The history of transit in Los Angeles County has too often been about parochial infighting and city feuding. It has thwarted many regional efforts to address the collective traffic and land use challenges in the region.
This November, the story may re-appear, with southern L.A. County leaders threatening to torpedo the November sales tax measure for transportation, Measure M.
The Los Angeles Times is running my op-ed on the subject today. Here’s a snippet in response to south county residents’ concerns that they’re not getting enough out of the measure:
Residents of southern L.A. County are of course part of the greater region of Los Angeles — whether they work, visit, or shop in other parts of the county. Regional travel data from 2014 show that almost half of all peak period commutes from the Gateway and South Bay regions are bound for other parts of the county. These residents will benefit from mobility improvements throughout L.A. — not just the projects in their backyard. They’ll certainly stand to gain from some of the proposed signature projects, such as rail access to LAX and multiple countywide bus rapid transit lines.
So far the polling on the measure is looking pretty good, but with the two-thirds voter requirement, it will be an uphill battle. And that means that the measure could live or die by what voters in the southern part of the county decide on Election Day.