Welcome to The
Transit Coalition weekly newsletter! Our organization
participates in meetings with key decision makers
and community leaders and our goal is to keep you
informed on the latest developments in the transportation
scene across Southern California.
State lawmakers approved
a $37.2 billion bond measure that will go to voters
in November. The ballot measure would be a part
of a $116
billion public works plan to upgrade infrastructure,
in particular transportation. The fast-growing Inland
Empire is expected to greatly
benefit from the plan, even though many of the
projects championed there are almost entirely road-related.
Part of the proposal includes permanently allotting
gas tax revenues to transportation as per Proposition
42 that received a strong
endorsement from the Automobile Club of Southern
California. A Long Beach Press-Telegram editorial
praised the bipartisan effort to bring the proposal
to voters but had reservations about funding affordable
Even as increases are tapering off and prices are
falling elsewhere in the country, gas prices
in Southern California continue
to climb. The City of Calabasas is fighting
back by increasing local bus service and encouraging
people to walk when they can. Europeans share a
bit of advice to Americans reeling because of high
gas prices: Get
over it. It is no secret that European drivers
pay substantially more for gasoline, of which taxes
make up much of the price. Meanwhile, oil companies
and transit agencies are not the only ones benefiting
from high gas prices: Transit
TV is experiencing an
increase of viewers, largely due to the increase
in riders on buses where their ubiquitous televisions
Toll roads are becoming all
the rage across the country. Private firms are
either leasing existing toll roads or building new
ones. As an example, the City of Chicago leased
their Chicago Skyway toll road for 99 years at a
price of $1.8 billion, which the city will use to
pay existing toll road debt and establish a "mid-term
annuity the city can use to smooth the effects of
economic cycles and stabilize the need for additional
revenues." The under-construction South Bay
Expressway (State Highway Route 125) in San Diego
is an example of a new toll road being built under
the long-term private concession model.
State Assemblyman and former state Coastal Commission
member Pedro Nava proposed setting aside funds to
study traffic in south Orange County as a
way to block construction of a proposed toll
road through San Onofre State Beach. The toll highway
is already set for a fight in federal court because
it would greatly damage
a Native American burial site, according to
Want to learn more about SAFETEA-LU? No, it's not
an alternate form of the Texas Two-Step. Instead,
it's a $244 billion federal program aimed at funding
critical transportation projects in the country.
Signed into federal law after four years of work,
the program will introduce new programs and refines
existing programs. More
information is provided courtesy of the Federal
Meanwhile, Burbank Mayor Jef Vander Borght has decided
to kill a plan that would have changed Chandler
from twin two-way streets to two one-way streets
going opposite directions on each side of a bike
path, calming the nerves of residents. The Los Angeles
Department of Transportation sharply
criticized an analysis by the federal government
on how a new FBI headquarters in Westwood would
affect traffic on the Westside. To boot, Lawndale
officials are resorting to a novel way of attaining
more parking spaces on its streets: Doing
away with excessive red-painted curbs.
Thursday, May 18, is Bike to Work Day, and employees
are encouraged to leave the car at home take a bike
to work. Pasadena is more
than prepared for the date, as the city embarked
on building a bikeway network currently spanning
more than 50 miles, connecting residents to schools
and transit facilities such as the Metro Gold Line.
Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez shares
with readers his bicycle travails and bike
transportation challenges in the City of Angels.
With regards to smart growth, Long Beach housing
advocates are fighting
for more low-income housing to supplement a
future transit-oriented development at Long Beach
Bl. and First Street, next to the Metro Blue Line.
Passengers at Ontario
Airport wish to have a cell-phone
waiting lot, where drivers can park free for
a short while, either call passengers arriving at
the airport or wait until they are called, and pull
into the airport to pick up the passengers. A similar
concept has existed at LAX since 2004, but no plans
exist to bring it to Ontario. Meanwhile, Bob Hope
Airport is experiencing a parking
shortage, to the point where they are looking
towards Van Nuys to find parking space.
For your entertainment: Three would-be bandits
were videotaped as they tried to break into a Metrolink
ticket vending machine… and walked away with
no cash for their efforts. A Los Angeles boy
who posted a photograph of himself tagging a Metro
bus on a popular website was arrested
for suspicion of vandalism. Finally, bad-boy Stefan
Eriksson was newly charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run
when it was learned that a Porsche Cayenne in his
into a SUV near his home last January. Columnist
Chris Lee gives a summary of the events related
to the unusual case of the totaled Ferrari Enzo
and aptly gives it the name "
Here is a list of other recent developments:
May 3: The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport
approved a plan to rehabilitate the two runways
at Bob Hope Airport. The project will start this
summer and is not expected to affect airport operations.
San Bernardino Omnitrans
a site for a future transit center to house
local and enhanced bus service as well as future
trains. Omnitrans will now begin buying the land
required. The high-tech bus line, dubbed SbX, is
projected to begin service in 2010. If no delays
occur, the transit center may begin operations in
May 6: Transit Coalition Communications Director
Numan Parada joined SO.CA.TA
to bring transportation awareness at Fullerton Railroad
Days, where an estimated 40,000
families and rail fans came to see model railroads,
real-life rail cars and other railroad paraphernalia.
Copies of The Transit Coalition newsletter Moving
Southern California, as well as other transit
advocacy materials, were distributed to attendees.
When those were exhausted, attendees were directed
to our website and the weekly eNewsletter. Of note
was the unseasonably large LEGO train set built
by the Irvine-based Southern
California Lego Train Club.
Upcoming Events: Southern
California Transit Advocates: Saturday, May
13, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill
St., Los Angeles.
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday,
May 10, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center, Sunset
Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
MagLev Task Force: Thursday, May 11, 11:00 a.m.
SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los
(Metrolink) Committees and Board Meeting: Friday,
May 12, 10 a.m. San Bernardino Conference Room,
SCAG Building, 12th Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los
VOTE meeting: Monday, May 15. Transit Coalition
Executive Director Bart Reed will address attendees
on current transit matters in the San Fernando Valley.
Goods Movement Task Force: Wednesday, May 17,
9 a.m., SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor,
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday,
May 18, Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
Light Rail Construction Authority Community
Open House 2: Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Culver City, 4117
Overland Ave. Free parking is available at this
Light Rail Construction Authority Community
Open House 3: Tuesday, May 23, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Cafeteria
(Building H), 400 W. Washington Blvd. The campus
is easily accessible from the Metro Blue Line. Limited
free parking is available on the roof of Building
F, accessible from 21st and Grand.
3rd Annual Inner City 21 and 5-Mile Bike Tour Festival
and Carnival: Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Jesse
Owens Park at Century Blvd. and Western Av. Proceeds
from the event will go to local middle and high
schools to foster after-school sports- and physical-education-related
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, May 23
- 6:47 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe The Original,
1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA 90012. (
Map.) We hope to see you there!
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We welcome your thoughts
and comments on our new electronic newsletter. Please
Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications Director
About The Transit Coalition:
The Transit Coalition is a 501[c](3) non-profit
whose goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility
in Southern California by mobilizing citizens to
press for sensible public policy to grow our bus
and rail network.
As a grass roots group, we depend upon your contributions
to allow us to pursue our important work. Add yourself to our mailing list and
please donate to help us grow.
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