Today Governor Brown signed Sen. Ben Allen's SB 961, sponsored by Move LA, allowing local governments to create enhanced infrastructure finance districts (EIFDs) near high-frequency bus and rail corridors and in the half-mile radius around stations—with 40% of the tax increment going to affordable housing, 10% to urban greening and active transportation, and the remaining 50% for transit capital projects and other neighborhood improvements. We believe this bill, the “Second Neighborhood In ll Finance and Transit Improvements Act” or NIFTI-2, can become an important funding source to improve neighborhoods near transit and make them affordable and attractive places where people will want to live and investors want to invest.
Prioritizing construction of this housing near transit for low- and very-low-income residents and people who are homeless is appropriate given the shortage of affordable housing in our communities and the recognition that low-income residents are far more likely to become frequent transit users. The remainder of the tax increment can also make these new and improved neighborhoods more transit-oriented and should include bus rapid transit, shaded bus stops, bike lanes, better and wider sidewalks, and/or new rail stations that can serve as an anchor for activity and development and provide a source of neighborhood vitality.
California needs to recognize that these investments can encourage community development along many of the underutilized commercial corridors that thread through California’s towns and cities, and which are often served by high-frequency transit. These corridors typically fall below the radar of housing developers and might not attract any development at all if investments are not made to show off their potential as transit-oriented neighborhoods that are mixed-income and mixed-use. Such corridors can be especially signi cant opportunities if a transit operator develops high-frequency BRT service there.
Including both affordable and market-rate housing to achieve a mix of incomes is essential to this “community-redevelopment-type” strategy. Market rate housing will help ensure that the tax increment increases so that it can be bonded against to generate the funding that’s needed to make the improvements and to support the develop- ment of local retail and services.
SB 961’s proposal allows bonding against the tax increment in NIFTI-2 districts without voter approval, though, like the CRIA program signed into law in 2016, SB 961 creates a community petition process that can trigger such a public vote. Bonding against the increment is an essential element of any EIFD program because it enables near-term investment in neighborhood improvements, thereby helping to attract developer interest in places that may otherwise not appear to be welcoming investment.
We'd like to thank all those who signed on to our letters of support: Cesar Diaz - State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, Ron Miller - Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, Stephanie Wang - California Housing Partnership Corporation, Andrew Gross - Thomas Safran Associates, Carter Rubin - National Resources Defense Council, Alan Greenlee - Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, Brian Augusta California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Tracy Hernandez - Los Angeles County Business Federation, Bryn Lindblad - Climate Resolve, Bill Magavern Coalition for Clean Air, Hilary Norton Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, Larry Gross Coalition for Economic Survival, Michael Dieden - Creative Housing Associates, Lisa Hershey - Housing California, Patricia Hoffman - Santa Monicans For Renters Rights, Tony Salazar - McCormack Baron Salazar, William Allen - Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Anya Lawler - Western Center on Law and Poverty, Josh Stark- Transform, Will Wright - American Institute of Architects – Los Angeles, Chuck Mills - California ReLeaf
As a transportation advocacy organization, we strive to create safe, healthy, walkable, bikeable, and welcoming urban environments. We also encourage the use of public transportation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants that impact our environment and air quality.
New mobility modes like electric scooters and electric bikes can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and improve mobility for those with very limited options if they are guided by a strong commitment to supporting equity and existing public transit. Private companies operating shared, electric, and accessible mobility devices can and should be integrated with and complement public transit, promote the most sustainable and affordable modes, improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and ensure universal access and choice.
We want municipalities to embrace these new modes of mobility as we expand our transportation system and address first/last mile issues. But let's do it right.
We have joined up with transportation, environmental, and equity groups to embrace certain principles that we are advocating for cities to adopt when they develop ordinances and pilot programs.
Here are some principles, built on the foundational Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, that we believe are necessary when allowing electric scooters, e-bikes, and electric bicycles to operate in the public right of way for any first/last mile solutions:
- Enable mobility services that are shared, electric and accessible, integrated with and complementing public transit.
- Prioritize reducing car ownership, vehicle miles traveled, emissions and traffic by including non-vehicular modes in mobile apps and encouraging multi-modal, shared-ride, and public options for mobility.
- Focus on equity by ensuring services are accessible for families, people with disabilities, communities of color, low-income communities, older adults, people with language barriers, and others with special needs.
