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.
Announcement: Next Tuesday is our Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting. See Upcoming Events below
Los Angeles City Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and
Greg Smith are backing a $1.5
billion bond measure to rehabilitate streets
across the city. The proposal has the backing of
five members in the City Council. Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa, who is pursuing his own road-repair
funding plan, had no opinion on the matter. Some
the proposal due to the burden it might bring on
taxpayers, the belief that taxpayers
are already paying for road repairs and the
concern that alley and sidewalk
repair are not included. The motion will be
brought to the City Council next week.
Villaraigosa himself is vouching for Palmdale Airport
as a viable part of a regional airport system. The
mayor recently gave
his support to a coalition of officials from
L.A. County, Los
Angeles World Airports and the City of Palmdale
in applying for federal funds to bring air service
back to Palmdale. Villaraigosa is encouraging organizations
and individuals to drum
up support by writing to U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Norman Mineta. The proposal should dissuade attention
from LAX woes, which were cheerfully
outlined by London Times correspondent
and self-professed "LAX geek" Chris Ayres.
Nearby, Littlerock residents are actively
advocating Caltrans to improve a section of
State Highway Route 138 that runs through their
community without paving over their longstanding
a fare hike to keep up with rising operations
costs. The agency has a $150 million structural
deficit for the next fiscal year. Naturally, the
Los Angeles Daily News blames
the shortfall on years of "mismanagement"
which includes building a "subway to nowhere"
(despite logging 138,000 boardings in March, rivaling
subway lines in New York) and pushing for a "hare-brained"
subway down Wilshire Boulevard. One option the Authority
is exploring is to lease
floors at the Metro Gateway Headquarters to
businesses searching for office space. The Bus Riders
Union took advantage of that fare adjustment notion
for an extension of the Consent Decree with
hopes that such would prevent an actual fare increase.
Not three years before Metrolink
trains roll into Perris and already there is opposition.
Residents near the UC Riverside campus are concerned
that the new service will bring in more noise, pollution
and vibrations on top of existing freight traffic.
As a result, the community is asking the Riverside
County Transportation Commission to consider a train
station in unincorporated Highgrove instead of two
stations one mile apart at the university. The Perris
Valley line is still under environmental review.
Meanwhile, Metrolink recently launched
a second study for introduction of commuter rail
service to Redlands.
recent article purports that despite an increase
in HOV lanes across the country, recent census data
reveals that carpooling has decreased by 9.8%. However,
this probably will not stop plans to build
carpool lanes on the 60 Freeway. The $55 million
project will close the final gap of carpool lanes
on the freeway in Riverside County. Meanwhile, the
County Transportation Authority is balking at
the notion of joining the recently created Riverside
Orange Corridor Authority and will consider creating
its own agency, which would include the Transportation
Corridor Agency, which operates the Orange County
toll roads, and the Riverside
County Transportation Commission.
The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments expressed
their disappointment with the state and federal
government, who have yet to funnel funds to help
build additional sidings on the Union Pacific Coast
Line, the source of frequent delays for Pacific
Surfliner and Coast Starlight trains.
The Council was ready to offer $250,000 as a match
for as much as $10 million in state and federal
funds. The line features antiquated sidings that
are distantly spaced between each other and too
short for freight trains.
Further south, plans to bring regular rail
service to Palm Springs moves along, with the
Riverside County Transportation Commission approving
a resolution to support the route last Wednesday.
Efforts have been largely hampered by the realities
of congestion on the Union Pacific Sunset Route,
which passes near the area.
Heading back north, officials at BART
and the Amtrak
Capitol Corridor are considering testing
Wi-Fi internet service on their trains.
The City of Ventura is moving forward with a plan
a notably beaten bike path at Surfer's Point,
hopeful that the California Coastal Commission will
approve the plans this summer. The city has been
working with state park officials and the Ventura
County Fair Board on ownership issues. The decade-old
plan has garnered the approval of local elected
leaders, outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists
alike, although questions remain. In Redlands, volunteers
are close to turning a portion of an abandoned rail
line into a multi-purpose
On the smart growth front, a new mixed-use
project in Orange County was approved. Urban
Pacific Builders and the City of Garden Grove negotiated
an agreement to redevelop 15 acres of land and install
800 housing units as part of the $300 million project.
Growth Online asks why affordable housing remains
elusive even with current efforts.
