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BrighamYen
Aug 31, 2007, 5:15 AM
^ I failed to mention upon further investigation that Canada's high number in the chart factors in the oil reserves located in the oil sands. Without including that would drop the number to 4.9 billion barrels availabe for cheap oil in Canada. Even though technology has improved, it is still much more expensive to extract the petroleum from the oil sands. Remember, peak oil means the end of CHEAP OIL, not all oil on the planet.

Guy Caruso from the Energy Information Administration (http://www.rense.com/general37/petrol.htm) explains:

"Canada will be producing a lot of oil from the development of these tar sands, but the quality of those reserves differs substantially from the Saudi reserves in terms of cost and ability to bring...the productive capacity on in a meaningful way," Caruso said.

"There is a difference in the absolute amount versus the ability to turn that into productive capacity," he said.


If you did not include the oil sands figure it would drop the available global oil reserves down to 1.1187 trillion barrels.



so.........



118.7 bbl / 32.85 bbl a year = 3.6 years left until peak oil, which is in line with what most experts believe is the time when peak oil will hit. That's the year of 2011!

DowntownCharlieBrown
Aug 31, 2007, 6:00 AM
I’m sure the U.S. Government has these figures.

If G. W. Bush was a real leader, he would have set this country on a course to start minimizing the effects of…. Oh, what am I babbling on about.

I’m in Orange County, and my local leaders are fucking things up just fine with our really wide freeways.

BrighamYen
Aug 31, 2007, 6:56 AM
^ We're going to see a recession worse than anything in modern history. It'll be worse than the Great Depression. Let's cross our fingers that Downtown LA continues to build high-rises! lol <sarcasm>

northbay
Aug 31, 2007, 7:49 PM
^ dont mean to get this thread too off track...

peak oil is real people!!!

damn right the government has these figures, they came up with a lot of them! (oil companies did a lot of research too, they just arent admitting publicly their findings).

for more info i recommend: http://www.richardheinberg.com/.

we need public transit now to reduce our dependence!! especially in places like la

Wright Concept
Aug 31, 2007, 8:08 PM
Well another fact in our oil dependence is the amount it takes to build those high rise buildings and a lot of construction with exotic IMPORTED materials will have to go to the wayside towards a more locally definite and ecologically sustainable building form and design. Also construction of our transportation infrastructure will be effected to with this bit of information.

LongBeachUrbanist
Aug 31, 2007, 9:37 PM
^ More succinctly (forgive me if this is a separate point), we can build a lot more residences, and house a lot more people, and achieve a much higher density, if we focused on massive amounts of mid-rise construction, rather than a relatively small district of high-rises.

And LAB, I do understand the "Peak Oil" theory and the mathematics behind it. There is some debate about the severity of the "peak oil shock", but nobody (with any credibility) doubts the reality of the phenomenon.

Wright Concept
Sep 1, 2007, 3:08 AM
^ More succinctly (forgive me if this is a separate point), we can build a lot more residences, and house a lot more people, and achieve a much higher density, if we focused on massive amounts of mid-rise construction, rather than a relatively small district of high-rises.

Actually that is a second point of it too, The main point of it was that all of those cranes, trucks, lifts are all powered by the same fuel that drives our cars and that plays an effect on our ecosystem. Mind you I'm not advocating doing nothing like Supervisor Zev or some other backwards NIMBY but instead density AND its compliment Green Space/Parks should only increase in areas that are already built and ready to take it.

A good example with the Wilshire West Subway, I believe that it shouldn't stay straight down Wilshire, but instead skip a stop in Hancock Park- at Wilshire/Crenshaw - makes stops at Wilshire/La Brea and at Wilshire/Fairfax-Museum Square Area and go off the straight Wilshire path to link up high activity and density nodes at Beverly Center/Cedars Sinai and Century City because that has high ridership from Day One but more importantly it will organically increases density in areas that are already dense and have the infrastructure to support it.

Why demolish buildings and structures to create a "future destination" when it's better to improve the existing destinations and (gasps) create/preserve a history around it. What is LA's biggest image problem -Well other than the crime, gangs, traffic, poverty, elitism, materialism, sancutury city for illegal immigration- "It has no sense of history" well if we're tearing down parts of our history every so often that would make a case for that.

Why should an expensive subway station be wedged in spots/locations that have no infrastructure now or in the future to support the higher density and activity such as a busy interface station such as Wilshire/Crenshaw in Hancock Park, an area that wouldn't support because of very expensive and protected Neighborhoods in Hancock Park or Wilshire/La Cienega. That is like jamming a square peg in a round hole. If this were the case, then all of those folks along the Foothill Gold Line on that existing right-of-way have a much better and sustainable argument because they have that potential along the path and have the existing and future increases/density along that existing corridor.

Demoliton of buildings can require just as much of these precious oil sources than it takes to build the building. What also needs to be done is a better execution and configuration of our Zoning and Building Codes. Look at Curtiba Brazil, most politicians think of Curtiba for it's Orange Local, Red Rapid and Silver Express buses (oh what a minute that looks like LA's system) and tubed bus stops instead of how the architects and planners increased greenspace and density yet improved the city's water supply and recycled organic wastes to build up that greenspace infrastructure and have a structured zoning plan and how pieces fit the overall design of the city.

This is something I've talked about a lot because for me this is a personal design belief that density and urbanity doesn't means a skyscraper (though the name of this forum is Skyscraper Page). We not only have a scarcity of oil but of other natural materials to build our infrastructure from so in the long run it will be better to stick with a smaller albeit limited local palette of construction materials, wood, cement bricks, concrete and adapt our designs to follow not only our topography but our climate as well so not only is it built quicker but it works out to be more cost effective and affordable. What good is a 40 story glass enclosed vertical suburban vacuum with mechanically driven HVAC unit with hydrualically driven elevators going to do in our climate? God forbid there's a power outage for more than a day and people would have to learn how to open a window or use the right colors, shapes and materials to condition a space.

This is how other older cities with a dense sprawled layout can survive (London, Paris). LA's Polycentricism is something we should embrace yet we just need the right transport and greenspace infrastructure in place to support it. London has it's network of Underground Tube lines AND Coordinated Network of Bus Only Lanes. LA needs to get going on that!

RAlossi
Sep 1, 2007, 3:31 AM
Damn, PV, well said!

edluva
Sep 1, 2007, 7:32 AM
amen to pv and lbu. all you guys getting boners off of tall buildings need to first realize that la is not manhattan, and never will be that sort of a city. recognize it for what it truly is and then we'll be able to make a lasting progress.

SF is great because it has 49 sq miles of great architecture and urbanism, not because of it's fidi alone, but rather due to the fact that its fidi is integrated seamlessly into the extended urban fabric. this occurred with decades of relatively organic, unregulated development which evolved around a backbone being it's mode of mobility - a usable mass transit network.

dtla's boom is unimpressive so far, even with the flashy billion dollar mega-developments slated for it, as long as its development continues to be defined by the freeway as mobility backbone the way the rest of the metro is, nothing substantial or lasting is happening. furthermore, dtla isn't becoming anything anytime soon - it's a white collar (mostly low-level government) bubble surrounded by a sea of neglect and poverty (the real la). as long as it remains a disconnected little hole for suburban commuters and an urban theme-park for pseudo-urbanites, dtla will remain inconsequential to LA. the reality is that dtla is far too small in size (what, 4 sq miles max?), and far too isolated from relevance to usurp the westside and become "our manhattan". it might become "nice" like gaslamp ;), it might become "a hub" for something, but it'll never become for la what manhattan is for ny, etc. and this ain't pessimism, it's a reality check.

BrighamYen
Sep 1, 2007, 9:22 AM
^ I agree that DTLA will never be what Manhattan is to NYC. HOWEVER, I do believe that connecting DTLA by subway to the westside via Wilshire Blvd. can be substantial enough to really make an impact in our car oriented lifestyle. Like PV said, I advocate a subway that "zig-zags" from Wilshire/Western to the ocean. Veer northwest after Wilshire/Fairfax and head toward San Vicenti/Beverly Blvd. (Beverly Center area) and then back down to BH at Wilshire/Beverly Dr., then down to Century City, then back up again to Westwood, then Brentwood, then Santa Monica.

That could be the backbone to LA's mass transit system. With the Purple Line ending at Union Station, anyone who can reach Union Station by Metrolink, Amtrak, buses, Gold Line, etc. can access with ease the Westside and the ocean. That changes the scope of LA's transit network dramatically, providing easy access to many of LA's most important areas on the Westside. It could be enough to tip the balance and get a lot of people out of their cars (do they really have a choice post peak-oil?) and actually start walking!

