Business, transportation, labor, environmental, government and community leaders gathered Feb. 1 for Move LA’s annual transportation conversation to chart the way forward in 2013. Without Measure J and redevelopment, local governments need new tools to accelerate transit and the production and preservation of housing that is affordable, as well as the infrastructure that will make neighborhoods walkable and bikeable, prosperous and healthy.
Speakers included BizFed CEO Tracy Rafter, LA Area Chamber President Gary Toebben and LA Business Council's Mary Leslie.
Topics included new tools in development: Working with Congress on America Fast Forward bonds to accelerate transit, and with the state Legislature on lowering the local voter threshold to make it easier to win the funding for neighborhoods. There’s Cap and Trade funding in the offing, a possible vehicle license fee surcharge to help implement green neighborhood infrastructure, SB 1 to reinvent redevelopment around transit, a national infrastructure bank, public private partnerships and LA Mayor Villaraigosa's Transit Corridors Cabinet.
- There is keen interest across the board in accelerating construction of our transit system, and all four mayoral candidates supported this.
- Everybody is on board to go back to Congress to secure financing tools to accelerate transit construction, including America Fast Forward bonds.
- There is keen interest in lowering the voter threshold – LA County voters have shown this twice, with more than 66% voting for both Measure R and Measure J (71% voted for Measure J in the City of Los Angeles).
- There is keen interest in re-inventing redevelopment – utilizing tax increment financing within a half mile of high-frequency transit to pay for housing with affordable rents, bike/ped projects and improvements such as parks and plazas.
- The audience was excited about LA Mayor Villaraigosa's decision to create a Transit Corridors Cabinet to focus resources, policy and improvements along transit corridors.
Photos will be up on the MoveLA website soon: www.movela.org