Tuesday, April 23, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 17
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.
W. Ocean Blvd. , Long Beach .
The City Council will consider authorizing the city to prepare
a final design, along with a financing plan and space allocation details,
for the terminal improvement project for Long
Beach Airport .
Are You Game?: This Tuesday is our monthly Transit Coalition dinner
meeting, featuring Metro Rail Deputy Executive Officer Melvin Clark. See Upcoming
Events below for details.
Still Threatened: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
continues to press for a shift of "spillover" funds from excess gas
tax revenues to the state general fund. The Los Angeles Times printed an
that suggested doing away with the "Spillover" account, believing that
a gas tax raise could supplant it. Join us in fighting these cuts by contacting
key elected officials and voicing your concerns. For those unfamiliar with
the fight, you can read an explanation
and benefits of the Spillover account courtesy of Cal-PIRG.
Thursday, May 24 as the date for a public hearing on fare
increases, which the Metro Board will attend. This has raised the ire of Bus
Riders Union leader Eric Mann, who blames
the increase on rail projects. The Los Angeles Times voiced their concern
in an editorial,
believing such a draconian raise would bring about another costly consent decree.
Meanwhile, Burbank Transit tries to cope with surging
demand for bus service to the North Hollywood Red Line station.
Dan Walters took
exception to the North Coast Rail
Authority, which has garnered numerous public subsidies while not actually
improving the tracks or launching any sort of passenger or freight service. (You
can view their recently updated Strategic
Plan.) Meanwhile, the state Legislative Audit Committee took a look at the
process of grade separation approvals. Letters
to the Times came out against attempts by the state Public Utilities Commission
to review grade crossings on the future Expo Line, a move that threatens to delay
its opening according to officials.
valet services are growing in California
. The Long Beach Bikestation, which is next to the Blue Line Transit
Mall station, opened in 1996. Since then, similar services have opened in San
Francisco , Santa Barbara and Berkeley
. Pasadena will soon have one next
to a Gold Line stop, while Santa Monica
features a valet service during its farmers market. Many include bike
repair shops and offer classes for riders.
To resolve the resulting traffic
crisis at Dodger Stadium, operators opened
the fifth parking gate, which leads traffic onto Scott
Avenue towards Glendale
Boulevard and State Highway Route 2. The gate was closed
by then-owner Peter O'Malley in 1996 amid complaints from neighbors. Residents
are leery of the "pilot program", which would open the gate as an
exit when attendance reaches 40,000 or more. This is a stark
contrast to other baseball parks, in particular newer ones, where public transportation
plays a meaningful and important role.
SUVs in recent years have served
as scapegoats for a wide array of maladies, particularly when it comes to fuel
consumption. However, concern is growing on how these vehicles may deteriorate
roads on account of their weight. Some
of the most popular models weigh well past 6,000 pounds and are in excess of what
some roads can tolerate. A Hummer may weigh as much as 8,600 pounds. For comparison,
the Pasadena Freeway (State Highway Route 110) prohibits vehicles in excess of
6,000 lbs. The Caltrans website provides a
list of truck routes and weight limits on state highways.
of an unseasonably dry winter, concern grows that Caltrans is not doing enough
brush next to its freeways. Fire inspectors from the City of Los
Angeles have repeatedly asked the agency to take care of
overgrown brush along its properties. Caltrans counters that it must also deal
with other concerns, such as water runoff and erosion.
Even as its northern
neighbor touts toll roads as the wave of the future, Mexico
is picking up the pieces of its fast
crumbling toll road network. Throughout the 90s, the federal government has
had to bail out two dozen privatized highways to the tune of $14 billion. Worse
yet, most of the highways were built on the fly and with shoddy materials. Many
of the operators walked away from maintaining the highways upon the end of their
short concessions, leaving behind a deteriorated plant.
In other road
related news, the San Bernardino Associated Governments will soon complete signal
synchronization on streets paralleling Interstate 10 and the 60 Freeway. The
Los Angeles Downtown News editorialized
their desire to see improvements for the Sixth
Street cascading ramps that spill traffic from the
110 Freeway onto Downtown L.A. streets. Meanwhile, Dear Abby takes a shot against
inattentive drivers who eat
hamburgers while steering with their elbows. In Washington
state, lawmakers are trying to put a stop at driving
while texting on cell phones. The L.A. Times expressed initial
approval of further studies for a proposal to turn Olympic and Pico Blvds.
into one-way streets.
