Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Measure M Guidelines: Updates and initial recommendations

In November, Los Angeles County voters approved Measure M, generating significant new investment in the region’s transportation system. The Measure M ordinance included an expenditure plan outlining broad categories of expenditures and significant capital projects that Metro would commit to build over the next 50 years. (We analyzed the draft and final expenditure plan in March and June, respectively.)

Now that Measure M has passed, attention is turning to implementation. At the December 2016 board meeting, Metro CEO Phil Washington outlined an inclusive process for developing policies and guidelines through the creation of a new Advisory Council comprised of public, private, and nonprofit partners.

We are excited to see that the spirit of the Measure M coalition — a true team effort by champions all across the county — will continue in the implementation phase and the development of the 2017 Long Range Transportation Plan. In a follow up to the CEO’s Board presentation, Metro has produced two key memos outlining the timeline and processes for Measure M guidelines and the development of the new Advisory Council.

We encourage you to read these memos – they are filled with details and timelines on these critical processes:

What are the top 4 things we took away from them?

  1. Measure M draft guidelines are scheduled to be released in March 2017 for comments and finalized for adoption by the Metro Board in June 2017. Now is the time to start thinking about your recommendations and providing them to Metro.
  2. In addition to the Taxpayer oversight committee, a new Policy Advisory Council is being formed in early 2017 with three categories of key appointees: consumers, providers, jurisdictions. This Advisory Council will be in place to review and comment on draft Measure M guidelines as well as policy input  as the 2017 Metro Long Range Transportation Plan. This is huge. This is not business as usual but a clear and powerful step towards rethinking stakeholder participation especially from existing bus riders, community voices and more – in the implementation of public works. Awesome.
  3. Developing the Masterplan document for the Measure M guidelines is going to have multiple elements and programs to address such as: Administrative, Oversight, Assessments and Amendments, Transit Operations, Highway and Transit Subregional Programs, State of Good Repair, Local Return and other programs. This will be a big lift, and impact hundreds of millions of public funds – something to watch and provide your input on.
  4. Among the many critical policy decisions and committee appointments to be made, two key opportunities we are paying close attention to are the subregional programs and local return, in which Metro must balance accountability to regional outcomes with local autonomy over decision-making.

We applaud Metro and all our regional transportation leaders for these steps forward to ensure inclusivity and transparency as we prepare to implement the big plans and programs from Measure M. It is inspiring.

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 4.27.00 PM.pngWith the master guidelines process kicking off this month, Investing in Place is starting to develop some benchmarks ideas for how Metro can maximize the value of these guidelines in ensuring that Measure M investments support healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. These ideas are intended to illustrate the potential in this process, but aren’t exhaustive by any means.

Share your ideas by emailing us at jessica@investinginplace.org and signing up for our Just Growth workgroup — a workgroup that will be meeting this month to discuss the guidelines, advisory council and the 2017 LRTP. This will be an active workgroup as we work to share information and increase coordination around efforts at Metro. All are welcome to join this workgroup. Join us as we develop our ideas and input.

Here’s our initial ideas, feel free to take a look and let us know what you think:

Measure M Master Guidelines should:

  • Set performance goals for all Measure M programs consistent with board-adopted performance measures: Mobility, Accessibility, Safety, Economy, Sustainability
    • Require data collection for all projects/programs to track outcomes
  • Clarify applicability of Metro policies to Measure M funding programs:
    • Complete Streets Policy
    • First/Last Mile (Motion 14.1, 14.2)
    • Urban Greening
    • Title VI (Transportation Equity)
    • Public Participation
  • Clarify eligibility of active transportation and travel demand management (TDM) in all funding programs

Regional Program Guidelines (e.g. Countywide Active Transportation, Countywide BRT, Transit Operations, ADA/Student/Senior Transit, State of Good Repair, System Connectivity) should:

  • Require all projects to comply with Metro Complete Streets Policy, including completion of checklist, documented exceptions process with Metro approval, stakeholder input
  • Require all projects to assess opportunities for urban greening
    • Metro should provide checklist and/or guidance
  • Require all programs to include data collection/performance measurement plan to track progress toward Mobility, Accessibility, Safety, Economy, Sustainability objectives
    • Metro should standardize data collection practices, as needed
  • Require all program guidelines to include targeted stakeholder engagement plan
    • Each program should focus outreach to intended beneficiaries, e.g. transit operations guidelines should include outreach to bus riders

Subregional Program Guidelines (e.g. South Bay Mobility Program, Subregional Active Transportation Programs (multiple subregions), First/Last Mile & Complete Streets Programs (multiple subregions), Subregional Transit Programs (multiple subregions), Arterial/Highway Programs (multiple subregions), Multimodal Connectivity Programs (multiple)) should:

  • Require all projects to comply with Metro Complete Streets Policy, including completion of checklist, documented exceptions process with Metro approval, stakeholder input
  • Require all projects to assess opportunities for urban greening
    • Metro should provide checklist and/or guidance
  • Require all subregional programs to include data collection/performance measurement plan to track progress toward Mobility, Accessibility, Safety, Economy, Sustainability objectives
    • Metro should standardize data collection practices, as needed
    • Metro should produce annual report of project delivery status and progress toward performance objectives for each subregional program
  • Require all subregional program guidelines to include targeted stakeholder engagement plan
  • Give each subregion the option of establishing competitive or collaborative project selection processes for subregional programs, consistent with Mobility, Accessibility, Safety, Economy, Sustainability objectives
    • Subregional program guidelines may require a funding match from local jurisdictions to ensure funding goes to projects where local partners are willing to demonstrate commitment and partnership
  • Require Metro board adoption for subregional program guidelines and amendments
  • Require Metro board approval of projects recommended by subregion
    • Board approval should occur either via a regular (e.g. quarterly) submissions process or on an as-needed basis

Local Return Guidelines should:

  • Accelerate implementation of local plans that are consistent with countywide goals (e.g. Climate Action Plans, Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School) by prioritizing smaller “early action” projects
  • Support local planning for complete streets, such as creating/updating Safe Routes to School Plans, ADA Transition Plans, Active Transportation Plans, and general plan circulation elements to comply with the Complete Streets Act of 2008

Unanswered questions:

Something that we’re wondering about Measure M Guidelines is where in this document can we address tackling development without displacement? Where in this process can we advocate and support increase coordination with the implementation of Measure M projects and local housing policies?  

Have ideas and strategies  — let us know! Email me jessica@investinginplace.org or consider joining our Just Growth workgroup today !


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