San Fernando Valley Projects & Measure R2!
Two major take-aways from the crowded San Fernando Valley Town Hall meeting Move LA co-hosted with the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments in February: There is a very high level of interest in and support for a new sales tax measure for transportation and for rail projects in particular, and a very high level of support for bike and pedestrian projects as well!
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is one of the Measure R-funded projects that hasn't been built yet but counts the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the Transit Coalition and the Valley Economic Alliance among its champions. The 9.2 mile corridor would mostly travel along Van Nuys Boulevard from the Orange Line in the south to the Sylmar Metrolink station in the north.
Measure R dedicated $180 million to make this an “enhanced Rapid Bus” project, but proponents want an upgrade to bus rapid transit ($450 million) or light rail (more than $2 billion). There’s keen interest in this project because it would eventually connect to the Sepulveda Pass project — which could include tolled Express Lanes on the 405 and a tunnel for a light (or heavy) rail line that would end at UCLA and provide real alternatives to sitting in the 405’s notorious traffic!
Some people imagine this corridor could one day continue to LAX, then connect to the existing Green Line, and then travel southeast to Torrance, eventually ending in Long Beach! Let's continue to dream big when we think about a new sales tax measure, which is likely to be put on the 2016 ballot, and that we like to call Measure R2!
It’s hard organizing collaborative projects in Los Angeles, given its diversity and size, though Cap & Trade dollars are proving a compelling stimulus. Case in point: The low-income carshare collaborative that has come together over the past few months to respond to a California Air Resources Board (ARB) RFP (request for proposals) for carshare pilots in low income neighborhoods.Read more
At a candidate forum for the Sheila Kuehl/Bobby Shriver race for LA County Supervisor last fall, someone in the audience expressed concern about relying on sales tax measures to expand LA County's public transit system because sales taxes are considered “regressive,” meaning lower-income people pay a higher proportion of their income on sales taxes than those with higher incomes. But I would argue that in fact low-income people in LA County are big winners with the half-cent Measure R sales tax for transportation for three reasons:Read more
Move LA applauds the choice of Phil Washington as new CEO for LA Metro. Washington comes to LA from Denver, where he was the general manager of Denver's Regional Transportation District. Denver is the only other region in the United Station that has, like Los Angeles County, embarked on an ambitious transit expansion — also funded by a local sales tax and involving a multi-project build-out. "His success in Denver should give us confidence that together we will be successful here," says Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane.Read more
Thank you California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) for introducing SB 767 and authorizing LA Metro to put a new half-cent sales tax measure on the 2016 ballot to fund transportation improvements! We like it — especially because it’s broadly worded so as to leave planning decisions about what to fund up to Metro. We encourage the Legislature to respect local decision-making about which projects will go into the Long Range Transportation Plan and be funded by the ballot measure.Read more
Uber says it sees itself as complementing LA's public transit system by getting people to and from transit, and this map suggests it could be true. Read more.
The KCET blog tracks the whole long story of how rail got reintroduced into LA, the city that had the largest electric trolley system in the world in the 1920s — with 2,000 cars running daily over 1,000 miles of track — and that had no passenger rail system in 1990, until the Blue Line opened. Today we have about 100 miles, though the system will grow to 200 miles when all the Measure R-funded lines are built. On the KCET blog.
Two major take-aways from the crowded San Fernando Valley Town Hall meeting that Move LA co-hosted with the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments last week: There is a very high level of interest in and support for Measure R2 and for rail projects, and a very high level of support for bike and pedestrian projects as well.Read more