In an opinion piece in Streetsblog LA, Wes Reutimann, Special Programs Director and co-founder of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and ActiveSGV, praises the region’s expansive Open Streets program, which includes events like CicLAvia and Beach Streets that have grown in size and scope since they first launched in 2010.
“Beloved by local families and Angelenos from all walks of life, these family-friendly experiences provide the public with a fleeting snapshot of what a more sustainable, multi-modal Southern California could look like.” So, Reutimann asks, why is LA Metro proposing slashing open streets funding by as much as 40 percent? Reutimann points out that the cost of producing events is rising, with insurance costs and safety considerations adding significant costs that will be hard to make up through private sponsorship.
Reutimann argues that “The value of Open Streets has never been greater,” bringing together community and helping California promote multimodal, sustainable transportation. “After a decade, Metro should be sponsoring about one Open Streets event a month, highlighting the county’s rich diversity and its expanding and improving public transit system. The level of continued investment required to reach this goal – just $2–3 million per year above where it is now – is peanuts to an agency that routinely approves cost overruns for highway projects in the tens of millions.”