The original selling point of the 30/10 transportation plan was the acceleration of the construction of 12 Measure R transit projects from 30 years to 10. Unfortunately, it originally failed to include highway and public-private partnership programs that serve the Gateway Cities; the San Gabriel, Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys; and the Glendale-Burbank subregion – which have most or all of their Measure R dollars allotted for highway projects.
However, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to support a motion I authored with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that expands the 30/10 plan to support the priorities outlined in the unanimously approved MTA Long Range Transportation Plan.
By adding highway and public-private partnership projects, the 30/10 plan that previously only accelerated 12 transit projects has become more regional, balanced, equitable and beneficial for the entire county. Now, more than a dozen highway projects in Measure R will be able to take advantage of the accelerated funds under the revised 30/10 plan.
Combination of projects
When Measure R passed in November 2008, voters were promised a combination of transit and road projects. A report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. stated that 67 percent of the jobs, economic output and earnings generated by Measure R come from highway projects, with the remaining 33 percent from transit projects!
The amended version of the 30/10 plan now allows our county to go after the 341,500 jobs, $46.3 billion in economic output and $15.1 billion in earnings that the Measure R highway program will provide.
Two of the 12 Measure R transit projects have their environmental work done, the Gold Line and Orange Line extensions. We will push to see that specific language is included to ensure each of the transit projects are built within their budgets without compromising funds to be utilized by the MTA to provide its countywide mobility duties.
By developing consensus on this vital initiative, the MTA can move forward with one voice in Washington, D.C., pushing for a 30/10 plan that will better address the transportation needs for the San Fernando, Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and the entire county.
Michael D. Antonovich is a Los Angeles County Supervisor.
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