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.
that $2.2 billion of the infrastructure bond money be set
aside for Los Angeles area highway projects. In the San Francisco Bay Area,
the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is also
preparing a final list of highway projects it wants to build. San Bernardino
County transportation officials also prepared their wish list of projects that
Caltrans will review, but some raised
alarm at how the projects were selected. Politicos in the high desert areas
were particularly concerned that the High Desert Corridor between the Antelope
Valley and Victorville were left
out of the list. Riverside County transportation officials continue to tout
ten-year plan to reduce traffic congestion, which could be funded through
Meanwhile, the Metro Board expressed its disappointment
with Caltrans when the former reluctantly approved $169 million to cover cost
increases on various highway projects. In the City of Los Angeles, councilmember
Bill Rosendahl announced a proposal to install immediate
and practical street improvements to the Westside, in addition to projects
such as a Green Line extension down Lincoln Blvd. The proposal will also call
for traffic master plans on certain streets.
Long before a single rail
is laid for a Gold Line extension to Azusa, Ontario is jockeying
for a spot on the Gold Line Authority Board. Ontario is already working with
other cities along the future light rail line and supporting their efforts to
bring urban rail into Montclair. Moreover, Ontario officials hope that the Gold
Line will one day end at the Ontario International Airport. An editorial
responding to the development gave kudos to Ontario for their efforts. Bob Huddy
of Pasadena dispels
myths regarding fledgling ridership on the existing Gold Line in a letter
to the Pasadena Star News.
A bit further to the east, San Bernardino
County officials are working with relevant cities to select possible
stations for future passenger rail service to Redlands. The selections form
part of a proposal that the San Bernardino Associated Governments will receive
in March 2007.
New technologies and improvements are making transit use
easier in Los Angeles. The Orange County Transportation
Authority (OCTA) now offers its bus
trip planning information on Google Transit.
Burbank will also
offer bus information on the emerging website, which offers satellite maps
and bus departure times. Meanwhile, thanks to Measure M in Orange County, Metrolink
lines in the area will soon boast of new
amenities, "quiet zones" and even a new station in Placentia. Most
of these projects are moving
forward as ridership on Metrolink lines increases.
To the north,
BART officials reversed
a three-month-old decision to allow alcohol ads in trains and stations.
Is security improving on Metro buses and trains? Not
really, according to an article in Pasadena Weekly. Staff writers Carl
Kozlowski and Heather Petrey shared their harrowing experiences while reproving
a security force that they believe is more interested in citing passengers than
protecting them against crimes. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies will continue
to patrol Metrolink trains through a $7.2 million contract approved on Tuesday,
December 5, while disregarding the fact that deputies often leave the county proper
when patrolling trains.
Moorpark mayor Patrick Hunter is touting his
idea to consolidate the Ventura Council of Governments and the Ventura County
Transportation into one agency. The mayor outlined
his vision in an op-ed to the Ventura County Star. Although such a
merger may not be possible in the near future (the Council of Governments Board
against the merger), officials agreed to continue working together on land
use and transportation issues.
As Chicago makes plans for a 500-mile
network of bike paths, cities across the nation ponder plans to make
their cities more bike-friendly. One of the biggest challenges is that cities
often take out bike-oriented infrastructure, such as dedicated bike lanes on streets,
just years after being installed. Today, several unlikely cities such as Phoenix
and New York City are either creating or planning bike lanes, usually as a response
to health concerns, while transit-friendly cities like San Francisco and Boston
have fallen by the wayside.
For those who love local history, the Los
Angeles Times published a report on the origins
of Los Angeles street names. You might be surprised to learn of streets not
named after the ones you think. For those unfamiliar with the tumultuous past
and the promising future of rail in Los Angeles, look no further than The Economist
to give you a quick
Here is a list of other recent developments:
4: Engineers at the Port of Long Beach outlined $1.3
billion rail plan that would handle future freight growth. Currently, the
port moves 17.6% of containers by rail but aims to increase the amount to 35%.
The nearby Port of Los Angeles moves 29% of containers by rail. The plan stated
that existing tracks would reach capacity in five to seven years and that piers
at Long Beach have insufficient rail trackage.
Los Angeles World Airports
Ontario International Airport to "LA/Ontario International Airport"
and Palmdale Regional Airport to "LA/Palmdale Regional Airport". The
name change intends to reinforce the "We Fly As One" slogan for LAWA
by giving its airports a greater sense of regional purpose. According to Palmdale
mayor Jim Ledford, "Adding LA to the Palmdale and Ontario airports conveys
locally that there is a larger regional system for air transportation, better
identifies the size of the Los Angeles region, and creates a better linkage between
Palmdale and the Los Angeles basin."
December 5: The San
Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board voted to stop
a cookies-and-milk advertising campaign that featured scents at several bus
stops. Specifically, the Agency sent a letter to CBS Outdoor, which controls advertising
at bus stops, to discontinue the campaign, which involved installing adhesive
strips that emanated scents of chocolate chip cookies in addition to a "Got
December 6: NBC Universal unveiled a $3
billion redevelopment plan for Universal City. Among other things, the plan
calls for 124 acres to be set aside for housing and open space, while increasing
parking spaces at the adjacent Red Line station. The Los Angeles Daily News
praised the development in an editorial
but cautioned against keeping community interests away from the plan.
December 7: The U.S. Census Bureau released
its findings on its first-ever demographic survey of the San Fernando Valley.
Of note is that Valley residents spend an average of 29 minutes commuting to work,
compared with a statewide average of 27 minutes and a national average of 25 minutes.
December 9 and 10: The Sunshine shuttle service launched
in South Whittier. The shuttle runs to the Whittwood Mall in Whittier, has a 25-cent
fare, operates from Monday through Saturday, and accepts Metro and EZ passes.
December 11: U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters
asked state and local leaders to respond Department requests for traffic
relief in major metropolitan areas. Through the "Urban Partnership Agreement",
transportation departments in urban areas would receive grants and loans to test
technologies aimed at controlling traffic. Successful technologies would then
be considered by the DOT for implementation elsewhere. The strategic plan is now
Upcoming Events: Metro
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday, December 13, 5 p.m., La Cienega
Tennis Center, Sunset Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
SCAG MagLev Task Force:
Thursday, December 14, 10:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor,
Los Angeles. CANCELLED; next meeting scheduled for Thursday, January
Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday, December 14, 2 p.m., Gas Company
ERC, 9240 Firestone Bl., Downey.
Metro Line Construction Authority: Thursday, December 14, 2:30 p.m., Board
Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, December 15, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community
Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson.
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, December 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!
(Metrolink) Committee Meetings: Friday, January 12, 10 a.m. SCRRA Offices,
700 S. Flower St., 26th floor, Los Angeles.
SCRRA (Metrolink) Board Meeting:
Friday, January 26, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference Room, SCAG Building, 12th
Floor, 818 W. Seventh St., Los Angeles.
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Bart Reed, Executive Director
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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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