Motion asks that 30/10 initiative consider highway projects

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa first proposed his 30/10 initiative last fall, proposing to build 12 mass transit projects to be heavily funded by the Measure R sales tax in the next 10 years instead of the next 30. The gist of the mayor’s plan is to secure federal hope in the form of a variety of ways — such as, for example, low interest loans to help build the projects.

As we posted Friday, the initiative goes before Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Director committees this week. The Board of Director’s approval is critical because the federal government usually wants to see local support for transit plans before agreeing to provide help for them.

The first motion amending the initiative was submitted on Friday. It’s from two members of the Board of Directors — Diane DuBois, a member of the Lakewood City Council, and Pam O’Connor, a member of the Santa Monica City Council.

Their motion proposes that highway projects also be considered for the 30/10 initiative. An excerpt:

As a Board, we must provide a unanimous front to make sure that Washington recognizes that this region is solidly behind moving forward with its Mobility Goals.

These Goals must reflect both Transit and Highway projects collectively interwoven to not only accomplish the stated aspirations of Measure R but also address the issues of “sustainability” and the reduction of green house gasses as reflected in the SB 375 legislation.

The mayor’s plan, as presently written, focuses entirely on transit projects around the county. However, a big part of the debate in the run-up to putting Measure R on the ballot in 2008 was whether Measure R fairly spread dollars around the county and whether it reflected a mix of transit and road projects that would appeal to voters.

It will be interesting to see if that debate is revived as part of the discussion of 30/10. The entire motion is posted after the jump.