A couple of months ago, we released our analysis of Metro’s draft expenditure plan, covering what’s promising and what’s concerning about Metro’s proposed uses for about $120 billion in potential revenue, or even more from a 45 or 50-year measure that is scheduled to go before Los Angeles County voters in November 2016. Before that can happen, the Metro Board of Directors need to approve an expenditure plan for the ballot measure. The final expenditure plan is expected to be reviewed by the Metro Board in June. As we get closer to the Metro board’s decision about a final plan, we wanted to provide a recap where we are and where we still need to make progress for the ballot measure to deliver key benefits for our communities with this potential new funding.Read more
This post from Investing in Place first appeared on the Investing in Place website.
In June, Metro will be deciding on what could be one of the most transformative ballot measures for our transportation system in recent history. The measure is a half-cent sales tax that would generate over $120 billion in the next 40 or 50 years to improve bus lines and build train lines, to strengthen our sidewalk and bicycle lane networks, improve our highways, and to repair and maintain our infrastructure to last for decades to come, among many other efforts.
Investing in Place and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition have responded to Metro’s draft expenditure plan—dubbed #Metroplan—with a comment letter to Metro CEO Phil Washington. Is #Metroplan a hit or miss? Please feel free to read here.Read more
Ballot Measure Report: Metro Wants to Know - How Would You Spend $120 Billion for Transportation in LA County?
Editor’s Note: This is the eighth installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike.
On Friday, March 18th, Metro released its draft expenditure plan for the potential new 40-year ballot measure, which would generate approximately $120 billion for transportation projects in Los Angeles County. Starting this week, Metro is holding nine public meetings all across the county (and one online) to hear feedback on their plan from people like you. For a list of meetings in your area, see the end of this post or go to http://theplan.metro.net.
Metro prepared an 80+ page staff report with information about all of the proposed projects and programs to be included in the proposed measure. Like many others, we skipped straight to the pie chart to see how Metro would split the revenue among competing transportation priorities and reacted immediately by calling for more funding for active transportation, including walking, biking, and safe routes to school.Read more
In response to Metro’s draft expenditure plan released the morning of March 18th, Investing in Place and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition released the following statement:
Community and Transportation Advocates Call for More Funding for Walking, Biking, and Safe Routes to School
This morning, Metro released the draft expenditure plan for their potential ballot measure identifying the agency’s funding priorities for over $100 billion in new sales tax revenue over the next 40 years.
Metro’s proposal, if passed by voters in November 2016, would be the region’s 4th transportation sales tax measure. The previous measures have failed to dedicate funding for safe routes to school, improving first/last mile access to transit, and ensuring our communities are safe places to walk and bicycle.
With so little funding in previous measures, transportation advocates were optimistic that this new measure would finally begin addressing the overwhelming need for active transportation funding in Los Angeles County. Active transportation refers to non-motorized modes of travel like walking, biking, and rolling. Earlier this month, Metro’s draft Active Transportation Strategic Plan estimated that between $740 million and $1.7 billion per year was needed to build out a robust network for walking and biking in Los Angeles County over 20 years. The draft expenditure plan only proposes to spend a small fraction of this amount.Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the sixth installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike.
Tomorrow is a big day for our #metrofundwalkbike campaign. In the morning, Metro will release its long awaited draft expenditure plan for the potential new ballot measure. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes, but tomorrow marks the beginning of a three month public dialogue about the future of transportation in Los Angeles County. This is the most critical time period for advocates to weigh in with specific recommended improvements to the expenditure plan before it is finalized by the board in June.
In our last Ballot Measure Report, we highlighted the areas of consensus and additional opportunities for this ballot measure to put communities first. We know that half of all trips in Los Angeles County are less than three miles, which is a great distance to travel by bike. We also know that 40% of those killed on our county’s streets are people walking and biking, and that these deaths are more frequent in low-income communities of color where people have no choice but to walk and bike in unsafe environments. What we’re looking for in the expenditure plan is how Metro proposes to address these everyday trips—to school, to the store, to parks, and countless other local destinations—and particularly the trips taken by our most vulnerable residents. Local access is especially critical for low-income communities of color with infrequent or unreliable transit service, who walk and bike at greater rates than the rest of the county. While much attention has been on long-distance commuters and proposals for huge capital projects to save a few minutes or attract choice riders, the real opportunity to improve quality of life in Los Angeles County for everyone is to invest in walkable, bikeable, and transit-accessible neighborhoods. Walking and biking projects are the most cost-effective way to provide residents with safe, convenient, and reliable transportation options.Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike.
In our last Ballot Measure Report, we took a look at how Los Angeles County’s seven Councils of Governments (COGs) have weighed in with their priorities for Metro’s potential sales tax measure. While COGs have considerable influence at Metro, they don’t have the final say over what Metro decides to include in the ballot measure—the Metro board does. For now, we can look at these projects as inspiration for what Metro might fund in the coming decades. When the draft expenditure plan is released next week, we expect to see many of these priorities reflected in it.
