Wilshire Bus-Only Lane Project Map - from Metro Website - Click for 2-page Metro Fact Sheet with Detailed Map

Wilshire Bus-Only Lane Project Map - from Metro Website - Click for 2-page Metro Fact Sheet with Detailed Map

Since the Fall of 2006, before I got involved with the Green L.A. Transportation Working Group, GLATWG has had among its top three goals the following: (from our 2006 publication A Green Los Angeles)

Reccomendation: Increase bus-only lanes
Immediately begin planning implementation of more peak-hour bus-only lanes.

The Bus Riders Union has lead the campaign for the city of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard bus-0nly lanes, and many GLATWG members have testified in favor of these lanes at public hearing. The Wilshire project is funded, and currently undergoing environmental review. Readers can find out more about the project at Metro’s website and at this recent article at L.A. StreetsBlog.

The project as currently planned and funded will run on Wilshire Boulevard from Valencia Street (in Pico Union) to Centinela (the L.A. – Santa Monica border), though does not include the stretch of Wilshire through the city of Beverly Hills. The neighborhoods traversed are represented by Los Angeles City Councilmembers (from East to West)  Ed Reyes, Herb Wesson, Tom LaBonge, Paul Koretz, and Bill Rosendahl.

Green L.A. Transportation Work Group recently generated the following sign-on letter in which our participants expressed our bus-only lane project support to newly-elected Councilmember Paul Koretz:

8 September 2009

Honorable Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 North Spring Street, Room 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Wilshire Boulevard Bus-Only Lane Project

Dear Councilmember Koretz:

Thank you for your strong record of environmental leadership at the city of West Hollywood, and in the State Legislature. We look forward to working with you to make progress on environmental issues in the city of Los Angeles.

The undersigned Green Los Angeles Coalition members listed below wish to express our support for the implementation of the city’s planned and funded bus only lanes for Wilshire Boulevard. The Green L.A. Coalition is a broad coalition of environmental justice and environmental groups working to make Los Angeles more equitable and more sustainable for all its residents.

The Wilshire Bus-Only Lane project is important as a visible example of the city’s commitment to green transportation. This project will help the city to expand mobility options, to set precedent for more complete living streets, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollution, and to improve public health.  The Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes broaden the range of transportation options, including supporting multimodal trips combining walking and bicycling with transit.

Please exercise your environmental leadership to ensure that this project continues to make progress, and to see that it is implemented in a timely manner.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Joe Linton
Green L.A. Transportation Working Group Co-Chair
Urban and Environmental Policy Institute

Colleen Callahan
Manager of Air Quality Policy and Advocacy
American Lung Association in California

Jennifer Klausner
Executive Director
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Deborah Murphy
Los Angeles Walks, Founder
City of Los Angeles Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Chair

Francisca Porchas
Lead Organizer Clean Air Campaign
Bus Riders Union

Bart Reed
Executive Director
Transit Coalition

Martin Schlageter
Campaign Director
Coalition for Clean Air

Sentayehu G Silassie
Board President
Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance

Ryan Snyder
RSA Associates

Erin Steva
Transportation Advocate
CALPIRG

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move L.A.*

*title/organization is for identification purposes only

 cc: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LADOT General Manager Rita Robinson, Los Angeles City Councilmembers LaBonge, Reyes, Rosendahl, and Wesson

Advertisements

At our August Green L.A. Transportation Work Group meeting, Executive Director of Move L.A. Denny Zane made a presentation about the proposed National Infrastructure Development Bank. This is a proposed federal bank that would be able to loan money to agencies at a reduced rate – allowing local dollars to be spent sooner and to go further. This could help transportation projects (locally especially those funded by Measure R) and ultimately could also be open to fronting other infrastructure dollars for things like stormwater, libraries, parks, etc.

Right now it’s a federal bill HR2521 the “National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2009” introduced by Congressmember Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. Reportedly soon to be introduced in the U.S. Senate, too. Locally, Metro endorsed it on June 23rd (It’s item 63 on page 20 here, but more helpful is their 3-page analysis of HR2521,) but, at least as of a few weeks ago, no Southern California legislators had signed on.

Denny circulated copies of this 5-page summary of the NIDBA bill. Move L.A. is requesting organizations to sign on to the letter below which will be copied to California’s senators and L.A.’s representatives. If your organization is intersted in signing on to this letter, please email dennyzane [at] movela.org

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
3rd Congressional District
New Haven, Connecticut

Dear Congresswoman DeLauro:

The undersigned organizations deeply appreciate the strong leadership you have displayed in the development and introduction of HR 2521, a bill that would create a National Infrastructure Development Bank.  We endorse this bill and will encourage our members and our communities to support the bill as well. 

HR 2521 is landmark legislation that will play, we believe, a very significant role in our nation’s effort, and in the efforts of countless communities, to address significant deficiencies and remedy long term deterioration and decay in our nation’s transportation and other vital systems.
 
HR 2521 would fund and create a bank that would direct public and private dollars toward infrastructure projects of national or regional significance.  A similar proposal was included in the Obama Administration’s Budget released earlier this year.  Like the proposal in the Obama Budget, HR 2521 would capitalize the bank at a rate of $5 billion for five years and would provide the Bank with $250 billion in total subscribed capital and $625 billion in total loan making capability. 

We believe that a properly capitalized infrastructure bank as proposed in HR 2521 could be used to accelerate major transportation projects in Los Angeles County, and other communities, by providing loans secured by Measure R funds, a recently approved ½ cent sales tax increase for transportation projects approved by more than 2/3 of Los Angeles County voters last November.  Measure R will provide a revenue stream of up to $40 billion over 30 years, nearly 70% of which will be used for public transit infrastructure and operations.

NIDB  loans secured by Measure R funds could enable LA County to accelerate the development of many voter approved transit and highway projects, thereby reducing their development costs, creating good new jobs quickly, and jump starting economic recovery while energizing our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

The undersigned, therefore, endorse:

• H.R. 2521,  to create a National Infrastructure Development Bank as introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Further, to enable this program to better fulfill its mission, we urge that:

• NIDB loans be available not only for project-specific applications, but also for multi-project infrastructure programs backed by broad-based revenue streams, e.g., locally approved taxes; and that,

• Congress authorize interest-forgiveness on NIDB loans for projects that significantly advance national economic development or environmental goals, such as zero-GHG-emission transit projects, like electric transit, powered by zero-emission renewable energy resources.

Thank you for your leadership and for your time and attention.

Sincerely

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move LA  
  
CC: 
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Diane Feinstein 
Members, Los Angeles County Delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives