Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 25
to an 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.
the Gap: Next Tuesday is our monthly Transit Coalition dinner
meeting. See Upcoming Events
below for details.
high speed rail is still under the guillotine! Although the state
Legislature restored some funding for the High Speed Rail Authority during the
budget process, the budget is now in a conference committee where last-minute
changes are possible. A line-item veto by the governor also remains a threat.
Please keep the pressure on the governor's office
as well as your state
Senator and Assemblymember, expressing your support for full funding of this
critically important project. If possible, you can also come to a BayRail Alliance
meeting in San Jose to
learn about the project and what is necessary to keep it alive. See Upcoming Events
below for details. Still not convinced on its merits? Check out this recently
completed study on the Ohio Rail Hub, which features elements of high speed
Despite an increase in fuel imports, gas prices will stay
high for the duration of summer. At a recent U.S. Senate hearing, energy officials
blamed refinery problems, as opposed to maintenance, for the strained supplies.
is scrambling to meet reduced-emissions deadlines as fast as it can,
though many acknowledge it
is not enough. State air quality regulators recently voted to increase
the ethanol content in fuel. Congress legislators are working to stop
tax brakes for oil companies and reinvest the new money in renewable fuels,
while other legislators abandoned
efforts to block states from placing their own emissions standards.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislators continue
to wrangle over the fate of high speed rail in California
. Schwarzenegger proposed giving only enough funds to keep the offices
of the California High Speed Rail Authority Open. The governor says he is a proponent
of HSR, but wants private investors to supplement the $10 billion in public bonds,
which requires a public vote that he wishes to postpone indefinitely. After the
congressional delegation urged him to keep HSR on the table, Schwarzenegger retaliated
by asking them to fight for federal funds to build it.
Also, a recent
op-ed makes a case for sea-borne
public transit along the Southern California
coast. BART voted to increase
night and weekend service, against expectations that the state will not fund
it. The Los Angeles
Downtown News gave
praise to the ArtWalk shuttle that transported art lovers around the event.
Given the lack of transit projects in the pipeline, developers are building
transit-oriented development where
there is no transit. Rebranded as "transit-ready developments",
these projects are built at suburban communities that desire a more urban feel.
However, such projects can cause trouble in particular ways. A project in Rolling
Hills Estate that relied on these elements was recently voted
down after residents complained of the additional traffic it would bring.
Tarzana residents will not have to worry about such. Their Neighborhood Council
recently proposed building
a TOD at the Reseda Metro Orange Line station. Also, a public meeting to discuss
TOD at the Universal City Metro Red Line station will be held in Van Nuys on Monday,
June 25. See Upcoming Events for more information.
and Join The Transit Coalition : Want
to improve transportation in Southern California?
Would you like to keep informed on what is happening in the transportation scene?
Then please donate and join The Transit Coalition. A monthly subscription to Moving
Southern California comes with your membership. Visit our Donations page
to explore other options. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
you drive a car that's 104
inches long? The two-seater smart fortwo is half the
size of a typical SUV and in turn relies on a reinforced steel cage, four air
bags and anti-lock brakes as protection. The cars are very popular in Europe
, largely because of their fuel economy, but manufacturer Mercedes-Benz had to
retool the car to suit American drivers reluctant to give up roomier cars.
residents are itching
to try out the last segment of the 210 Freeway. Even though its grand opening
is still months away, you can come down and walk on the freeway at a ribbon-cutting
event this Saturday, June 23. See Upcoming Events below for more information.
On the other end of the spectrum, the price tag to redo Interstate 15 through
northern San Diego
County may increase
to $1.29 billion, according to officials.
is brewing over the expansion of the 405 Freeway in Brentwood.
Angry residents are mobilizing to fight what they see as wanton property acquisition
and community desecration. Particular anger goes to a proposal to widen each lanes
to the federal standard of 12 feet, which would require 30 additional residential
Meanwhile, prices at selected off-ramps on Orange
County toll roads will rise
on July 2. Inland Empire officials are urging
the state to release
Proposition 1B funds quickly to start work on critical projects in their area.
parking space at the Del Mar Metro Gold Line station and thus increase public
parking for Old Town Pasadena patrons. Santa Clarita moves to remove
billboards along major thoroughfares.
to hamper commerce in Southern California.
Efforts to increase output at the ports have been controversial. Residents fear
it would increase traffic on the worn 710 Freeway, while environmentalists remain
dissatisfied with proposed mitigation measures. The Los Angeles Daily News
editorial board hopes that this threat will give politicos the
impetus to fight for mobility improvements, if only to safeguard local jobs
Down south, interest
wanes on a megaport in Baja California
. Private parties that once vouched for a new port in Punta Colonet
now say they are no longer interested. Lack of federal participation also proved
fatal to the proposal. Now there is concern that, without any additional capacity
elsewhere, local ports will be needlessly overwhelmed with increased cargo.
