LA Metro Could Slash Open Streets Funding

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 Streets pro­gram, which includes events CicLAvia and Beach Streets that grown in size and scope since they first launched in 2010. 

“Beloved by local fam­i­lies and Ange­lenos all walks of life, fam­i­ly-friend­ly expe­ri­ences the with a fleet­ing snap­shot of a more sus­tain­able, -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 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.”

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