More than 1,000 business, transportation and elected leaders converged on the JW Marriott at L.A. Live for the 12th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit. The annual conference, which is the largest one-day transportation event in the state, focused on bringing leaders from a broad spectrum of backgrounds together to address the challenges and opportunities facing southern California’s infrastructure.
Southern California continues to face significant traffic congestion and mobility challenges. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projects a regional infrastructure deficit of $200 billion through 2035. According to SCAG, nearly 74 percent of the funding for southern California’s transportation projects is raised locally, predominantly through sales tax measures.
During the summit, the Hon. Diane DuBois, Chair of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, emphasized the role of leveraging local funds.
"Metro and other southern California transit agencies are stepping up to the plate to support our mobility infrastructure — as are our taxpayers, who have voted time and again to tax themselves for mobility," said DuBois." But we simply don't have the money we need to deal with all the issues. We must convince Congress to update the gas tax and perhaps create an infrastructure bank that we can use to leverage the transportation taxes our voters have been generous and far-sighted in supporting."
During a lunchtime keynote address, Brian P. Kelly, Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency, shared the administration’s plans for transportation in California and the significance of Mobility 21’s advocacy.
“California's transportation system must not only deliver safety and mobility, but also sustainability to meet our air quality and greenhouse gas reduction objectives,” said Kelly. "Our transportation system is a special part of California's heritage and our responsibility is to preserve this great infrastructure of the past while putting thousands of Californians to work building something new, for an even brighter future.”
Mobility 21 launched a transportation advocacy mobile web application at the conference, urging the public to hold elected leaders accountable for improving transportation in southern California. The app can be accessed from smart phone web browsers at www.mobility21.com.
Conference attendees learned about a variety of transportation topics, including: harnessing the power of new technology; investment strategies to improve the flow of commerce in southern California; the importance of investing in the maintenance of existing infrastructure; the development of multi-function infrastructure corridors; and coordinated land use, housing, and transportation planning.
The closing session included a keynote address from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on his economic development plan and how infrastructure plays a role.
For more information about the conference agenda and speakers, click here. To view a list of elected officials in attendance, click here.
Portions of this article were taken from a press release on Mobility 21’s website. View the original article here.