Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA's proposed $3 billion-dollar street bond hits the skids

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Members of the Los Angeles City Council say more public input is needed before a $3 billion bond proposal is sent to voters. A bond backed by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino would have been dedicated to road repairs.

A proposed $3 billion bond to repair Los Angeles streets failed to win enough support from the City Council Tuesday and will not appear on the May ballot.

The proposal from councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino was referred back to the Public Works Committee. The two men expect it to appear on a ballot in a year or two.

“If we want to remain a world class city and attract new businesses and jobs," said Buscaino, "it is vital that we demonstrate Los Angeles is a city of the future and not a crumbling relic of the past. Our streets are one of the most visible and important components of our infrastructure, and there is no question that they are in poor condition and must be repaired.”

There may not be a question about road conditions in L.A., but several city council members expressed concern that the bond was being rushed to the May 21 ballot. The bond proposal would have provided enough money to fix thousands of miles of failing streets over a 10-year period, but it would have taken property owners almost 30 years to pay off the bond. The annual cost of the proposal would have varied, but property owners would have paid, on average, an extra $100 a year.

The city’s Bureau of Street Services estimates at its current pace, it will take 60 years to repair roads it considers failed. The city's current year budget provides $105 million for repairs and maintenance. 

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