Los Angeles County Active Transportation Coalition Launches with Progress at Metro
We all know that making walking and biking safe and attractive options in Los Angeles County will require serious investment from our transportation agencies to build out bicycle and pedestrian plans in the county's 88 cities and unincorporated communities. Walking and biking comprise 19% of all trips in LA County, yet only receive 1% of all transportation funding. We're excited to announce that LACBC and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership have begun a major policy initiative to increase dedicated funding for walking and biking and ensure that the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists are considered in every Metro-funded transportation project. And what better way to launch a campaign than with an early win?
The Metro board today passed a motion that takes a big step forward on these two policy objectives by directing staff to report back on funding recommendations for pedestrian and bicycle projects in this year's Call for Projects cycle. Almost half of all applications from cities were for walking, biking, and streetscape projects. We think that these projects should get funding proportional to this interest from local jurisdictions, rather than only the 15 to 23% they've historically received. The motion also directs staff to analyze a variety of actions that could result in the creation of a complete streets policy for all Metro-funded projects. Is this a motion that only a policy wonk could love? Maybe, but it plants a seed in fertile soil on these issues. You can read the language for yourself by looking at the motion.
In March, the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Coalition will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, March 27 at 2 PM, with leaders from the business, labor, education, health, and environmental communities to discuss the next steps to improve the built environment for those walking and biking. To find out more and RSVP, check out the Safe Routes California blog.