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/6059/losangelesrailsystemmapnu2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Modified from original image from geocities.com (http://www.geocities.com/los_angeles_coast/Los_Angeles_Rail_System_Map_CC.jpg)

edluva
Sep 2, 2007, 7:31 AM
yeah but it still won't make mass trans a part of the majority of peoples' daily lives - and so it can't be said to be a significant change in lifestyle for the vast majority of people. imagine very optimistically wilshire purple boosting mass trans usage by an unrealistic 50 percent - that would bring us to roungly 16 percent of all commuters, still a pathetic number. and there is a logistical reason for this.

an angeleno who lives in brentwood might have an office job on pico/hauser - far away from being walkable to any practical mass transit stop. his favorite dry-cleaners, a required weekly after-work stop, may be in a strip near crenshaw/olympic. another angeleno might live on cadillac/robertson and commute to a strip-office in woodland hills. these scenarios actually reflect that of the majority of angelenos - essentially those who don't live anywhere near wilshire blvd. to be able to simply declare that "wilshire blvd is the densest employment corridor in the metro" means nothing without a reference or qualifier. how dense is it exactly? dense enough to serve as THE hub for a metro-wide commuter network such as the one posted?

that picture you posted seems to suggest that the mass transit framework currently being pursued will amass hordes of disparately far-off suburbanites into some single dtla transit "hub" from which they'll all continue their daily commute into a single place, wilsihre blvd/santa monica. this idea could only work if santa monica were our equivalent of the 23 wards, or manhattan, or the city, or the loop, or sf. but in reality, no place in la is like that, no place in la has the employment density to create the demand for that sort of long-distance rail commuting. and that fate has more or less been sealed decades ago.

our 300msf of metropolitan office space is laid out piecemeal - 40ksf in some non-descript block next to some non-descript SGV cul-de-sac, another 65ksf in a different, equally unreachable locale in Buena Park. almost all of la's office workers commute in innumerable mixtures of directions and distances to these tiny commercial buildings, not to a single artificially sustained CBD.

this is why the dense fixed-guildline system needs getting built first since it's the only way of guaranteeing ridership and political sustainability. commuter rail will follow created demand, not the reverse. pasadena goldline and greenline are virtually useless to this hypothetically dense network. only when we build a concentrated network will the city's built env't change in a meaningful way. and mass transit needs to be seen as an social investment, and not a solution - we're not "getting people out of their cars", that's a pipe-dream. we're building an lifestyle for a future employment growth. today's mobility issues are already a lost cause as they reflect decades of bad development and the angeleno's currently driving will continue to do so. your guys' wretching over a wood-framed faux-tuscan apartment, or even staples center are being pound-foolish. of course it can be fun sometimes, but there's a much bigger picture to be followed.

ocman
Sep 2, 2007, 10:02 AM
^ More succinctly (forgive me if this is a separate point), we can build a lot more residences, and house a lot more people, and achieve a much higher density, if we focused on massive amounts of mid-rise construction, rather than a relatively small district of high-rises.



Very true. I've always rolled my eyes at those "wish it were taller" remarks about proposed skyscrapers, as if anyone in the rich countries of the western world were impressed by the height of buildings anymore. I remember an architect or urban planner insightfully remarking how the eye goes to about 6 stories and after that, the added height makes no perceptual difference to the viewer when up close. A city's obsession over phallic symbols might make a good postcard but nothing more.

But I think it's not a question of 30 mid-rises versus 3 highrises. A developer is going to build as many units as possible within his budget on a small expensive plot of land. It wouldn't be reasonable for the city to cap the amount of profit he could be making by something such as a height restriction. I would see him going elsewhere to a city without those restrictions rather than buying more expensive plots of land with capped profit. IOW, it would up the amount of mid-rises in the city as opposed to high-rises, but it wouldn't increase the amount of units overall.

Wright Concept
Sep 2, 2007, 11:20 PM
Very true. I've always rolled my eyes at those "wish it were taller" remarks about proposed skyscrapers, as if anyone in the rich countries of the western world were impressed by the height of buildings anymore. I remember an architect or urban planner insightfully remarking how the eye goes to about 6 stories and after that, the added height makes no perceptual difference to the viewer when up close. A city's obsession over phallic symbols might make a good postcard but nothing more.

Allen Gingsburg says best when he calls them Granite Cocks.

But I think it's not a question of 30 mid-rises versus 3 highrises. A developer is going to build as many units as possible within his budget on a small expensive plot of land. It wouldn't be reasonable for the city to cap the amount of profit he could be making by something such as a height restriction. I would see him going elsewhere to a city without those restrictions rather than buying more expensive plots of land with capped profit. IOW, it would up the amount of mid-rises in the city as opposed to high-rises, but it wouldn't increase the amount of units overall.

In a sense they are already doing that with FAR or Floor Area Ratio and Building Zoning. For example, Let's say a 100x200' lot along Wilshire Blvd has an FAR of 6:1 but it is zoned in an HPOZ R-1.5 in Hancock Park. That means whatever the size of the lot can be increased by six times the total square footage size in this case 20,000 sf X 6 = 120,000 (minus basement and below ground levels since those are not included in the calculation). So a building can theoretically be a 200' tall 15 story building with each floor plate being 8,000 sf and satisfy the FAR (15 X 8,000 = 120,000)but the zoning will always trump the FAR if the maximum height allowed is 35'.

That is why I feel this "elegant density" the Mayor is talking about needs to be shown, explained and detailed in the zoning/building codes so that the two are in sync if not it's nothing more than mere lip service.

Wright Concept
Sep 14, 2007, 5:02 PM
http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=6119&IssueNum=222

LA City Beat

Dedicating Line 720 to Henry Waxman
L.A. Sniper: The standing-room-only Wilshire bus is the subway foe’s legacy

~ By ALAN MITTELSTAEDT ~

http://i5.tinypic.com/6gecbki.gif


It’s impossible to ride Line 720, the most crowded bus in Los Angeles, without thinking about Henry Waxman. And they are not all joyous thoughts. Most of the time they come unexpectedly. Standing in the aisle with some 30 other passengers without a place to sit on the hyper-long so-called Rapid bus, we fantasize about calling Henry’s driver on his cell phone for a Beltway traffic report and to tell him that his boss should really take public transportation if he’s so worried about public health issues. Henry, of course, does not have a driver, though his handlers didn’t call back Wednesday to say how the congressman gets to work or how often he takes the subway.

He should be on this bus as it hurtles more than 100 passengers down the packed boulevard during rush hour at speeds that can sometimes seem teeth-gnashing fast. Some peculiar law of physics must apply to these giant metal-and-glass boxes joined in the middle by accordion-style material that allows them to whip from lane to lane. In reality, this bus can’t go 30 mph for more than a second in thick traffic.

If only Henry could get behind a plan to push the subway beyond Western Avenue. What if it went a couple more miles to La Brea? Or a bit further to Fairfax? Or just toss in a few billions more and go all the way to Santa Monica, the destination of 80 or so mostly immigrant families who boarded the bus on Labor Day at MacArthur Park.

“He’s an idiot,” declares 51-year-old Virginia Miller, an ecology teacher at El Camino College. “We need an expanded subway system if Los Angeles is going to be a world-class city.”

Thirty-eight-year-old William Hernandez boards the bus in Koreatown on his way to his job as a food preparer at a West Side restaurant. “There should be a subway down Wilshire. It would be better because there are so many people.”

So here’s a proposal to consider until we get the leaders who will stay focused on the fight for a subway running the full length of Wilshire. Let’s rename Line 720 the Henry Waxman Limited Vision Line.

H-Man, the next time you’re in Los Angeles, we can do the formal dedication ceremony. We’ll invite the mayor and fellow MTA board members. Maybe County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky could put his name in early for a line of his choice. But, Henry, at least Zev is talking about transportation ideas, though not too many people like his idea of making Olympic and Pico one-way thoroughfares to ease Westside congestion.

Renaming the bus line for Subway Enemy No. 1 would be a win-win for the congressman. The dude needs to emerge from all of his committee hearings and get some name recognition; months have gone since Valerie Plame dropped by and you got front-page play around the nation. Only two or three of the dozens of riders contacted over the past three days ever heard of you. I ended up informing them, including a few of your constituents in the 30th District, about your role in derailing the subway program after the 1985 methane explosion at a Fairfax-area Ross Dress for Less store. Seizing on the methane eruption, you got your colleagues in Congress to ban the use of federal dollars paying for any tunneling west of Fairfax; a ban tinged with your constituents’ racism that, to your credit, you finally lifted this year. But aside from Virginia Miller, who, by the way, also called you a moron, few people showed much animosity toward you.

We could even make you the mascot and plaster posters of your face on the side of buses. Consider all of the positive publicity that will come your way every time the giant red bus lumbers down the boulevard? It will give new meaning to the phrase now used by your foes in Congress when they say, “Stop Henry” or “Catch Henry.”

It may seem unfair to single you out, particularly since you play such a valuable role in Washington, D.C. exposing the bozos in the current administration. In fact, you were only one of the demons who did in the subway program more than two decades ago. The sloppy subway contractor, Tutor-Saliba-Perini, which made at least 2,000 feet of subway tunnel wall too thin, among other faults, turned off the public to the idea of expanding the system. This era of disillusionment produced Yaroslavsky’s voter-approved 1998 ban on using county money for underground rail.

But there’s a reason to draw attention to your role, Henry. You still could do so much more for L.A.’s transit programs. You could make it your legacy to take a leadership role and help our subway mayor come up with the billions needed to dig toward Santa Monica. Be persuasive and get the public to pitch in.

It’s unclear whether Subway Enemy No. 1 wants his name to adorn the fleet of Line 720 buses that carry 50,000 passengers a day. We let his office staff know what we had in mind to boost the congressman’s profile on transit issues, but we didn’t hear back. We hope he’s on the Metro and out of cell phone reach.

Mayor Eats His Influence

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s ego scored one partial victory and one loss last week – and he didn’t even have to leave the office.

First, he couldn’t get all of his four chosen members of L.A. Unified’s school board to back a union plan to pay for health insurance for part-time cafeteria workers at a three-year cost of $105 million.

One of the mayor’s candidates – Tamar Galatzan – joined Marlene Canter and voted no. Before the vote, the mayor called his allies on the board, urging them to support the measure, according to the Daily News’s Naush Boghossian. Sounds like a case of the mayor cozying up to his union buddie at the expense of teachers in the classroom. The plan, of course, is a reckless precedent for the money-strapped district, which now must cut jobs, including those of teachers, to come up with the money. Said Galatzan: “I thought it was fiscally irresponsible, and it did nothing to help kids.”

