- Written by Ken Alpern
19 Oct 2012
POLITICS - There’s a reason (well, a lot of reasons, but one BIG reason) why both the liberal editorial board of the LA Times and the conservative editorial boards of the LA Breeze, LA Daily News, Long Beach Independent Press Telegram, and San Gabriel Valley Tribune all SUPPORT Measure J: it ensures that planned and vetted transportation projects will be built within our lifetimes.
Not just more talk and meetings—construction and implementation before our very eyes. Not fantasy and hot air, but reality. The only ones opposing Measure J are either obsessed with agendas that are opposed to Metro’s decades-overdue freeway, road and rail transportation projects, unrealistically want more money for projects that have already been assigned a fixed budget, or are just plain misinformed.
So what does Measure J really stand for?
M: Makes LA County a 21st Century economy worthy of modern businesses and tourism. Despite some of the business-unfriendly regulations that the City of LA promotes, the county overall is attracting businesses from the health care, media, tech and other sectors, and the construction jobs of Measure R (which will be virtually doubled or more should Measure J pass) are but a fraction compared to the jobs created by the enhanced business creation established by these projects.
E: Every portion of LA County benefits. Measure R focused on geographic sectors, and ensured that money allocations to each sector would be roughly equal. But a critical part of Measure J—the Fasana Amendment, named after San Gabriel Valley Metro Boardmember John Fasana—ensured that money from one sector couldn’t be stolen by another. The Wilshire Subway, for example, cannot swallow other rail or freeway projects’ funding from other regions.
A: Assurance money will be spent on planned, vetted projects. Measures R and J are predicated on a time-consuming, legally-binding and meticulous planning process that is an agreement between Metro (our county transportation planning, funding and construction agency) and the federal government. Metro has a Constrained Plan (short-term, funded projects) from which it cannot deviate, as well as a Strategic Plan (long-term, unfunded projects) that cannot be implemented until the Constrained Plan projects are funded and are ensured of being built. There CANNOT be any Metro money grab for ill-advised, impulsive projects.
S: Sidewalks, road repair and transit operational funding is dedicated by Measures R and J to each city for present and future use. Want to increase the funding for alley, sidewalk and road repair? Measure J will allow the long backlog of repairs to be shortened by decades.
U: Unfetters the limitations of Measure R. There’s no question that there are a few turkeys out there on the Metro Constrained and Strategic Plans, and there’s no question that the pace of Measure R to fund its freeway/rail projects is agonizingly decades-long for projects that (when built) will last a century or longer. Want to kill the ill-advised Pasadena 710 freeway tunnel and throw that money to extending the Foothill Gold Line to Azusa, and expediting the critical Alameda Corridor East freight train rail corridor to get thousands of trucks off the freeways? Measure J and its Fasana Amendment does that, too.
R: Ready-to-build (“shovel ready”) Measure R projects can be funded immediately from future sales tax revenues to get them built NOW if Measure J passes. Our children will have future access to other, previous sales tax revenue sources (Measures A and C) when they are done paying off existing projects so Measure J doesn’t rob them of their future needs, and our children will benefit from every freeway and rail project built by Measure R—getting Measure R projects built within our lifetime also ensures benefits to future generations.
E: Extends our current sales tax to 2069, and does NOT raise current taxes. Measure J not only expedites our current Measure R projects (the Constrained Metro Plan), but allows us to plan for the future…beyond Measure R. Want to create a MetroRail/LAX rail line that goes from the South Bay to the airport to the Westside and even the San Fernando Valley, like the Westside Mobility Plan is studying? Want more freeway and road projects? Pass Measure J!
And, of course, there’s what “J” stands for:
Measure J: J as in Jumpstart! Jumpstart our short- and long-term economy. Jumpstart the transportation projects we’ve been debating and talking about for 50-100 years.
Jumpstart an enhanced mobility, environment and quality of life that our children and grandchildren will thank us for, and jumpstart a 21st Century LA County that is again an example of what the rest of the nation ought to be.
See Editorials here:
● LA Times
● San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Vol 10 Issue 84
Pub: Oct 19, 2012