Published on January 13, 2018
1. The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica The SCAG 2% Strategy for population growth Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets program Metro’s increasing interest in BRT and other investments along our extensive and underutilized commercial corridors. Move LA’s Grand Boulevards proposal is an amalgam of great ideas that most of you know. Local examples include:
2. A pedestrian orientation that helped pioneer outdoor dining Urban forestry used to great effect Detached parking that serves the whole district Excellent transit access with a transit mall at the south end A strategy for mixed-use residential development all around the Promenade, 30% of which is deed-restricted affordable housing. #1 GREAT IDEA: Third Street Promenade In the 1990s, Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane, then a Santa Monica City Councilmember, led this effort to redevelop downtown. Key features include:
3. #2 GREAT IDEA is SCAG’s 2% Strategy which envisioned something like Grand Boulevards: “By focusing most growth on 2% of the land mass of the region – mostly in centers and corridors and near transit stops – we can accommodate most future growth in ways that strengthen and reinforce the region rather than make it more unmanageable.”
4. Here, for example is Hawthorne Boulevard now… and what it would look like if re-imagined by residents. #3 GREAT IDEA is LA Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets program, Created to “re-imagine neighborhood centers, one main street at a time.”
5. #4 GREAT IDEA: Measures R & M Metro used these measures to fund what is essentially the transit element of a Grand Boulevards program, setting aside about $4 billion to improve 200 miles of boulevards. What if we created an extensive system of boulevards that could provide the armature for population growth with sustainable transit- oriented development?
6. Promote transit ridership with housing near transit that frequent transit riders can afford; Enable aesthetically pleasing housing for middle-, moderate- and low-income residents; Meet regional housing needs in walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented districts; Reduce the cost of living, air pollution and GHG emissions; Implement strategies to prevent displacement; Ensure transit service investments along Grand Boulevards are distributed equitably across LA County. What are the priority goals of our proposed Grand Boulevards program?
7. A key development priority is to make sure that housing near transit is affordable to frequent transit riders, who are predominantly low-income: 87% of bus riders are people of color with a median income of $14,876; 92% of rail riders are people of color with a slightly higher median income of $19,374; For comparison: 72% of the population of LA County is people of color; LA County’s median income is about $56,000. Making it possible for transit riders to live near transit will leverage Measure R & M investments and benefit residents countywide
8. Create mixed-use, mixed-income districts where people can walk, bike, take transit; Promote development of middle-, moderate-, and low-income housing; Promote a concentration of businesses and activity in districts near transit stations and stops; Prevent displacement of current residents and businesses; Turn underutilized commercial boulevards into economically productive ones; Provide public funding for decoupled or detached parking with the goal of reducing construction costs for developers who wouldn't have to build parking and for businesses that wouldn't need to provide it. Other development objectives for Grand Boulevards include:
9. Urban forestry and other urban greening improvements; Materials that keep surfaces cool such as reflective coatings on roofs, pavements, parking lots, playgrounds to minimize the urban heat island effect; Upgrades to stormwater catch basins to minimize and recycle urban runoff; EV charging stations in strategic locations; Mobility hubs that facilitate access to car- and bike-sharing. These Grand Boulevards would be really cool because of investments in:
10. Measures R and M, including Local Return and bus transit dollars; Funding from transit-oriented development tax-increment-financing districts such as Move LA’s proposal for a TOD-TIF; Resources from the GHG Reduction Fund’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program as well as urban forestry programs; Affordable housing resources including funds from Measures H and HHH, the City of LA’s linkage fee, and state-approved housing funds. Where’s the money for transit improvements and community development:
11. It’s important to invest in boulevards, like streets, because…