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When anyone mentions Southern California, and L.A. in particular, the biggest infrastructure issue that comes to mind is traffic congestion. If you came to the city in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, it was a dynamic, busy and dense downtown—a slightly less claustrophobic version of cities like Manhattan or Chicago in terms of the amount of cars and people on the street, Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Central City Association of L.A. and Downtown Center Business Improvement District, tells Real Estate Forum.

“Once the 1950s rolled around, and as freeways began to define the city's transportation culture—splicing downtown into sections, coupled with the general move-out into the suburbs—we became a suburban commuter culture as opposed to an urban culture, and we are paying the price,” Schatz says. While she acknowledges that the added issue in having to deal with other municipalities can create a huge gridlock—in terms of quickly and effectively solving the transportation and traffic issues—she says that a real solution, Measure R, is on the table.

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