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City Council Eyes $3B Bond Measure To Fix LA Streets

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bond measure to fund an estimated $3 billion in street repairs throughout Los Angeles was being considered by the City Council on Wednesday.

Councilman Mitch Englander, who is sponsoring the Street Repair and Safety General Obligation Bond, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he remains “absolutely opposed” to tax increases and fees – but not when it comes to L.A.’s streets.

“The number one complaint that we get, and it’s well documented, is the conditions of our streets,” Englander said. “We’ve got actually 60 years of deteriorated streets, and with this backlog of 60 years, there’s no way to catch up.”

Some residents feel the plan should also include improving city sidewalks.

The measure would cost the owner of an average median-priced home of $350,000 an extra $24 dollars in property taxes for at least the first year of the bond measure. The project is expected to take 10 years to complete at a cost of $300 million annually.

Englander said that unless voters approve the measure – which would be placed on the May 2013 general municipal election ballot if approved – Los Angeles will continue to be the city with the highest cost of automobile maintenance in the U.S.

“At the end of the day, everybody’s paying for it,” he said. “They pay on average $750 per vehicle that they own for additional maintenance, for tires and brakes and rotors and drum, not to mention accidents and depreciation.”

In addition to fixing 8,700 lane-miles of failed or nearly-failed streets, Englander estimated the bond measure would decrease traffic, improve emergency response times and create up to 30,000 private sector jobs.

A report released in October estimated that over a third of all streets in the U.S. are in “substandard” condition.

Click here for more information on the proposed Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety & Traffic Improvement Measure.

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