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Measure M Is Expected To Pass And Usher L.A. Into A New Age Of Mobility

Metro rolls through downtown (Photo by Calvin Fleming via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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While there may be a sense of doom and gloom across the nation, L.A. has several reasons to be optimistic about its future. Proposition HHH, which is intended to generate $1.2 billion to bring housing for the city's homeless, is expected to pass. Another bright note is Measure M, which is also expected to get the green light. As reported by the L.A. Times, the measure is meeting the two-thirds majority vote it needed to pass: with all precincts reporting, it has gotten approval from 69.82% of voters.

Here's Mayor Eric Garcetti, Measure M's most visible proponent, announcing the promising numbers last night to a crowd of supporters:

Measure M would increase the sales tax by a half cent, as well as extending another half-cent tax increase that was passed through Measure R in 2008. These changes would mean that each person in L.A. will be paying an extra $25 a year, reports KPCC. That's just five lattes, or a dinner out!

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If we're given what we've been promised, then Measure M should pay off in spades. It will jumpstart the most ambitious transit expansion in L.A. history. The slew of projects include the extension of the Purple Line, which is expected to go all the way to Westwood by 2035. There's also a planned Crenshaw Line that will connect the Purple and Red lines. It will also implement a carpool lane interchange between the 405 and 110 freeways, and contribute to a number of freeway improvement projects. Another ambitious project is a planned tunnel that will run through the Sepulveda Pass.

Here's a neat, animated map that gives you the full scope on how our transit system will expand.

The measure wasn't without its detractors, of course. One of the chief complaints is the timeline of the projects. Because it'd be logistically ill-advised to start all the projects at once—for one thing, it could make your commute horrible everywhere—some of the planned projects won't reach certain neighborhoods for a few decades. The complaints mainly stem from the southern sections of the L.A. County. While projects like the Gold Line and Purple Line extensions are expected to be completed within the next two decades, comparable projects in cities like Carson won't be completed until about 2040. Citing these timelines, seven cities in the south L.A. county area filed a lawsuit in August arguing that the language on Measure M ballot was misleading.

Either way, it looks like Measure M will go into effect and, hopefully, fulfill all the ambitions launched by Metro.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, representing District 2 on the County Board of Supervisors, said in a written statement that, "Every Angeleno stands to benefit from this major investment in public transportation and we thank the voters for their confidence." He added that, "Metro is building a transportation system for today, tomorrow and beyond."

Our neighbors up in the Bay Area have also passed a transit-related measure—Measure RR—to make improvements to their BART rail service. According to SFist, the measure passed with numbers similar to that of Measure M's (about 70% of voters said "yes"). Funds stemming from Measure RR will help renew 90 miles of track, much of which was laid in the early '70s., and replace the BART's aging train control system.

Here's a list of all the projects that will kick into gear thanks to Measure M (there's a lot):