- Commit to geographic, socio-economic and racial equity to ensure that all residents have access to these mobility options, particularly those in transit poor neighborhoods.
- Commit to the safety of users and the public as a whole, by working with users to obey all applicable State laws and City ordinances, including minimum age limits, and by working to ensure that devices don’t block sidewalks, curb ramps, ADA access, and doorways.
- Conduct outreach and user education around safe operating speeds and tips for sharing the public right of way to ensure public safety and reduce information barriers. Use operations fees to fund outreach and education, and partner with community based organizations to conduct such activities when feasible.
- Support complete streets and Vision Zero policies that prioritize safe and efficient use of street space. Work to create drop zones for dockless devices either by reimagining curbside parking for more than just automobiles or by establishing bike corral and dockless parking areas in “furniture zones” (the section of sidewalk between the curb and the pedestrian) where street furniture, lighting, benches, utility poles, tree pits, bicycle/scooter racks can live, or similar strategies to ensure pedestrian safety.
- Require operators to provide durable products that are well-maintained and long-lasting, ensuring reliability of service and reducing negative environmental impacts.
- Use “geo-fencing” and shared mobility drop zones to cluster shared mobility with major transit stations and community destinations.
- Expand roadway infrastructure that supports safe walking, biking and scooting, such as protected bike lanes, on-street parking corrals, and high visibility crosswalks.
- Require operators to collect and share open data in standard formats to inform program evaluation and future planning.
- Protect against monopolistic business practices by ensuring competitive franchise arrangements so costs remain affordable.
Is your city considering a proposal on electric scooters and bicycles right now? Tell us about it!
SB 961, a bill authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by Move LA, is on its way to the Governor’s desk! The bill would allow local governments to create specialized enhanced tax increment financing districts (EIFDs) near high-frequency bus and rail corridors—with 40% of the tax increment going to affordable housing and 10% to urban greening and active transportation. The remainder of the funds can be used for transit capital projects including stations and programs supporting transit ridership
The bill, called the “Second Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements Act” or NIFTI-2, got off the Assembly floor with a 53-25 vote last week, and the Senate concurred 38-1 on amendments made in the Assembly. The bill language and more information on votes and its history is HERE and HERE.
We believe NIFTI-2 has the potential to become a bookend to the state Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program—allowing cities to leverage even more funding from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and helping to overcome the current barriers to implementation encountered by EIFDs.
Why EIFDs are important but so few have been created: Click to read more!
Join us by endorsing the “No On Prop 6” campaign to repeal SB-1—the state transportation funding bill that Gov. Brown signed into law last year—and stop the attack on bridge and road safety! Do it because transportation funding is never just about transportation. It’s about all the things we care about: access to opportunity and jobs, equity, air quality and climate change, public health and safety, and the amount of money we need to spend maintaining our cars, trains, buses and bikes.
Last year this transportation funding bill started providing more than $5 billion/year over 10 years for 6,500 projects in all counties and cities in California, helping to address the huge backlog of maintenance and repair needs—filling potholes and repaving crumbling roads, increasing the safety of bridges and roads, and relieving traffic congestion by improving public transit and making it easier to walk and bike.
We all know the extent to which California’s transportation system has fallen into disrepair, which is why the transportation funding bill was approved by a 2/3 majority in the state legislature. If Prop 6 wins it will stop projects in every county—in LA County alone, for example, funding will be pulled from 303 projects to fill potholes & repave roads, 281 to improve road/bridge safety, 50 to relieve traffic congestion, and 51 for bike/ped safety. And LA Metro is set to receive about $1.8 billion in state funds that are largely dependent on the availability of this funding.
It’s also important to point out that as a result of the transportation funding bill the state’s 2018 budget invested more money in public transportation, walking and biking than ever before—and the funded road and highway projects are mostly about safety and repairs and not expansion. Rebuild California’s map of all these projects is HERE.
These investments are about improving public safety but also have a huge impact on the economy, adding an estimated $182.6 billion over the next decade as well as supporting 682,000 jobs—the full report on the economic impacts is HERE. Let’s reinvest in our transportation system because it determines our quality of life, our health and safety, and the strength of our economy!
There’s much more info about the No Prop 6 campaign on the official website HERE.