Onto airports, LAX is moving forward with several
upgrades that promise to restore
its position as a world-class travel center. The next executive director for
Los Angeles World Airports would oversee these improvements while also resolve
disputes about concessions, leases, and accommodations for mega-jets. Meanwhile,
the Long Beach City Council may move forward with a plan to upgrade Long
Beach Airport .
See Upcoming Events below for details.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram
that no-votes from two port commissioners on a port container fee should serve
to encourage discussion between lawmakers and commissioners on how to use said
fee to maximum environmental benefit.
In our humor section, "smart
growth" opponents are now claiming that high density development can actually
to your health. Specifically, they charge that many of these developments
are in downtown areas that are surrounded by freeways, a major source of air pollution.
An update on Eastside Gold Line construction is now
Here is a list of other recent developments:
April 17 : The Glendale City Council voted to extend
a contract to operate Glendale Beeline buses for another 15 months. MV Transportation,
who has operated Beeline buses for the last five years, will continue to do so
until June 2008 at a cost of just under $11 million. Some believed the contract
should have been extended for a shorter period of time, since the operator has
not been forthcoming in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
April 22 : Venice and Santa
Monica residents held
a rally at Santa Monica
Airport to protest an increase
in jets using the airport and the ensuing pollution. Members of Concerned Residents
Against Airport Pollution expressed worry that the airport does not have a buffer
zone that could make adjacent homes less vulnerable to plane crashes and noise.
Assemblymember Ted Lieu recently introduced a
bill that would obligate the state to study air pollution from jets using
the airport. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl believes the jets should instead use
Van Nuys Airport or LAX.
23 : The Orange County Transportation Authority approved
an extended Costa Mesa Freeway (State Highway Route 55) from its current end
in Costa Mesa to State Highway Route 1 in Newport
Beach . The move came after decades of lobbying by local
officials to extend the freeway from its current end, a source of frequent bottlenecks
according to leaders. An extension from I-405 to Mesa
Drive opened in 1990, and another, shorter extension
St . opened in the mid 1990s.
Upcoming Events : Long Beach City Council
Meeting: Tuesday, April 24, 5 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall,
Consider attending our monthly
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, April 24 - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at
Philippe The Original, 1001 N.
Alameda St. Los Angeles CA
90012 . Metro Rail Deputy
Executive Officer Melvin Clark will be the speaker. ( Map.)
We hope to see you there!
(Metrolink) Board Meeting: Friday, April 27, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference
Room, SCAG Building
, 12th Floor, 818 W.
Seventh St. , Los Angeles .
Metro Board Meeting: Monday, April 30, 9:30
a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m., Marvin
Center , 6262
Van Nuys Blvd. , Van Nuys.
Exposition Metro Line Construction
Authority : Thursday, May 3,
2:30 p.m., Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
381B, 500 W. Temple St.
, Los Angeles.
Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee: Thursday, May 3,
7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter office, 3435
Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320 , Los Angeles
Westside/Central Governance Council : Wednesday, May 9, 5 p.m., La Cienega
, Sunset Room, 325
S. La Cienega Blvd. , Beverly Hills
Gateway Cities Governance Council : Thursday, May 10, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240
Firestone Blvd. , Downey .
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, May 11, 9.30 a.m., Carson
Community Center , 801
E. Carson St. , Carson .
SCRRA (Metrolink) Committee Meetings: Friday,
May 11, 10 a.m., SCRRA Offices, 700
S. Flower St. , 26th floor, Los
Southern California Transit Advocates: Saturday,
May 12, 1 p.m., Angelus
Plaza , Rm. 422, 255
S. Hill St. , Los Angeles .
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting: Monday, May 14, 9 a.m., Board
Hearing Room, 600 Main St.
, Orange .
Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!
Get the Print Edition of Moving Southern California, our monthly newsletter.
Request a sample copy.
welcome your thoughts and comments on our new electronic newsletter. Please write
Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications
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.
Visit our Discussion Board
for the latest dialogue on transit.