Weekly Transit eNewsletter
Volume 3, Issue 16
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
Your Calendars: Next Tuesday is our monthly Transit Coalition dinner
meeting, featuring Metro Rail Deputy CEO Melvin Clark. See Upcoming
Events below for details.
Still Threatened: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
continues to press for a shift of "spillover" funds from excess gas
tax revenues to the state general fund. Columinst Daniel Weintraub, however, offered
argument stating that local transportation districts should not depend on
state dollars to fund their operations. 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.
conducted by the City of New
York revealed that the Big Apple produces nearly 1 percent
of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. The study also revealed that each
New York City resident
produces less than a third of the emissions generated by the average American.
This was attributed to their dependence
on an extensive mass transit system, which cuts down on emissions.
Other methods of reducing emissions, such as energy-saving traffic signals, green
buildings, and alternative fuel vehicles, have helped, according to the
study. Locally, a growth blueprint for San
Bernardino County may
out because it fails to adequately address emissions resulting from future
increases in population.
A showdown is looming between the Expo Construction
Authority and the state Public Utilities Commission over grade
crossings for the future light rail line. The Authority fears that intervention
this late in the process could add delays and millions of dollars to the project.
Residents are taking their plight to the Commission, while County Supervisor Yvonne
Brathwaite Burke believes efforts would be better spent on finding funds to elevate
the line at Dorsey
High School .
continues for the much-loathed "controlled zone" parking system
at Dodger Stadium. April 15 was Jackie Robinson Day, which guaranteed near-record
crowds for the two weekend home games. One veteran parking attendant noted an
in aggressive driving and obscenities directed at attendants. Particular
scorn went to owner Frank McCourt, himself a parking magnate. Stadium and
transportation officials nevertheless believe the program will improve the traffic
fans give it a chance. Another letter to the Los Angeles Times suggests
shuttle service between Metro Rail and the stadium.
abounded elsewhere. A Redlands
at the suggestion that bus drivers should be exempt from getting tickets for
red-light violations. Letters
to the Times expressed appreciation to a recent article on public
art at Metro Rail stations. Some expressed disdain at the barrage of advertisements
cropping up at these stations. One letter reprimanded the writer for suggesting
that subways are dangerous during an earthquake, while a
later letter suggested that elevated portions of the rail system are more
Santa Clarita is spending $2 million to build
and beautify bus stops in their community. The improvement would do away with
bench advertising and instead bring public art to bus stops. Rides on the Sprinter
rail line between Escondido and Oceanside
have higher fares than its bus counterparts when it opens this December.
The price of gasoline continues
to escalate. As a result, Californians
purchased less gasoline in 2006 than the year before, breaking a years-long
trend to consume more. Increased use of public transportation, more hybrids on
the road, and simple conservation played major factors in the decline. Officials
assure that gas
prices will be lower on average than last summer. Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips
and Tyson Foods Inc. are coming together to produce
biodiesel from animal fat. A delicious development indeed.
achy and tired? Blame
your commute. Research shows that the more time you spend in traffic, the
more likely you will develop high blood pressure and back problems, among other
maladies. Motorists cannot even spend time to exercise or take part in physical
therapy because of their time-consuming commutes, according to doctors. Leaving
early to work is also becoming
less effective in beating traffic. Meanwhile, transportation theorists ponder
solutions to the traffic crisis.
and 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 please donate and join 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. However, volunteers
may go to Washington or Sacramento
to speak with elected officials, but without your support, we might
not have money to bring them back. 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.
Onto road news, progress
rolls along for a widening of the I-10 in Redlands
. The Press Enterprise editorialized
their anger at Assemblymember Pedro Nava, who is fronting a bill that would make
Caltrans the sole planner for highway projects. The conservation group American
Rivers added The San Mateo Creek, which goes through the San Onofre State Beach,
to their annual list of endangered waterways due to the threat
of a possible toll road through the park.
The state has embarked
on an inventory of seaport terminals to determine which are the most dangerous.
The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles
are major handlers of petroleum products, and officials believe disastrous
spills would occur if dock upgrades are not performed. Indeed, one incident
last August had the potential to bring such a disaster to the two ports. Meanwhile,
the two ports released a plan that would introduce
cleaner diesel tractors while phasing out the current system of independent
The U.S. Senate launched hearings on a bill
of rights for airline passengers. Amidst increasing delays and horror stories,
the Department of Transportation prepared an audit last year revealing that only
five of the 12 airlines that signed a voluntary 1999 customer service commitment
had systems in place to meet their promises. Critics believe that market forces
alone would yield improvements.