The loss came on Friday, when the state Senate’s Appropriations Committee blew off the mayor’s request to amend State Sen. Alan Lowenthal’s port-cleaning bill to set aside up to $1.5 billion to replace two bridges. The committee favored using the money to actually reduce pollution – not increase it.

Given the governor’s habit of stealing money reserved for transportation projects, who can blame Antonio for getting a little creative.


It Ain’t Your Job

Every year around this time we find our state Legislature rushing out the door with a slew of unfinished business. This time, the life-threatening issue of health care, and finding a way to provide health insurance for 6.7 million Californians who can’t afford it, is pushing the deadline bell.

So, why are these geniuses wasting their time on a stating-the-obvious
measure on the Iraq war? For two hours, the Assembly debated whether or not to ask voters on the February ballot whether President Bush should “end the United States occupation of Iraq and achieve the immediate, complete, safe, and orderly withdrawal of United States forces.”

The measure, by state Senate leader Dan Perata, passed the Assembly on a 43-32 party-line vote. The bill is now on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk, where we’re counting on him to do the right thing and burn it.

If our state legislators can’t do their jobs, maybe they should consider running for Congress.





Send insults or ammo to BigAl@lasniper.com.

09-06-07

Wright Concept
Sep 25, 2007, 9:05 PM
September 25, 2007
Contact
Dave Sotero/Marc Littman
Metro Media Relations
213.922.3007/213.922.2700
metro.net/press/pressroom
mediarelations@metro.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Public Invited to Participate in Metro Westside Extension Transit Corridor Study Meetings in October
Public Comment Requested

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will be conducting several meetings in October to obtain public comment on the agency’s Westside Transit Corridor Study, which will analyze various transit alternatives and environmental impacts for the possible extension of the Metro Red Line or Metro Purple Line to West Los Angeles.

Agency consultants will evaluate potential environmental impacts for several transit modes, including Bus Rapid Transit on dedicated lanes, at-grade or aerial Light Rail Transit, subway or aerial heavy rail.

All meetings are from 6-8 p.m. and will be held at the following locations:

Tuesday, October 9, Emerson Middle School, 1650 Selby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Thursday, October 11, Pan Pacific Recreation Center, 7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036,
Tuesday, October 16, Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Wednesday, October 17, Beverly Hills Public Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Thursday, October 18, Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Metro’s Alternatives Analysis Study is the first step in the environmental clearance process. The Metro Board of Directors will determine whether to move the project forward to subsequent environmental review stages based in part on the results of this study.

Possible destinations along the Westside Extension Transit Corridor include the Fairfax District, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood/UCLA, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

The meetings will provide the public a first opportunity to learn about the several alternatives in detail and provide input. Metro will provide a review of the proposed project goals and objectives, present opportunities to speak with project representatives, display maps and photographs of various transit alternatives and allow the public’s submission of written and verbal comments.

Those unable to attend the meetings can submit their comments by writing to Mr. David Mieger, AICP, Project Manager and Deputy Executive Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Mail Stop: 99-22-5, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Comments may also be submitted through the “Contact Us” page of the project web site at www.metro.net/westside, or by phone on the project information line at (213) 922-6932. Comments should be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.

For more information on these meetings or the study, visit the Metro Web site at www.metro.net/westside.

Wright Concept
Sep 26, 2007, 8:04 PM
Gold Line extension proposal would boost Ontario Airport
BY RICK ORLOV, Staff Writer
LA Daily News
Article Last Updated:09/25/2007 09:19:12 PM PDT

In what would be a a multibillion-dollar plan to ease congestion at Los Angeles International Airport, city officials on Tuesday proposed extending the Gold Line light-rail system to provide direct service to Ontario Airport.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joined by officials from San Bernardino County and Ontario, said he will urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and federal officials to consider funding the line's extension from Azusa to the airport to help increase passenger access to the facility.

"Right now, Ontario has 7.9 million passengers a year," Villaraigosa said at a City Hall news conference. "We hope to see it grow to 30 million a year to take some of the traffic from LAX.

"Anyone who has been on the 405 Freeway today can tell you that LAX is already at the tipping point," Villaraigosa said.

"There is no question that regionalization has to be the answer for Los Angeles and surrounding areas. ... "We have to find a way to take passengers from LAX, ... and Ontario has to be a major source of the air traffic from Southern California."

But Ontario Mayor Paul Leon said the plan will have to be accompanied by ways to deal with traffic.

"If we don't plan ahead, we will end up with the same problems that exist around LAX," Leon said.

Leon and San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt pledged to work with Villaraigosa to lobby for federal funds to help Metro finance a Gold Line extension.

Metro spokesman Mark Littman said current plans for the Gold Line call for extending it by 22 miles to Azusa from Sierra Madre at an estimated price tag of $1.7 billion.

That cost could more than double if the line were extended to Ontario, officials estimate.

Littman said Metro has already identified some $50 billion in transit improvements needed for the region, but has only about $4 billion in funds.

"If it was to be extended, we would need to find some other sources of revenue," Littman said.

The city of Los Angeles owns and operates the Ontario facility, and Ontario officials have supported its expansion.

Villaraigosa said the Union Station FlyAway to Ontario Airport already carries 600,000 passengers a year.

Part of the plan is to try to persuade the airlines to move more of their service to Ontario from LAX.

Villaraigosa said city officials hope to raise maintenance and landing fees at LAX as an incentive for the airlines to move east.

rick.orlov@dailynews.com

(213) 978-0390

Echo Park
Sep 26, 2007, 9:16 PM
So how long would a trip from Ontario airport to downtown L.A. take? With its top speed of 55 mph, and a dozen stops, not to mention the huge slowdown passing through Pasadena and Highland Park, I can't really see this extension as all that convenient. Doesn't Metrolink have a station near Ontario's airport? Seems like a waste of money when there are more important projects the Metro needs funding for. But I guess that's an example of what political will can do. These SGV cities have formed an alliance and are demanding light rail through their cities. Somehow I don't feel this same demand and political will from communities along Wilshire or Vermont, corridors that need rail now.

BrighamYen
Sep 27, 2007, 11:44 AM
Doesn't Metrolink have a station near Ontario's airport? Seems like a waste of money when there are more important projects the Metro needs funding for.


Yeah, it couldn't be closer actually. It's pretty much right at the front door of Ontario Airport.


http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/2366/metrolinkcw2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/4580/untitledpr7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


Talk about reinventing the wheel huh? :yuck:

Wright Concept
Sep 27, 2007, 5:05 PM
Yeah, it couldn't be closer actually. It's pretty much right at the front door of Ontario Airport.

Talk about reinventing the wheel huh? :yuck:

The front door is on the other side on Airport Blvd. about half of the distance of getting the Green Line to LAX. The problem is that the Riverside Line doesn't run effectively because that cooridor is owned by Union Pacific and they run a lot of freight there that delays the schedules. The best bet would be a short shuttle or spur track from the San Bernandino Line which Metrolink partly owns and has better control and schedule reliablity with.

Wright Concept
Sep 27, 2007, 5:30 PM
Man throws himself in front of Orange Line bus
Daily News
LA Daily News
Article Last Updated:09/27/2007 12:09:38 AM PDT

TARZANA -- A critically injured man is in surgery now at a local hospital after allegedly jumping in front of an oncoming Orange Line bus this morning, authorities said.

The 8:30 a.m. collision occurred about half a mile from the Tampa Avenue station as the commuter bus headed west on its route and encountered the man standing on the fenced off right-of-way.

The bus operator told police he slowed down and steered the bus away from the man, who allegedly jumped in front of the vehicle, said Marc Littman, Metro spokesman.

The man, who was not identified, was struck and then became stuck under the bus, Littman said.

This marks the first serious accident with a pedestrian on the Orange Line, which runs from North Hollywood to Warner Center, Littman said.

Bus service was detoured around the accident.

BrighamYen
Sep 27, 2007, 9:55 PM
The front door is on the other side on Airport Blvd. about half of the distance of getting the Green Line to LAX. The problem is that the Riverside Line doesn't run effectively because that cooridor is owned by Union Pacific and they run a lot of freight there that delays the schedules. The best bet would be a short shuttle or spur track from the San Bernandino Line which Metrolink partly owns and has better control and schedule reliablity with.

Either way, the main point underneath it all was that the politically motivated extension of the Gold Line is taking away precious monies from other more worthy projects based on practical need (namely the Expo Line to SM and part of the Purple Line extension).

Why build a slower mode of transit (GL extension) when you can just build a short connection to the San Bernandino Metrolink line at a fraction of the cost as well as being more speedy on Metrolink trains to DTLA? Also, time is of the essence since estimated completion of the GL extension isn't for another 10-15 years from now, and construction costs will skyrocket becoming prohibitively expensive as the world heads toward (expensive) peak oil.

Wright Concept
Sep 27, 2007, 11:12 PM
Either way, the main point underneath it all was that the politically motivated extension of the Gold Line is taking away precious monies from other more worthy projects based on practical need (namely the Expo Line to SM and part of the Purple Line extension).

Why build a slower mode of transit (GL extension) when you can just build a short connection to the San Bernandino Metrolink line at a fraction of the cost as well as being more speedy on Metrolink trains to DTLA? Also, time is of the essence since estimated completion of the GL extension isn't for another 10-15 years from now, and construction costs will skyrocket becoming prohibitively expensive as the world heads toward (expensive) peak oil.

I wouldn't say it exactly like this now, because with the extension into San Bernadino county adds another pot of money that can go towards some connection. Plus they aren't getting handed a check anytime soon for it because despite the politics the $$$ factor isn't going towards Gold Line to Montclair. More like Gold Line to Azusa/Citrus College which would be an adequate extension.

