Election Wrap-Up: 1A, R, DD and EE Pass. Hilton and Measure T Go Down.

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Voters in North Hollywood Wait to Vote Yesterday

It was a late night for those waiting for results on Metro’s transit tax proposal and the bonding proposition that would fund a high-speed rail proposition for a line between San Francisco and San Diego.  In the end, transit advocates got good news as both measures just achieved slim victories.

Supporters of both measures remind us that just because last night took care of the funding issue, nothing is built yet.  However, that didn’t stop anyone from celebrating last night.

In a jubilant press release celebrating the passage of Prop. 1a, the High Speed Rail bonding measure, CALPIRG’s Transit Advocate, Emily Rusch, proclaimed:

We couldn’t be more thrilled with voters’ approval of
Prop 1A. With this vote, Californians decided to reduce our oil dependence, to
build alternatives to traffic and long airport lines, and to help solve global
warming. Californians were also voting to boost the economy. 

Prop 1A is another historic example of California leading the nation. This vote
confirms California’s
commitment to building high-speed rail. Now California leaders must continue fighting
for the project in order to start laying the tracks as quickly as possible.
Before we spend bond funds on construction, Congress and private companies will
have to match California’s
commitment to the train. We need that to happen quickly because this project
cannot be delayed any longer.

In the Times, Steve Hymon reminds voters that just because Measure R was passed, don’t expect new roads or rails to start appearing across Los Angeles County.

Early work is likely to include an extension of the Expo Line from
Culver City to Santa Monica, an extension of the Gold Line from
Pasadena to Azusa and placement of a busway or light-rail line along
Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, planners say. A fare hike for
next summer will also be postponed until 2010, with some special fares
for seniors, the disabled and students delayed until 2013.

Given the narrow margin of victory, I hope Villaraigosa and the rest of the politicians that put their reputations behind Measure R send Bruins for Traffic Relief a "Thank You" card.

In other news, Santa Monica voters rejected the anti-development Proposition T while voters in Beverly Hills rejected plans to reconstcut the Beverly Hilton.  If the Redondo Beach City Council hoped to confuse voters by placing a competing measure to curb development on the ballot next to a citizen’s initiative, the plan backfired.  Both ballot initiatives passed.

  • I am so completely thrilled by Measure R and Prop. 1a passing.

    California and Los Angeles County in particular has taken a major leap forward in investing in a economically and environmentally sustainable future.

  • This was a good election for passenger rail!

    Measure Q passed in Marin and Sonoma, which means passenger rail and a bike trail from Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County to Larkspur in Marin County, just a ferry ride away from San Francisco.

  • Just a few days ago I was speaking w/someone who works for OCTA–they have a hiring freeze, just raised fares and are now looking to possible route cuts and/or letting go some employees. We are very lucky in L.A. County thanks to R we’ll be avoiding that.

    I am sorry some folks decided it is better to whine than cooperate and told many lies to further their selfish crusade. And yet despite themselves the folks in the San Gabriel Valley will now thanks to R get the Pasadena to Azusa extension of their precious light rail line years before their fantasy federal funding scheme would have ever produced results. I guess the folks out there should count their lucky stars that their clueless leaders in the end lost.

  • I went on an OCTA system tour about five or six years ago – and at least some of their employees knew the problems they would be facing in the long term (esp. with how deeply car-oriented the OC is).

    Wanna know what pushed me to vote for Measure R? It is a debacle in the making – taxing the poorest to pay for more highways (to keep the MTA board from making hard political decisions).

    I remember taking the Gold Line across the 110 freeway for the first time. If a Measure R was on the ballot back then, and I had voted no it, I would never have had that moment of victory, soaring over the 110 and into the hills around South Pasadena. I would have been hating life, stuck in a stuffy car, angry at everything.

    The manic boosterism of all you rail loving commies didn’t do it. You guys would sell your own mothers on Avenida Revolution if it will give you another shiny new train line to pick a color for. You’d pave over anything and anyone, as evidenced with your extreme disregard for the people pissed about the Expo Line.

    What did it was an online conversation with one of L.A.’s most enlightened bike advocates (Gary Kavanaugh).

    Since the MTA will have even more cash to throw around now, I think it is a reasonable political goal to have them reform their Local Returns funding guidelines to include bicycle, pedestrian and bus projects. We’ll see how that goes.

  • “I think it is a reasonable political goal to have them reform their Local Returns funding guidelines to include bicycle, pedestrian and bus projects. We’ll see how that goes.”

    ——————-

    Well, as one of those “rail loving commies”, I would happily join you in that goal.

    There was a great article in the LA Times this past weekend about how Prop. 1-A would increase pedestrian traffic and street life in downtown.

  • Man, I can’t believe 1A passed. I was so sad when it didn’t make it to the ballot during Gray Davis’ recall, but I guess it was worth the wait.

    If that rail line does get built, it’s going to do way more than increase pedestrian traffic downtown!

  • ubrayj02,

    Honestly I was pretty surprised I managed to convince you to change your mind on R. I’m used to two opposing sides in an online forum being mostly an exercise in futility.

    I don’t know if I would call my self enlightened yet, but I do what I can. Things certainly aren’t over yet, and I think in the months ahead we will need to come together to put pressure on Metro and hold them accountable to that money. Of significant importance for us is that we follow that local return funding and make sure it goes to all modes.

    For the moment though, I want to take a little vacation from transit issues. Prop1A is golden, Measure R is a reality, and little Prop T over here that I thought was misguided is a bust. So I’m going to chill out, ride a bike because it’s fun, and come back refreshed and ready for action.

    -Gary

  • For me, passage of Measure R isn’t an ending at all. It means that there is not actually a beginning. It will be important for transportation advocates to monitor progress and continue to lobby for effective use of this additional money. It will also be important for us to continue to advocate the needs of pedestrians and cyclists as well.

    Los Angeles will be a much more walkable city in the future.

  • i can’t help thinking it’s awesome that there has been such long lines all over… people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing

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