This Wednesday, March 29th, LA City Council's Transportation Committee will discuss how to spend almost $50 million per year on local transportation infrastructure, like better sidewalks, crosswalks, and lighting. These funds, generated from the recent Measure M sales tax initiative, are called "Local Return," and will start to flow on July 1, 2017 -- very soon!
Now is the time to tell LA City Council members that Local Return funding should be used to make our streets safer and more welcoming to people - especially the most vulnerable among us: children, older adults, people with disabilities, and anyone walking or bicycling.
Take Action! Send an email to Transportation Committee members today!
Scroll down to find a complete email template urging City Council members to:
- Dedicate Local Return funds to improving street safety, helping LA to achieve its ambitious Vision Zero goals.
- Prioritize low-income communities and communities of color, often last to receive critical infrastructure investments.
- Commit to data transparency and community engagement every step of the way.
Measure M Local Return presents a terrific opportunity to fund the safe, equitable walking and bicycling environment Los Angeles has needed for decades.
Tell your City Council member to seize this moment!
Contact City Council members today to ensure that Measure M Local Return funding prioritizes safety, focuses on equity, and supports our most basic, affordable, and healthiest forms of transportation for years to come.
Thank you to our Vision Zero Alliance partners at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for guiding this effort.
Interested in doing more? Show up to City Council on Wednesday, March 29 at 12:45pm in City Hall Room 1010 to testify in person!
Copy, paste, and send the email below today!
Bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subj: Use Measure M Local Return to #MakeLACity streets safer for all Angelenos! CF# 16-0395
Dear Honorable Councilmembers,
As a ___________ [e.g. bike rider, pedestrian, transit user, student, parent, etc.], I strongly encourage the City to use Measure M Local Return dollars to prioritize active transportation, safety, and equity.
The City of L.A. will receive about $50 million dollars annually from Measure M local return. I support using local return funds on projects that create safer, more livable streets so that we achieve Vision Zero and ensure that the visionary Mobility Plan 2035 becomes a reality - with a focus on equity that does not leave our most vulnerable residents behind. In deciding how to use Measure M local return funds, the City should consider the following priorities:
- Dedicate More Funding to Vision Zero - The City should set aside the majority of its local return to support its Vision Zero work. People walking and biking are at a disproportionate risk of being killed from traffic violence, accounting for 49% of deaths, despite being in only 14% of crashes. Emphasizing active transportation will ensure that the most vulnerable road users are prioritized.
- Resume Commitment to Bike Lane Installation - LACBC’s 2015 Bike and Pedestrian Count found that bike lane installation decreased from 101 miles in 2013 to just 11 miles in 2015, and only 25% of high priority bike lanes identified in the Bicycle Plan had been installed since 2010. A portion of local return funds should be used to install the other 75% of high priority bike lanes. The City should also conduct annual manual bicycle and pedestrian counts and/or install automatic counters across the city to track the impact of bike lane installation.
- Prioritize Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color - There is a historical and continual lack of investment in low-income communities and communities of color by government agencies who often leave these communities as afterthoughts of their planning practices. Local return dollars and Vision Zero are opportunities to prioritize low-income communities and communities of color - neighborhoods that have been historically neglected by street safety projects; where people are more likely to walk, bike, and take transit; and where a disproportionate percentage of serious and fatal traffic collisions occur.
- Commit to Data Transparency - Data collection is essential to understanding traffic deaths, prioritizing intervention locations and resources, and holding public agencies accountable. The City must demonstrate its commitment to equity by collecting better data on race/ethnicity and income to allow for more robust health equity analysis and targeted interventions. Potential strategies include: enhancing existing data collection sources and practices, accessing relevant data from alternative sources, and conducting community needs assessments in the High Injury Network neighborhoods.
- Promote Meaningful Community Engagement - Foster community dialogues with law enforcement to ensure that resident voices, especially those most disparately targeted by law enforcement (young men of color and transgender people of color) are used to shape Vision Zero's enforcement strategies, using prevention and restorative rather than criminalization approaches.
Please ensure that active transportation, safety, and equity are prioritized in spending Measure M local return dollars.