Why Downtown L.A. Should Approve a Streetcar, Despite Campaign Missteps

As a special election gets underway to determine whether 10,000 downtown L.A. residents support taxing property owners to build a new streetcar system, the editors of the Los Angeles Downtown News offer their qualified support for the project.
November 13, 2012, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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No sooner has one election cycle ended than another begins in downtown Los Angeles. Today is the day that ballots are being mailed to approximately 10,000 people who live within three blocks of the proposed route of a $125 million streetcar project "that would connect L.A. Live to Bunker Hill with a principal spine on Broadway."

In a recent editorial, "Los Angeles Downtown News recommends that residents vote in favor of the streetcar funding plan, though our suggestion is in spite, not because, of the campaign in support of the project. In this case, the best interests of the community hold sway over the two colossal mistakes that streetcar advocates made during the process."

Among those mistakes: only local residents are being asked to vote on whether property owners get taxed (property owners who live outside the area cannot vote) and fuzzy math regarding the amount owners will have to pony up ($85 million rather than the $62.5 million Streetcar officials had long publicized).   

"Residents have until Dec. 3 to return their ballots to the City Clerk. The approval of two-thirds of the voters is required for passage."

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Published on Friday, November 9, 2012 in Los Angeles Downtown News
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