Thank you! (And tell your friends!)
Paid for by No on Prop 6: Stop the Attack on Bridge & Road Safety, sponsored by business, labor, local governments and transportation advocates
Committee Major Funding from
California Alliance for Jobs
Southern California Partnership for Jobs
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Funding details at www.fppc.ca.gov
It's time for bold action. Progress on air pollution is slowing—perhaps even reversing—and climate change is an increasing threat with more cars and trucks on our roads. The solution to each is the same: Southern California must accelerate use of zero & near-zero emission vehicles! Move LA's regional ballot measure plan for 2020—we call it VISION 2020—will accomplish just that! Vote to help Move LA win $200,000 to start now to create the regional coalition we need to win.
Diesel emissions are a toxic air contaminant that contributes to high rates of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including asthma. Low-income communities along heavily traveled diesel truck corridors especially face high rates of air pollution related diseases. Yet the goods movement industry is Southern California's biggest economic engine and creator of jobs.
Can we have prosperity, clean air, and fight climate change? Yes, if we accelerate use of zero and near-zero emission vehicles.
Here's our VISION 2020 plan:
- Step 1: Build a broad and diverse coalition to coordinate a winning regional ballot measure campaign to accelerate use of zero-emission cars and zero- and near-zero emission trucks.
- Step 2: Convince the state Legislature and our new governor to authorize the South Coast AQMD to put a measure on the ballot in November 2020 to get this done.
- Step 3: Campaign to win!
Dump diesel to improve air quality. Conquer climate change. Clean up goods movement. Improve Metrolink. These are all inter-related challenges, and we must come together as a region in a cooperative effort to fix them.
We can do this! We did it before in LA County with big, broad coalitions that won county-wide campaigns for Measures R and M for transit with a more than two-thirds of the vote, and Measure H for housing and services for people who are homeless.
Voters in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties have also previously approved sales tax measures for transportation—San Bernardino County voters did so by almost 80%!
It's all about building a coalition that can reach a "grand bargain" on priorities for a regional measure to do these things, and then convincing the Legislature to allow us to put a measure like that on the November 2020 ballot.
We're calling this campaign Vision 2020, and we've begun working on it.
The My LA2050 Activation Challenge would help fund this work. PLEASE VOTE FOR OUR VISION 2020 PROPOSAL and we could win $200,000 to help us move Vision 2020 forward. VOTE HERE: movela.org/myLA2050
This is the time for bold action. Progress on air pollution is slowing—and perhaps reversing—as VMT (vehicle miles traveled) increases. Climate change is becoming more and more threatening. The regional goods movement system is mired in traffic congestion and causing alarm in communities along the freeways that are full of diesel trucks. Metrolink could be improved with and made better, faster and cleaner, with more frequent service and extended to regional airports like Ontario.
The goods movement industry is Southern California's biggest economic engine—diesel trucks coming from the ports carry 40% of all cargo entering the U.S. But 80% of SoCal's NOx emissions are caused by diesel trucks and off-road vehicles including those at the ports. And 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector.
Fortune favors the bold. Let's:
- Step 1: Create a grand, region-wide coalition—Move SoCal?—a grand coalition to coordinate a winning regional campaign.
- Step 2: Convince the State Legislature and the new governor to allow the South Coast Air Quality Management District to putsuch a measure on the ballot in November 2020?
- Step 3: Campaign to win!
Fortune favors the bold! Vote for us and let's do it together! There's more information on our proposal HERE.
After winning a 38-0 vote on the Senate floor last week (with 1 member not voting), Sen. Ben Allen's SB 961 is on its way to the Assembly. The bill, which Move LA is sponsoring, would allow local governments to create "Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements (NIFTI-2)" districts within a half mile of rail transit stations and major transit stops. Any increase in local sales and property taxes within the districts could be used for affordable housing, transit infrastructure, neighborhood greening and other improvements. It's sort of like creating, to quote one person, "mini community redevelopment districts around transit stops.”