Onto airport matters, the Los Angeles
City Airport Commissions could face
a lawsuit from two parking companies. The commission awarded a contract to
a third company that is worth $120 million over 5 years. Also, a security enhancement
project at LAX is encountering major
delays and will cost more than 2 ½ times the estimates. Flights from the East
Coast are also
experiencing delays, mainly because of an intense Nor'easter that kept planes
Up north, AC Transit brought a pair of highly
controversial buses to a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission
of the San Francisco Bay Area. Officials released a plan that aims to make
Oakland more bicycle-friendly by 2012.
The Sacramento Bee complimented
Assemblymember Dave Jones of Sacramento for scripting AB
842, a bill that would encourage compact development, schools and jobs near
transit and within walking distance. The editorial
noted that the increased driving times for California
counters state efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier,
to the editor covered various transportation and planning issues in the Sacramento
area. Nearby, Placer
County officials mull about
bringing a sales
tax measure for transportation to voters.
Here is a list of other
: The National Transportation Safety Board urged
the Federal Aviation Administration to allow air traffic controllers more
rest between shifts. The Board cited the Comair plane crash in Lexington
last year and several recent close calls where fatigue played a role.
One challenge is that many of their working schedules are established by controllers
themselves. Another challenge is the lack of controllers, which in turn forces
existing controllers to work overtime.
BART General Manager Thomas
his resignation after serving the rail agency since 1996, the longest tenure
by a general manager to date. An engineer by profession, Margro oversaw extensions
to the East Bay
and San Francisco
, as well as seismic improvements to the system. Margro will leave
the post on June 29.
11 : The Riverside County Transportation Commission
voted to set aside $77 million for rail crossing grade separations. One official,
however, believes a
sales tax would be necessary to pay for a backlog of other key crossings.
The Commission identified 18 projects, of which 4 are fully funded and are in
the design stage.
: Transit Coalition Executive Director Bart Reed
spoke to the Transportation Committee of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils
Congress. Reed provided an overview of the past, present
and potential future of rail transit in LA County, including subways, light rail,
Metrolink and Amtrak. He explained why some projects have not fulfilled
their promise, what is being done today to fix those challenges and what still
needs to be done.
16 : The state Assembly Transportation Committee almost
unanimously approved AB
889, which would create a Green Line construction authority. Transit Coalition
Executive Director Bart Reed testified before the committee on how the bill, if
enacted, would expedite construction of the Green Line through LAX and beyond.
present was Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, an ardent supporter
of the Green Line extension who testified his support for the bill. The bill will
be heard by the Assembly Committee on Local government next Wednesday.
Also, Reed met with Dan Leavitt of the California High Speed Rail Authority and
briefed him on local transportation developments.
Angeles County study
concluded that converting Olympic and Pico Blvds. into one-way streets would increase
road capacity by 20%. Some believe that the idea could supplant desire to
bring the subway to the Westside. Others, including LADOT General Manager Gloria
Jeff, oppose the idea. Residents are concerned that such a setup would increase
traffic on residential streets.
Events : California High
Speed Rail Authority Scoping Meeting: Tuesday, April 17 , 6 p.m., Los
Angeles River Center & Gardens, 570 W. Avenue 26, Los
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.
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting: Monday, April 23 and May 14,
9 a.m., Board Hearing Room, 600
Main St. , Orange .
Consider attending our monthly
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 . Metro Rail Deputy
Executive Officer Melvin Clark will be the speaker. ( Map.)
We hope to see you there!
Board Meeting: Friday, April 27, 10 a.m., San Bernardino Conference Room,
, 12th Floor, 818 W.
Seventh St. , Los Angeles .
Metro Board Meeting: Monday, April 30, 9:30
a.m., Board Room, Metro Headquarters, One
(adjacent to Union Station), Los Angeles
Exposition Metro Line Construction
Authority : Thursday, May 3,
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, May 3,
7:30 p.m. Angeles Chapter office, 3435
Wilshire Blvd, Suite 320 , Los Angeles
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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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