Parks are an important component of a healthy and sustainable city. Their mere presence helps to improve air quality, and those of us who bike often find ourselves using them as either destinations, or routes to pass through.
It’s no secret that Los Angeles needs more and better parks and recreational amenities. According to the most recent Los Angeles County Park Needs Assessment, less than half of County residents live within one-half mile of a park, and a majority of residents live in neighborhoods with less than 1.5 acres of park land per 1,000 population. As Investing in Place notes, places with poor park access tend to suffer from health disparities and economic hardships compared with better-served communities. And many of the parks that do exist are in a state of disrepair.
Taxes enacted in the 90s to fund parks are starting to expire, and it’s clear that in order to meet the needs of their residents, communities require significant funding beyond the meager property tax allocations in most municipal parks’ budgets. Measure A proposes to reinstate a 1992 parcel tax that has expired and extend another 1996 parcel tax that is set to expire in 2019. This revenue would support important investments to build and rehabilitate parks, beaches, and natural areas, as well as the multi-use trails that people on bikes utilize to get around, avoid traffic, and to challenge themselves.
Measure A provides an important funding source to ensure a healthier city, and encourages more residents to get outside and enjoy it. We urge a “YES” vote on L.A. County Measure A.