Charles Lockwood's article felt the pulse (very weak) of downtown L.A. I think there is a major oversight. I once took a course entitled "Starting a Small Business."
The first words of the instructor told me she knew her subject. They were: "Beyond all else, the most important item affecting a business in L.A. is parking!" In downtown L.A. the cost of parking is prohibitive. Even at the curb where I parked for one hour yesterday it cost $2 (metered, 25 cents for 7 1/2 minutes). The high cost is to get people to use public transport or "pool"? Not many shoppers can "pool." And any usable level of public transport is too far away.
Erect some tax-financed, free pre-fab second level parking over the main streets of downtown L.A. and watch the crowds arrive.