Time to Start Imagining…

metro imagine_1.jpg

Tonight is the first of Metro’s community meetings to solicit feedback on the Draft Long Range Master Plan. To their credit, Metro has been actively promoting the plan through the Imagine Campaign. The campaign encourages Angelenos to consider what they want Los Angeles County’s transportation network to look like in the coming decades.

To encourage our imagination Metro created a website, and placed advertisements on buses, bus shelters, train stations, and billboards throughout town and even starting the Imagine blog. True, the blog has had one post since it was created over two weeks ago, but the comments section has over 30 different comments. Almost all of the comments imagine a better transit system.

The draft plan has come under criticism for its focus on increasing highway capacity. Under this plan, nearly 25% of all Metro funds will be spent on moving cars faster. By comparison, Metro plans to spend less than 1% of its finances to improve bicycle and pedestrian mobility despite the popularity of projects such as the Bimini Place Shared Street Project.

The Imagine Campaign reflects the partial focus on car-oriented projects. Two of the four billboards and Internet advertisements Imagine: Less Traffic and Imagine: More Green Lights, focus on imagining better car commutes.

The best way to change the focus of Metro away from improving vehicle speed and towards making more Livable Streets is to let Metro know that the future you imagine doesn’t include roads full of cars and trucks rumbling down community roads.

Tonight is your first chance, but don’t despair if you can’t make it. The public comment period doesn’t end until April 25.

  • I’ve got a suggestion.

    The office preparing the Long Range Transportation Strategic Plan (the Transit Development and Implementation section under Chief Planning Officer Carol Inge) could amend their policies regarding bicycles.

    Here is a policy they have in their bi-annual Call for Projects (a multi-billion dollar car project bonanza) regarding the funding of “transportation” dollars funding bicycle projects:

    (You can find this info in this .pdf: http://parkmetro.net/projects_programs/call_projects/images/call_projects_supplement07_application.pdf)

    “Construction of a bikeway and/or pedestrian path is prohibited unless the bikeway or pedestrian path is designed so that the sponsor can demonstrate that it will not have to be relocated or removed to allow for construction or operation of a future transportation project.”.

    They could get rid of this idiotic requirement and, further, they could allow bicycles to be counted as “transportation”, and thus allow bike projects to apply for general transportation funds (taking away from car projects).

    It would also be nice if their evaluation of transportation projects was not so heavily weighted on Level of Service, Average Daily Trips, and other car-focused measures.

  • “imagine… an LA politician that cares about bicycles”

    it’ll never happen.

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