public transport. This also implies that renewable energy will be implemented within city limits as to promote the use of electric transport. Finally, through city planning, we will evaluate the areas of potential restoration on highways and new pedestrian friendly zones. All of these efforts will contribute to a decrease in GHG emissions and pollutants that we see from the automobile industry.
What do we do with the cars?
- The cars that currently exist in LA will be repurposed and recycled. The cradle-to-cradle methodology supports the following options.
- Using cars as tiny homes to combat the lack of shelter for the homeless populations that exist within LA.
- Donating cars to be reused for metal to be used in the construction of new railways, bicycles or infrastructure.
How will this benefit the environment?
The transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions (US EPA). Eliminating cars from Los Angeles will improve air quality, decrease the pollution of waterways, decrease the overuse of fossil fuels and increase the environmental mindset that is necessary to combat climate change. The transportation sector is embedded in many aspects of society and this rapid change will result in a holistic shift within the city of Los Angeles.
Will land be remediated or repurposed?
Please reference the figure on our Infrastructure page to understand the remediation of the existing highways. Green infrastructure will play a large part in the transition to a CarFree LA. With these new infrastructure opportunities, the City of LA promises to provide many public green spaces and increased greenery within the city. Bioremediation will be the method of repurposing the current infrastructure.
The government plays a crucial role in the implementation, regulation, and enforcement of CarFree LA. First and foremost, the government is responsible for voicing the will of the people. In CarFree LA, this role is expanded to offering incentives for relinquishing ownership of your car to be repurposed for the greater good. Addressing governance means addressing the root of the problem. The fossil fuel industry is only economically feasible because of harsh economic subsidies given to promote ethanol production of corn, fracking for natural gas and other trade for oil and petroleum. CarFree LA is shifting paradigms that will set off a chain reaction throughout the world. No cars means less fuel consumption, which lowers demand for fuel and could lead to energy independence and energy security for the city that is desired by every country. Seeing LA become energy secure by lowering demand from the population will act as a model for the USA and other countries.Give an overview about this section and why it is a part of this conversation
How will you deal with emergencies?
First responder systems (ambulances, fire trucks) will still be equipped to respond for disaster relief and medical emergencies. CarFree LA is aimed towards the 10 million people of LA county. Individual hospitals and fire stations will still be able to respond quickly to problems with a mix of biofuel and electric or 100% electric vehicles and be unencumbered by other road traffic.
What is the plan of implementation?
Rapid step-by-step changing of infrastructure and public transit systems first so that people can get around without cars before all cars are nullified. The government will be integral in this part of the process as enforcers and regulators of the law. Laws will be imposed beginning with the transformation process
Businesses give the foundation for a city. Without an economic backbone, our cities would not be able to sustain their populations. However, we also cannot let businesses hold us back from the changes we need to create a more sustainable city. The plan to remove cars from LA will drastically change the identity of the city, but also create entirely new spaces for innovation and entrepreneurship.
How Business Will Change Over Time
How will businesses transport goods and products?
Removing cars from the inside of the city will actually enable for goods to be moved more quickly and efficiently through the city. Electric-based infrastructure will allow for transport of goods in and out of the city. Regionally, cargo depots such as the Port of Los Angeles will act as essential middle spaces for the movement of goods from external carbon based transport to LA public goods transferring infrastructure.
How do we assist companies that will be affected with this plan?
- Create government subsidies for businesses hit the hardest by the change, particularly buy out from car businesses.
- Assist with transformation of business models. For example to utilize the infrastructure in car factories to create train cars and car recycling depots.
- While we realize this radical plan will harm numerous business we also hope that the transition to a zero car LA will transform the city into an urban environment for people by people. There is a huge space for innovation and new business that facilitate movement of people and goods.
LA Weekly, https://www.laweekly.com/news/the-eight-most-essential-living-trees-in-los-angeles-and-one-dead-one-5620758
NYCastings, NYCastings, http://www.nycastings.com/la-theatrical-agent-hayley-littman-reveals-the-secret-ingredient-shes-looking-for-in-actors/.
Chappel, Bill. U.S. National Debt Hits Record $22 Trillion, NPR. 13 Feb., 2019.
Chen, H. & Droitsch, D. Time for the US to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies, NRDC. 03 June, 2019.
EPA. “Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 11 Apr. 2019, www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
Global Green USA. “City Carbon Index: Los Angeles.” Global Green, Global Green, 12 May 2015, http://www.globalgreen.org/blog/city-carbon-index-los-angeles.