Overall, most COGs met or exceeded our goal of allocating at least 10 percent of their funding for walking, biking, and safe routes to school (“active transportation”). Only two COGs, the Gateway Cities and South Bay Cities, did not dedicate any funding to active transportation. The South Bay Cities COG created a comprehensive local mobility program that includes strategies like neighborhood electric vehicles and improved land use alongside active transportation, so it is likely that much of this funding would eventually be spent on walking and biking, even if it is not dedicated for this purpose exclusively. However, the Gateway Cities COG allocated their funding exclusively to major capital projects, like freeway widening and a few rail projects, instead of a more balanced approach like the other COGs. At their board meeting in February, council members from the Southeast Cities and Long Beach attempted to redirect funding toward active transportation, but fell short in a 9-to-13 vote. So, while the Gateway Cities COG itself has not prioritized walking and biking, many of its members do. Based on all of this input from the COGs and other stakeholders, Metro will decide how much funding should go toward active transportation, and how to structure that funding within the expenditure plan to ensure that no subregion is left out.Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike.Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike. For more background, read our first and second Ballot Measure Reports.
Constituents share why they want Metro to fund walking and biking at a July 2014 Metro board meeting.
Over the past several years, LACBC has worked closely with our partners at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Investing in Place to call attention to the critical lack of funding for walking, biking, and safe routes to school in Los Angeles County. Despite walking and biking making up 19 percent of all trips and 39 percent of people killed in traffic collisions, these modes only receive one percent of transportation funding. These striking facts highlight the problem, but we haven’t known just how much money is needed to make Los Angeles County a safe and convenient place to walk and bike, until now.
This week, at Metro’s Planning & Programming Committee, staff will present their response to a July 2014 motion directing the creation of an Active Transportation Finance Strategy. This motion, championed by board member (and Los Angeles City Councilmember) Mike Bonin, instructed staff to set goals for active transportation safety and accessibility, determine how much funding is needed to meet those goals, and report back with an inventory of existing and new revenues that could be used to meet this need. While this sounds like a straightforward task, establishing performance measures and using them to set investment levels is actually a relatively new approach to transportation planning.
What will it take to make Los Angeles County walkable and bikeable? According to Metro, between $11.0 billion and $29.5 billion over 20 years. LACBC and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership independently calculated needs of $20 billion over 30 years, so Metro’s new report validates our initial assessment.Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which shares news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike. For more background, read our first Ballot Measure Report.
Earlier this week, we looked at Metro’s potential ballot measure and, based on best practices in other counties and overwhelming need here in Los Angeles, recommended that 10 percent of the ballot measure be dedicated for biking and walking (a.k.a. “active transportation”). Active transportation includes a broad range of potential investments, so today we’ll explore the projects and programs that might be funded by this measure if Los Angeles County seeks to become a healthy, safe, and fun place to bike and walk.
By any measure, Los Angeles County has huge needs for active transportation funding. When making investment decisions, however, it’s not enough to say we need “a lot.” We have to quantify that need and start to categorize it into projects and programs that can be implemented at the local and regional level, with adequate funding. In a paper we published last year with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, we made a rough calculation based on the geography and population size of Los Angeles County and real-life cost figures from cities and consultants that work on these projects every day. The resulting estimate was nearly $20 billion over 30 years--a hefty sum, but not inconsistent with the scale of the potential $120 billion that could be generated by the proposed ballot measure.
By our estimate, Los Angeles County has approximately $20 billion in unfunded needs for walking and biking. Our methodology is included in our report, “Best Practices for Funding Active Transportation with County Transportation Sales Taxes."Read more
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of LACBC’s Ballot Measure Report, which will share news from the front lines of our campaign to win dedicated funding for biking and walking in Los Angeles County’s next transportation ballot measure. Follow campaign updates on the LACBC blog or on Twitter at #metrofundwalkbike.
It’s a new year, which means it’s time to refocus on what’s important and renew our commitment to effective advocacy on behalf of the millions of people that ride bikes in Los Angeles County. In 2016, LACBC will step up our efforts to secure funding for the kinds of projects we all want to see in our communities: bike lanes for people of all ages, safer streets for people walking and biking, and bike safety education for children and adults. This year, Metro is considering whether to put a new half-cent sales tax measure on the ballot that would raise an estimated $120 billion, and LACBC intends to be at the table to make sure this measure invests in the kinds of projects we need for all communities in Los Angeles County to be healthy, safe, and fun places to bike and walk.
In November, LACBC outlined our priorities for the potential new transportation sales tax measure. Like Measure R, a new ballot measure would provide billions of additional funding for Los Angeles County’s transportation priorities. However, Measure R was adopted in 2008 at a time with biking and walking were rarely considered—before CicLAvia, before L.A.’s Bicycle Plan, and before Vision Zero. Measure R’s greatest shortcoming was its lack of any dedicated funding for biking and walking. LACBC is working hard, in coalition with partners like Investing in Place, to ensure that the new ballot measure does not repeat the mistakes of the past. We are advocating for 10 percent of the ballot measure to be dedicated to biking and walking.
We wanted to know how other counties in California fund biking and walking (“active transportation” in planner-speak), so we worked with our partners at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to publish a best practices paper looking at six ballot measures around the state, all of which dedicate significant funding for active transportation. What quickly became clear is that Los Angeles County is actually an outlier in how badly it underfunds biking and walking. As far back as 2000, Measure B in Alameda County dedicated six percent to biking and walking, with an additional 24 percent going to “complete streets.” When it was time to go back to the voters for an increase and extension, Alameda County went even further: Measure BB, approved in 2014, dedicated eight percent to regional biking and walking projects and carved out an additional four percent controlled by cities for localbiking and walking projects, for a total of 12 percent for active transportation. Alameda County isn’t even the most ambitious. Marin County dedicates 11 percent for countywide safe routes to school programs alone, before counting funding for other biking and walking projects. By comparison, our recommendation of a 10 percent allocation for biking and walking here in Los Angeles County is pretty modest.