The fight for and against runway reconstruction at LAX continues.
A Los Angeles city
panel voted to conduct
more studies on moving the northern runway 340 feet north, citing safety concerns.
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl believes that pilot error is a greater concern, to
which the airport should look into new guiding technologies. Still, Westchester
residents are gearing
up for a fight to stop what they believe is an undue expansion of the airport.
The issue threatens to hurt
the credibility of Rosendahl, who came into office promising to stop expansion
but has recently suffered a string of setbacks in other political matters.
In our human interest section,
the Orange County Register published a short
interview of Dennis Disinger, bus driver for the Orange County Transportation
Authority. Disinger has driven buses for 33 years without a single accident.
RailPAC President Paul Dyson offers
updates on intercity rail, including progress on future
Coast Daylight service between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the "
final draft" of the LOSSAN Corridor Strategic Business Plan, and hybrid
technology on diesel locomotives and diesel multiple units (DMUs).
Also, Bombardier launched a new educational website extolling the virtues
and benefits of rail transport, at www.theclimateisrightfortrains.com.
is a list of other recent developments:
13 : The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics showing
that 77% of American commuters continue to drive alone to work. Mass transit moves
4.7% of commuters, while carpooling accounts for 10.7%. 74% of Los
Angeles residents drive
to work alone, while 10.3% of commuters in Los
Angeles use public transportation. However, Central
Valley cities rate highly when it comes to carpooling and telecommuting. The
Census Bureau website provides additional
: The Los Angeles World Airports inaugurated
LAX FlyAway service from Westwood. Specifically, the bus stop is located on university
property on Kinross Ave.
just north of Wilshire
Blvd. and one block west of Gayley
Ave. adjacent to UCLA Parking Structure 32. Buses for
the third FlyAway line depart every 30 minutes to the airport for $4 one-way.
However, passengers can ride at no cost from June 14 to June 30.
June 15 : A federal judge ruled that an increase in terminal
rent fees at LAX was unfair
and discriminatory towards low-fare airlines. The judge also acknowledged
that some of the increases were justified to keep up with expenses. Nevertheless,
Los Angeles World Airports must refund some of the fees. The airlines expressed
that this may encourage a new round of talks regarding rent fees.
Announcement : The Topanga
Beach Bus will start service on Monday, June 25, offering a transit connection
to the beach via Topanga Canyon
Blvd. (State Highway Route 27). This year, the seasonal
bus line will also
serve the Warner Center Metro Orange Line station. Adult fare is 50 cents
each way. Also, the Big Blue Bus will soon launch MiniBlue
shuttle service in Santa Monica
Upcoming Events: Metro
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21, Board Room,
Metro Headquarters, One Gateway
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
Angeles . (
and Programming Committee, Wednesday, June 20, 12 noon.
and Budget Committee and Public
Hearing on FY 08 Proposed Budget, Wednesday, June 20, 2:30 p.m.
Management and Audit Committee, Thursday, June 21, 9 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, June 21, 10:30 a.m. CANCELLED.
Committee, Thursday, June 21, 12 noon.
Meeting: Thursday, June 21 and 26, 6:30 p.m., Poor House Bistro, 91 S. Autumn
St., San Jose (two
blocks from San Jos e Diridon station).
Special Board Meeting on Call for Projects: Wednesday, June 20, 1 p.m., Board
Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting: Monday, June 25 and July 9,
9 a.m., Board Hearing Room, 600
Main St. , Orange .
Universal City Metro Red Line Station TOD Scoping Meeting: Monday,
July 25, 6:30 p.m., Marvin
Center , 6262
Van Nuys Blvd. , Van Nuys. Hosted by Thomas Properties
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, June 26
- 7 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!
California High Speed Rail Authority Meeting: Wednesday, June 27,
10 a.m., San Mateo County Transit District Board Room, 1250
San Carlos Ave. , San Carlos.
Metro Board Meeting:
Monday, June 28, 9:30 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles
Exposition Metro Line Construction
Authority: Thursday, July 5, 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, July 5, 7:30 p.m.
Angeles Chapter office, 3435 Wilshire
Blvd, Suite 320 , Los Angeles .
SCAG MagLev Task Force:
Thursday, August 9, 10:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818
W. Seventh St. , 12th floor, Los
Angeles. June and July meetings cancelled.
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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
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