At this month’s Metro Policy Advisory Council (PAC) – the focus of the meeting was primarily on two agenda items: Measure M Regional funding for active transportation and the recently released Metro Vision 2028 plan.
Measure M’s Active Transportation Program 2% funding guidelines are scheduled to have a draft presented to CEO Phil Washington in June for review, with another Metro PAC work group meeting to continue to review and provide input on staff recommendations. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about this program and provide input on the pending guidelines.
While not presented at the May meeting, Metro PAC members and partners are continuing to work on Metro’s forthcoming Transit Oriented Communities policy which will be presented to the Metro Board of Directors at the 2pm May 16th Planning and Programming Committee.
Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation presented the Metro Vision 2028 Strategic Plan. The Metro Vision 2028 Strategic Plan is intended to guide all major initiatives – from projects, policies, plans and operations – with the same vision. Staff have been working to ensure it is informed by community members across the region with online surveys (with over 18,000 responses), diverse focus groups, and over 130 stakeholder meetings and interviews with external and internal stakeholders. You can read the draft Vision here.
There are many ideas that we at Investing in Place are excited about -from implementing Metro’s equity framework in every program, rethinking community engagement, implementing dedicated bus lanes, doubling transit/walk/bike trips, expanding express lanes, congestion pricing, leveraging Metro’s resources and influences to support affordable housing, maintaining state of good repair, and – one of our favorites – through its funding, Metro will incentivize partner organizations/implementing agencies to deliver the mobility agenda described in the plan.
Even as a visionary document, the devil is in the details. The overarching vision to double the total usage of transportation modes other than driving alone, including transit, walk, bike, shared ride and carpool modes does not actually include the mode split data (percentages of how we travel now).
If we don’t know where we are starting from, how will we know when we get there? We think this is a doable fix using the National Household Survey data, and by Metro funding the collection of how all trips happen. Relying on the American Communities Survey (ACS) Data – which only tracks work trips – excludes the many trips made per day from students, youth, and older adults.
As the primary funder, planner, coordinator, designer, builder, and operator, Metro’s Vision 2028 is an acknowledgement and affirmation to addressing the multifaceted responsibility Metro has in making a better Greater Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. This acknowledgement includes creating high-quality transportation options for our most disadvantaged populations of the County – and all the trips everyone makes. When we champion our most vulnerable communities with an inclusive approach, we champion a system that works for everyone. It’s long overdue for the LA region to value all trips and travelers in the way we prioritize our investments – Vision 2028 should be the plan that starts us down the path to change that.
Metro is accepting comments on the Strategic Plan through May 24th. You can submit your comments here.