To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Measure J results, by map and by spreadsheet


 Posted on by Steve Hymon


There are still ballots from the Measure J election remaining to be counted, but we believe the results are unlikely to change. It’s always useful to know where support did and didn’t come from across sprawling Los Angeles County on any kind of transportation issue, so we spent some time yesterday assembling the following maps with the help of Metro Transportation Planner Marie Sullivan.

The map below is based on the results of the election posted early Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar. Not surprisingly, support for Measure J was strongest in the more urbanized parts of Los Angeles County, where there is also the most transit service.

The map below shows the final results of Measure R in 2008. Compared to the Measure J results, the most striking thing is there are fewer areas where support ran under 50 percent and there are more areas around the county where support was over 70 percent.

The map below shows the difference in support between Measure J in 2012 and Measure R in 2008. There’s nothing here that isn’t obvious from this week’s election results: in most parts of the county the majority of voters supported J but overall support for J was less than it was for R.

After the jump: the city-by-city breakdown of Measure J votes.

We know that many of you want to see city-by-city results given the many different viewpoints expressed on Measure R and Measure J by localities across L.A. County. The first list below shows how the Measure J vote went in each city of the county (pdf here).

The following shows the difference in each city between the Measure R vote and Measure J vote (pdf here).

What Was Behind L.A.'s Rejection of its Transportation Ballot Measure? 


8 November 2012 - 10:00am

Was not enough transit spending the culprit for the narrow rejection of Los Angeles County's Measure J initiative, which aimed to speed up construction of a host of the region's transit projects from 30 to 10 years? Damien Newton thinks so.

The forces aligned against Measure J, the proposed extension of L.A. County's half cent sales tax dedicated to funding transportation projects, were an odd mix of bus advocates, and opponents of highly local projects. Counterintuitively, however, points out Newton, "the organized campaign against Measure J wasn’t an anti-transit one. If anything, it was an anti-highway, anti-gentrification, and pro-transit operations campaign that included an element that is also opposed to the Westside Subway. The elected officials opposed to the tax extension complained that not enough was being spent on transit in the areas they represent."

"It’s an article of faith among Metro Board Members and many in the media that ballot measures need to have freeway funding to pass, but most of the opposition to Measure J was because not enough was being spent on transit projects and operations," argues Newton.

In an interesting postscript, with hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots yet to be counted, the County Registrar's Office flagged Measure J as a "close contest," as of Wednesday. According to Spokeswoman Monica Flores,"[t]he number we have left could potentially change the outcome of [the measure]," which appeared to have failed by less than 2 percentage points.  
Measure J Defeated; Voters Void Metro’s ‘Blank Check’
 Posted Wednesday, November 7– 6:50 PM
By Marla Schevker

 “It’s a good day to be a transit rider in Los Angeles,” Damien Goodmon, of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition.

Measure J was defeated this week in Los Angeles County. The proposed 30-year extension of the 
Measure R half-cent sales tax needed a 2/3 majority to win and instead got 64.7 percent of the votes.

“Four years ago…voters approved Measure R,” Goodmon said. “We were fooled… they told us they were going to improve transit service, they cut one million bus hours. They told us it was going to improve communities and they provided destruction plans for our communities.”

Goodmon credits the No On Measure J coalition with getting the word out against Measure J. The coalition included members of the Bus Riders Union, the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, No On 710 Action Committee and Beverly Hills Board of Education.

“This was an amazingly diverse coalition of community groups that came together from Boyle Heights to Park Mesa Heights,” Goodmon said. “From MacArthur Park to Liemert Park from Highland Park to Beverly Hills and with the leadership of the bus riders union we were able to tell the truth about this fraudulent, disrespectful, regressive sales tax that would have been taxing me until I was 87 years old.”

Bus Riders Union Spokesperson Sunyoung Yang said the defeat of Measure J was not a mark against transit or the progress of transit. Rather, an opportunity for Metro to go back to the communities and create beneficial projects.

