Sunday, July 11, 2010

L.A.’s 30/10 “a template for the nation”

The City of Los Angeles moves ahead with it’s progressive 30/10 Initiative. The initiative proposes to jump start L.A.’s economy by completing 30 years of transit infrastructure upgrades into 10 years of construction. There are many benefits including the annual reducing pollution emissions by 521,000 pounds, decreasing gasoline usage by 10.3 million gallons and diminishing vehicle miles traveled 191 million. President Obama touted the initiative as “a template for the nation.”

The 30/10 Initiative will “use federal funds – some combination of interest rate subsidies, loan guarantees, and direct loans, among other possible mechanisms.” The funds would allow L.A.’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to build 12 projects spanning across the city. L.A. is not only receiving local support, MTA voted unanimously to support the 30/10 Initiative, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is intensely supportive, looking for any way to help expedite the project, stating the Initiative “has the potential to transform the way we invest in transportation projects across the nation."

The Metro Rail Exposition Corridor Phase 1 project to Santa Monica is already two-thirds complete. The light rail project has excellent anchors such as Sony and the University of Southern California. The light rail line has already stoked the designs of local transit oriented developments within walking distance to the stations. The TOD designs aim to increase density but also integrate into the existing fabric. Alan I. Casden, a local developer believes, “Los Angeles is going to go vertical… That’s the only way you can go. There’s no more land.” Density is also required for successful alternative transportation, “Space is important to the way Angelenos live and breathe” from Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Los Angeles County supervisor, however “The projects are needed to drive ridership and make the rail line cost-effective.”