The renewal of Measure M offers the opportunity to replicate and even exceed the performance of the original in delivering transportation projects. Two of the busiest times associated with a local measure like Measure M are starting them up and winding them down. We are in the middle of both as we prepare for the current Measure M to sunset in 2011. Referred to as “M2”, the OCTA Board recently adopted a Renewed Measure M Early Action Plan geared to advance projects included in the Plan and deliver them as quickly as possible to the public. M2 is expected to generate roughly $12 billion over 30 years. These funds will be spent across all modes, with 75% going to freeways, streets and roads; and 25% going to transit. The Plan presents a blueprint for a five-year period from 2007 to 2012.
Plan objectives key to South County include:
Awarding up to $165 million to cities and the County for signal synchronization and road upgrades.
Completing development work and allocating funds for transit fare discounts and improved services for seniors & persons with disabilities.
Completing an agreement between OCTA and resource agencies detailing environmental mitigation of freeway improvements and commitments for project permitting; and begin allocating funds for mitigation.
Completing program development for road runoff/water quality improvements; and begin allocating funds to water quality projects.
In all, more than $1.6 billion in transportation improvements promised to the voters in M2 could be underway by 2012, and the Early Action Plan will enable projects to be under construction before revenues begin to be collected.
For South County, improvements to the I-5 from the El Toro “Y” to the SR-73 are planned, as are interchange improvements at Avenida Pico, Ortega Highway, Avery Parkway, La Paz, and El Toro, among others.
South County cities will receive three times as much as was provided in the original Measure M for formula funding – money that cities use for ongoing street maintenance and other projects. Expanded Metrolink service will also be coming to the 5th District.
For seniors, the current Measure M commitment, $20 million over 20 years, is bested by $340 million over 30 years in M2! Funds will be used to continue to stabilize fares for seniors & the disabled as well as the successful Senior Mobility Program and the County’s Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program.