November 03, 2016
LAWT News Service
In advance of the final week before Election Day, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Vice-Chair Eric Garcetti was welcomed last Sunday by Bishop Charles Blake and his congregation at the West Angeles Church in God and Christ to speak about the importance of voting and of Measure M, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan.
Bishop Blake and this newspaper have endorsed Measure M, which Mayor Garcetti described as potentially more directly impactful on the daily lives Los Angeles County residents than anything else on the ballot.
“This election has been tiring, but let me tell you, I am not too tired to vote,” Garcetti said. “Voting honors those who shed blood so we can participate in democracy, and voting is how we are able to have a direct impact on issues fundamental to our daily lives, such as traffic congestion.”
“Here in L.A. County, our daily purgatory, our daily inferno, is traffic congestion. It is in our hands, through the exercise of our democratic duty at the ballot box, to do something about it,” he added.
Measure M would extend the Crenshaw/LAX line north from Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards, right outside the doors of West Angeles Church, to Hollywood. It will improve the Blue Line, upgrade the Vermont Corridor with either a Rapid Bus line or rail line from Hollywood to 120th Street; will improve freeways including the 105, the 110 and the 405 South Bay Curve; and will immediately fill potholes and repave roads in South L.A. and in every L.A. County community.
Independent analyses of Measure M have found it will reduce the time people are stuck in traffic by 15 percent and that it will create 465,000 jobs.
At an event on Crenshaw Blvd. in support of Measure M earlier this month, Bishop Blake said: "Measure M will generate good paying jobs for this community. We are united in support Measure M. We will all reap the benefits of a more reliable transportation system that relieves traffic. At West Angeles Church of God in Christ, we know first hand the benefits of affordable and accessible transportation because the Expo line is right here. We are excited about Measure M.”
Measure M is endorsed by a broad coalition of faith leaders, including Rev. John Cager, President of the AME Ministerial Alliance; Pastor Edgar Boyd of First A.M.E Church; and Apostle Beverly BAM Crawford of Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church. It is also endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party; the New Frontier Democratic Club; the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce; and the AARP.
Measure M will keep senior, disabled, and student fares affordable and will provide critical earthquake retrofitting for overpasses and bridges.
A recent Texas A&M analysis found that traffic congestion costs the average commuter in our region $1,711, including from wasted fuel and lost productivity. All together, drivers in our region lose 622 million hours stuck in traffic a year, for a total cost of $13.3 billion, according to the analysis. The L.A. County population is projected to increase by 2.3 million.
Measure M will modernize L.A. County’s aging transportation system and build a twenty-first century transportation network that expands subway, light rail, Rapid Bus, Metrolink, freeways, and highways.
Measure M adds and accelerates transit lines and finally ties them together into a comprehensive system that will work with an improved freeway and local road network.