Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 15
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.
Still Threatened: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
continues to press for a shift of "spillover" funds from excess gas
tax revenues to the state general fund. The Sacramento Bee expressed anger
at the maneuvering in a recent editorial.
The Assembly Budget Sub-Committee will be holding a hearing on the State Transit
Assistance budget for public transit tomorrow at 4 pm in Room 127 at the
State Capitol. Join us in fighting these cuts by contacting
key elected officials and voicing your concerns. For those unfamiliar with
the fight, you can read an explanation
and benefits of the Spillover account courtesy of Cal-PIRG.
Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez once again tackles the transportation
question and the lack
of political leadership to enable solutions. This time, he takes a trip to
the offices of the Southern California Association
of Governments and sees several traffic models courtesy of director Mark Pisano.
Toll roads and "congestion pricing" would be a major way to increase
freeway speeds and relieve congestion, according to Pisano. MagLev, truck tolls
clearing also figure highly in their suggestions. Two
letters to the Times responded to the column.
Metro is on a campaign to
artifacts belonging to long-gone Chinese workers found during Eastside Gold
Line construction. Compounding the problem is that many of the names found on
the artifacts could be their pseudonyms. Eight Chinese headstones and 14 burial
bricks were found during excavation. Metro has set up a web
page that contains more information and contact options.
If you haven't
noticed, Metro is also on a campaign to install as much advertising on stations
as the Board directed. 7th/Metro station is getting the royal treatment,
advertisements plastered up and down the subway station. Some passengers see
the ads as an aesthetic alternative to gray and drab walls, while others find
them annoying. Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that you can ask
your Metro bus driver to
turn down the volume from TransiTV sets.
Los Angeles Daily News editorialized
discontent at Metro for proposing to rapidly raise bus fares. Anticipation
builds for a study on turning Olympic and Pico Blvds. into one-way streets,
which should be completed next week. Letters
in the Los Angeles Times criticized short-term transportation fixes that
ignore long term needs. One short-term fix comes from the U.S. Postal Service,
which will restrict
mail delivery trucks from using Wilshire Blvd. during peak hours. Times
op-ed editor Robin Rauzi opts to free
herself from the car during Lent.
of the 2005 Glendale Metrolink crash
continue to reverberate across the nation. When Denver residents voted for FasTracks
in November 2004, the Regional Transportation
District hoped to launch commuter rail service on freight rail tracks. Since
the accident, however, railroads became increasingly
reluctant to do so, to the point where they wish to shield themselves from
lawsuits arising from such use. The reluctance
threatens to stall implementation of a portion of FasTracks in Denver .
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 help us by donating to our cause and joining The Transit Coalition. Our volunteers
meet with various transit officials and policymakers to discuss transportation
needs in our region and work with agencies to make transit improvements a reality.
But in running the Coalition comes the financial challenge to pay our costs. A
volunteer may go to Washington or Sacramento , whose expenses need to be covered.
Publishing a newsletter incurs printing and postage costs, while publishing this
eNewsletter takes on delivery costs. A monthly subscription to Moving Southern
California comes with your membership. Visit our Donations page
to explore other options. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Brooklyn Bums were given a Bronx cheer when fans experienced the new
parking program in place at Dodger Stadium for Opening Day. Fans who drove
to the game gave positive and negative marks to the "controlled zone"
parking plan, where drivers must enter and exit the same gate and are directed
to parking spots. Traffic jams were reportedly larger than usual, with people
reporting that it would take as
much as half an hour to exit the park. Others praised the increased
presence of parking staff that gives a better sense of security. It didn't
help that the Dodgers lost to the Rockies , either. But some good came out of
Opening Day: People loved the new all-you-can-eat Pavillion on right field!
A recent report by the Gateway Cities Council
of Governments revealed that so-called "independent owner-operators"
who drive trucks to and from the ports earn about $12.13
an hour after expenses and often must work well past 50 hours a week. The
report will give port officials a better idea of how much money these truckers
may need to spend in order to purchase cleaner tractors. While newer rigs cost
$150,000, port truckers with little cash can purchase older models for as little
Completion of the 210
Freeway through Fontana is slated for late this year. Progress
moves along, with major paving work completed. Meanwhile, residents of the
Ventura County hamlet of Somis continue their fight to prevent the widening of
Route 118 from two lanes to four. The county Planning Commission handed them a
victory by recommending to the Board of Supervisors that the project be scrapped
from their general plan.
San Francisco Muni will replace
some of their oldest and sootiest diesel buses with diesel-electric
hybrids. Despite five years of pressure by the San Francisco Board of Directors,
Muni was reluctant to purchase the buses because they feared they would not perform
well on hills. Since then, Muni successfully tested one hybrid bus on hills. 86
buses will come to the agency over a period of weeks as it joins the growing number
of agencies switching over to cleaner buses.
