LA’s finally moving
Los Angeles—the city of sub-cities. The city where distance is defined in hours and minutes.
The International Energy Agency reports that for the first time in human history, more than 50% of the Earth’s population lives in cities—a startling and sobering reality that undermines the urgent need for more efficient infrastructure and significant reductions of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Nowhere is this seemingly more apparent than Los Angeles.
Members of Green LA’s Transportation Work Group represent a diverse collection of voices advocating for improved transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects, which are pivotal to reducing LA’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The following describes the work group’s top policy priorities for 2010/2011.
A successful sales tax
In November 2008, LA county voters passed Measure R, a county-wide sales tax designed to raise an estimated $40 billion for transit projects throughout Los Angeles County. The Green LA Transportation Work Group worked successfully to unite environmental, labor and community organizations into a unified voice to ensure local funds be set aside for pedestrian and bicycle projects.
With perseverance, Transportation Work Group members have a commitment from the City of LA to secure adequate funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects by allocating 10% of Measure R local revenue specifically to these typically non-traditional transportation alternatives.
The built environment influences whether we live an active or passive lifestyle. LA’s city streets, a key part of the infrastructure that supports our daily lives, have long favored the automobile, making active forms of movement like bicycling and walking uncomfortable and even perilous.
The focus of Green LA’s Living Streets Initiative is on the mobility needs of people, rather than cars. Living Streets seeks to accommodate all modes of transportation—bicycles, cars, pedestrians and even skateboards—making more efficient, safe and comfortable use of the street.
Caminos del Pueblo: Boyle Heights
Caminos del Pueblo: Boyle Heights is Green LA’s new Living Streets program that promises to reduce exposure to air contaminants in an impoverished and polluted community surrounded by freeways. Working closely with the Community Redevelopment Agency, Green LA staffer Holly Harper is coordinating the development of three pilot Living Streets near Mariachi Plaza and Soto Street light rail stations, a project which is expected to become a model for the region.
With buses running faster in their own lanes, bus-only lanes are a tremendous way to encourage commuters to leave polluting vehicles at home. The bus-only lane on Wilshire Blvd. will cut up to 20 minutes of rush-hour commuting for 100,000 passengers. With the implementation of the first such dedicated lane, Green LA is seeking to implement a countywide network of bus-only lanes on all major bus transit corridors in Los Angeles County.
- Bus Riders Union
- Coalition for Clean Air
- L.A. County Bicycle Coalition
- Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance
- LA Walks
- Public Counsel
- Ryan Lehman
- Ryan Snyder
- Sierra Club, Los Angeles Chapter