Bike Hubs? Walkable Orange Line? What’s Your Favorite Planned Transportation Project? CRA Vote Could Help Determine Its Future
Regardless of one’s feelings on the dissolution of Community Redevelopment Agencies mandated by Governor Jerry Brown, there are some important transportation projects left hanging by a thread in Los Angeles by the sudden departure of one of the city’s largest grant receiving agencies. Tomorrow, the CRA’s Governing Board will vote on the fate of many of these projects at tomorrow’s “Successor Agency” meeting. If the Board approves transferring these projects to local agencies in the City of Los Angeles, the transfer could still be stopped at a meeting of the “Oversight Board” meeting later this month.
Do you like Safe Routes to Schools projects? Do you think a “Bike Station” style bike parking center would go great on the Figueroa Corridor? How about projects to improve walkability in Boyle Heights near the Gold Line or South L.A. along the Expo Corridor? If so, you should care about the fate of a handful of motions tomorrow.
At this point, all of the projects are fully funded. Funding has already come from outside sources, such as Metro or state Safe Routes to Schools funds, with the “local match” budgeted for by the CRA. However, if either the CRA Board or the Oversight Board, which is made up of representatives of many of the groups that will receive whatever CRA funds remain, decide not to hand a project over than the project is essentially dead. The CRA money will go to the School District or another beneficiary. The outside funds will go back to Metro, or Caltrans, or wherever they came from.
The largest motion has to do with CRA projects funded by Metro’s Call for Projects. A list of nineteen projects ranges from the aforementioned bike hubs for both the Expo Line and South Figueroa to pedestrian improvement projects in Hollywood, Boyle Heights, Downtown and along the Orange, Expo and Gold Lines. Not all of these projects would be handed over to LADOT. In some cases, construction ready projects would be taken over by the Bureau of Street Services, in another the Bureau of Engineering. In some cases, even Metro could take over projects that would increase access to transit stations.
The Board will also vote on the fate of $2.5 million Safe Routes to School projects for Nevin Elementary School in South L.A., the School of Visual and Performing Arts in Northeast L.A., and Ricardo Lizarraga Elementary School, also in South L.A. And that’s not all that South L.A. could lose out on, another $15 million for improvements along the Crenshaw Corridor are also hanging in the balance.
Unlike Metro or the City Council, it’s not as easy as firing off an email to get in touch with the four members of the CRA’s Governing Board or the Oversight Committee. However, we’ll be sure to get copies of any comments left in our comments section to them before tomorrow’s meeting and the yet-to-be-scheduled Oversight Committee meeting. If you’d like to attend tomorrow’s meeting of the Governing Board, it starts at 9:30 A.M. at 1200 West 7th Street.