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L.A. City Council Approves $27.2M for Vision Zero in 2017 Budget

Breakdown of Vision Zero 2017-18 budget approved today. Image via Councilmember Mike Bonin

The full L.A. City Council approved $27.2 million for Vision Zero in the city's fiscal year 2017-18 budget. This represents a vast increase over the current year's Vision Zero budget of $3-4 million, and even a significant increase over the Mayor's proposed $16.7 million.

The funding will go primarily to LADOT for safety improvements on priority corridors within the High Injury Network, though $1.5 million goes to LAPD for increased enforcement targeted toward safety. Much of the LADOT funding goes to improving pedestrian safety.

After last Friday's budget committee vote to direct half of new transportation funding to street resurfacing, livability advocates feared the worst. The L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Advancement Project, and Investing in Place put out an urgent alert pressing the mayor and council to put funding behind policy commitments to reducing traffic fatalities.

Today the city council voted unanimously for a motion by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian to allocate $27,242,062 for Vision Zero. The funding comes from a mix of sources including Measure M local return and S.B. 1 gas tax increase.

Sources of funding approved in today's Vision Zero funding vote. Image via Councilmember Mike Bonin
Sources of funding approved in today's Vision Zero funding vote. Image via Councilmember Mike Bonin
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Along with Bonin and Krekorian, Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Jose Huizar played key leadership roles in steering the critical budget allocation. Martinez, in a joint press statement, opined, "Too many people are killed and injured on our streets, so funding Vision Zero is an absolute priority for me – we must stop talking about reducing traffic accidents and actually put resources behind this goal."

Harris-Dawson added:

Today’s vote is not just about Vision Zero, we are creating a better Los Angeles. ... As we fight to redefine our city, pedestrian safety will be more important than ever. However, parts of the city, like South L.A. and the North East Valley, have a serious problem: the basic infrastructure was never built and residents are paying with their lives. In parts of the city, the simple act of walking can become a life or death decision. Our kids can’t wait and our seniors can’t wait. We need to build for the future today.

While LADOT has already done several important Vision Zero improvements in priority corridors, it now appears that, thanks to council, mayoral and advocacy leadership, 2017-18 will be the year that sees a significant leap forward in safety for all road users.

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