Oy vey: Prosecutors arrested
Swedish bad-boy Stefan Eriksson today, alleging
he was alone behind the wheel and legally drunk
when he crashed a stolen Enzo Ferrari at 162 miles
an hour in Malibu last February. As a convicted
felon in Sweden (on counterfeiting and drug charges),
he's also on the hook for carrying a gun illegally.
No word if they charged him for calling out sheriff's
deputies to comb the hills for the mystery man named
Dietrich who Eriksson first said had been driving
the car; also no word on the investigation into
the "homeland security" officers who interviewed
Eriksson on the side of Pacific Coast Highway that
Another Announcement: Los Angeles City Councilmember
Bill Rosendahl invites you to attend a public meeting
to discuss alternatives and proposals in an ongoing
reevaluation of the LAX Master Plan. Participants
in previous meetings, including
Rosendahl himself, have called for an extension
of the Green Line and a people mover into the airport
area a priority. Transit Coalition President Kenneth
Alpern expressed the need to extend the Green Line
further north to Santa Monica via Lincoln Boulevard
(State Highway Route 1). View
this notice for more details.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
April 10: The Los Angeles Daily News
on the travails of an elderly woman who is fighting
a ticket for jaywalking in Sunland. Mayvis Coyle
was cited last February for crossing busy Foothill
Boulevard and obstructing traffic, although Coyle
claims that the light was green for her when she
started her walk across the street. The incident
has attracted worldwide
attention as individuals and media outlets contacted
City Hall to express disdain to the LAPD officer
who wrote the ticket. How
bad has it become? Even the City of San Fernando
Police Department is annoyed, if only because people
mistakenly thought they were involved, to the point
that the Department had to issue a press release
correcting the matter. The Daily News subsequently
published an editorial
expressing disbelief at the matter. Los Angeles
Times columnist Steve Lopez promises to support
every step of the way."
April 11: Arcadia residents voted
to pay for a grade separation of the future Foothill
Gold Line at Santa Anita Avenue. 72% of voters
approved the bond measure. The San Gabriel Valley
Tribune noted that the unusually
high turnout was due to interest in the popular
bond measure and a heated city council race revolving
around eminent domain concerns.
April 13: Arthur Winston, the famed employee
who maintained buses and trains at Metro and its
predecessor agencies for 72 years and retired last
in his sleep at the age of 100. Winston was
revered for his steadfast reliability, strong work
ethic and a positive outlook on life through misfortunes
and social changes. Metro released a statement
expressing sadness at the news and celebrating his
long life. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Winston is survived by his brother, North Winston,
98, his great-granddaughter Brandii Wright, 29,
and his great-great grandson, Kenny, age 4. The
Transit Coalition sends their condolences to their
family, knowing that his unparalleled wisdom will
be sorely missed.
Transit Coalition Executive Director Bart Reed and
RailPAC President Paul Dyson attended the SCAG MagLev
Task force meeting. A report
on the meeting is now available.
Departures: Caitlin Liu has left the LA
Times transportation beat and will be moving
to New York. Lisa Mascaro, staff writer for the
News on transit news, will leave for Washington,
D.C. soon. The Transit Coalition wishes them the
best in their new endeavors.
Upcoming Events: SFV
Economic Alliance Livable Communities Council:
Tuesday, April 18, 8 a.m., Economic Alliance Office,
Boeckmann-Fleming-Gelb Board Room, 5121 Van Nuys
Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.
Goods Movement Task Force: Wednesday, April
19, 9 a.m., SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th
floor, Los Angeles.
Master Plan Scoping Meetings: Wednesday, April
19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m.
to 12 noon, Flight Path Learning Center, Imperial
Terminal, 6661 Imperial Hwy., Los Angeles.
Highway Route 2 Terminus Scoping Meetings: Wednesday,
April 19, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Metro Gateway Headquarters,
Windsor Room, 15th floor; and Thursday, April 20,
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Barlow Hospital, Williams Hall,
2000 Stadium Way, Elysian Park, L.A.
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, April 19 and
Thursday, April 20, Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
and Programming Committee, Wednesday, April
19, 1 p.m.
and Budget Committee, Wednesday, April 19, 2:30
Management & Audit Committee, Thursday,
April 21, 9 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, April 21, 10:30 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, April 21, 12 noon. (The
Pasadena Star-News reports
that the committee will discuss a plan to install
shuttle service to Dodger Stadium during the homestand.)
(Metrolink) Committees and Board Meeting: Friday,
April 21, 10 a.m. San Bernardino Conference Room,
SCAG Building, 12th Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, April 25
- 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!
Thursday, April 27 Wednesday,
May 3, 9:30 a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
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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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