On March 5th Investing in Place hosted its first open partner meeting in downtown Los Angeles at the beautiful Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC). Over 80 partners joined in discussion on supporting a more walkable, bikeable and transit rich Los Angeles County (agenda).
Investing in Place is focusing on Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), to effect change in policy priorities for future investments through 2050. The LRTP update is proceeding in parallel with the formulation of a potential ballot measure to levy an additional half-cent sales tax for transportation, yielding up to tens of billions in new public funds over 45 years for new projects. The LRTP update is still missing a set of performance measures to guide project selection and prioritization.
The multi-year update of Metro’s LRTP which started earlier in 2015, will guide over $300 Billion dollars of investments in Los Angeles County, this last update happened in 2009. Investing in Place sees a tremendous opportunity and need to coordinate efforts to develop and implement transportation and land use investments that focus on public health, social equity and environmental benefits during this LRTP update. Over the course of 2015-2016, Investing in Place will be working with partners to advance these goals. One of the ways we work to do that is by bringing partners together to create a space for discussion among efforts to advance land use and transportation in the County.
Key discussion points on March 5th:
- It’s not enough for us to say lets support our, “disadvantaged communities” – how can we have policy consensus in the region for what this exactly means. Should we adopt Cal Enviro Screen or other policy definition for Metro (ie Cap and Trade and CA Active Transportation Program)?
- Don’t overlook the bus system. Most of public transit riders in Los Angeles County rely on the buses – how are we improving them? Can we accelerate implementation of Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors?
- Less than 1% of Los Angeles County transportation funds support active transportation – is a goal of 10% of all funding in the LRTP update a goal to work towards?
- If Los Angeles County wants to capture its share of state and federal funds – does it have the measures and plans that align with state goals (ie S.B. 535 and prioritization of disadvantaged communities)?
- There is currently no Metro public draft expenditure plan for potential 2016 County Sales tax measure. We expect Metro to release its first draft expenditure plan in the 2nd week of April 2015 (next month) – until then there is nothing to support or oppose.
- How can we work with Metro to ensure there is affordable housing around transit stations?
- How can regional funds support planning and implementation efforts especially in less resourced cities throughout Los Angeles County – especially for active transportation efforts. In 2008 out of Los Angeles County’s 88 cities, 10 had a bicycle or pedestrian plan, as of 2014 – 35 do, how can we support increase planning and efforts for multi-modal all trip planning and regional coordination?
- This is the first many of us have heard about ‘mobility matrices’ – who are COG’s and how can we work with them?
- Can we fund more open streets/cicLAvia efforts in Los Angeles County if we do another sales tax and create new funding? In Central and South America open streets events are funded with public transportation funds, can Los Angeles County learn from this model?
- San Luis Obispo recently tied funding to mode split goals – should we be doing this in the Metro LRTP update too?
- AARP is conducting listening sessions around Los Angeles County about mobility and aging in place, how can this effort work with partners over 50?
We had a great tweet wall during the meeting – check out the #investinginplace tweets.
What’s next and how can you engage with Investing in Place?
- Save the date for the Metro Planning and Policy Committee meeting on April 15th at 2pm, where Metro Board members will review a draft expenditure plan for a potential 2016 County Sales Tax ballot measure.
- Learn about what COG is representing your interests and learn more how you can engage with your COG during this process, especially for Mobility Matrices project lists.
- Here are upcoming events we are also working on: May advocacy training (a small group so invite only), June stakeholder convening, September 9th Investing in Place summit to be held at the California Endowment in downtown Los Angeles.
- Stay tuned for our Metro LRTP Advocacy platform – working on it right now and hope to post soon.
A heartfelt thank you to LA2050, LURN, LACBC, Naomi at Community Health Councils and all Investing in Place advisors who helped pull off this great meeting.