By Michael Antonovich, October 2, 2016
Measure M would extend the route for the Metro Gold Line train, shown here in 2013 at the Del Mar Station in Pasadena.
It is vital that any ballot measure addressing our county’s
transportation needs provides a comprehensive, regional solution to
reduce congestion and improve air quality. Previous transportation
measures were created from the top down and failed to guarantee a fair
share for, or consider the needs of, Los Angeles County’s 88 cities and
134 unincorporated communities. Those measures also failed to develop a
truly regional, interconnected transportation system.
Measure M, the “Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan” corrects these failures.
In 2013, as chairman of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority board, following the defeat of Measure J, I
sent letters to each of the county’s 88 cities and their regional
Councils of Government asking them to identify their local and regional
transportation priorities. This set into motion a first-of-its-kind,
bottoms-up approach to assess the transportation needs of our county,
which was supported by subsequent Metro chairs, Diane DuBois, Eric
Garcetti, Mark Ridley-Thomas and John Fasana. Hundreds of public
meetings were held with the cities, community organizations, business
groups, experts and advocates.
In contrast to previous measures, Measure M creates a regional
transportation system which is fair to our county’s local communities
because it was developed from the bottom up. It is subject to tough
accountability measures with an oversight committee and annual audits
posted online. Further, all funds generated are for local use only on
transit projects in Los Angeles County — and cannot be siphoned away by
Funding from Measure M will be used in each of our
county’s 88 cities and unincorporated communities to repair and build
new transportation infrastructure — from filling potholes to paving
roads to synchronizing signals to improving intersections. Measure M
will fix bottlenecks on freeways including the 5, 14, 405 and 605.
Relieving traffic congestion, it will improve freight and goods movement
by supporting the development of the High Desert Multi-purpose
Corridor, upgrading Metrolink, enhancing passenger and freight rail
corridors, and constructing critical grade separation projects.
Enhancing regional transit, it will extend the Gold Line through
the San Gabriel Valley to Claremont, connecting with existing stations
in Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. Dubbed the
“Brain Train,” the Gold Line is connecting educational institutions
including the Pasadena Arts Center, Cal Tech, Pasadena City College,
Azusa Pacific University, La Verne University and the Claremont
Measure M will also provide a vital connection between
the Gold Line and the Red Line, from Pasadena to North Hollywood via
Glendale and Burbank, on a dedicated bus line, which I proposed to
further connect the county’s transportation system. It connects the San
Fernando Valley to the Westside and will bring multiple lines to LAX. In
addition, it will fund improvements to the Orange Line, ultimately
transitioning to light rail, and build a 20-mile rail line from Downtown
L.A. to Artesia.
Under the leadership of CEO Phil Washington, Metro will continue to
be proactive and inclusive of the needs of our communities through the
region and Measure M will provide the resources to meet those needs into
the future. It will keep student, senior and disabled fares affordable
while funding critical earthquake retrofits of our bridges and
overpasses. It will also create over 465,000 jobs and has bipartisan
support from labor, business, chambers of commerce and public officials.
On Nov. 8, Los Angeles County voters will have an opportunity to
develop a comprehensive and interconnected transportation system which
will relieve congestion and gridlock, improve air quality and quality of
life for the residents of our County’s 88 cities and unincorporated
Measure M will modernize our aging transportation system
and provide a 21st century transportation network which accelerates
transit lines and ties them together into a comprehensive system with
improved freeway and local road networks. Vote yes on Measure M.
Michael Antonovich is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the 5th District.