Monday, July 23, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 30
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.
MEETING: State legislators axed
all of the $1.3 billion from the Spillover that would have gone towards public
transportation operations. After lengthy negotiations, the State Assembly voted
to move the $1.3 billion towards unrelated programs, after previously setting
aside $550 million for transit. Also, the new budget cut funding for high speed
rail from a previously negotiated $55 million to a useless $15 million
, which was strongly
opposed by county
Supervisor Mike Antonovich.
The budget will be debated
at the state Senate this week, where more
cuts might occur. The Transit Coalition monthly meeting to be held this Tuesday
will discuss strategies that can restore these vital transportation funds. See
Upcoming Events below for details.
No one involved with public transportation
is happy with the recent shenanigans at the State Capitol. The Los Angeles
discontent at the "bait and switch" tactics employed during the
recent budget negotiations. Subsequent letters to the Los Angeles Times expressed
at the development. The Los Angeles Daily News editorialized
its contempt towards tax breaks for the film industry at the expense of mass
transit. Transit Coalition President Kenneth S. Alpern also had nothing
nice to say about this duplicity.
You Can Help: You can still call your state Senator and express
your desire to see all of the Spillover directed to public transit operations.
The following members are important to contact: Don Perata 916-651-4009 Sac. District
510-286-1333; Speaker Fabian Núñez 916-319-2046, District 213-620-4646; Alex Padilla
916-651-4020, District 818-901-5588; Bob Margett 916-651-4029, District
626-914-5046; Alan Lowenthal 916-651-4027, District 562-495-4766; Jeff Denham
916-651-4012, District 209-726-5495; Bob Dutton 916-651-4031; Dave Cogdill 916-651-4014,
District 209-599-8540; Gil Cedillo 916-651-4022, District 213-612-9566.
Is the San Fernando Valley ready to house the
region's largest mall? Westfield plans to
build a new
mega-mall that would bridge its existing Topanga and Promenade malls in Warner
Center . An environmental
assessment for the project was filed last week. Traffic will be a major
concern for the project. Transit Coalition Executive Director Bart Reed suggested
that a peoplemover
could connect the project with the Orange Line and other Warner
Center points of interest.
The Daily News published an editorial that emphasized the
need to mitigate traffic for the project.
In absence of a "Subway
to the Sea", some folks doled out ostensibly well-meaning, if puerile, ideas
on how to improve transportation along Wilshire Blvd. One contributor to the Times
cars on Wilshire altogether and bringing the subway out of the ground and
onto the street. Monorails
and simply giving up also feature prominently as solutions.
The OnTrac debacle has yet to end for Placentia
. A briefing between state Assemblymember Todd Spitzer and Caltrans
officials revealed that the city may owe
millions to the state transportation department. Placentia
would teeter the brink of bankruptcy should Caltrans ask for a lump
sum repayment. Meanwhile, Orange
County bus drivers are back
at work after a weeklong strike.
Elsewhere, Sacramento Regional transit
will test regenerative
braking on its light rail trains. The technology sends energy used to decelerate
trains, which is otherwise lost in the form of heat, back to the electrical grid.
Also in Sacramento ,
the leader of an important planning commission is pursuing more pedestrian-
and transit-friendly growth in the region. San
Diego County residents
are demanding more
Coaster service as part of an ongoing transportation plan. SO.CA.TA Public/Legislative
Affairs Director Kym Richards disseminates
why the Bus Riders Union failed to stop fare increases. The GreenLAGirl blog also
expressed annoyance at the inflexible
anti-rail stance of the BRU.
light of a growing population, what should California
look like in 2020? Ventura City Manager Rick Cole opined
how transit should be the centerpiece in turning development away from disconnected
suburban patterns. Cole acknowledged that the next generation of city dwellers
may have to take the lead in such changes, since much of the baby boomer generation
is entrenched with the suburban way of life. Urban life like the one somewhat
contemplated by Cole can be seen in Hollywood
, where mixed
use development is flourishing.