But as with most things "the squeakiest wheels get the grease".

BrighamYen
Sep 28, 2007, 12:08 AM
^ Given that the mayor's plan is to bring more traffic to Ontario and relieve LAX of more domestic flights, it would make more sense to utilitize and build upon the infrastructure already in place (the Metrolink). It's built for communting longer distances in a more timely fashion.

It *must be* known by the powers that be that most people are not going to leave Union Station on the GL extension if it were ever extended to Ontario. The trip would just be intolerably long. Until I realized Metrolink as an option, I felt there was no other way to get to Ontario by rail (since Maglev to Ontario seems out of the question). But now that we know its an option, why not introduce a shuttle service from the station and market it widely (like FlyAway)?

Wright Concept
Sep 28, 2007, 12:29 AM
The Gold Line extension is more for the folks in the growing regional centers Pasadena, Azusa and Pomona to hit up Ontario and move within Northern San Gabriel Valley, then to quell regionalization of the airports or to serve Downtown LA. In addition from the end at Montclair will serve as a feeder to the Metrolink line.

BrighamYen
Sep 28, 2007, 1:47 AM
^ Even a recent study that came out said that ridership forecasts for an extended GL to Montclair was a paltry additional 7,500 riders, IIRC. Although I believe more people will start using it over time (as gas gets more expensive due to a decline in supply), and the method used to forecast ridership is flawed in my opinion (since it hasn't been able to predict with any accuracy recent ridership numbers for the Orange Line, etc.), it is still not the highest priority in my opinion for the regional mass transit system long-range development plan. The Foothill cities would have to develop and link multiple "Old Towns" together in order for it to become truly popular. From my understanding the station in Monrovia will bypass their Old Town altogether. What a waste. Dropping you off at "Lake Avenue stations" won't help incorporate mass transit into the daily lives of Foothill residents/visitors.

Wright Concept
Sep 28, 2007, 4:52 AM
^ Even a recent study that came out said that ridership forecasts for an extended GL to Montclair was a paltry additional 7,500 riders, IIRC. Although I believe more people will start using it over time (as gas gets more expensive due to a decline in supply), and the method used to forecast ridership is flawed in my opinion.

7500 to Montclair? Something is very fishy. I remember it being under 10,000 riders to Azusa and close to 20,000 for the entire line but that is based off a bus ridership model.

The Foothill cities would have to develop and link multiple "Old Towns" together in order for it to become truly popular. From my understanding the station in Monrovia will bypass their Old Town altogether. What a waste. Dropping you off at "Lake Avenue stations" won't help incorporate mass transit into the daily lives of Foothill residents/visitors.

Monrovia and Azusa will be incorporating there Old Towns into the design of the line. Duarte is developing a mega research and medical complex similiar to Cedars Sinai right next to the line. City of Azusa is allowing development around the future right of way and stations. You might be thinking about San Dimas which is on the "Phase 2" portion east of Citrus College. But as the Lake Avenue comment, that is a mute point because Del Mar and Memorial Park Station which is steps away from Old Town will be the main focus of Pasadena. Lake Avenue is a close walk to the little shopping center and high rise buildings there. The one station that irks me a bit is the Allen Station which should have been moved to Hill Avenue to serve Pasadena City College.

Wright Concept
Oct 2, 2007, 8:46 PM
Posting from the Windy City.
===========================================================

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-localgovtqa1oct01,1,2592915.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

From the Los Angeles Times
Gold Line extension plays a cruel joke on commuters trying to get downtown
By Steve Hymon
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 1, 2007

If you have driven along 1st Street in downtown Los Angeles lately, you may have noticed a difference: there are railroad tracks in the pavement that weren't there a few weeks ago.

The tracks are part of an extension of the light-rail Gold Line that will connect East Los Angeles to Union Station, with trains continuing to Pasadena. The line is scheduled to open in 2009.

Think about that for a second, and then take a hard look at the accompanying photo. . . .

So what's wrong with the picture?

The new rail line, in a way, is cruel. Imagine boarding the train in Boyle Heights and then rolling down 1st Street directly toward the heart of downtown.

"Toward" is the operative word there. Just when the train hits the outskirts of the business district, it turns north on Alameda Street toward Union Station. If the heart of downtown is your destination, you must switch to the subway at Union Station and go back to where you were heading in the first place.

What's the big deal about that?

If you believe that mass transit should take you where you want to go -- not kind of near where you want to go, then it's dumb.

It also violates the first rule of commuting in Los Angeles: Always head toward your destination.

And the solution to this?

A light-rail line that would serve as a Downtown Connector by tying together the four light-rail lines that eventually will run into downtown. The Blue Line from Long Beach and the future Expo Line from Culver City end at 7th and Flower streets while the Gold Lines both run to Union Station.

The benefit is obvious. If built, the connector would allow a single train to run, for example, from Long Beach to Pasadena or East L.A. to Culver City. That means less time-munching transfers and more direct routes.

But isn't this just another one of those mythical rail lines that will never get built but this column likes to trumpet because of its unhealthy fetish about urban rail?

Perhaps.

On the other hand, the idea is being taken seriously in transit circles. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff already has declared the connector as its highest priority, but ultimately it is the politicians and their appointees who serve on the MTA board who will make the final call next spring when the agency cements its 25-year plan.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, one of the board members, has often said the connector is a priority, and this year he persuaded the board to approve a study of the project that must be done in order to secure future funding.

Money, as usual, is the big problem -- the MTA has $55 billion in projects it wants to build over the next 30 years but has identified only $4 billion in funding. The connector is estimated to cost $880 million if built by 2024.

Bang your head against the breakfast table before asking why it might take 17 years to build a two-mile rail line. This is, after all, the City of Extremely Low Expectations.

In the meantime, the MTA is looking at a variety of routes for the connector, including some that take it underground downtown and other routes that would run along streets, said Diego Cardoso, an executive officer for the agency's planning office.

That's always a controversial notion, and cars might be the loser. But the upside is a train that may actually take you where you want to go.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a similar note, just how evil is traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway these days?

As many readers probably are aware, the proliferation of jobs on the Westside has turned the 10 Freeway into the highway to hell.

Last Wednesday, this column couldn't avoid the freeway and timed how long it took to drive west at 8 a.m. from Normandie to La Brea avenues, a distance of 2.8 miles.

The first mile flew by in 6 minutes, 20 seconds. The second mile breezed by in another 9 minutes, 38 seconds. By the time the car's wheels actually touched La Brea: 22 minutes, 5 seconds for a mind-bending average of about 7.6 mph. Hardly anyone was carpooling. Which brings us to. . .

Any more details on how to pay for the "subway to the sea"?

Attentive readers may recall that developer Ken Kahan offered a plan in this space two weeks ago.

Kahan believes that a state infrastructure finance district should be created that would include properties along Wilshire Boulevard (the subway is expected to mostly follow Wilshire).

How does it work? Let's say a property is sold on Wilshire and the annual property taxes go up. That increase -- called a tax increment -- would be put into a fund to build infrastructure. Such as a subway.

Given the absence thus far of a subway funding plan from elected officials, Kahan's idea is worth a further look. Yes, it's a little wonky. But here are four things you should know:

1. State law would need to be changed, since the Legislature created infrastructure districts to help undeveloped areas.

2. Creating a district requires a vote of two-thirds of the people who live on Wilshire.

3. The district does not increase taxes. It diverts some of what would be a normal revenue increase to an infrastructure district for up to 30 years. Officials could then borrow money to build a subway, for example, and use the extra property tax revenue to pay off the loan.

4. However, agencies that might have otherwise received that extra tax revenue would have to approve the plan.

And therein lies the rub. If you live in the city of Los Angeles, for example, about half of each property tax dollar you pay goes to the city and county, with the other half going to the state and schools. All those entities need property tax revenues to keep rising -- because their costs are always rising -- and they may block an infrastructure district for that very reason.

Is there that much money to be gained from a tax increment?

In all probability, yes.

One of the striking things about the county's property tax revenue is that the amount has risen almost every year for the last three decades.

There's no reason to believe that also wouldn't be true on a long corridor such as Wilshire, with its hundreds of parcels. Remember -- if taxes increase $500,000 on a newly developed property, that's $500,000 of increment that would go to the subway each year during the life of the infrastructure district.

Kahan's plan seemingly offers some other pluses. Not all the tax increment needs to go to an infrastructure district -- some can keep going to government agencies. And since it is unlikely that the state or the feds would pay for the entire subway -- at an anticipated cost of at least $5 billion -- a district could provide some of the money without raising sales taxes, a frequent government tactic when it comes to paying for mass transit.

"What better way to build the subway than let those who benefit the most from it pay for it," Kahan said. "Every party I've ever talked to about this says 'Great idea but you've got to get the county and city to agree' -- and the reason it's not happening is because the politicians can't make it happen."

We'll leave it there for this week, but next week we'd like to know what politicians at the county and city think.

Let's wrap it up with a quiz: The chance to win which of the following was recently offered to city staffers willing to take a tree seedling home with them as part of Villaraigosa's million-tree plan?

A) A new TV

B) A pony

C) A tasty -- but healthy! -- afternoon snack with the mayor

Answer: A is correct, but C would be more entertaining.

Next week: The quest for a three-eyed fish.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 2, 2007, 10:28 PM
L.A. has many transit corridors that currently have extremely-high ridership. These include Wilshire Blvd., Lincoln Blvd., Vermont Ave., and Santa Monica Blvd. Not to mention the Downtown Connector route.

