Celebrating LA Metro's 25th birthday and the continuing expansion of LA's rail system to 131 miles is grand! Trains are being tested in Santa Monica as of today! But it also makes you wonder what it was like back when 2,160 Pacific Red Cars ran daily on 1,000 miles of track connecting LA, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Those were the days when LA's electric railway system was the largest in the world -- and several decades before all those cars were crushed to make room for buses and automobiles. But the great thing is that the Red Car system is in our very bones. Walkable, bikeable communities were built up around streetcar lines, and we can get back to the future there -- with cleaner air, reduced GHG emissions, improved public health, reduced transportation costs, and less dependence on petroleum.
DENNY ZANE ON THE CONSTITUENCIES THAT SUPPORT A SALES TAX
Fifty people attended a conversation with new Metro CEO Phil Washington yesterday at Move LA’s offices in DTLA. But Denny Zane pointed out that the constituents represented by those 50 transportation leaders number in the millions – if one adds up the constituencies of even just a few, including One LA, the LA Area Chamber, BizFed, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the LA Community College District student population, and the disabled community. It’s a constituency that’s definitely enough to swing a vote on a new sales tax measure in LA County, Denny added, and one that should be able to participate in decision-making about the new measure with LA Metro, much like the 8 councils of government (that represent cities in the region) do -- because it’s a powerful constituency to engage.
NEW LA METRO CEO PHIL WASHINGTON ON THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN TRANSPORTATION
Washington started his remarks with a challenge: “I defy you,” he said, “to name a great city that didn’t start with a great transportation system.” He said he grew up on transit, living in the projects on the South Side of Chicago -- where he learned not to miss the bus, and that if his mother missed the bus it meant that she wouldn’t be coming home. He talked about his role in the Fastracks sales tax campaign in Denver, where he headed up the transit agency before coming to LA, and said that he fully believes that each $1 invested in transit leads to a $4 to $5 return, that accelerating project construction is key, and that private investment is too. Washington also noted that Denver enacted a project labor agreement and construction careers policy before LA Metro did.
Who was in the room and what they asked for is below.
Move LA's Leadership Board and coalition partners are meeting with new LA Metro CEO Phil Washington Tuesday to talk about the projects that we'd like to see funded in a new sales tax measure to achieve the objectives listed above.Read more
Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane spoke yesterday at Governor Brown’s multi-agency symposium on “Rethinking Transportation in California.” He was asked to talk about building winning coalitions around transportation initiatives -- given his experience organizing the coalition that helped win the 2/3 “yes” vote on the Measure R sales tax (that is providing $40 billion for transportation improvements in LA County!).
Here's a video of some of our coalition partners and other friends and what they say about re-thinking transportation in LA County -- with the help of another transportation ballot measure in 2016! (It was recorded at our 7th Annual Transportation Conversation at Union Station last spring.)
This video stars (in order of appearance):
Mayor Eric Garcetti
LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin
41st LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Nolan Rollins of the LA Urban League
Cecilia Estolano of Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors
Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown
Mary Leslie of the LA Business Council
Move LA’s Denny Zane
Madeline Janis of the LA Alliance for a New Economy
Raffi Hamparian of LA Metro
Jonathan Parfrey of Climate Resolve
Dr. Joseph Lyou of the Coalition for Clean Air
CA Air Resources Boardmember Hector De La Torre
Denny Zane of Move LA
Rusty Hicks of the LA County Federation of Labor
Joyce Perkins of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative
Metro Boardmember Jackie Dupont-Walker
Elsa Barboza of SCOPE
Alan Toy of the Westside Center for Independent Living
Move LA Leadership Board Chair Marlene Grossman
Tracy Rafter of the LA Business Federation
Tunua Thrash-Ntuk of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation
Denny Zane is in Sacramento today where he spoke at Governor Brown’s multi-agency "Five Pillars" symposium on “Rethinking Transportation in California.” The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Independent System Operator held the symposium to discuss strategies to achieve Governor Brown’s greenhouse gas reduction goal of reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.Read more
The Harbor Subdivision Line: This is the 1st in a series on transit corridor projects that have been proposed by transportation stakeholders in South LA. Currently there is no funding for these projects, but they could be funded by a new sales tax measure that's under discussion for the November 2016 ballot.
The Harbor Subdivision is a 26-mile-long Metro-owned railroad right-of-way that could offer a one-seat ride from downtown LA’s Union Station to LAX, and that would connect the Crenshaw, Green and Blue lines to important destinations in downtown LA, South LA, the South Bay and Long Beach, and to LAX and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It is a project that demonstrates how every incremental addition to our rail system provides ever increasing value because it provides connections to an ever larger set of destinations.Read more
The Strategic Growth Council today announced awards for Round 1 of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program to 28 projects statewide. Our 6-county region posted 8 of the top 10 highest scoring projects, but in total received only 23% of the total $122 million available from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.Read more
Here's the most recent version (#33!) of our "strawman" proposal. It keeps changing because of ongoing conversations and new information, and with the goal of creating an ever broader and more engaged coalition of those who are interested in transportation investments.