Investing in Place convenes our #JustGrowth work group every 4-6 weeks to organize and share information about opportunities and challenges on regional transportation policy. This group focuses on Los Angeles County – specifically Measure M and the Long Range Transportation Plan – and is open to anyone to join. Typically our #JustGrowth meetings are attended by 40-50 people from community-based organizations, public agencies and occasionally representatives from the offices of elected officials attend too. This week, for example, we were honored to have West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath join our meeting, as well as newly elected Altadena Town Councilmember Dorothy Wong.
I was inspired by the awesome showing of community advocates, agencies, and electeds’ staff at this month’s #JustGrowth meeting. We were at capacity, with a standing room only crowd of over 50 people in attendance. It is clear to me there is great interest in staying involved and holding Metro accountable with Measure M and the Long Range Transportation Plan. We had a wide range of people from all levels of involvement, and there was an awesome desire to learn how to engage with “what’s next” after the adoption of the Measure M Guidelines.
Our agenda (meeting materials below) included an overview of what was addressed in the final changes of the Measure M guidelines last month, and an overview of what the Policy Advisory Council is tasked with, specifically focusing on the timelines of all the #MeasureM programs that require additional guideline development (see list here). But the bulk of our work group meeting centered on the Measure M Multiyear Subregional Programs (MSP).
The Multiyear Subregional Program is a key source of funding that is brand new with Measure M. This new program has $10 billion associated with it, and it’s intended to be an initiative responsive to our vast region, where subregional planning and implementation processes are critical in order to create robust, effective, safe, and context-sensitive transportation options that seamlessly cross jurisdictional lines.
The Measure M Master Guidelines deferred to fully develop this program to the “administrative process” – which will be developed by Metro staff in coordination with the Policy Advisory Council (PAC). So as it stands now, we still need to define what the clear decision-making process and/or evaluation criteria for project selection and prioritization, how the 5 year work plans will be developed and articulate how community based organizations and residents will participate in the MSP process.
How long do we have to find policy and regional consensus on this $10B program? 6 months starting from now – July. With the Metro Policy Advisory Council not meeting in August, that means by the time the PAC discusses this issue, we will have 3 months to develop these guidelines for a brand new program. Back in May, in the absence of a clear proposal in the guidelines, we introduced a framework to start this discussion, highlighting the need for: Transparency and Accountability, Collaborative Decision-Making, Public Participation, Performance Measures, Innovative Project Development, and Capacity and Standards.
During the #JustGrowth work group meeting, we wanted to check in with our partners on their goals for this program – and what emerged from our group discussion was parallel to many of our initial ideas. These are the key themes we heard from partners for what they want to see in the development of the MSP:
- Clarity on what a COG does and who decision makers are
- Definition of performance metrics
- Establishment of a robust public participation plan
— LANI (@LANIorg) July 18, 2017
Our partners also expressed the importance of ensuring that MSPs would have processes in place to:
- Assess what stage of development projects are at after 2 years
- Guarantee meaningful community engagement
- Prioritize projects that result in improved safety for all, reduce GHGs, VMT and PM reduction
- Prioritize projects that are aligned with a Countywide vision zero plan – addressing regional high injury hot spots
- Create high quality jobs for local workers
- Prioritize projects that address social equity – complete an overall measure M needs assessment (like Measure A)
- Work with partners and new solutions to ensure development without displacement – how can we make sure improved infrastructure and transit investments don’t lead to displacement
- Addresses health equity head on
- Increases access to public space, green space, parks
What’s next? Some potential next steps I see on the horizon:
- Build on these ideas and develop partnerships with COG and subregion staff.
- Join our August #JustGrowth meeting to be held as a conference call on Tuesday, August 22nd – 2:30pm (please email me to register – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Plan and develop an agenda, key speakers, education materials and more for Investing in Place’s upcoming COG/subregion Forum to be held on September 18th.
- Submitting ideas/Sharing ideas with the COGs/Subregion, Metro Staff and the Policy Advisory Council on how to address the ideas partners have for a successful MSP implementation.
- Reach out to me – I welcome your ideas as well as questions. Send me an email at email@example.com to set up a time to sit down and chat.
Doing this work is difficult. Daunting. But again and again I find that our #JustGrowth work group meetings are filled with people passionate in ensuring our Los Angeles Regional mobility investments serve everyone. What an encouraging moment to come together, find common ground, and bring forth an authentic and transparent approach to advocating for our communities.
July #JustGrowth Work Group Materials