#DamienTalks SGV6: The Boardmember, the Advocate, and the Sales Tax

Welcome to this week’s episode of #DamienTalksSGV, where we talk with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about the proposed sales tax measure that Metro unveiled last week.

Damien Talks SGV logoThe measure extends the current county-wide half-cent sales tax passed eight years ago and adds another half cent to the tax. If passed, there will be a full cent on the county sales tax dedicated towards transportation.

But it is not the tax itself that is interesting, but how it will be spent. Read more about the proposal at Streetsblog Los Angeles or visit Metro’s webpage dedicated to the proposal to learn more. Also, we interviewed Najarian about what he would like to see in the proposal in January. You can hear his answers, here.

In this broadcast, we see two different points of view that could dominate the discussion over the next few months as Metro and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors debate whether or not to put this proposal on the fall ballot. Najarian is effusive in his praise for the work Metro staff did. He is happy that his favorite project, the second phase of the Gold Line Foothill Extension, is included in the project list and that his least favorite project, the extension of the I-710, is not.

On the other hand, Reutimann is worried that such a long-term sales tax includes such a small slice for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects. While recognizing how the projects — especially more trains and buses running through the Valley — could change regional transportation, Reutimann stopped short of endorsing the measure as it is.

#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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