Measure M would dramatically improve our transportation system and redefine commutes for residents in every corner of LA County to get us where we want to go, when we want to get there, however we choose to travel—whether by train, bus, car, bike or on foot. Not only will there be more rail and bus lines and connections between them, there will also be more connections that make it easier to get to rail stations and bus stops on bike and on foot. Measure M will even close gaps to create a continuous 51-mile bike path along the LA River!
We all know that LA County’s aging transportation system needs to be modernized, and Measure M would create an expanded 21st century network of subways, light rail, bus rapid transit, Metrolink, improved freeways, bikeways, repaved local roads and repaired sidewalks—all connected into a comprehensive system.
This is such a basic and necessary improvement to LA County that it has won endorsements from business, labor, environmentalists, AARP, the American Heart Association, and educational, faith-based, political and community groups. The endorsement list includes 100 organizations and continues to grow. You can see all the endorsers at http://www.movela.org/endorse.
Why the enthusiasm when the LA County ballot is already crowded with propositions and measures competing for voters’ attention? Because LA County residents need alternatives to sitting in “soul-crushing, air-polluting traffic,” as the LA Times put it in their endorsement. LA County was built up around an extensive network of streetcar lines and grew into a sprawling metropolis along an even more extensive network of freeways—but we need something more as LA County’s population continues to grow.
The projects that would be built were selected through a 3-year process involving LA County’s 88 cities, 6 subregional Councils of Governments, stakeholder groups from across LA County, and by the nearly 48,000 people who participated in telephone town halls and in-person meetings at LA Metro—surely one of the most ambitious outreach and engagement efforts ever around a transportation plan.
Every major freeway would be improved, including fixes to the I-5, I-10, I-105, I-405, I-605, I-710 (south and not north), SR 14, SR 57, SR 60, SR 71. Transit projects would include a completed Metro connection to LAX; a Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor from the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley to the Expo Line and LAX; a light rail along Van Nuys Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley; extensions of the Foothill Gold Line to Claremont and the Eastside Gold Line to South El Monte and Whittier; an extension of the Green Line to Torrance; construction of the West Santa Ana Corridor/Eco Rapid Transit light rail line from Artesia to downtown Los Angeles; an extension of the Crenshaw Line to the Wilshire Subway, West Hollywood and Hollywood; and conversion of the Orange Bus Rapid Transit Line in the San Fernando Valley to light rail.
In addition, all 88 cities and unincorporated areas in LA County would ease traffic immediately by repairing potholes and repaving local streets and roads.
Aside from easing traffic congestion there’s another benefit that accrues from Measure M—465,000 good, middle-class jobs negotiated with Project Labor Agreements and a Construction Careers Policy at LA Metro. And if all of this isn’t compelling enough, there’s more: LA Metro has received a number of unsolicited proposals for public private partnerships or P3s, which offer the opportunity to accelerate several of Measure M projects so we get more traffic relief sooner.
The only problem is that California’s ballot is long. So have a cup of coffee before going to the polls and look for Measure M near the end of the ballot! There’s more information about Measure M here: http://www.movela.org/measure_m_materials
The Move LA twitter town hall on Measure M was jumpin', and we trended to #3 on twitter in Los Angeles using the #VoteYesOnM hashtag even though we had tough competition—it was #NationalDrinkBeerDay, which stayed solidly in 1st place. There were 450 posts that engaged 100 users in an hour, with tweets by those users going out to another 137,000 users for a total of 1.7 million impressions (which users may or may not have seen). Significantly, more than half of the messages were positive and only 2.5% were negative (rest were neutral). And the tweet that got the most engagement was one with a photo of Ron Milam and his twin boys! Lesson learned: If you want retweets, take photos of your kids! Click below to see a "best of" the storified tweets!
Lillibeth Navarro contracted polio when she was a baby but has nonetheless long been a vigorous advocate in the Disability Rights Movement and in California’s Independent Living Movement. And she's the founder of CALIF, Communities Actively Living Independent & Free, a nonprofit that addresses discrimination against people with disabilities. (That's Lillibeth in the photo above; she was a plaintiff in the lawsuit contending that LA's broken sidewalks and missing curb ramps impair the rights of people with disabilities.)
Since public transportation is the key to actively living independent and free, she’s always been a transportation advocate too. She was arrested no less than 40 times during the very long campaign for passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and during the struggle to get the American Public Transportation Association and its many transit and highway agency members to comply with the transit federal regulations for disability access in public transit.
