Fearing that Los Angeles’ streets and sidewalks are in such disrepair they may not be ready to handle the expected influx of 500,000 visitors the 2028 Olympics will bring, a City Council committee Wednesday backed a request for a report by city staff on how to fund improvements.
Nearly 40 percent of the city’s streets have a D or F rating, more than 8,700 lane miles are in need of rehabilitation and the city only recently passed a $1.4 billion plan to fix its broken sidewalks over the next three decades, according to a motion from former Councilman Mitchell Englander and Councilman Joe Buscaino that called for the report.
The Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee approved the motion, which would instruct city staff to report back with various options to advance funding of street and sidewalk improvements ahead of the 2028 Olympics.
The motion, which was introduced just over a year ago but was not heard by a City Council committee until Wednesday, says improvements to the city’s streets will cost millions of dollars the city does not have, while the city continues to pay out millions in lawsuit settlements for injuries caused by poor streets and sidewalks.
Englander, who stepped down from his seat at the beginning of the year, and Buscaino were also behind a 2013-14 campaign called Save Our Streets that proposed a half-cent sales-tax hike to fix the city’s streets, but they ultimately abandoned the proposal. The motion says new revenue is potentially available that was not available in 2014, possibly allowing the city to “expedite massive infrastructure projects in a more efficient and cost saving manner.”
The new revenue options the motion suggests are Measure M, a 2016 ballot initiative estimated to raise $120 billion over the next 40 years for transportation projects, and Senate Bill 1, a state gas tax expected to raise $54 billion over the next decade to fix transportation infrastructure.