Yesterday, CTN printed in musings that voting “No” on HLA was important in saving City Services.
A reader wrote, “Wait, I’m confused. Why would you want to vote no on HLA?”
Most people read the measure’s headline “Healthy Streets LA” and think, “who is not for healthy streets?” This is where voters need to keep reading.
The measure would require the city to add bike lanes, bus lanes or traffic-slowing enhancements to city streets whenever a portion of a roadway of at least one-eighth of a mile is repaved or improved.
Although the voter’s guide says there will be no cost, that statement should be a red flag. The plan could exceed “$2.5 billion over 10 years,” according to the City Administrative Officer’s financial impact statement.
True, no new taxes would be charged, but where would that money would come from?
In this case it would come from L.A. City’s General Fund. The L.A. City Controller explains that “The General Fund pays for most of the core functions carried out by the City, including neighborhood services, public safety and infrastructure, and makes up the bulk of the annual budget.”
The Mobility Plan, championed by then Councilmen Mike Bonin and Jose Huizer (now serving 13 years in Federal Prison), passed the City Council in 2015. The goal was to make streets safer by getting people out of their cars and onto public transportation or riding bikes.
Many may remember that in 2016, Bonin tried to get one lane of Temescal each way removed in order to install permanent bike lanes on that road in Pacific Palisades. This community, which is not against road safety, but is isolated from public transportation, buses and metro, stopped it.
In a 2016 story written by this editor, “This entry was found on the Biking in LA blog on Aug. 5 (bikinginla.com): ‘The proposal to install a road diet on Temescal Canyon Road, with a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side and a buffered lane downhill, ran into opposition at the Pacific Palisades Community Council last week.
“People tend to be very defensive of their traffic lanes—almost as much as they are of parking. And anything that promises to improve safety usually takes a back seat to fears of traffic congestion, warranted or not.
“Hopefully, local residents will come around once the benefits of the project are actually explained.”
With only three ways in and out of the Palisades – and seeing the havoc and death that limited evacuation routes caused in Paradise (Camp Fire) and Lahaina (Maui Wildfire) the benefits don’t outweigh the risks.
There are issues with the 2015 mobility plan, which should be dissected, before implementation.
By voting no, you are not voting against roadway safety, you are voting for common sense. The entire City’s general fund should not be spent on a mobility plan passed in 2015.