Because of Lillibeth’s leadership, others in the disability rights and independent living movement have become key supporters of Measure M. The philosophy of independent living revolves around a core belief that there’s little that people with disabilities can’t do—they just have to do them differently—and since public transit, paratransit and safe sidewalks make it possible for people with disabilities to live full lives in their own homes and, in some cases, frees them from nursing homes or board-and-care facilities.
“I live in an urban community close to downtown LA so I have many transportation choices, and I am blessed to be able to take a DASH bus to the front door of my office,” says Lillibeth. “Yet getting to a store within rolling distance in my neighborhood can be a major challenge because of cracked sidewalks, no curb cuts, and wide and busy streets with fast-moving traffic. People in Los Angeles—not just people with disabilities—need to be able to move around on our streets without fearing for their lives.”Read more
As a member of the #VoteYesOnM coalition, we are on social media every day, advocating for a world-class, interconnected transportation system that will reduce traffic congestion, create jobs, and spur immediate road repairs that will improve traffic flow in all of the county's 88 cities. Help us spread the word as a voter and support of MoveLA by using the hashtag #VoteYesOnM and following us on Facebook and Twitter.
As a part of Move LA for the next few months, my mission will be spread awareness of Los Angeles’ public transportation happenings to Angelenos. I hope to motivate residents, travelers, and tourists alike to see Los Angeles from outside the automobile — and to see the city from a lens closer to its people, architecture, and history.
Growing up on the East Coast, I never quite considered that public transportation would be an option to traverse this city. Before actually experiencing Los Angeles I pictured a city aligned with its popular tropes: A mass of freeways and urban sprawl riddled with unwieldy traffic jams. Like Reyner Banham in his famous self-defined "Autopia" of Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, I figured the only way to understand the city, like a true Angeleno, was through driving. Los Angeles was a far cry from the East Coast cities I arrived from, where public transportation was often regarded as primary rather then a brief afterthought.
Yet as a car-less (not careless!) college student I had no choice but to travel Los Angeles by an amalgamation of public transportation options, an experience that has opened my eyes to powerful role transportation plays in creating livable, communal, sustainable cities. Transportation is the lifeblood of a city, connecting people from all walks of life and purposes in everyday life in a single space. In the next few months I intend to show the tangible and intangible benefits public transportation can provide to Los Angeles residents — stay tuned for more.
Very big news from LA Metro yesterday: The agency has received several unsolicited proposals for "public private partnerships" or "P3s" to design, build, finance and help accelerate some of the major projects that would be built if voters approve Measure M on Nov. 8.
These include two proposals to accelerate the West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail project, also known as the Eco Rapid Transit Line, which would run along an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad ROW from Artesia north through several southeast cities and then along the west side of the Los Angeles River to downtown LA, with plans to eventually extend it to the Bob Hope Airport and even further north. Cities along the corridor have voted to oppose Measure M because they believe the construction of this line is unfairly late in the project implementation schedule.
One proposal to design-build-finance and accelerate this line comes from Skanska, an affiliate of a Swedish firm that has offices in Riverside, which built the Exposition Light Rail Line, and is now building the Regional Connector in downtown LA and the first phase of the Westside Subway Purple Line Extension. Skanska has also submitted a proposal to accelerate the Purple Line Subway Extension to UCLA and the Veterans Administration.
Another proposal to design-build-finance and accelerate the Eco Rapid Transit Line comes from ACS, based in Madrid and one of the leading construction companies in the world, which is currently working on stretches of California's high-speed rail line and the Crosslinx light rail line in Toronto, Canada.
The fact that there are two competing proposals makes it more likely that there will be serious acceleration of the Eco Rapid Transit Line.
Pledge to vote for Measure M HERE!
At Tuesday's #VoteYesOnM press event beneath Los Angeles Coliseum’s iconic peristyle, Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted the popularity of recent Expo Line ridership as testament to Metro’s potential to move people fast and efficiently. The presser was attended by LA Rams Executive VP Kevin Demoff, Metro Board Director Jackie Dupont-Walker and Measure M’s broad coalition of community and advocacy partners including Move LA’s very own Denny Zane!
Metro’s Expo line has been heavily populated by football fans eager to ditch their cars for a less traffic-congested option. Attendance at the Rams' opener with the Seattle Seahawks was 80,147, according to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Metro's the Source calculated that this meant that about 26 percent of those who attended took Metro.Read more
The depth and breadth of the coalition that’s vigorously supporting Measure M is impressive, but today we’d like to call out AARP California and St. Barnabas Senior Services in particular for their enthusiastic support and active campaigning.
