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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"R" Spells "Relief"

Two weeks ago today voters in Los Angeles approved Measure R, which increases the sales tax in Los Angeles by 1/2 a percent. As a tax increase, the measure needed a "super majority" (66.67%) and passed - barely - with 67.22%.

view from inside the No. 2 MTA bus (heading north on Sepulveda) - stuck in traffic along with everyone else. At least the bus' windshields are clean, right? The concept of "getting people out of their cars" happens naturally when it's quicker to take a subway or light rail than your car.

While not necessarily providing a visionary mass transit system for Los Angeles, the passage of Measure R will provide some relief, and complete several of the light rail projects in the works.

[Photo (September 2006): L. Henry]

It will also provide the needed funding for the Purple Line - the Wilshire Blvd. "Subway to the Sea" - which now ends at Western Ave. in Koreatown.

photo credit:

Unfortunately, the tax doesn't take effect until July of next year. Voters approved this measure - why is it taking another half a year to start funding the projects we need?

This is just one of a dozen various proposals for light rail and the Wilshire subway extension into the westside. Fortunately, doing nothing is no longer an option. I'm not holding my breath that the Wilshire Subway will go all the way to the ocean, but it probably will get to Westwood/UCLA. image:

Stuck in gridlock traffic is NOT my idea of political leadership. Either is taking money earmarked for transportation to pay for other things.

cheaper gas = less incentive to conserve. Stuck on San Diego Frwy near Westwood last week .

Ironically, this past summer when gasoline was peaking out at $4.50 a gallon - it made a dent in traffic. In most places, you actually noticed the difference. Now that gas is down to around $2.50 a gallon, traffic is again terrible.

A few days after writting this post, I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times by Steve Hymon and Ruben Vives basically saying the same thing:,0,4531243.story. Now you know where these guys get their ideas for stories ...

I may be in the minority here, but I wouldn't mind paying more for gas is the difference went directly to immediate traffic relief. I only take the bus when I'm going to UCLA, but how many more Angelenos would ride the MTA if the fare was just 50 cents? Just wondering.

What is our time worth? Obviously something.

Thanks, Los Angeles, for passing Measure R ... so we can all do a better job of making the most of our time.

"Therefore, be careful how you live. not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time." Ephesian 5:15,16

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