Interest continues to grow
for the Lautenberg-Lott bill in the U.S. Congress, which would reauthorize Amtrak.
op-ed in the New York Times noted that the bill would give more power
to the Surface Transportation Board in enforcing track rights on private railroads
and thus improve on-time performance. Op-ed contributor Steve Hallock reasons
this provision alone could improve reliability on Amtrak trains without having
to increase funding.
Internationally, Associated Press reporter Ingrid
about her 15-minute trip on the record-breaking French TGV, which hit 547.8
kilometers per hour during its test run.
In our requisite celebrity section,
singer Hillary Duff commented on her song titled "Where's Your Dignity".
Contrary to rumor, the song was based on her seeing would-be passengers in Los
in the rain for their bus. Duff concluded that "public transportation
is pretty cool anywhere else, but in Los Angeles it sucks."
Shameless Plugs : Founded
in 2002, CityLites
is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting exercise,
good nutrition and physical fitness in inner-city communities. On Saturday, May
19, CityLites will host the 4th Annual Inner City 21 and 5-Mile Bike Tour Festival
and Carnival in Jesse Owens Park at Century Blvd. and Western Ave. Proceeds
from the event will go to local middle and high schools to foster after-school
sports- and physical-education-related activities. Call (323) 280-0288 or see
flyer for more information.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
March 28 : Montclair
Mayor and Gold Line Construction Authority Member Paul Eaton gave a State
of the City address. Eaton outlined efforts to bring Gold Line service to
Montclair and building transit-oriented development in anticipation of the line.
April 9 : San Francisco Muni launched weekday
service on the new T-Third light rail line. Several kinks were still evident
at the opening, but officials hope to iron them out in the next few weeks. Some
lamented the loss of a connection between several Muni lines under Market Street
with the Caltrain Station. Residents of the southeast neighborhoods of San Francisco
hope the light rail line will bring vitality to the otherwise gritty neighborhood,
though some fear it will push
lower-income residents out by attracting wealthier residents.
Orange County Transportation Authority Board endorsed a plan to let solo
drivers use carpool lanes on all freeways during off-peak times. The Board
also asked Caltrans to see whether they could remove exit restrictions on the
lanes and allow drivers to enter and exit wherever they wish, in the style of
the newest lanes on the 22 Freeway. Caltrans will review both requests.
Once Again : For those caught unawares, The Transit Coalition
has a new discussion board at transittalk.proboards37.com.
Come and share your experiences and ideas with us!
Events : California High
Speed Rail Authority Scoping Meetings:
- Tuesday, April 10 , 6 p.m.,
Sylmar Park Recreation Center ; 13109 Borden Ave. , Sylmar.
- Wednesday, April 11 , 3 p.m.
and 6 p.m., Gordon Hoyt Conference Room, City Hall West, 201 S. Anaheim Blvd.
, Anaheim .
- Thursday, April 12 , 6 p.m.,
Palmdale City Hall , 38300 Sierra Hwy. , Palmdale.
- Thursday, April 12 , 3 p.m.
and 6 p.m., Norwalk Transportation Center, Arts & Sports Complex Community
Meeting Center (Sproul Room), 13200 Clarkdale Avenue, Norwalk.
- Tuesday, April 17 , 6 p.m.,
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, 570 W. Avenue 26, Los Angeles .
Westside/Central Governance Council : Wednesday, April 11, 5 p.m., La Cienega Tennis Center , Sunset Room,
325 S. La Cienega Blvd. , Beverly Hills .
SCAG MagLev Task Force:
Thursday, April 12, 10:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St. , 12th
floor, Los Angeles .
Gateway Cities Governance Council : Thursday,
April 12, 2 p.m.,
Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey Public Library (Cormack Room), 11121 Brookshire Ave.,
SCRRA (Metrolink) Committee Meetings: Friday,
April 13, 10 a.m., SCRRA Offices, 700 S. Flower St. , 26th floor, Los Angeles
South Bay Governance Council: Friday, January 12, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community
Center , 801 E. Carson St. , Carson .
Southern California Transit Advocates: Saturday,
April 14, 1 p.m., Angelus Plaza , Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill St. , Los Angeles .
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19, Board Room,
Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles
and Programming Committee, Wednesday, April 18, 1 p.m.
and Budget Committee, Wednesday, April 18, 2:30 p.m.
Management and Audit Committee, Thursday, April 19, 9 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, April 19, 10:30 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, April 19, 12 noon.
attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, April 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!
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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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