During the debate on how Metro should spend the funds earned from the half cent sales tax that is going to the ballot this fall, Metro Board Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa promised on at least two occasions that the City would use an unspecified portion of its Local Return funds for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. This promise did little to mollify proponents of non-motorized transportation who wanted a county-wide set-aside, but now that the spending plan has been approved, activists are seeking to hold the Mayor to his word.
Earlier this afternoon the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition circulated a template for a letter to the Mayor. The text of their letter, and where to email it, can be found after the jump.
UPDATE: 1/2 cent sales TAX MEASURE
Thank you for all those who attended last week’s Metro Board meeting and to all who contacted their representatives regarding the 1/2 cent sales tax measure.
LACBC is disappointed that the ½ cent sales tax passed without any dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
The ½ cent sales tax motion passed at Metro’s Board Meeting on a 10 to 2 vote (1 abstention and 1 absent). The No votes were Najarian and Antonovich; Molina abstained and Knabe was not present.
On a slightly positive note, Board Chair and Mayor Villaraigosa did say he is committed for Los Angeles to prioritize bikes and peds "local return" funds.
For more details and responses to the meeting go to:
Write letters urging Mayor Villaraigosa to dedicate funding for bikes/ped in the Local Return. Here is an example letter:
Dear Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa,
At the last Metro Board meeting, you specified that Los Angeles will commit dedicated funds to bicycles and pedestrians, from local return funds in the proposed ½ cent sales tax.
Additional funding dedicated to bicycles will allow the cities to build much needed bicycle facilities, such as sharrows and bike lanes. $60 million is needed to complete the already approved 1996 Bicycle Master Plan.
In light of high gas prices and congestion on our streets, more cyclists are on our roadways. It is the responsibility of the city to respond to the demands of this growing community and to guarantee their safety by building more bikeways.
By dedicating funding for bicycles and pedestrians in the Local Return, you, Mayor Villaraigosa, will prove to the voters that you are committed to joining other cities in making cycling a priority in transportation development. This will help secure a better quality of life for all people and will create a more liveable Los Angeles.
Please dedicate funding in the Local Return for bicycles and pedestrians so that Los Angeles can build more bikeways.
Board Chair and LA Mayor:
phone: (213) 978-0600