week! This is going to be an abreviated issue without the many interesting links.
They will be back in January, as the coming year will be news and development
packed, unlike any other over the past 5 years.
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.
Forget: This Tuesday,
the 26th, is The Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting. See Upcoming Events below
Here is a list of other recent developments:
Let us look back on this year's major transportation milestones:
last January when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced an ambitious $222 billion
bond package that featured money for transportation. Legislators eventually wiggled
the figure to $42 billion, with $20 billion going to transportation. The proposal
was placed on a statewide ballot as Proposition 1B, where voters said "yes"
to the bonds.
As a result, the California Transportation Commission will
select the first road projects to receive the bond funds in early 2007, with transit
funding to come next. Also, Proposition 1A, which aimed to close loopholes and
protect transportation funds, passed by wide margins.
The idea of extending
the Red Line subway down Wilshire Boulevard was resuscitated after years of dormancy.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spearheaded the movement to bring true
rapid transit to the Westside by means of a "subway to the sea".
Anticipating possible revenues from the yet-approved state bonds, Villaraigosa
and the Metro Board voted to launch Major Investment Studies for the Wilshire
subway as well as several other corridors including the Harbor Subdivision and
the Downtown Regional Connector.
Even more amazing, The U.S. House of
Representatives passed a repeal of a law prohibiting federal funds for the construction
of the Purple Line down Wilshire Boulevard on September 20. Rep. Henry Waxman
wrote H.R. 4653 to undo a ban he wrote 20 years ago due to safety concerns. A
neutral panel of tunnel experts explained that improvements in tunnel technology
have been made since then. Waxman found the conclusions satisfying to the point
where his bill ultimately awaits a vote by the U.S. Senate in 2007 and signature
by the President.
As if that wasn't enough, discussion to bring the Green
Line closer to LAX also resurfaced. This time, however, a fresh group of civic
and airport leaders are taking the proposal seriously and, to this end, are working
to promote it.
Transit Coalition President Kenneth S. Alpern and Executive
Director Bart Reed have held meetings with various officials promoting an initial
segment from the Aviation Green Line station to Lincoln and Sepulveda Blvds.,
with a people-mover connection to LAX terminals.
In this fashion, the
Green Line can be extended further to Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. Using the
Harbor Subdivision between Downtown L.A. and the airport for Metrolink-style service,
as well as building light rail on Crenshaw with a connection to LAX, was also
mulled in conjunction with the Green Line proposal.
After decades of
advocacy and planning, the Exposition Light Rail Line broke ground in September.
The Metro Board green-lighted the project in December 2005. However, the color
designation of the future line became a major brouhaha during the year, with Board
member Bernard Parks rejecting the name "Aqua" (against precedent and
community opinion) and imposing various other names. For the moment, a black line
will mark the line and the name will be discussed again at a future date. The
naming issue should not affect construction activities or the opening date set
It was this time last year that this newsletter reported on
Metro receiving two tunnel boring machines for construction of the Eastside Gold
Line. This December, Metro celebrated the completion of their work. Meanwhile,
the 101 overpass near Union Station takes shape while preparations continue for
the overhaul of the First Street bridge over the Los Angeles River.
let us not forget some of the more curious developments that transpired during
2006: Enzogate, TransiTV, and cookie-scented ads at bus stops.
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!
Chapter Sierra Club Transportation Committee: Thursday, January 4, 7:30 p.m.
Angeles Chapter office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320, Los Angeles.
San Gabriel Valley Governance Council: Tuesday, January 9, 5 p.m., 3369 Santa
Anita Ave. (near El Monte bus station), El Monte.
Westside/Central Governance Council: Wednesday, January 10, 5 p.m., La Cienega
Tennis Center, Sunset Room, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday, January 10, 6:30 p.m.,
Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.
SCAG MagLev Task Force:
Thursday, January 11, 10:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th floor,
Los Angeles. CANCELLED.
Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday, January 11, 2 p.m., Gas Company
ERC, 9240 Firestone Bl., Downey.
Exposition Metro Line
Construction Authority: Thursday, January 11, 2:30 p.m., Board Room, Metro
Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles.
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, January 12, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community
Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson.
Committee Meetings: Friday, January 12, 10 a.m. SCRRA Offices, 700 S. Flower St.,
26th floor, Los Angeles.
Transit Advocates: Saturday, January 13, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255
S. Hill St., 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.
Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!
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Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications Director
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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