How Measure M Could Transform Los Angeles
Posted by Bryn Lindblad in # Blog, #Getting Around LA, #Reducing Emissions on October 11, 2016
Cross-posted from the EnviroMetro coalition website.
Measure M, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan that’s being brought before voters next month, has the potential to transform our region’s transportation landscape.
Here are some ways Measure M could help Angelenos:
Improved Transportation Options
Create More Transit: Measure M proposes 33 new transfer points — that would more than double the Metrorail line system! This future webbed network will make getting around the region by transit much more convenient and efficient. Among the offerings: Rail connection to LAX and an underground rail connecting The Valley to Westwood and beyond.
Make Streets Safer for Everyone: Much needed investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure would make our streets safer for everyone. Building out the Greenway network along the region’s storm water catch basins, abandoned rail lines, and utility corridors will create an even safer (and more pleasant!) space for people to walk and bike away from car traffic. Bonus: by supporting safe and active transportation, this could improve their public health.
Provide Traffic Relief: The plan addresses freeway interchange to relieve some of the worst bottlenecks in the system.
Repair Roads: The plan proposes repaving potholes across the region. These road improvements combined with the anticipated mode shift to other forms of transport are expected to deliver a 15% reduction in the time people spend stuck in traffic.
A Greener LA
Make LA More Climate-Resilience: Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the EnviroMetro coalition, there are now policies in place to ensure that these public infrastructure investments achieve multi-benefits for greater climate resiliency.
Save Water: Storm water management will be improved with permeable surfaces along roadways, allowing rain water from flash precipitation events to replenish our ground water aquifers, rather than being lost out to sea via the sewer drainage system.
Keep LA Cool: Greener Streets and Stops: Tree canopy cover along streets, shade structures at bus stops, and cool (high reflective) surfaces will help combat the urban heat island effect, which is especially important now that climate change is increasing the number of extreme heat days in our region.
Boost Business: By greening our concrete jungle, streets become more appealing community spaces and the local economic activity increases.
Improve Public Health: Investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure would make our streets safer for everyone and also encourage more active transportation. Health detriments, such as asthma from smog, decrease with green infrastructure.
Keep Fares Affordable: This plan includes provisions to keep transit fares affordable, and even makes a new commitment to subsidize fares for students, seniors and the disabled, and improve the service that is offered to them, aiming to serve the people that need it most.
Create Job Opportunities: Metro is also a leader in the space of progressive labor agreements, committing that more than 40% of construction hours will be performed by people living in low-income communities. With the 465,000 new jobs that the measure is anticipated to create, this could be a real ladder for social mobility.
Improve Access to Green Spaces: An effort is underway to create public transit connections to parks and open spaces, making our region’s incredible natural landscapes available for all to enjoy. This plan would boost that effort, reducing transportation barriers to equitable access to parks.
Protect Public Lands: All construction projects are required by California law to mitigate against the habitat disruption that they cause. With this massive transportation infrastructure overhaul, those mitigation funds would be pooled into a Regional Advance Mitigation Program to get the biggest habitat preservation bang for the buck.
On November 8, we all have the chance to vote “yay” or “ney” on this plan to transform the transportation landscape in LA. Are you registered to vote? Have you had a conversation with your friends and family yet about the election, to make sure they’re registered and discuss this and other measures on the ballot? Measure M is a really big deal, and you can play a part in determining whether it becomes a reality or not!