AARP California, representing 1 million older Americans in LA County alone, has endorsed Measure M—the first time this powerful organization has ever endorsed and is actively campaigning for a local ballot measure. AARP CA prioritized Measure M because the number of people aged 65 and over is likely to double in 15 years, making it critical that LA County’s transportation system works for people who can’t—or don’t want to—drive. St. Barnabus, LA’s oldest senior services agency, has also endorsed and is getting out the vote for Measure M.
The reasons both organizations are on board and pledging to get out the vote is because Measure M will:
- Make it easier for people of all ages and incomes to get to jobs, health care and other essential services by providing more transportation options in more neighborhoods
- Help reduce isolation for seniors and increase access to social connections that keep us healthy as we age
- Repair sidewalks and install curb cuts, making it easier for people to walk, bike, and push a stroller or walker to their destinations
- Ensure that fares on both trains and busses remain low for seniors and people with disabilities
- Create good jobs for grandchildren!
Move LA launched its mission in 2007 by convening business, labor and environmental interests, political consultants, pollsters and elected officials to assess whether a transportation ballot measure could win in the election of 2008—and we were there at the victory press conference when Measure R won. We were also there at Union Station on August 31 when LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the campaign for Measure M.
Today our mission took a giant leap forward with the LA Times lengthy endorsement of Measure M. Our interest in 2007 was in solving the problem of “soul-crushing traffic,” as the Times called it today. The best way to avoid that traffic is to take the train, and Measure M would build what would become the 2nd-largest transit system in the U.S. Pledge HERE to #VoteYesOnM!
Some of you remember Move LA's conference in the spring of 2014 when we released our “Straw Man” ballot measure proposal and encouraged all of LA County to “dream big.” It was a resounding message, and our coalition grew to include faith-based groups, social equity advocates, older Americans, people with disabilities, and students—a constituency so large it could provide the “margin of victory” allowing Measure M to win.
We believe Move LA has played a special role in what could be the imminent success of Measure M: We created the table around which a long back-and-forth conversation took place over several years and resulted in 51 more Straw Man proposals that eventually allowed stakeholders to reach consensus about which projects and programs should be funded by what became Measure M.
The end result was probably the most robust and well-informed engagement effort ever for a transportation ballot measure in LA County. This included a truly bottoms-up planning process at LA Metro with the result that local governments were fully engaged and that 48,000 people participated in Metro’s public outreach and engagement process—either speaking out at board meetings, writing letters, or attending public forums or telephone town hall meetings.
Of the 13 elected officials who served on the Metro board in 2008 only one remains on the board now who supported Measure R in 2008—Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian—which is indicative of the challenge we faced to keep the momentum going. But Move LA has been there since the beginning helping to develop and drive the conversation and coalition.
There are about 30 transportation measures on ballots across the U.S. in the Nov. 8 election, and ours is the biggest and most ambitious—we are, after all, the 2nd largest metro area in the U.S. so we have to dream big! We are proud of our contribution. We helped keep the dream of a transformational transportation investment alive and this is why Measure M — for mobility, momentum and mojo, at a minimum — is going to win. Especially if we tell our friends, neighbors, family and colleagues to #VoteYesOnM November 8! Pledge HERE to #VoteYesOnM!
The LA Times endorsed Measure M today, saying that in order "to maintain the region's quality of life Los Angeles County has to keep investing in transportation." Move LA says that for all who are stuck in "soul-crushing traffic"—as the Times describes it—#VoteYesOnM and tell family/friends/neighbors/people you work with to vote for Measure M too! The LA Times editorial also said:
"Los Angeles County residents crave fast, convenient and affordable transportation options. Just look at what happened when the new Expo Line extension to Santa Monica opened in May. It was crowded from the get-go, and ridership on the line since then has climbed 42% on weekdays and 90% on Sundays.
"That experience has been repeated again and again as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has opened new rapid transit lines. More than 70% of the riders surveyed on the Gold Line after the extension to Azusa was opened in March said they were new to the train, and 2/3 of those said that they used to drive prior to taking the light rail. The Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley has far exceeded ridership projections.
"There’s pent-up demand for alternatives to sitting in soul-crushing, air-polluting traffic. Los Angeles grew into a metropolis by relying on cars and freeways, but the region cannot continue to prosper without investing in a modern, efficient transportation system. Congestion makes it harder to conduct business and move goods — a problem in a region with the nation’s largest port complex. With a half-built transit system, people are left to drive long distances or rely on multiple buses and trains to reach work or school. Or worse, it means they don’t consider certain jobs or opportunities because of the commute."