But included in the board’s vote of support Thursday was a motion to accelerate funding for other projects funded by Measure R, said Glendale Mayor and MTA Board Chairman Ara Najarian.
The motion to include other Measure R projects in the 30/10 Initiative was key to gaining the support of county Supervisor Mike Antonovich, a member of the board, said Tony Bell, Antonovich’s spokesman.
Antonovich had previously criticized the plan for not accelerating any projects in the Glendale-Burbank region, but the board’s move Thursday will also push for federal assistance to speed up other developments, Bell said.
“It actually revised 30/10 to make it more equitable, to provide more of the transit fixes that we need for the entire region,” he said.
A unanimous vote of support for Villaraigosa’s initiative will be key in approaching federal officials for aid, Najarian said.
“Too often in the past when L.A. has come to Washington to seek funding, we haven’t been speaking with one voice,” he said.
“We’ve been split, and?.?.?.?they say, ‘Look, L.A., get your act together. Let us know when you all agree, because if we’re going to give you X million dollars, we want everyone to be happy about it.’”
Although the support of the full board gives the proposal added momentum for the initiative, no agency has ever approached the government with a similar request for backing the acceleration of a project, he said.
How the plan comes together and whether it gains support may be uncertain, he said.
What will be certain, however, is that the majority of projects will be developed in other parts of the county and will have more of an indirect benefit locally, Najarian said.
“It will make transportation and travel through the county that much easier,” he said.
“We’ll be able to get to the Westside by transit. We’ll be able to get to the San Fernando Valley, back east to the San Gabriel Valley, out the county line and maybe even to Ontario Airport.”