On Thursday 12/6 the Metro Board of Directors will consider authorizing over half-a-billion in funding to local roadway projects that will result in more air pollution, more greenhouse gas emissions, and more preventable traffic collisions and deaths.
15 public health, sustainable mobility, transportation, and social justice organizations have submitted a joint comment letter (accessible here) urging the Metro board to support more sustainable, healthy, multi-modal transportation projects, as well as outlining some very serious concerns regarding how the project list was developed. StreetsblogLA also summed up some of the issues at stake in this recent post. And AARP California submitted their own list of concerns (accessible here). You can weigh in by joining these groups in speaking to the board tomorrow Thursday 12/6.
In Spring 2017 the Metro Board of Directors unanimously voted to shelve its support for tunnel option for the 710-N corridor project. The landmark vote was the latest chapter in over 40 years of struggle over the proposed freeway extension through the communities of El Sereno, Alhambra, South Pasadena, and Pasadena. The Metro Board's decision also freed up almost $1 BILLION in Measure R funding originally set-aside for the 710-N freeway tunnel is being made available to cities along the proposed freeway corridor. It also set off a process which asked project area communities to submit local project ideas to improve mobility (which we wrote about in Fall 2017 here). Specifically, the board's motion directed that the 710-N funding be split up and redirected as follows:
In a nutshell Metro asked corridor cities to pitch two types of project ideas:
In the original Metro board motion, Directors Fasana, Barger, Solis, Garcetti, and Najarian specifically encouraged Metro, Caltrans, and the corridor cities to support multi-modal planning trip demand management.
Directors Fasana, Barger, Solis, Garcetti, and Najarian specifically encouraged Metro, Caltrans, and the corridor cities to "pursue policies and actions that would promote smart and functional land use, reduce automobile dependency, encourage multi-modal trips, improve traffic operations, and maximize the use of the latest available technologies to enhance performance of the existing transportation system to minimize impacts of the regional traffic on the communities along the SR-710 corridor.”
Corridor cities subsequently submitted a whole range of project ideas, from additional auto lanes to improved bus services. Within the multi-modal categories, cities submitted the following project ideas:
Los Angeles City
Los Angeles County
However staff did not recommend a single multi-modal project request for funding, despite corridor cities submitting over $355 million in transit and over $70 million in active transportation project requests.
Your chance to speak up is tomorrow in person at the meeting.