Getting our Infrastructure in Shape for the Olympics
Posted by Councilmember Englander on February 09, 2018 at 9:19 AM
This week I joined my City Council colleague Joe Buscaino to introduce legislation to expedite the use of existing voter and legislature approved revenues to fund major infrastructure improvements to L.A.'s streets and sidewalks.
With the Olympics only 10 years away, we need a plan now detailing how we're going to get our City's infrastructure in shape for the Games. The voters of Los Angeles have given us an incredible opportunity to fix our broken streets and sidewalks and to do so in a timely manner. The revenues are there; it's now time for us to make a game plan and execute.
Currently, 38 percent of L.A. streets have a D or F rating and more than 8,700 lane miles of streets in the City need rehabilitation. Moreover, the City Council only recently passed a framework to start fixing the City’s crumbling and buckled sidewalks. These infrastructure improvements will cost millions of dollars that the City does not currently have. Meanwhile, the cost of labor continues to increase and the City continues to pay out millions in lawsuit settlements for injuries caused by poor streets and sidewalks. Furthermore, L.A. residents spend an estimated additional $900 annually in car maintenance due to the poor condition of roads.
In 2014, Save Our Streets LA (SOSLA) was published and presented to Council as a blueprint to front fund infrastructure investments throughout the city. While the SOSLA proposal considered creating new revenue streams, recently enacted policies such as Measure M Local Return and Senate Bill 1 present the City with options not available in 2014 to front finance and expedite massive infrastructure projects. By borrowing against future revenues, we not only speed up the improvements at no additional cost to the taxpayer, we ultimately save taxpayer dollars by preventing the further deterioration of streets and sidewalks which would otherwise increase the cost of repairs.
The motion I filed instructs the office of the Chief Legislative Analyst and Chief Administrative Office to report to Council with options to fund crucial street and sidewalk infrastructure improvements in advance of the 2028 Olympic Games.