From this perspective, the "build-it-and-they-will-come" mentality behind the Foothill extension is stunningly absurd. They should "build it" where it makes the most sense to build it, even if it costs a bit more.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 2, 2007, 11:35 PM
Just read an editorial (http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/columns/FrankGruber/FG-2007/04_2007/04_09_2007_The_High_Cost_of_Cheap_Bus_Fares.htm)
about the poverty of L.A.'s transit system. He had an interesting take on how to improve the system.

His idea: fund drastic service improvements by implementing drastic fare increases. Many people can afford to pay more than they are now. (I know I can.) And to those who can't, provide a direct subsidy (with proof of need), such as with free or discounted passes.

Wow, a revolutionary idea! Imagine how much money could be raised if the fares were restructured? Say, $3 or $4 for base fare, $1.50 for transfers. How many more people would ride the bus if it were comfortable and uncrowded and came every five minutes on every major line?

sopas ej
Oct 2, 2007, 11:47 PM
Just read an editorial (http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/columns/FrankGruber/FG-2007/04_2007/04_09_2007_The_High_Cost_of_Cheap_Bus_Fares.htm)
about the poverty of L.A.'s transit system. He had an interesting take on how to improve the system.

His idea: fund drastic service improvements by implementing drastic fare increases. Many people can afford to pay more than they are now. (I know I can.) And to those who can't, provide a direct subsidy (with proof of need), such as with free or discounted passes.

Wow, a revolutionary idea! Imagine how much money could be raised if the fares were restructured? Say, $3 or $4 for base fare, $1.50 for transfers. How many more people would ride the bus if it were comfortable and uncrowded and came every five minutes on every major line?

3 or 4 bucks for base fare would be a lot of money, especially for the working poor. I don't exactly qualify for welfare and I'm definitely not rich; if I took the bus to work at the prices you suggest, that would be around $200 a month I'd be spending just to go to work and back, not even to run errands or do grocery shopping. I don't even spend that much for gasoline per month.

The last time I took MUNI in San Francisco, it was only a buck, and that system goes EVERYWHERE in the City. I think MUNI fares were raised to $1.50, a few years ago, but that's still very reasonable. If anything, the LA MTA needs better management and planning.

munkyman
Oct 3, 2007, 7:39 PM
I know this is way off topic, but does anyone know what happened to the "getlamoving" website? I went there a few months ago, and then I went again today to see what changes there were, and I saw nothing new. Has that whole awareness project sort of fallen apart? They haven't even created a benefits section yet.

dktshb
Oct 4, 2007, 5:50 AM
I originally voted for a the subway to westwood as the most important development but I am starting to agree that we first should focus on connecting all the lines we do have downtown and extend the green line to the airport. That way you can get to downtown or LAX from just about anywhere on the existing lines without much trouble.

DowntownCharlieBrown
Oct 4, 2007, 6:07 AM
:previous: PV – is the trend changing from when you first started the poll. IOW, is the downtown connector increasing in popularity?


We need to have all the lines built, quick. Look at this:


One Week Lost To Traffic Nationally, Two In L.A., O.C.
· United States
· California
· Transportation
· Urban Development / Real Estate
Posted by: Nate Berg
18 September 2007 - 2:00pm

Los Angeles and Orange counties are once again home to the longest amounts of time drivers waste in traffic congestion, at 72 hours per year. Nationally, the average amount of time lost to traffic congestion is 38 hours -- nearly a full week's work.

"Researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute found that motorists in Los Angeles and Orange counties wasted an average of 72 hours in rush-hour traffic in 2005. That's one day shy of two full work weeks a year and 20 hours more than in 1985."

"In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, drivers wasted an average of 49 hours stuck in peak-period congestion during 2005. But the increase in delays since 1985 -- a stunning 40 extra hours -- is twice what Los Angeles motorists experienced."

"The average annual delay in the Oxnard-Ventura area at rush hour was eight hours in 1985. It hit 39 hours in 2005, according to the institute, which is based at Texas A&M University."

"Nationally, the study shows that time wasted in rush-hour traffic has steadily risen from an average of 14 hours in 1982 -- the first year of the study -- to 38 hours in 2005."
Source: Los Angeles Times, Sep 18, 2007

BrighamYen
Oct 4, 2007, 8:38 AM
Task force enlists shuttles to fight downtown traffic
BY SUE DOYLE, Staff Writer
LA Daily News


From Lakers games to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, there's plenty to do downtown. But after five days of hectic commutes, who wants to tack on any more driving time just to see a show?

That's the question managers at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Music Center and other major venues are trying to answer to fill empty seats.

New shuttles and extended DASH evening hours may be a short-term cure.

That's what a special task force from the city's entertainment centers, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Los Angeles City Hall suggests.

"We've seen how traffic could potentially limit people coming to these venues," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

Metro's buses and rail lines crisscross downtown. But who wants to hop on the bus or train sporting a tuxedo or evening gown only to have it soiled or stained by something spilled on the seat?

With that in mind, the Los Angeles Opera paid for a luxury bus three times in June to whisk patrons from the Westwood Federal Building to its downtown performances.

The experimental service, which cost passengers $15, included onboard pre-performance lectures - a high-brow feature the opera offers before shows but one that many miss because they're stuck in traffic and running late.

With just 35 percent of its seats filled during the trial run, the shuttle was deemed a smashing success by L.A. standards.

Calling for an encore, opera officials want to keep the luxury liner running next season, said Gary Murphy, Los Angeles Opera director of communications.

"It's vital for us to help our audiences get here," said Murphy. "As more people do come down here, there will be more traffic. But if this is a way to alleviate traffic and serve our audience, so be it."

To ease concerns of visitors unfamiliar with downtown streets, the monthly Downtown Art Walk - a two-mile circuit of 30 galleries - added a DASH bus at night.

The bus, a $5,000 pilot program paid for by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, is on a one-year trial to see whether there's sufficient demand for it.

Although shuttles help take cars off the roads, the problem is that many don't seem to stick around too long.

Often starting as pilot programs that rely on money specifically set aside to solve a particular transportation problem, when the money runs out, the rides come to an end.

Plus, they typically suffer from low ridership because they get little advertising, since that takes away money from the programs. And they count on people changing their attitudes about mass transit.

"You have a problem that people view buses and shuttles as a second-class good," said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

While well-intended, many have proved to be more of a temporary fix than a permanent solution.

Look at the Holly Trolley, which cruised martini-sipping hipsters around swanky Hollywood nightclubs for about 16 months.

It came to its final stop in May after its $300,000 grant from the city ran out.

Although it cost only $1 a ride, the Holly Trolley did not attract enough riders to keep it going, said James Lefton, chief of transit programs for the city Department of Transportation.

"You can't win them all, but it had a good run," said Lefton.

Shuttles to Griffith Observatory are also expected to wind down in early November when the contract with the bus vendor expires, city officials said.

After that visitors, can park again on top of the treasured hilltop.

Since the landmark re-opened in November last year after four years of renovations, visitors could only see it by paying up to $8 for shuttles from a satellite parking lot off Zoo Drive.

City officials were concerned that the throngs of visitors to the refurbished site would clog the already crowded Los Feliz streets around the park.

Although fees to ride the shuttles cover the costs to operate them, some resented paying anything to see the landmark that they have always visited for free.

About 608,116 visitors have hopped on board the shuttles, estimated to keep at least 200,000 cars off the streets.

alongfortheride@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3683

Wright Concept
Oct 4, 2007, 6:35 PM
:previous: PV – is the trend changing from when you first started the poll. IOW, is the downtown connector increasing in popularity?


To answer your question, Downtown Connector has stalled quite a bit. The Subway to Westwood votes have reminded steady since I first started the poll 2+ years ago. The 405 Corridor are saw the latest surge. I account for the bulk of this is the visablity the Subway gets from other posters. Downtown Connector is more a local voted for simply because that has the most direct case.

I've been thinking of starting a new thread with a revised poll with a map showing all the currently listed corridors and how they relate to one another and how it will effect the region's mobility. But time has been a factor to it all.

DowntownCharlieBrown
Oct 4, 2007, 7:00 PM
:previous: Thanks PV.

I understand time constraints, but if you ever get chance to show exactly from “point A” to “point B” which each of the voting choices represent, that would be very helpful.

BrighamYen
Oct 4, 2007, 11:28 PM
IMO:

#1 - Purple Line Extension to Santa Monica

#2 - Expo Line Extension from Culver City to Santa Monica

#3 - Downtown Connector

#4 - Green Line to LAX, SM, and 405 up to Valley

LosAngelesSportsFan
Oct 4, 2007, 11:37 PM
^ i pretty much agree except for switching 2 and 3. If Expo is completed before the downtown connector, its going to be a mess. Also, the usability of our network will increase 10 fold once the DC is done. 5 would be the crenshaw line and 6 the vermont line in my opinion.

BrighamYen
Oct 4, 2007, 11:51 PM
^ I agree, it's just that I believe we should fund and complete the Expo line without further ado.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 5, 2007, 3:39 PM
The Downtown Connector would add so much value to the system. Especially once the Expo and Eastside lines open up.

I'd like it to built a subway, but elevated might work too. And there's so much space between our buildings in DTLA, I can easily see having room for an elevated line between 4th/Flower and Little Tokyo.

As long as it's grade-separated along its entire length.

RAlossi
Oct 5, 2007, 4:06 PM
^ An elevated line would totally work in Downtown. I don't think you'd see much opposition to it. Now that I've lived Downtown for over six months, I'm realizing more and more how absolutely crucial the Downtown Connector is to the system.

Add in the Eastside Gold Line and the Expo Line and it's pretty obvious it's going to have to get built.

Quixote
Oct 5, 2007, 7:01 PM
Can someone explain to me why the Downtown Connector is such a high priority, at least compared to the Purple Line extension or the Crenshaw Corridor.

