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Major Funding for Bicycle & Pedestrian Projects Approved by City Council

In downtown | Photo by @sevenphoto via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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The Los Angeles City Council this morning approved a chunk of money from Measure R--the sales tax devoted to L.A. County transportation projects--that will be set aside and devoted to pedestrian and bicycle projects. The amount is only about $3.3 million--that's 10% of Measure R funds coming directly to the city of Los Angeles this next year--but the money was fought over in a one-hour long debate [Update: The Mayor's budget (.pdf) has the number at about $5.2 million].

A contingent of the council wanted funding to be "up to 10%" instead of a flat 10%, which was eventually approved--apparently a major hurdle to overcome. The funding amount now sets the stage for future years.

Councilmember Greig Smith said he didn't have a problem with pedestrian or cycling projects, but rather setting a budget for unknown projects. "So we're going to allocate money for a program we don't have" he questioned. "That is the silliest budgeting I've ever seen... budgeting for programs we want to do when there's no program."