The Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority — a group that receives transportation funds for La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank unincorporated La Crescenta/Montrose, Pasadena and South Pasadena — approved last week a plan for spending $24 million in Measure M funding.
That accounts for most of what’s anticipated to come to the region from the first five years of Measure M, a half-cent countywide sales tax passed by voters in 2016.
AVCJPA members agreed to distribute funds to individual cities based on their populations. Since La Cañada Flintridge comprises 4% of the group’s total population, the city had $954,000 of funding to dedicate toward projects promoting public transit or modal connectivity, priorities set by Metro for the initial rounds of funds.
Glendale had roughly $9.4 million to assign, while Burbank was granted about $4.9 million and unincorporated La Crescenta/Montrose had $928,000 at its avail. Member areas held meetings and hearings to seek input on how to spend those allocations.
In a Dec. 6 meeting, representatives reviewed their respective priorities, agreeing to submit a joint plan to Metro for approval.
After discussion and input from members of its city council, La Cañada Flintridge will use funds toward the Foothill Boulevard Link Bikeway and Pedestrian Greenbelt, a project that will replace parking on Foothill from Leata Lane to Hillard Avenue with bike paths and sidewalks.
Glendale will dedicate $4.4 million to a Beeline maintenance facility and put another $4.1 million toward a Victory Boulevard Complete Streets project, in addition to buying replacement buses. The city of Burbank will use $3 million of its Measure M funding on transit enhancements and increasing connectivity along its portion of Victory Boulevard.
La Crescenta/Montrose has not yet identified projects, but can apply unprogrammed funds to future improvements as the JPA revisits its allocations annually, said Ann Wilson, division manager of La Cañada’s administrative department and AVCJPA’s executive director.
Wilson said once Metro programs the funds, each member area will enter into a funding agreement and work individually with the agency.
“So your constituents probably wouldn’t see programs until, at the best, fall or something like that,” she added. “It’s going to take time for these projects, unless they’re shovel ready.”
The AVCJPA was established in 2017 to give member cities an alternate vehicle for receiving regional transportation funding, as opposed to the San Gabriel and San Fernando valley councils of governments, which include multiple cities with sometimes competing interests.
Members say the smaller formation allows cities connected geographically to coordinate transportation programs and determine their own methodology for distributing funds.
“This was complicated, but I’m very happy to see we’re not having to fight and have seemed to reach agreement on this,” said Pasadena City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, authority chair.
“I just want to congratulate the whole team effort here for bringing us to this point,” agreed South Pasadena’s mayor and representative, Marina Khubesrian. “It’s a great place to be.”