Wright Concept
Oct 5, 2007, 8:26 PM
Can someone explain to me why the Downtown Connector is such a high priority, at least compared to the Purple Line extension or the Crenshaw Corridor.


Simple explaination, Connectivity

1) Enables riders traveling longer distances to destinations without additional transfers mimicing the freeway networks and adding riders.
2) Relieves operational and capacity constraints to the busy Blue Line and soon to be busy Expo Line.
3) Allows for Gold Line riders direct access into Downtown without transfering to the Red/Purple Lines which would dramatically effect the capacity constraints of that line if it's extended Westward. So the connector would help allow an extension Westward of the Purple Line.
4) For the amount of $$$ spent, Downtown Connector (even as a full subway) is the more cost-effective project than the Purple Line westward because you're connecting lines together in a transit corridor hitting important job, recreation destinations. Think of it as our version of SF Muni Metro or Boston's Green Line which has it's streetcar/LRV's run from the outer areas into the core and hitting the major stops along the way. But ours has an additional advantage because of this little thing cause a Polycentric regional layout because it means seats will be filled even outside of Downtown LA. (See Explanation #1)
5) Enables future extensions running outward from the Downtown Core to other regions.

In addition - this is just my opinion of course- a Purple Line extension West will need north-south transfers (Crenshaw and 405/Sepulveda you know creating a usable Transit network or in the words of some a "Gold Plated subway") or divert from the straight Wilshire Corridor path in order for it to be most effective.

Now that is not to say that Crenshaw and Purple Line aren't important. I'd argue they are equally important to each other to promote connectivity within the Mid-Wilshire area to other locations. That is what will make those two projects politically desirable.

=====================================================

I close with this riddle:
Now let's say LA County has a rich uncle that gives us $5 Billion dollars earmarked for transportation, how would we use it most effectively. If we had a choice of:
$ One 13 mile corridor from Wilshire/Western to Santa Monica or,
$ Two corridors: 8.5 miles from UCLA to Western with a 4.5 mile connection between Crenshaw and Wilshire/La Brea or,
$ Three corridors: 4.0 miles from Cedars/Beverly Center to Western, 4.5 mile connection between Crenshaw and Wilshire/La Brea and 4.5 mile route between UCLA and Venice/Sepulveda with a connection with Expo Line.

Which one would you choose?

Quixote
Oct 6, 2007, 5:02 AM
Crenshaw/Prairie Transit Corridor Study

Overview

Background

Metro is preparing an Alternative Analysis (AA), Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Crenshaw-Prairie Transit Corridor, which extends approximately 10 miles from Wilshire Boulevard on the north to El Segundo Boulevard on the south.

The project purpose is to improve public transit service and mobility in the Crenshaw-Prairie Corridor between Wilshire and El Segundo Boulevards. The overall goal of the proposed project is to improve mobility in the corridor by connecting with existing lines such as the Metro Green Line or approved transit lines such as the Exposition Light Rail Transit (LRT) (under construction). Mobility issues in the corridor have been well documented in many studies, including the Crenshaw-Prairie Corridor Preliminary Planning Study (1994), the Route Refinement Study (2000), the Major Investment Study (MIS) (2003), and the 2004 Regional Transportation Plan.

Project Area

The corridor within the study area has a north-south orientation and includes five jurisdictions: the Cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo, as well as portions of unincorporated County of Los Angeles. The corridor study area is generally defined as the area extending north to Wilshire Boulevard, east to Arlington Avenue, south to El Segundo Boulevard, and west to Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevards. A variety of land uses exist along the corridor including residences, religious institutions and commercial property, north of Interstate 10 (I-10) and south of Slauson Avenue, industrial and public land uses in Inglewood and El Segundo, as well as redevelopment areas in Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Hawthorne.

In addition to a No-Build Alternative, a range of reasonable alternatives will be evaluated including, but not limited to: alternative transit technologies, alignments/routes, service branches, station locations, and a Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative. The TSM alternative enhances the No-Build Alternative and emphasizes transportation system upgrades, such as bus route restructuring, shortened bus headways, expanded use of articulated buses, reserved bus lanes, expanded park/ride facilities, express and limited-stop service, signalization improvements, and timed-transfer operations.

The transit technologies to be evaluated will include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), and others identified during scoping for the project. In addition to the alternative technologies, two different BRT and LRT alignment alternatives have been identified for initial consideration. One alignment alternative provides for a BRT or LRT line operating south from Wilshire Boulevard or the Exposition LRT Line (under construction), along Crenshaw Boulevard through Koreatown, the Crenshaw District, and downtown Inglewood on the Metro-owned Harbor Subdivision railroad right-of-way, where the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway operates some freight service, continuing to the Metro Green Line Aviation Station. A transfer connection would be provided to LAX from the Aviation Station.

A second alignment alternative provides for operation of a BRT or LRT line south from Wilshire Boulevard or the Exposition LRT line along Crenshaw Boulevard to the Harbor Subdivision railroad right-of-way. The BRT Alternative would then operate along the Harbor Subdivision railroad right-of-way to La Brea Avenue, where it would turn southward to Hawthorne Boulevard and terminate at El Segundo Boulevard. The LRT Alternative would operate along the Harbor Subdivision railroad right-of-way south to Prairie Avenue, then turn west to connect with the Metro Green Line Hawthorne Station along the I-105 Freeway and south on Hawthorne Boulevard to El Segundo Boulevard. In addition to these alignment alternatives, other alternatives may be identified during project scoping.


Project Map: http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/crenshaw/map_crenshaw.pdf

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/crenshaw/default.htm)

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 6, 2007, 6:03 PM
:yes: :tup: :yes: :tup: :yes:

ALERT!!!
PURPLE LINE MEETINGS!!!

From metro.net (http://metro.net/news_info/press/metro_176.htm):

Public Invited to Participate in Metro Westside Extension Transit Corridor Study Meetings in October

Public Comment Requested

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will be conducting several meetings in October to obtain public comment on the agency’s Westside Transit Corridor Study, which will analyze various transit alternatives and environmental impacts for the possible extension of the Metro Red Line or Metro Purple Line to West Los Angeles.

Agency consultants will evaluate potential environmental impacts for several transit modes, including Bus Rapid Transit on dedicated lanes, at-grade or aerial Light Rail Transit, subway or aerial heavy rail.

All meetings are from 6-8 p.m. and will be held at the following locations:

* Tuesday, October 9, Emerson Middle School, 1650 Selby Avenue, Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1650+Selby+Ave,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90024,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title))
* Thursday, October 11, Pan Pacific Recreation Center, 7600 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=7600+Beverly+Blvd,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90036,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title))
* Tuesday, October 16, Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=4350+Wilshire+Blvd,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90005,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title))
* Wednesday, October 17, Beverly Hills Public Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=444+N+Rexford+Dr,+Beverly+Hills,+CA+90210,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title))
* Thursday, October 18, Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=601+Santa+Monica+Blvd,+Santa+Monica,+CA+90401,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title))

Click here (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&msa=0&ll=34.050242,-118.420429&spn=0.162711,0.376282&z=12&om=1&msid=117650285842102110048.00043bd76f487ea6ca548) to view a map showing all five meetings.

Here is a map of the Westside Study Area:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/1498462617_0e2fcd471e_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/1498462617_0e2fcd471e_b.jpg)

Metro’s Alternatives Analysis Study is the first step in the environmental clearance process. The Metro Board of Directors will determine whether to move the project forward to subsequent environmental review stages based in part on the results of this study.

Possible destinations along the Westside Extension Transit Corridor include the Fairfax District, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood/UCLA, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

The meetings will provide the public a first opportunity to learn about the several alternatives in detail and provide input. Metro will provide a review of the proposed project goals and objectives, present opportunities to speak with project representatives, display maps and photographs of various transit alternatives and allow the public’s submission of written and verbal comments.

Those unable to attend the meetings can submit their comments by writing to Mr. David Mieger, AICP, Project Manager and Deputy Executive Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Mail Stop: 99-22-5, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments may also be submitted through the “Contact Us” page of the project web site at www.metro.net/westside, or by phone on the project information line at (213) 922-6932. Comments should be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.

For more information on these meetings or the study, visit the Metro Web site at www.metro.net/westside.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 6, 2007, 6:28 PM
Other potential projects are having public meetings too.

CRENSHAW LINE

The Crenshaw Line Project is having the following set of community project scoping meetings in October:

* Monday, October 15, 6 to 8 p.m., Darby Park, 3400 W. Arbor Vitae St., Inglewood (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3400+W+Arbor+Vitae+St,+Inglewood,+CA+90305,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)).
* Wednesday, October 17, 6 to 8 p.m., Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=4718+W+Washington+Blvd,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90016,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)).
* Saturday, October 20, 9 to 11 a.m., Audubon Middle School, 4120 11th Ave., Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=4120+11th+Ave,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90008,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)).

Click here (http://metro.net/news_info/press/metro_180.htm) for more info.

Here is a map of the Crenshaw Study Area:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2216/1498713983_16de6c9111_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2216/1498713983_16de6c9111_b.jpg)

EXPO LINE PHASE 2

The Expo Line Phase 2 project is having a set of meetings to reveal the results of the initial screening of alternatives, following the scoping meetings from earlier this year. The meetings are:

* Monday, October 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (East Wing Mtg Room), 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1855+Main+St,+Santa+Monica,+CA+90401,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)). Free parking available off Main Street.
* Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Venice High School (Auditorium), 13000 Venice Blvd, Venice (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=13000+Venice+Blvd,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90066,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)). Street parking available.
* Thursday, October 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services (Gymnasium), 3200 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles (map (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3200+Motor+Ave,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90064,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title)). Free parking available on campus.

