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Get Involved with Half Cent Sales Tax Project List

2:09 PM PDT on May 20, 2008

connector_2ndstreet.jpg
If you want to see more projects such as the Downtown Connector, Tell Metro

It seems more and more likely that a half cent sales tax measure is going to appear on this fall's presidential election ballot. This measure would increase the sales tax throughout LA County by a half cent per dollar spent with the funds dedicated towards transportation. To get the measure on the ballot, Metro needs to have a list of projects that would be funded by the measure.

What projects appear on that list will be determined by the MTA Board based on staff recommendations at Metro's June Board meeting. At last week's LANI Community Forum hosted by USC, LADOT Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery and Metro Bike Program Coordinator Lynne Goldsmith were clear on how to influence the project selection criteria.

"Go to the source of the funding," explained Mowery, "Tell people at every level that you want livable, walkable communities."

In the case of getting the best projects on the list of projects to be funded by the half cent sales tax program, the amount of road projects in SCAG's Long Term Plan, Metro's Draft Long Term Plan, and the recent report on cross county connections between OCTA and Metro show that even in an era of record gas prices, expanding highways for more automobiles remains a top priority.

To counter that, Metro Riders and Midnight Ridazz should take to the phones. Do you want to see both the Santa Monica and Wilshire spurs of the Subway to the Sea funded? Give a call to a Metro Board member, and to your City Council Member. Want to create a funding pool for the LACBC's vision of Sharrows on more Los Angeles streets? Don't just give a call to your local DOT representative but also to your councilmember and the Mayor's Office.

The half cent increase to the sales tax is just one of several ways to refuel our transportation funds, but without the right project list it won't bring the kind of changes that we need for Los Angeles to travel into the future.

Image: Metro

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