“They took us for granted and decided that with their multi-million corporate… backed campaign could basically push this measure through,” Yang said. “This group, more than any group in Los Angeles County, believes in public transit and believes the communities that need it most should be served with affordable 24/7 first class bus system and transit system. If MTA wants to come back to our communities and say, ‘hey, we want to build  a united front with you all’… Our doors are always open.”

Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy said Metro will continue to work on transportation projects for Los Angeles County.

“While the ballot effort to extend the Measure R transit sales tax by another 30 years fell short of the 
necessary two thirds voter approval, Metro remains focused on delivering a dozen new transit projects and 15 highway improvement projects that voters approved four years ago in passing Measure R,” Leahy said in a statement released on Metro’s news website The Source. “In fact, within two years Metro should be overseeing simultaneous construction of five major rail projects. Also, the Measure R transit sales tax for transit—approved in 2008 by more than two million voters—continues until 2039, so Metro directors have the option of asking voters in the future if they wish to extend the program.”

Metro would not comment beyond that statement.

Measure J did not get 2/3 of the Beverly Hills’ votes, with 5,871 residents voting in favor and 4,342 voting against. In 2008, 8,505 of Beverly Hills residents voted in favor of Measure R while only 2,872 vote against the measure. Goodmon said the No on Measure J campaign was outspent $100 to $1 yet was effective enough to reduce the number of votes in favor of the measure.

The Courier, along with sister paper the San Marino Tribune, are the only major newspapers in Southern California to oppose Measure J.

“The fact is it seems unfortunately like they aren’t listening and we will make sure time and time again that they listen to us,” Beverly Hills Vice Mayor John Mirisch said. “We all deserve transit that serves all of us, that is done in a fair and equitable manner and that is done in a manner that gives us good value for money. They need to listen to us and not their crony capitalist friends.”
Mirisch said he will continue to work with the organizations involved in the No On Measure J Coalition.

“[We will] continue to do whatever we can to work with everybody… to make sure that we get a transit organization that is responsive to all of us; that is responsive to our needs and that provides us all with the kinds of transit that we crave and deserve,” Mirisch said.
Beverly Hills Board of Education President Brian Goldberg said the failing of Measure J was bittersweet.

“We do support mass transit in Los Angeles,” Goldberg said. “But, hopefully MTA is going to start listening to the people and the residents of LA County instead of out of town developers and wealthy construction companies who are the ones who stand to profit from MTA’s rush to judgment on the route for the subway to the sea. I hope that before MTA tries to pass another tax extension, they will reform themselves and pay more attention to the needs of the residents in LA County.”

Proponents of Measure J include The Los Angeles Times, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Cedars Sinai Health System, Teamsters Joint Council No. 42 and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Opponents of Measure J include the Bus Riders Union, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Crenshaw Subway Coalition, County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Beverly Hills Councilwoman Lili Bosse and Assemblymember Mike Davis.

Statement from Metro CEO Art Leahy; Measure J falls just short of necessary two-thirds voter approval


Posted on by  

 Here’s the statement just issued by Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy:

While the ballot effort to extend the Measure R transit sales tax by another 30 years fell just short of the necessary two thirds voter approval, Metro remains focused on delivering a dozen new transit projects and 15 highway improvement projects that voters approved four years ago in passing Measure R. In fact, within two years Metro should be overseeing simultaneous construction of five major rail projects. Also the Measure R transit sales tax for transit – approved in 2008 by more than 2 million voters – continues until 2039, so Metro directors have the option of asking voters in the future if they wish to extend the program.
The five projects are: Expo Line Phase 2 and the Gold Line Foothill Extension (both currently under construction) and the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Connector and Westside Subway Extension, which are gearing up for construction.