Click here (http://www.buildexpo.org/phase2_overview.php) for more info.

suga
Oct 7, 2007, 2:30 AM
including Bus Rapid Transit on dedicated lanes, at-grade or aerial Light Rail Transit

WHat is with the MTA and incompetence? I cannot believe these asshats would even mention the notion of LRT or BRT down wilshire, LRT is just stupid becuase HTR/seamless ride is a big no shitter, and well we all know about BRT and the poop storm it brought. Do folks at the MTA abhor functionality? Can they not understand a foundation of quality transit is minimal transfers? I know they were boxed in with making the orange line BRT, but this is totally unacceptable for any other corridor that should obviously heavy rail.

The MTA must be full of idiots. Of the 2 people in my school I've met that work for the MTA, one failed his master's test (although he's very nice) and the other one is a braindead bitch who had trouble working in groups. To top it off, another classmate of mine who is brilliant, was denied a position for semantical reasons (A DUI 8 years ago), that was really sad.

edluva
Oct 7, 2007, 9:05 AM
LA is full of asshats and idiots (one exception being me of course :cool:). Seriously though, this is a relatively moronic city - and i'm talking per-capita basis here.

LAsam
Oct 7, 2007, 3:19 PM
Simmer down guys! I believe to obtain federal funding there is a series of procedures you have to execute. One of which, is properly establishing a Locally Preferred Alternative. It's not that the MTA is saying their a good idea, they're just OPTIONS.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 7, 2007, 9:12 PM
suga, they have to include those options and then systematically eliminate them. That's how the environmental process works.

If you feel strongly about building a subway, go to the meeting and be heard. Finally the process is started: now is the time to finally get the subway built!

BrighamYen
Oct 9, 2007, 9:13 AM
I'm definitely going to at least one of the Purple Line meetings (as I usually attend most of these metro meetings). Anyone care to join me? :)

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 9, 2007, 6:53 PM
Here is the text of my comments, which I plan to submit:

I strongly support extension of the Central Subway (Purple Line) west. I am a regular transit rider
who has taken Metro Rail since the Blue Line opened in 1990.

• The line should be built along Wilshire Boulevard. Wilshire Boulevard is undisputedly
the spine of Los Angeles, and contains the most dense concentrations of residences, businesses and
retail destinations in the region. In my opinion, the only deviation from Wilshire should be to
Century City, which would have a station at Santa Monica and Avenue of the Stars.

• The line should go to Santa Monica: at minimum, it should reach Century City. I believe
ridership would be high along the entire length of the corridor. I would like to see new stations
at Crenshaw, La Brea, Fairfax, La Cienega, Beverly/Rodeo, Avenue of the Stars, Westwood,
Bundy, Centinela, and 3rd Street Promenade.

• The line should be a subway. I am opposed to any surface solution, because riding in traffic
is simply too slow, no matter what you do with signal-synchronization. I think an elevated line
is OK, but would likely encounter huge opposition due to the visual impact.

• The line should be HRT (heavy-rail transit), compatible with the existing subway system.
I am opposed to BRT and LRT, for two reasons. First, only HRT has the capacity to handle
the high ridership that the line would see. And second, a bus or light-rail solution would result
in riders having to transfer in mid-commute. The ride across the city should be a one-seat ride,
from the Westside to Downtown L.A.

• The line should be built right, not on-the-cheap. I realize subway construction is expensive.
And I think every effort should be taken to save money. But I also think we have to look at this
project as an investment. If done right, this line will have very high ridership and will be a
fantastic asset to the entire region. Therefore, as I said before, the line should be a high-speed,
heavy-rail subway, under Wilshire Boulevard. Also, this line should have an adequate number
of stations that are pleasant and that have multiple entrances and amenities.

The city is becoming very dense. Yet, as a city we lack good transit alternatives. In some areas, there
is simply no good way of getting around. If you need to travel between Westwood or Century City and
Downtown L.A. at rush hour, for instance, you are simply out of luck.

This situation is very bad for businesses and residents. Trips to the LACMA are difficult. Getting to
the Central Library from the Westside is very difficult. And as time goes on, and traffic gets worse,
it will become harder and harder for businesses in Central L.A. to survive.

L.A. is a huge city. It needs to start building solutions that scale well. Freeways don’t scale well.
If you expand a freeway, it becomes filled to capacity in no time.

Grade-separated rail scales very well. Every modern world-class city has a comprehensive metro system,
because such a system allows the city to develop around people (pedestrians) rather than around cars.

Please make this essential project happen. It is essential to our city, and it will only get more expensive
the longer we wait.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 9, 2007, 7:00 PM
I'm going tonight and probably to one of the meetings next week.

Whoever wants to see the subway built should (at the very least) voice your support by filling out the project's comment form (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/westside/form.htm).

:whip: :whip: :tup: :haha:

solongfullerton
Oct 9, 2007, 7:13 PM
I think it should also be mentioned that an express track should be considered since we are talking about 12 miles from the current terminus to Santa Monica.

I think it would be a pity as well to not consider an extension of the red line through WeHo and Beverly Hills and meetup with the purple line at wilshire/smb.

I will mention both of these items in my comment form to the MTA.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Oct 9, 2007, 11:42 PM
good point on the express tracks! that should be a vital component. Excellent points LBU. it seems like such common sense to me yet most people would not understand how important those points really are. Hitting UCLA, Century City and Beverly Hills is a must on the first phase and it would have such tremendous ridership and be such a boom to the areas with rail already because we would be adding major attractions and destinations to the route. Tourists and locals alike would swarm to this line ASAP.

Easy
Oct 10, 2007, 2:24 AM
I don't like the express track idea. That would require that a completely separate tunnel be built at a cost of hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars. And the express track would likely end up offering little and maybe no benefit at all. The reason is that the MTA would likely offset the additional service by increasing the theoretical headways. In other words your ride would be a few minutes shorter, but you'd have to wait a few minutes longer for your train. It's better for everyone if we instead spend that money to build new rail projects where they are more needed.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Oct 10, 2007, 6:06 AM
interesting point. Could they not get a larger TBM? aren't they custom made anyway, so cant they just buy one that can accommodate 2 trains at one time?

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 10, 2007, 6:09 AM
Went to the first meeting, tonight. During the first half of the meeting, Metro staffers outlined the process, and discussed the alternatives. The presenters made it clear that Metro believes congestion through the corridor is a huge problem that needs to be fixed. They outlined some of the alternatives, but made it clear that they are open to new ideas.

The second half of the meeting was for public comment. Of 21 people who went to the mike, 19 were definitely for building something, one was against, and one was not at all clear about his position.

The vast majority preferred the subway to any other mode. (There was one monorail advocate.) Several people said they wanted both of the proposed alignments (Wilshire to Wilshire/Western, and Santa Monica to Hollywood/Highland).

Elected representatives sent staffers to voice their support. Business interests were there as well. There were students, teachers, and residents. Support for the subway(s) came from all quarters.

Vangelist
Oct 10, 2007, 12:45 PM
>Several people said they wanted both of the proposed alignments (Wilshire >to Wilshire/Western, and Santa Monica to Hollywood/Highland).

Could you clarify this? Have no idea what it means...sorry

Did they discuss timeframes at all? Okay, so the first of what, 5 or 6 meetings seemed to advocate transit. But what if the others nullify this one? Or are they going to be attracting some of the same crowds, or are about other projects (like Crenshaw) ?

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 10, 2007, 2:53 PM
There were two transit routes (alignments) that were proposed by Metro. Some people liked one or the other: some people wanted both.

The first was the Wilshire Route: it would head directly west of the current station at Wilshire/Western. Among the speakers, this one was most popular.

The second was the Santa Monica Route. It would begin at Hollywood and Highland, where the Red Line turns north. It would proceed west, then southwest down Santa Monica Blvd.

These routes are identical west of Beverly Hills. They both hit Century City, Westwood, then out to Santa Monica.

People who wanted both alignments said that they are both needed, and doing them simultaneously would be more economical. They could reuse the boring machines, for example. They'd have an economy of scale.

The following is my fuzzy recollection of the map. I know I'm missing some of the stations, though.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2084/1532926807_3fd4745f50_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2084/1532926807_973311e7c7_o.jpg)

solongfullerton
Oct 10, 2007, 3:45 PM
from the mta:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/blinkertx/subway.jpg

northbay
Oct 10, 2007, 4:11 PM
both! both!

regboi21
Oct 10, 2007, 6:57 PM
I think that the Red/Purple line should be an elevated structure when it gets to santa monica blvd and have it like that the rest of the way to the end of the line of santa monica peir so people could have some views like they could look out the windows of the train cause currently the subway is completely underground.

Wright Concept
Oct 10, 2007, 7:17 PM
interesting point. Could they not get a larger TBM? aren't they custom made anyway, so cant they just buy one that can accommodate 2 trains at one time?

The problem isn't the corridor in question, it's when the Local and Express trains reach Wilshire/Western and they continue through to Downtown with the addition of the North Hollywood Red Line trains at Wilshire/Vermont we are talking very close frequencies and not much room for trains to turn around at Union Station.

So these Express Tracks will have to continue east of Wilshire/Western to at least 7th Metro Center and then proceed to take a new path maybe through the Fashion District on to Whittier Blvd in East LA.

Vangelist
Oct 10, 2007, 7:18 PM
Can someone list all the stops both these routes are making? I can only make out Fairfax, La Cienega and San Vicente. Thanks

solongfullerton
Oct 10, 2007, 7:39 PM
Can someone list all the stops both these routes are making? I can only make out Fairfax, La Cienega and San Vicente. Thanks

purple line extension, from western heading west:
crenshaw
la brea
fairfax
la cienega
beverly
santa monica blvd (from this point on stations are shared with the hollywood extension)
century city
westwood
VA (west of the 405?)
bundy
26th?
14th?
3rd/Ocean???