The tax increment revenue stream that is created under NIFTI-2—and this provision is key—could be bonded against without voter approval to provide early up-front money for investments as long as 40% of the revenues are spent on affordable housing (half for those making less than 60% of AMI and half for those making less than 30% of AMI or who are homeless) and the remaining 60% is spent on improvements including:
- Additional multifamily affordable housing projects or mixed-use projects with affordable housing and ground floor commercial uses that support infill and compact development;
- Transit capital projects, including stations and programs supporting transit ridership;
- Active transportation capital projects, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities and supportive infrastructure such as first-last-mile connections to stations;
- Capital projects that implement local complete streets programs;
- Capital costs of parks, urban forestry, and permanent urban greening improvements along boulevards, streets, and other public areas;
- Detached and/or decoupled parking structures in lieu of onsite parking for proposed developments and with less than one space per residential unit and with space on the ground floor for pedestrian-oriented commercial or public uses. Parking revenues can be used to implement transportation demand management programs to reduce automobile trips to and from the district;
- Other projects or programs to reduce GHG emissions and criteria air pollutants by reducing VMT in the community.
The bill language is HERE. But we are working with advocates and Sen. Allen to add language that would help prevent the displacement of people who live in these neighborhoods and the loss of existing housing, as well as to mitigate the impact on local businesses.
Counties, cities and schools currently share property and sales taxes, though the sharing arrangements vary from city to city. Because the NIFTI-2 infrastructure finance districts would require the approval of counties, it is vital that they are made attractive to counties.
Please send us your logo to sign on to our letter of support!
A little history: The theory behind community redevelopment, which was abolished in California in 2011, was that cities could create redevelopment areas and have the authority to use the increase in property taxes (the “tax increment”)—including the county's share—in ways that would create even more property tax revenues for local investment, creating a virtuous cycle of investments and enhanced revenues.
NIFTI-2 districts—like the several other "enhanced infrastructure finance districts" or EIFDs created by the Legislature since community redevelopment was ended—require the county to be a partner and agree to the formation of the district and the use of the tax increment. In NIFTI-2—and it’s predecessor NIFTI—this tax revenue includes both property and sales tax increments. This has made it difficult to create EIFDs since the counties must now agree to give up their share of the increment.
Cities need to figure out how to make NIFTI-2 districts an attractive proposition for counties by more vigorously addressing the priorities they share with counties. For example, the dedication of more funding for transit capital projects and for affordable housing—especially housing for the homeless—could make these agreements easier to achieve, especially if cities bring local matching funds to the table.
In LA County, for example, cities could use other local housing funds or their Local Return funding from transportation Measures R and M (which are providing $160 billion for transit capital projects over 40 years) to enhance commitments to transit projects, affordable housing near transit, or permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless—all priorities of LA County—thereby making it more likely the county would support the creation of these districts.
We will keep you updated.
We've made it into the list of Top 25 contenders in LA2050's "community-guided initiative" to make "Los Angeles the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050." How laudable an initiative is that? And we are indeed honored to have jumped over the first hurdle to become a 2018 contender for $200,000 in funding!
This is particularly poignant because we won this LA2050 competition before—in 2014 with a project called "Dream Big With @MoveLATransit"— when we asked for funding that would allow us to work with a social media expert who could teach us how to seed "a countywide public conversation around public transportation with a digital media platform and strategy." (Thank you Vance Hickin! And thank you LA2050!) That was the very beginning of our campaign to win Measure M and $160 billion for transit—and you know what happened then! (It passed thanks at least in part to the mobilizing we and other advocates and elected officials were able to do using social media.)
But we have an even bigger campaign to win this time—Vision 2020, which you can read about here. Our previous project was in the "Connect" category. This year we are competing in the "Live" category, with a goal that LA2050 describes this way: "Our region’s residents will have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active, healthy lives, and everyone benefits from a sustainable environment.
"By the year 2050," the description continues, "Los Angeles will have the nation’s lowest obesity rates and every neighborhood will have access to healthy, affordable food. Every family will be able to afford quality health care and housing. And no families will face environmental health hazards because of where they live or how much money they make."
The italics are mine, because that's exactly what we want to do: We want to build a really big and powerful 4-county coalition around a very big goal: to end air pollution and abate climate change in SoCal, especially in low-income communities near heavily traveled goods movement corridors, by accelerating the deployment of clean cars and—especially—trucks, by electrifying and expanding Metrolink, and by modernizing goods movement infrastructure. Do we want to dump diesel, too? You bet!
Whether we win is determined by popular vote, and voting begins June 19! Mark your calendars. Of course we'll remind you!