Thursday, July 13, 2017

Top 4 things from this week’s Metro Policy Advisory Council

With Metro’s Measure M Guidelines formally adopted at last month’s Board of Directors meeting, it is an exciting time for the Metro Policy Advisory Council. We are now moving forward with the Administrative Procedures and the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). We have four key takeaways from this month’s PAC meeting:

  1. Officers
  2. Transit Oriented Communities and Complete Streets
  3. Long Range Transportation Plan
  4. Equity

I. Officers 

First, the volunteer interim chairs were unanimously chosen to represent their respective groups for a one year term starting this month:

Providers – Roderick Diaz, Metrolink (2nd Vice Chair)
Jurisdictions – Cecilia Estolano, Westside COG (First Vice Chair)
Consumers – Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place (Chair)

II. Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs) and Complete Streets

Second, the PAC will be tackling the Measure M Administrative Procedures over the next 6 months. There are key issues that still have to be resolved during this process, including questions of the concrete definition for Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs) and the applicability of Metro’s existing Complete Streets Policy. These questions can likely be addressed in the administrative process, but it’s not yet completely clear that they will be. The next steps for the PAC will include members signing up for subcommittees to work on administrative procedures for elements of Measure M – such as the Multiyear Subregional Program, 2% Active Transportation Program and more (click here for the complete list of Measure programs that will be further defined in an administrative process).

III. Long Range Transportation Plan

Third, as the Long Range Transportation Plan is developed, how can it stay within its lane to address mobility and access while also not being silent on the intersections between mobility, land use, housing, and safety? Proactively seeking partnerships and making room for diverse perspectives at the table will be crucially important for the LRTP. We want to involve all the players investing in our region to make Los Angeles County a place where there is opportunity for everyone, and not just those lucky enough to live in the right zip code. The work of moving Measure M forward will be prioritized by the PAC in the next few months, and this work will help set the stage for the Long Range Transportation Plan. As a plan for the next 50 years, this phase brings its own challenges and needs.

The LRTP matters because transportation matters. Transportation connects people to jobs, education, services, and other destinations. Good transportation policy can improve economic development, social cohesion, community resilience, public health and environmental outcomes. The needs, wants and conditions of our communities and partners will be the keystone of how this plan works for the 10 million people in Los Angeles County.

How all the existing challenges, opportunities, and efforts to improve our communities come together in a regional transportation plan for the next 50 years for a County bigger than 44 states will be a tremendous undertaking for Metro and all partners.

IV. Equity

Fourth, at this week’s PAC meeting, one of the greatest themes for the Long Range Transportation Plan we heard was the guiding north star: equity. Getting our transportation policy to define and address equity through the entire Long Range Transportation Plan will be a key issue for Metro to tackle in the LRTP. For the past 35 years, equity has been a footnote in writing these long term plans, when it really must be “a resilient cross-cutting theme in the front.” Metro staff reported that their intent is to first develop a framework for how to address this issue in the Long Range Transportation Plan. There has been lots of discussion about equity among partners – especially when it comes to mapping out the appropriate intersection between issues regarding transportation, housing, access to employment and education opportunities, and how race and income are central issues to policy.

#JustGrowth Work Group

As a PAC officer, Investing in Place and our Executive Director Jessica Meaney are seeking advice and ideas on how to ensure this committee can advance our public policy regarding transportation options throughout the region. And one way Investing in Place gathers input on our efforts is through our #JustGrowth work group. This work group is open to all, focuses on Metro policy efforts, and tends to meet every 4-6 weeks.

Our next Just Growth work group is July 18th – next week, however with over 50 people already registered – we’re now at capacity and have closed registration. Please sign up here if you would like to get on a waitlist.

What’s next?

It is anticipated that in the next meeting of the PAC – in September – there will be a draft work plan for the PAC with a timeline of key elements – i.e. Measure M Administrative Processes, LRTP timeline, and other key policy issues raised by the PAC to be reviewed and discussed.

Meetings have been scheduled for the next year – the next meeting will be Tuesday, September 12th. (In the month of August, the PAC will take a short recess.) Hereafter, meetings will be the 1st Tuesday of every month at 1:30 pm.


July 11 2017 PAC Materials

With the holiday weekend ahead, we’re thinking about the beach

by Investing in Place

Funding Now Available for Select Active Transportation Projects

by Jessica Meaney