Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Voters approve LA Streetcar plan

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Voters approve LA Streetcar plan LA Streetcar
Supporters of a plan for a streetcar in Los Angeles Tuesday were cautiously predicting victory, as a special measure appeared to have enough support from voters Monday.

An officer from the City Clerk's office said that out of 2,065 ballots counted, 1,508 favored the proposal to create an assessment district to help finance the $125 million project. That equals 73% of the vote cast, more than enough for a supermajority. 

The vote count remained unfinished due to 110 outstanding ballots. But even if all 110 votes were cast in the negative, the measure would still pass with approval from better than 69% of ballots cast.

The measure would generate $62.5 million in local funding, or about 50% of the cost to construction the initial line. Supporters will seek matching federal funding for the project. A tax will be levied on land owned by all property owners within the district to generate the local share.
Streetcar supporters have emphasized the potential economic effects it could bring to downtown, especially along Broadway, where the city is working to revive old movie palaces and office buildings.

The proposed streetcar route would traverse Broadway for about 10 blocks, then proceed to the city's financial district. Connections would be available to both the Red Line (subway) and Blue Line LRT. 

According to advocacy group LA Streetcar, only registered voters in the Community Facilities District who reside within three blocks of the proposed streetcar route voted in the mail-in-ballot election. About 10,000 registered voters were considered eligible.