A $250-million runway at Los Angeles International Airport is deteriorating. A lawsuit was filed against four companies involved in building the runway, accusing them of ‘ negligent construction,’ resulting in quicker wear and tear. The city said there were flaws in the runway design, as well as the method in which concrete was poured. LA will now have to prematurely reconstruct Runway 25 Left, which will require the rerouting of aircraft to other runways. An anonymous LAX source said there has been more debris than normal stirred up on the runway when aircraft land. If the situation gets worse, debris could get sucked into aircraft jet engines and cause damage.
Where exactly is Bob Hope Airport? It is common knowledge to residents in LA County that the airport is located in Burbank. However, its name does not indicate its location in Southern California, which may be a downside to its name. Passenger traffic has been declining at Bob Hope Airport. Tourists and other such travelers may not realize that the airport is much closer to attractions like Universal Studios and Hollywood. Officials say that if travelers don’t realize this, they may be flying into Los Angeles International Airport instead. The airport is in the process of addressing this by highlighting its location in pamphlets, brochures, and promotional material.
In the long term, the airport will pursue a terminal expansion project that includes demolishing the existing terminal while retaining the same number of gates. The proposed terminal would be more earthquake-proof and fulfill modern Federal Aviation Administration requirements regarding space between terminals and runways. More restrooms, larger waiting areas and upgraded baggage claim mechanisms would form part of the makeover. All in all, the new terminal would have as much as 68% more space compared to the current terminal. However, officials warn that the proposed terminal is still in the conceptual stages. Moreover, Burbank voters must approve the new terminal in 2015 before any construction can begin. If approved, it would take between 5 and 7 years to complete the new terminal.
Glendale News-Press contributor Ron Kaye makes his opinion on the 710 Tunnel project known, marveling at how well organized the opposition has grown. Activists took advantage of a tunnel fire at the interchange of the 5 and 2 Freeways as proof that a tunnel would be dangerous to operate. Even though Measure R allots $780 million for the corridor, Kaye suggests spending it on transit and street improvements. With new LA Mayor Eric Garcetti stating his opposition to the tunnel, Kaye surmises that the Metro Board may have enough votes to stop the tunnel once and for all.
Councilmember Mike Bonin of the 11th district appears ready to tackle transportation issues facing the Westside of Los Angeles. Bonin, who is also Vice Chair of the Expo Construction Authority and Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee, acknowledged the need of more ways for commuters on the Westside to move north and south. He does not particularly support the 405 expansion, and said what should have been done instead is work on the LAX rail connection into the San Fernando Valley. Bonin, along with San Fernando Valley Councilmember Paul Krekorian, were appointed to the Metro Board of Directors by Mayor Eric Garcetti along with affordable housing advocate Jacqueline Dupont-Walker. Listen to the LA Streetsblog interview here.
The CSUN Tiger Team met with community members this past week to seek support by presenting transportation projects in progress. Last week they met with businessman Victor Griego; On Monday, with Councilmember Felipe Fuentes of the 7th district. On Wednesday, students met with San Fernando businessman Ralph Torres at his restaurant, Casa Torres in Sylmar, who generously provided lunch to those in attendance; They also ran into Maria Townsend from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s housing department by surprise while waiting to meet with Torres on Wednesday. Among projects in the works, spearheaded by the interns include an extension of the Metro 741 to Sylmar and the addition of bike storage on the Metro Orange Line.
Last week, the Metro Board approved a plan to accelerate Measure R transit projects but did not include a bid to update the financial picture for completing the Gold Line to Claremont. This left state lawmakers, Congressmembers and representatives from San Gabriel Valley cities steamed. These groups formed a coalition to support a request made by Boardmember Mike Antonovich to essentially include the project in the final list. That request failed to muster the necessary votes by the Board to pass, which means that Metro will not accelerate completion of the Gold Line to Claremont.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin staff writer David Allen shared his experiences on Metrolink during the final weekend of the $10 Weekend Pass, which previously covered both weekend days but now covers just one. Metrolink explained that the change reflects the reality that less than 25% of passengers use the pass for multiple days. Thus, the $10 Weekend Day Pass, as it is now known, more appropriately matches existing travel behavior on the system, therefore, hardly anyone will notice.
Now that the Metro Board doled out the contract for construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line, citizen advocate Damien Goodmon remains flustered from the failure to move a portion of the route underground. While Goodmon admits that the best chance to stop the project without the subway was at the Metro Board meeting last month, he remains hopeful that Metro will reconsider its decision as the Crenshaw Subway Coalition lawsuit goes before the courts. Goodmon also believes that Metro has various avenues of financing that the agency can pursue to make a subway through Park Mesa Heights happen. In response, upon receiving the CEQA lawsuit, Metro asked a state judge to toss it.
The Tiger Team was very excited to present our Metro 741 bus extension to the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council. A great surprise was the fact that the new Councilmember Felipe Fuentes actually came and spoke on his first day. It was clear he understands his district and has passion for his constituents. We are hopeful of many great things to come regarding the needs of the community. After Councilmember Fuentes spoke and other business had been addressed, we were called upon and made our presentation to an attentive group that was interested in hearing the proposal. Councilmember Fuentes was also interested and listened to what we had to say. After our presentation, we heard a few questions regarding handicap needs. We also had the opportunity to mention another exciting project The Transit Coalition has, which is the Sylmar Complete Sidewalks project. The board ended up passing the measure with unanimous support.
This was the first neighborhood council meeting that we attended and it was a great experience. It was great to be able to be organized and clearly heard by people who are interested is what democracy and the political process is all about. Our plan is to gather as much support from the neighborhood councils, businesses and surrounding community as well as individual support so that we can present this idea to Metro to get the 741 Rapid Line extension approved. More great things are to come because we feel more comfortable presenting and communicating about the unmet transit needs in many communities.
- The Transit Coalition Government and Public Affairs team
Burbank recently began work on a new bike path that will connect Lake/Alameda with the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station, with most of the path paralleling a tributary to the Los Angeles River. The $4.4 million project includes a pricey grade separation at Alameda Ave. Also, the City of Los Angeles has given approval to a major road diet on Broadway in Downtown LA as part of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative. $1.8 million will be spent on a small-scale road diet to be implemented this summer, while a much larger plan for the future is further refined.