you for your donations! We would like
to express our gratitude for your donations, which help us prepare materials and
educate elected officials, community activists and business leaders on transportation
issues. If you have not done so yet, you can still donate and join The Transit Coalition. A monthly subscription to Moving
Southern California comes with your membership. Visit our new and improved
to explore other options. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Caltrans announced tomorrow as the opening
day of the final segment of the 210 Freeway in Rialto
. While the new and completed freeway promises to bring a speedy alternative
to the parallel 10 Freeway, some in the San
Gabriel Valley are
concerned that it will bring
new traffic onto an already burdened 210 through their communities.
developments have enveloped the road world. Ramps connecting Ventura
Blvd. with The 405 and 101 Freeways will be opened
in late August or early September, while Foothill Blvd. and Sierra
Hwy. , site of 25 deaths by car accidents this year,
will get a much-needed traffic signal. Caltrans has committed $150 million to
install carpool lanes on the 101 Freeway between Ventura
and Santa Barbara
Counties . Also, the Los
Angeles Dodgers rolled out a new
communications facility that intends to update drivers on stadium traffic.
However, it does not bode well for crosswalks
near Los Angeles schools, where 33 dangerous intersections have yet to be
acts of road rage during construction are forcing Caltrans to entirely close
a portion of State Highway Route 138 in the Victor
Valley . Santa
demands made by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl to mitigate
traffic resulting from a future reconstruction of the California Incline.
In our human interest section, we go back to Sacramento
, home of the California
Museum . Avid railroad buff
Paul Hammond was named the new
museum director last month. Hammond
comes from a family of transportation experts, including his father,
who worked in the Apollo program.
Plug : The Thunderhead Alliance
is an organization dedicated to providing bicycle and pedestrian advocates the
tools necessary to carry out and win campaigns. The Thunderhead
Training seminar, an intense curriculum on how to effectively fight for improvements,
is coming to Los Angeles
on August 24-26. Here, you can learn from expert coaches and each
other through Thunderhead's proven curriculum on choosing, directing, and winning
campaigns and to promote complete streets, where walking and bicycling are safe
and commonplace. You can view
the schedule or register
for the event (the latter form features registration fee information).
Here is a list of other recent developments:
9 : The San Fernando Valley Business Journal published
piece by Transit Coalition Executive Director Bart Reed, blasting Metro bus
cuts that have harmed the commutes of Valley employees.
19 : Virgin America
announced the launch of five
round trip flights between LAX and San Francisco International Airport, starting
August 8. For a low cost carrier, the airline will fly new Airbus A319 and A320
planes with economy and first-class seating. In the economy section, each leather
seat will be equipped with 9-inch video screens offering on-demand movies, and
18 television channels including ESPN and CNN, and video games.
New York State
lawmakers struck a deal with New York
City leaders that would create
a commission on congestion pricing. This means that NYC will stay in line
to receive up to $500 million of federal grants for the concept. The compromise
fruit of several missteps by the city administration in outright implementing
a congestion charge.
22 : South
Pasadena hosted its first clean-air
car show and film festival. More than 20 alternative energy vehicles will
be on display, including a solar-powered Toyota Prius and a natural-gas powered
Honda Civic, a fuel-cell powered Honda FCHX2, and an electric-powered ZAP car.
Of note is the emerging plug-in hybrid technology, where a recent study concluded
that these vehicles would reduce greenhouse emissions without
overloading the electrical grid.
Events : Please
attend our Emergency Transit Coalition
Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, July 24 -
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!
Orange Line Canoga Transportation Corridor Meetings:
Thursday, July 26, 7 p.m., Chatsworth
High School , 10027
Lurline Ave. , Chatsworth.
Monday, July 30, 7 p.m., New Academy of Canoga
Park , 21425
Cohasset St . , Canoga
Board Meeting : Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
(Metrolink) Board Meeting: Friday, July 27, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference
Room, SCAG Building
, 12th Floor, 818 W.
Seventh St. , Los Angeles .
Exposition Metro Line Construction
Authority : Thursday,
August 2, 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, August 2, 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
Orange County Transportation Authority Board Meeting: Monday, August
13, 9 a.m., Board Hearing Room, 600 Main St.
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The Transit Coalition:
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whose goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility in Southern California
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