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$3B Street Repair Measure Could Make For Smoother Car Rides

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The woeful condition of Los Angeles's roads sowed the seeds of rebellion in some parts of town last year. Now it's also sparked a proposal for a $3 billion bond to fund a 10-year program to repair thousands of miles of roads. City Councilmembers Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino are hoping to put a proposal on the ballot in May that would tax property owners over a 20-year period to make the repairs. The city's budget office hasn't finalized the numbers, but property owners would have to pay roughly $99 per $350,000 of assessed value annually. If the measure passes--and it would require a two-thirds majority if it makes it onto the ballot--it would provide $300 million each year to repair the surfaces of residential and main roads across the city. To put that in perspective, this year the city budgeted $105 million for street repair, according to KPCC. But while better streets would be a welcome relief to the city's cars, some feel the draft proposal has a rather glaring oversight.

On his Design Advocate blog, the director of government and public affairs for the LA chapter of the American Institute of Architects calls the proposal "a bit of an embarrassment" and notes "There isn't a single reference to complete streets, pedestrian safety and/or the need for better urban design citywide ... What about all of our worn-out tennis shoes, busted spokes, blown-out bicycle tires....not to mention the legal repercussions of all those irascible trip and falls?!" He recommends that "this motion be rewritten so that the mobility, safety and happiness of PEOPLE is emphasized."

The City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to draft an official proposal for the May ballot.
· LA roads could get $3 billion makeover with bond proposal [KPCC]