January 16: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1930:  Five hundred public officials and delegates representing civic bodies convening in Pasadena are presented with the first volume of the County of Los Angeles’ Regional Plan of Highways which covers Section 2-E: San Gabriel Valley.

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The plan was one of seven studies commissioned by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on May 21, 1923.

At that time, the Supervisors urged “the necessity of a comprehensive network of through highways, extending over the entire County” comprised also of secondary highways and by-pass streets with standard widths and distance between them.

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Among the more astonishing findings of the plan was the estimated need for ground facilities for airplanes and lighter-than-air ships:

“The latest figures indicate that there are more airplanes in civilian operation in the United States today than there were automobiles in 1900. We have no means to accurately measure the future extent of aviation, but we have enough data to enable us to make a fair estimate of the provisions that ought to be made for it in the San Gabriel Valley.

The present total of heavier-than-air ships of all types in Los Angeles County is 945, or one plane for every 2,500 persons. Indications are that by 1960 this ratio will be reduced to 500 persons per plane, which would imply the existence of 14,600 airplanes in this county at that time.

It may be further estimated that in 130 years, as shown by the  accompanying diagram, the number of these machines will be such that there will be one for every 100 persons in the San Gabriel Valley.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved and adopted the San Gabriel Valley section of the Plan for San Gabriel Valley on July 16, 1929.

Plan for seven highway studies (Click for more information)

Only two of the seven proposed studies would ever be completed.  The onset of the Great Depression forced attention and resources elsewhere.