A new traffic mitigation program proposed by Metro would add a minimum fee of $1,876 to every new house built in LA County, $1,150 for every condo or apartment, plus additional fees for new retail spaces, offices, and hotel rooms. The recommendations come after a 10-year feasibility study and a 1990 proposition that requires local jurisdictions to offset the traffic impact of any new development. According to the Pasadena Star-News, if passed the program would raise $767 million over 20 years for congestion-busting measures like lane widenings, freeway onramp additions, and the like. Which is way less than the $5.1 billion worth of measures that cities across LA County have requested. So when will we start raising the money for this glorious traffic-free future? Uh, maybe not any time soon. Metro's Planning and Programming Committee was due to vote on the proposal last week, but it was pulled from the agenda after a letter protesting the fees was circulated with signatures from more than 50 businesses (they think they'll drive up costs, won't deliver real benefits, and are made redundant by other measures put in place since the proposition passed 23 years ago). But after 10 years of study, at least one Metro board member is confident the plan will work as intended. If it is eventually approved by the board, Metro will then need to work with the 22 cities in LA County that have their own congestion mitigation fees to make sure the money goes where it should.
· Metro considers adding fees to every new home, store or office building to fight congestion [PSN, image via]