Metro’s Approach to Active Transportation Doesn’t Add up
July 9, 2014 3 Comments
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Over 60 organizations submitted comments last month to Metro about the Short Range Transportation Plan’s (SRTP) lack of active transportation funding. Recently released, Metro’s staff report responds to these concerns by dismissing the value of walking and bicycling as “regionally significant” modes of transportation and continuing to discount the importance of non-commute trips. In a county where half of all trips are less than three miles and over 90 percent of Metro customers access transit by walking or biking, Metro’s reluctance to plan for and invest in active transportation stands in the way of our region meeting its mobility, environmental and public health goals.
In Metro’s view, walking and biking are the purview of cities, not a regional transportation priority. As a result, Metro has a fragmented approach to walking and biking that does not ensure that all of the parts add up to a region that is in fact multimodal, safe and serves the needs of all travelers and all trips. The draft SRTP is simply a reflection of this fragmented approach and underscores the need for a strategic approach for active transportation. As Metro prepares for a possible new transportation sales tax in 2016, now is a critical time to reevaluate the region’s policy vision and investment strategy to support a transportation system that works for all.
Metro is already developing the project list for the potential 2016 ballot measure, and the current process shares some of the same shortcomings as the SRTP. With Metro’s support, each of the nine subregions will develop and prioritize projects for consideration in the ballot measure. It remains to be seen whether this process will focus on desired outcomes and appropriately value active transportation when Metro’s own travel demand model continues to not count walking and biking. A final project list is scheduled to be adopted by the Metro Board in June 2015.
We ask all Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative partners to join us at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday July 16th at the Metro Planning and Programming Committee meeting to voice your concerns about the SRTP and ask for an Active Transportation Finance Strategy that makes sure our transportation investments add up to create the multimodal system LA County needs.