In the ongoing drama of who should own Ontario Airport, the City of Ontario rejected a $474 million sale price from operator Los Angeles World Airports, subsequently leading to the submission of a claim aimed at dissolving the 1967 joint powers agreement between Ontario and LAWA. LA officials charge that Ontario is acting presumptuously while negotiations for the airport are still ongoing.
An LA City Council committee endorsed the controversial LAX improvement plan, to which a vote by the entire Council will follow later in the spring. Of course, Council approval would merely mean the continuation of the environmental review process for the alternatives chosen.
While that fight continues, American Airlines announced it will add flights from LAX to 8 new destinations as a means to attract more business-class clients. Innovative sliding seats made their debut at an aircraft trade show in Germany.
The Southern California International Gateway, whose environmental documents were recently approved, was the subject of a New York Times piece. Residents are certainly incensed that LA City harbor commissioners voted to move forward with the new railyard, over the former’s objections. Channeling that fury is Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who took exception to the notion that the City of Los Angeles stands to gain much from the SCIG at the expense of his own City of Long Beach. Of course, if anyone gives consideration to the more promising and less taxing GRID Project proposal, this whole point might be moot.
The Transit Coalition reminds all those advocating for better transit to take action and make a difference! While the Coalition interacts with government-operated transportation agencies, you can improve mobility through your service to the community.
One such service is mapping trails and hiking paths in your local hillsides and mountains. Shortly after the news spread of two hikers gone missing in the Santa Ana Mountains, additional open mapping data of the Holy Jim Canyon area began to materialize by volunteer cartographers. Having geographical information on hand which shows the hillside vegetation, where the trails go, the locations of cliffs, and where the independent Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Station is located are key for future emergency rescue missions. Hikers and mountain bikers may also utilize this information to better plan their trips. In case you’re wondering, Holy Jim Canyon is approximately a 2-hour hike northeast from the nearest OCTA bus Route 82 at the Rancho Santa Margarita exit. The Trabuco Creek Road trailhead in the town of Trabuco Canyon is about a mile north of the bus route
The battle for Ontario Airport heats up as Inland Empire officials balk at the price LAWA wants to sell the airport for. Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates the airport, claims that the airport is worth between $243 million and $605 million when taking into account recent upgrades. Inland Empire officials counter that the steep drops in both passengers and flights suggest that the airport’s value is much lower. The Federal Aviation Administration contends that proceeds from the sale can only go towards upgrading LAX and Van Nuys Airport (also operated by LAWA), not into the City of Los Angeles general fund.
A bill to frame the investment of a significant portion of cap-and-trade revenues is beginning to make its way through the Assembly. AB 1051 would create the Sustainable Communities for All program with the goal of “providing transportation and housing choices that allow lower income Californians to drive less and reduce household costs.” The program would finance affordable housing in transit-oriented development, fund transit passes and add other ways to target high-propensity transit riders, energy efficiency improvements for homes affordable to low- and moderate-income Californians, and other vital programs and projects.
This funding is particularly important now that the state’s redevelopment funding has been eliminated and public transportation funding in California has been cut by more than $4 billion over the past decade. Cap-and-trade revenues are projected to reach nearly $4 billion per year by 2015, representing a critical opportunity to address the state’s mobility crisis while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving public health, and reviving our economy. The bill will be heard on April 17 in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 29. To learn how you can support this bill contact TransForm’s Cap-and-Trade Campaign Manager, Ryan Wiggins.
Ever wonder what a day in the life of a parking enforcement officer looks like? LA Times columnist Gale Holland goes into the trenches to witness the parking wars that unfold on the streets every day. Between enforcement officers who are just doing their job and the citizens who fight for scarce spaces, often getting citations in the process, who wins? Why, it’s the city, of course, with the power to raise and collect parking fines, since these are a major source of municipal income.
The Los Angeles City Council approved the Hollywood Community Plan in 2012 after years of discussion and debate. However, does the Hollywood Millennium project, which was recently approved by the city Planning Commission but awaits a vote by the City Council, diverge from that hard-fought blueprint? The Millennium calls for two towers around the Capitol Records building and smaller buildings that would adhere to higher-density standards as the plan accepts. Opponents believe the project is well out of scale with what exists in Hollywood. However, at least one letter to the editor notes that such a project is necessary in order to keep Hollywood economically vibrant.
Turning our attention to airports, it’s hard to believe that LAX may finally get that much-wanted rail connection. Currently, both Metro and the Los Angeles World Airports are looking at both a light rail spur from the Crenshaw/LAX line into the airport proper and a peoplemover from the Crenshaw/LAX line directly to the airport terminals. However, LA Curbed would like to remind readers that a peoplemover will happen no matter where light rail stops. Metro expects to finish the alternatives analysis report this summer.
With a $6 billion bond proposal to repair LA streets resurfacing, Councilmembers Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino are doing the smart thing by announcing a series of meetings to collect public input. This could make for a great opportunity to advocate for complete streets and the implementation of the LA Bike Plan as part of street repaving. In any case, there is no denying that something must be done to bring our streets into a state of good repair, despite the fact that repaving them as scheduled would cost the city about $300 million a year.