One of the big complaints about Metro is how long they take to deliver on big-ticket transit projects, and last year's Measure J was their partial solution to that--the ballot initiative would have extended 2008's Measure R tax increase for at least 30 years and allowed the agency to obtain loans to open projects like the Westside subway extension years sooner than planned. But Measure J, like all tax measures in the state, needed two-thirds of voter approval and it failed in November by all of 16,000 votes, with 66.1 percent of the electorate voting in favor of it. As politicians introduce legislation to change the tax initiative threshold to 55 percent, the Los Angeles Times looks at the sliver of voters who doomed Measure J. Compared to Measure R, support for J eroded in many South Bay communities, already a tax-averse area: "In Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Rolling Hills, the analysis found, support for Measure J dropped between 6 percentage points and 10 percentage points compared with Measure R." The South Bay's one big in-the-works transit project is an extension of the Green Line into Torrance, though some locals already oppose it. Support for J in outer-area, and car-dependent, communities like Malibu and Agua Dulce was also much diminished compared to R.
Beverly Hills and its school board now have four separate lawsuits against Metro and the FTA because the Westside subway extension will tunnel underneath Beverly Hills High School. Some Bev Hills officials joined with the Bus Riders Union to oppose Measure J--the wealthy city's support for the measure was down 16 percent compared to Measure R. Some in South LA always came down hard on J because they're fighting for a tunnel on the Crenshaw Line, as well as a station in Leimert Park.
· Minority of L.A. County voters quashed transit tax extension [LA Times]