Garcetti Proposes Boost in Spending to Reduce Traffic Deaths, But Advocates Push for More

A crash scene in Koreatown in 2014 where a pedestrian was killed. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti secured one of his biggest accomplishments last year with passage of Measure M, the sales tax hike slated to deliver $120 billion for transportation projects over four decades.

That victory was achieved, in part, through the hard work of nonprofit groups and grass-roots activists who pushed for more investment in rail, buses and ways of making walking and bicycling safer. Now, some of those same advocates are voicing dismay over Garcetti’s budget plan, saying it does too little to prevent traffic deaths.

Garcetti called this week for $16.6 million to go to the city’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to end traffic fatalities on city streets by 2025.

Mayoral aides say that’s a dramatic increase from this year’s allocation of $3 million. But Jessica Meaney, who heads the transportation advocacy group Investing in Place, said the program will need twice as much money to begin seriously reducing the number of deaths on city streets.

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