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Board of Education Affirms Support for Healthy Streets L.A. (01-23-24)


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Megan VandenBos, 213-241-6388                                                                         January 23, 2024



Board of Education Affirms Support for Healthy Streets L.A.

Ballot measure would lead to L.A. City investments in safe, walkable streets


LOS ANGELES, January 23, 2024 – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education today unanimously affirmed its support for the Health Streets L.A. measure, which will be considered by voters in Los Angeles on the March 5 ballot. The measure, if passed, would require the City of Los Angeles to implement its Mobility Plan 2035 to improve over 2,500 miles of streets to increase safety measures and provide mobility options including walking, biking, and public transit. Though the Mobility Plan passed in 2015, so far only about 3% of the plan has been implemented – putting students and families at risk as they walk to and from school and in their neighborhoods. Board Member Kelly Gonez authored the resolution. Board Vice President Scott Schmerelson and Board Members Nick Melvoin, Tanya Ortiz-Franklin, and Dr. Rocío Rivas cosponsored the resolution.


“Our students and their families cannot afford to wait indefinitely for the City of Los Angeles to make our streets safer and more walkable,” said Board Member Kelly Gonez. “This urgent ballot measure would ensure we begin making real progress to protect our school communities and create safer, greener, and more sustainable streets.”


According to a 2016 report by the LA Department of Transportation, half of the fatal and severe injury collisions involving youth occur within a  quarter mile of schools. More than 50% of LAUSD schools are on or within one quarter mile of the high injury network, which identifies the 6% of streets that account for 70% of fatal and severe injury collisions involving pedestrians. Multiple tragic, fatal accidents have occurred near schools involving students and their families in recent years.


“Our streets are simply too dangerous for kids on their way to school, and for everyone else in LA, regardless of whether they are walking, biking, busing, or driving,” said Board President Jackie Goldberg. “Healthy Streets LA will make Los Angeles streets safer and better for everyone getting from one place to another. We have a great Mobility Plan—it’s time to implement it, and that’s what Healthy Streets LA will do.”


“The most important thing to consider is the safety of our students,” said Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson. “We have worked hard to ensure our communities can safely travel to and from school. I am co-sponsoring this resolution to support measure HLA so the city can actually consider establishing protected bike lanes and providing better street lighting.”


“Mobility is critical to our quality of life here in Los Angeles,” said Dr. George J. McKenna III. “We want all of our students and families to have a sense of security when traveling via all modes of transit in our communities.”


Dr. Rocío Rivas said, “I envision our city with vibrant, neighborhood public schools that nurture our communities – schools our families and students can walk to, bike to, on safe roads designed for all users. Implementing the Mobility Plan is an important piece to creating safe streets for everyone and to put an end to traffic-related fatalities.” 


“Students and families deserve the ability to travel safely in their communities and on their way to school,” said Board Member Nick Melvoin. “We have seen the tragic consequences of ignoring pedestrian and bike safety on our streets, and of ignoring the environmental impact on our city’s over-reliance on cars. Healthy Streets LA will help us move towards a more friendly and sustainable Los Angeles for our children.”


"I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution supporting the 2024 Healthy Streets LA Ballot measure, which would bring much needed urgency to ensuring safe and clean streets in our communities," Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. "With over half of our schools in or near high-risk traffic zones and far too many unnecessary pedestrian injuries in our neighborhoods, LA Unified will benefit greatly from the passage of Healthy Streets LA."


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