We recently convened our #JustGrowth work group to weigh in on the upcoming adoptions of Measure M’s 2% Active Transportation Program and Metro’s Transit-Oriented Communities policy. With anticipated adoption for both in June, the next few months are crucial in shaping the policies with a #JustGrowth framework. The #JustGrowth framework states that regions that work toward racial inclusion and income equality have stronger and more resilient economic growth. Underinvestment in each other makes us less competitive as regions and as a nation.
As a refresher, last year the #JustGrowth work group agreed upon the following goals:
- Metro promotes access to opportunity by concentrating and prioritizing investments in communities with the greatest need.
- Metro engages the community as a partner in developing the transportation system.
- Metro supports economically stable and culturally diverse neighborhoods by promoting integrated transportation and land use policy.
- Metro invests in a frequent network of bus and rail transit service.
- Metro leads on transportation safety throughout Los Angeles County.
- Metro builds an integrated, connected, and sustainable transportation system.
The two policies we discussed this month, 2% Active Transportation and Transit-Oriented Communities, have the potential to address every single one of these goals.
Part of engaging in policy development includes taking the time to unpack the policies and engage with the various stakeholders. At Investing in Place, we continue to strive to demystify complex public policies so we developed a few helpful resources. In preparation to our time together, we held a webinar reviewing the policies and answering questions. For a refresher, you can listen and watch here.
Objectives for the work group included drafting policy recommendations and identifying who in attendance would champion respective goals. Joining us were our partners from Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, ACT-LA, Climate Resolve, Los Angeles Walks, Move LA, TRUST South LA, and the American Heart Association. Special thank you to our Advisory Board Member KeAndra Dodds with Enterprise Community Partners as the resident expert on the Transit-Oriented Communities and leading that discussion.
Key recommendations from the groups included:
2% Active Transportation Program
- Equitable Outcomes w/ Measurable Health Indicators
- Connect w/ Land Use and Safety
- Study Needs, HIN in Smaller Cities
- Education and Engagement – traditional, innovative
- Aligning TA w/ leveraging other $$ (as one option to achieve equitable outcomes)
- Needs-Based Allocation Formula (as resource-light option to achieve equitable outcomes)
- Relationship of TOC and Equity
- Reporting Requirements
- Definition of “High Quality” Transit Stops
- Interaction between TOCs & Promise Zones
Because each policy will go through different processes – the decision maker will vary. From the Metro Board of Directors, to the Council of Governments, down to the local cities, each process is its own challenge. The Council of Governments/subregions are an entirely new entity to most of our partners (and to some folks in general). Here is our 90-second Council of Governments whiteboard video for a refresher.
Given that the majority of active transportation funding in Measure M fall under the jurisdiction of Council of Governments, we surveyed them in advance to our work group meeting and included upcoming opportunities to engage on the multiyear subregional plans.
Two key outcomes from the Just Growth work group resulted in :
- A 2% ATP Policy Advisory Council working group opportunity scheduled sometime before the next Metro Policy Advisory Council (April 3rd)
- At the March PAC meeting, we heard from providers (LADOT) as well as consumers that the 2% ATP funds should be invested in smaller, more underresourced cities (!!)
We shaped the conversation and moved to create a working group similar to the TOC working group to do a deeper dive on the 2% Active Transportation Program. As we continue to organize our #JustGrowth work group, we know we are a diverse group that brings a diverse set of strengths. Moving forward with our recommendations as a work group, we understand we will not agree on every one. But by diversifying our champions we still stand to make great gains like we saw here at the March Policy Advisory Council.
Last but certainly not least, with the introduction of Metro’s Equity Platform, this stands to infuse all major initiatives. We are excited to see how these three policies will influence each other and ultimately bring the #JustGrowth framework to life.
Upcoming opportunities to engage on the Equity Platform includes ACT LA’s Town Hall on May 9th. Stay tuned as we track these policies and the equity platform on our next Metro Policy Advisory Council recap.
See our materials from the meeting below: