Congratulations to Glendale’s State Assemblymember, Laura Friedman (43rd District), on her appointment as Chair of the State Assembly Transportation Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon.
Assemblymember Friedman, who has served as a member of the committee since she took office in 2016, has worked on several bills that prioritize transit, active transportation, and the environmental impacts of the transportation sector.
Transportation-related emissions are one of California’s largest contributors to climate change. Assemblymember Friedman commented: “As Chair, I will work to influence the committee’s efforts away from our focus on freeway and road expansions and towards forward-thinking policies such as investing in mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, zero-emission vehicles, road safety, and sustainability.”
The Glendale Environmental Coalition is on the same train! We are advocating for projects that will enhance active transportation options, including the Verdugo Wash project, the Citywide Pedestrian Plan, and an improved Bicycle Plan. GEC also joined with 29 other local organizations in advocating that Metro update Measure R and Measure M guidelines to include funding for multi-modal transportation initiatives. Further, we are closely watching the NoHo to Pasadena Transit Corridor Project as it moves through the Draft Environmental Impact Report phase.
We hope to work with Assemblymember Laura Friedman on addressing climate impacts by improving our local transit services, streets, bikeways, sidewalks, and trails!
Letter from Laura Friedman's Office
I’m very excited to announce that I have been appointed by Speaker Anthony Rendon to serve as the Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. I am grateful for this new leadership opportunity and understand the great responsibility that goes with it.
This committee has jurisdiction over the California High-Speed Rail Authority, California Highway Patrol, California Transportation Commission, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation (Caltrans), driver’s licenses, freight, regional transportation agencies, transit authorities, intercity rail, mobile sources of air pollution, fuels, rules of the road, state highways, local streets and roads, vehicles, aircraft, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and vessels.
The work of this committee has a huge impact on our state’s economy, our environment, housing, and way of life.
Since being elected in 2016, I’ve served on this committee, where I’ve worked on a number of transportation bills including measures to change the way we set speed limits, change how we invest in high-speed rail, prioritize transit and active transportation, and address the environmental impacts of the transportation sector. I’ll admit, working on those measures hasn’t been easy. Now that I have the opportunity to serve as Chair, the momentum has shifted and I plan to tackle these issues and more.
We are at a pivotal moment when it comes to transportation. Transportation-related emissions are on the rise and are one of the state’s largest contributor to climate change. Pedestrians and cyclists are endangered and killed because of outdated street engineering and our prioritization of cars. We need to make smart, significant investment in mass transit to relieve congestion and improve mobility options. The world during and after this pandemic is going to be very different, and we need to be ready for that.
As most of you know, I’ve been very passionate about these issues over the years. I’ve secured millions of dollars to fund transportation projects in our district, including $20 million for the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk Bridge. I’ve enjoyed hosting conversations across our district about the future of transportation. In addition, I’ve been working for years to revise the 85th percentile rule, which determines how speed limits are set across the state, an effort that has met a lot of opposition in Sacramento.
This effort includes my bill that created a Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, to review this methodology and other factors leading to traffic fatalities. The task force concluded and released its policy recommendations in 2019. Last week, I introduced AB 43 to implement their findings.
As Chair, I will work to influence the committee’s efforts away from our focus on freeway and road expansions and towards forward-thinking policies such as investing in mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, zero-emission vehicles, road safety, and sustainability. I will focus on policies that consider the needs of all Californians, and work for more equitable access to mobility, while fighting to get our transportation sector on the right track with key climate targets.
It is an exciting new adventure and an opportunity to continue the work we have done over the years in a new space. I look forward to getting right to work and collaborating with you to help make our state safer, more sustainable, and equitable for all Californians.