10 thoughts on “Statement from Metro CEO Art Leahy; Measure J falls just short of necessary two-thirds voter approval

  1. “15 highway improvement projects,” and only, “five major rail projects.” Sure it’s understandable that highway improvements are somewhat wanted by folks in LA as transit projects to get people moving in LA, but when you put on the ballot that Measure J is a transit tax and allocate more than 35% of the tax revenue to “highway improvement” projects, which in my honest opinion won’t do jack-diddly-squat for congestion and traffic relief for the future, voters such as myself become weary of having to pay 50+ years of taxes to Metro.
  2. You will spend more money in lost time sitting in all of the traffic we have and will continue to get. It would have been more cost effective for the People to extend the tax for future generations that will be using this just we are using the freeways of the past.People need to put a value on their time. The traffic is almost non stop in the greater LA area we need more options certainly this would have helped.
  3. Ron,
    The worst traffic jam is the 405. Measure J did nothing in terms of linking the SF Valley all the way down the West side with mass transit as a 405 alternative.

  4. Dave, while I would have liked the highway component to be close to 0, it is not 35% as you state. Measure R has 20% highway funding.

  5. If that 20% highway part is replaced next year by a bill with 20% support for bus operations, will we see the Bus Riders Union support the new version?

  6. I want to feel bad for voting no. But when the CEO’s statement doesn’t include a project to my benefit, it makes me think I made the right choice. What about the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor that has rail as an option? It’s cynical to have voted no, but Metro continues to provide little hope for my area. Maybe on day The Valley will have a big project to get excited about. Unfortunately, buses on 405 isn’t it.

  7. Kenny – Measure R/J already includes 20% set aside for bus operations.
    That was the problem, too much misinformation about Measure J. I wish people read the facts.

  8. I believe Prop J was a good idea. The MTA Board took such a rigid stand and rejected appeals from Civic Leaders, Legislators and the Gold Line Construction Authorty to see that funding would be available for Phase 2 B construction to Montclare. Prop J would have passed had that project been included. We were only talking about 750 million dollars. That small amount cost them the passage of Prop J. Also if the Board had tried to ammend Prop R
    to allow for the transfer of Funds between projects in any one sector that would have given assurances to the San Gabriel Valley that Phase 2 B would eventually be funded. Perhaps it would be a good idea if the transfer is implemented before you ask the public to vote on another Extension of Prop R.

  9. I wish it had passed. I agree with many that it may have been too highway focused. Metro needs to be bolder, retool to build less or no highway projects, and add some more rail projects to the mix. Let those that don’t benefit by J or live more distant have something they want to vote for. Plenty of examples in LRTP.:
    -LRT rail to Glendale/Burbank. Branch from Gold along existing ROW
    -Crenshaw line extension to Purple. (Creates a Wilshire/LAX Connection)
    -One seat Metrolink ride to LAX via Harbor Subdivision
    -Red line extension or frequent Metrolink service to new closer station at Burbank Airport airport
    -Close gap in Green Line to Metrolink
    -Orange line extension from North Hollywood to Downtown Burbank (Existing)
    -Gold line to Ontario Airport with partial contribution from SB County
    -A couple good Valley LRT lines with one seat rides to North Hollywood red line and Westside. (NO MORE BRT! Valley folks know they are getting jipped) These lines should connect to Metrolink stations too.
    -Bold Metrolink enhancements for north and northwest LA County and Valley residents. (Electrification/Grade Separation/More Service-Closer to LRT frequencies)
    -Something other than a vaguely worded Westside corridor (BRT=
    NO!) to Valley and LAX Airport connector. Develop these project concepts to make people think they are worth something.
    -No expensive very unpopular 710 tunnel project!

  10. Mr Leahy:
    If Measure J was truly about just bus and rail line expansion and extension then it probably would have passed. However, those of us who do research new that a lot of the money was going to be used to fund freeway extensions and expansions.
    Perhaps now and in the future, Metro should be engaged in bus and light rail projects. The “T” in your company name stands for “transit” as in buses and light rail, NOT highway/freeway expansion/extension. For that, we have CalTrans.

    You can leave comments on the website.
Measure J Results Not Yet Certified

Posted by Gretchen Knudsen on No on Measure J Facebook page

I spoke to the LA County Clerk's office today....
Gretchen Knudsen 11:48am Nov 8
I spoke to the LA County Clerk's office today. Measure J results will be certified on December 4th. They still have thousands of provisional ballots to research and tally.