Coalition Calls For 10 Percent of Future L.A. Sales Tax To Go To Walk-Bike

Other California county transportation sales tax measures set aside funding for walking and bicycling - why not Los Angeles? Image via white paper [PDF]
Other California county transportation sales tax measures set aside funding for walking and bicycling – why not Los Angeles? Image via white paper [PDF]

There is a new twist in the path to a 2016 Los Angeles County transportation sales tax measure, tentatively being called “Measure R2.”

Investing in Place, a new policy-based organization that has examined transportation sales taxes throughout the state, just held its own conference with a coalition of more than thirty community based partner organizations. The purpose of the gathering was to push a policy that  “at least ten percent of the next Los Angeles County transportation sales tax measure be dedicated for walking, bicycling, and safe routes to school investments.”

In addition, the coalition is asking that twenty percent of the “local return” be set aside for active transportation. The sales tax “local return” goes to individual cities on a per capita basis to pay for transportation expenditures. Though a number of cities, notably the City of Los Angeles, have used some local return monies for walk and bike projects and programs, most cities throughout L.A. County have not.

Readers may be familiar with the proposed Measure R2, but if not, see these recent SBLA articles about what it tentatively looks like and what decisions are being made now. Though a very small amount of 2008’s successful transportation sales tax Measure R funding has gone to bike and pedestrian projects, there was no dedicated active transportation funding in either Measure R in 2008 nor the defeated transportation sales tax Measure J in 2012.

The coalition (a listing of groups is shown after the jump) was shepherded under the auspices of the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative, the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and Investing in Place.

They researched other transportation ballot measures in California, finding many examples of successful set-asides for active transportation, prominently last year’s Measure BB in Alameda County, with twelve percent of overall funding dedicated to walking and bicycling. Read the coalition research in this January 2015 white paper: Best Practices for Funding Active Transportation with County Transportation Sales Taxes [PDF].

More about the coalition and its demands here.

While we won’t know the final ballot language for a 2016 measure until next year, Metro was promising tht it would have a draft proposal this summer. However, Investing in Place is also reporting that the Measure R2 schedule is being delayed about two months: the final expenditure plan was due in July, now it looks like September. 

Groups represented at the conference, per Investing in Place:

AARP California
Advancement Project / Healthy City
Advocacy Advance / Alliance for Biking & Walking
Advocacy Advance / Toole Design Group
Amigos de los Rios
Bike East Bay
Bike San Gabriel Valley
California Walks
Climate Resolve
Day One
Community Health Councils
Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors
Ghost Bikes / Empact Long Beach
Investing in Place
L.A. River Revitalization Corporation
L.A. THRIVES / Low Income Investment Fund
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action
Los Angeles Walks
Move L.A.
National Health Foundation
Natural Resources Defense Council Urban Solutions
Pacoima Beautiful
Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition (LACBC Chapter)
Proyecto Pastoral
San Gabriel Valley COG
Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition (LACBC Chapter)
Santa Monica Spoke (LACBC Chapter)
South Bay Cities COG
The Trust for Public Land
Walk Bike Glendale (LACBC Chapter)
West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition (LACBC Chapter)

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