The Mayor’s Office released an updated list of projects to be considered for the potential stimulus package promised by President-Elect Barrack Obama. The previous project list from the Mayor’s office, released before the Transportation and Planning Committees met last week was less than inspiring.
Today’s list, released before a City Council Rules Committee Hearing where it will be formally presented, has two more pages of projects and is a modest improvement. The new projects were added by the City Council District Offices and there are less road widening projects and more street scape, bike and traffic calming projects. While the new list is still less than inspiring, the Mayor’s office is already cautioning that many of the listed projects won’t qualify because they won’t be shovel-in-the-ground ready by July or August of next year.
Assuming the stimulus list gets the stamp of approval by the Rules Committee this afternoon, it will move to the Council floor for a vote on Wednesday.
While there are a lot of concerns about how the Obama administration is planning to spend the promised stimulus package, this week’s votes shouldn’t be the end for Los Angeles’ stimulus planning. There’s still a month before Obama takes office and possibly another one before a final stimulus bill gets passed. That’s plenty of time for the city to devise a list of small, low-impact, green transportation projects similar to the ones Obama claims to want to see cities build.
Assuming Obama is serious when he talks about his goals for America’s cities, our stimulus list is the first test of whether or not Los Angeles is ready for change.