Hollywood extension from H/H headed south west:
sunset/la brea
smb/la cienga
smb/beverly
smb/wilshire
the rest of the stations to be shared with the purple line

jlrobe
Oct 12, 2007, 11:06 PM
I don't like the express track idea. That would require that a completely separate tunnel be built at a cost of hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars. And the express track would likely end up offering little and maybe no benefit at all. The reason is that the MTA would likely offset the additional service by increasing the theoretical headways. In other words your ride would be a few minutes shorter, but you'd have to wait a few minutes longer for your train. It's better for everyone if we instead spend that money to build new rail projects where they are more needed.

Cant express lines use the same station?

station construction is 75% of the cost, so that should be taken into consideration.

Anyhow, what people typically do is a feasibility study anyhow. I think the feasiblity study should include every possibility including an express lane. This is the type of report that would make me happy.

Purple line with express route costs 3.2 billion
Purple line w/o express route costs 2.8 billion

expected ridership with express line is 670,000 trips per day
expected ridership w/o express line is 580,000 trips a day

Allowalbe residential density w/ express line is 30,000 sq/mile
allowable residential density w/o express line is 28,500 sq/mile

allowable job density w/ express line 100,000 sq/mile
allowable job density w/o express line 92,000 sq/mile

median travel time w/ expressline is 12 minutes
median travel time w/o expressline is 18 minutes

median distance traveled w/ expressline is 5.8 miles
median distance traveled w/o expressline is 5.6 miles

etc. etc.

After you get all this data, you make an educated guess as to what solution makes the most sense.


I think they absolutely should do super thorough study from three separate firms, one from the East Coast, a local MTA study, and one from Europe. No more ametuer single POV studies.

Until I see this type of data, I dont know what solution is best. Do they even have data like this?

Quixote
Oct 13, 2007, 8:04 AM
Regional Connector Transit Corridor Study

Overview

Metro has initiated an Alternatives Analysis (AA) to study alternatives for connecting the Metro Gold, Blue, and Expo lines through downtown Los Angeles. This study will examine linking the future Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension (in the vicinity of the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station) and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station (the terminus for the Metro Blue Line and future Expo Line).

Given the continued expansion and success of the Metro Rail system, the preliminary goals of this project are to:

Accommodate expected ridership increases due to the opening of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension (2009) and the Metro Expo Line (2010)
Support the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles as a business, cultural and residential hub
Improve mobility throughout the region
Increase utilization of all rail lines
Initial transit alternatives to be considered in the AA will vary by mode, alignment, configuration, and station location. The analysis will include a public participation process and be consistent with CEQA/NEPA guidelines and Federal New Starts requirements.

The study area will encompass approximately two square miles of downtown Los Angeles and will include the communities of Little Tokyo, the Arts District, the Historic Core, the Toy District, Bunker Hill, the Financial Core, the Jewelry District, and the Civic Center. Project area map (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/connector/Study%20Area%20Map.pdf).

Meetings

Early environmental scoping meetings have been scheduled to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the scope of the Alternatives Analysis (AA):

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
11:30am -1:30pm
Central Library, Meeting Room A
630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90071

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
6:00-8:00pm
Japanese America National Museum
369 E. First St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Comments may also be submitted via phone, mail, or email. Visit Contact Us (http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/riders_guide/contact_us.htm) for more information. All comments must be received by the end of the early scoping period, Nov. 21, 2007.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/connector/default.htm#TopOfPage)

Quixote
Oct 13, 2007, 8:17 AM
We now have the Westside Extension, Crenshaw/Prairie, and Regional Connector Transit Corridor Studies underway! :cheers:

These are steps in the right direction, folks! We're finally getting it. It won't be long until we hear of some sort of news of a 405/Sepulveda transit corridor study.

ReDSPork02
Oct 13, 2007, 4:14 PM
Gold Line add-on studied
Train extension sought from Montclair to Ontario Airport
Fred Ortega, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 10/12/2007 10:18:24 PM PDT


Commuters might soon be able to use a train to catch a plane, if a study endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa leads to funds to pay for an extension of the Metro Gold Line.
Current plans call for extending the line from Pasadena to Montclair.

The study, which is funded with $500,000 from the Southern California Association of Governments and the San Bernardino Associated Governments, will examine extending the end of the line from Montclair to the Ontario International Airport.

It will take 12 to 16 months and include community and government representatives from Ontario, Upland and Rancho Cucamonga, said Metro Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority spokeswoman Susan Hodor. The study will also involve public meetings to determine possible routes the light rail line would take to the airport.

Providing rail service to the Ontario Airport would accomplish Villaraigosa's goal of regionalizing airport services and relieving congestion around LAX, said the mayor's spokesman, Darryl Ryan.

"We want to make sure residents of Los Angeles and all over the country have transportation alternatives," said Ryan. "Extending the Gold Line to Montclair is important in that aspect."


Villaraigosa's support for the Gold Line extension is a departure from the mayor's past focus on transportation projects centered in Los Angeles, including the proposed "Subway to the Sea," said local officials.

"I see it as a definite warming up to the Gold Line and the benefits it will provide," said Duarte Councilman John Fasana, a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board.

Support for the project from Villaraigosa gives the project some leverage, said Habib Balian, CEO of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

"What MTA Board members are beginning to understand is that this is the only project ready to go in the county," said Balian, noting that the Gold Line extension's environmental studies have been completed and that the authority already owns the right-of-way for the project. "We can virtually be under construction a year from now."

But Villaraigosa's public support has to be followed up by tangible results - like MTA approval of $8 million a year to cover the line's operating expenses - in order to give the project a chance to become reality, said Fasana.

"That is a necessary step in order for (Gold Line officials) to pursue federal funding," said Fasana.

A decision about including that funding in the MTA's long-range plan should be reached by next spring, said Fasana.

Metro Gold Line officials plan on requesting hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds next year to kick off the first stage of the more than $1 billion project. If that money comes through, construction could begin next year and be completed by 2014.

Despite its distance from Los Angeles, the Gold Line extension could have major benefits for the city, said Michael Cano, transportation deputy for L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

"This could be a de facto traffic relief program around LAX and the Westside by expanding transit to Ontario Airport," Cano said. "There is definitely a relationship there, and it seems the city of Los Angeles is beginning to realize that."

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 16, 2007, 3:13 PM
Regional Connector Transit Corridor Study

I want to get to at least one meeting, and submit my comments, for each of these projects.

But damn, this list of meetings is getting huge! I have to go home sometime! :)

dktshb
Oct 17, 2007, 2:40 AM
from the mta:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/blinkertx/subway.jpg


Both would be wonderful, but certainly the Hollywood to Santa Monica if I had to choose... that line would benefit LA in so many ways. If that map was reality I would shoot a load.

Vangelist
Oct 17, 2007, 4:15 AM
The thing is, how would these lines be connected to the Expo? I don't mean to sound greedy - indeed, we are starving beggars who should be satisfied with the few morsels we're being promised - but we're going to have to think of some serious North-South corridor-action here. No one's really pretending this is adequate, right? It's like we're giving the comatose/sleeping person of Los Angeles a spine..but she still doesn't have LEGS. Still can't get up and walk.

Ideally - yes I'm just jacking off over this but I'm inviting you to a group jack-off session - there should be N-S lines going all the way down La Brea and La Cienega, from Hollywood to Inglewood, if not the airport. And a small connector line from Fairfax and Santa Monica - a station that's on that map above, to at least Fairfax and Wilshire, if not the Expo...you can't expect people to walk all the way from La Brea or La Cienega to Fairfax if they need something on that thoroughfare. I mean, we NEED to cover the Grove / Farmer's Market / Beverly Center with these developments, otherwise what's the point? A stop on Fairfax and Santa Monica and La Cienega & S.M. pretty much covers the Sunset Strip too.

And the Crenshaw line - which now may be a possibility with this latest study - it shouldn't just stop at Wilshire, but turn diagonal and go up Rossmore/ Vine to Hollywood - though I doubt Hancock Park would let that happen. Finally the whole development would seem incomplete without lines running all the way down Western and Vermont from Hollywood to Southern Los Angeles.

And then, don't forget about that "Silver Line" down Sunset thru Silverlake and Echo Park, hitting up Dodger Stadium on the way to downtown! With an off-shoot hitting up Los Feliz and Glendale on the way to the Gold Line in Pasadena. And how about a line down Melrose or 3rd from La Cienega to at least Vermont, though the one running down 3rd should go all the way to downtown. It would help a lot of commuters.

So there you go...this is a good beginning but we need more north-south-east-west-all-over action. Jerk off to these 9-10 additional lines that are NEEDED!!! Haha (a sad laughter)...

Vangelist
Oct 17, 2007, 4:19 AM
How long will it take to do all that? Can we do a study on THAT? 50, 100 years? Geez...why couldn't I live in Los Angeles in the 22nd century.

dktshb
Oct 17, 2007, 5:30 AM
The thing is, how would these lines be connected to the Expo? I don't mean to sound greedy - indeed, we are starving beggars who should be satisfied with the few morsels we're being promised - but we're going to have to think of some serious North-South corridor-action here. No one's really pretending this is adequate, right? It's like we're giving the comatose/sleeping person of Los Angeles a spine..but she still doesn't have LEGS. Still can't get up and walk.

Ideally - yes I'm just jacking off over this but I'm inviting you to a group jack-off session - there should be N-S lines going all the way down La Brea and La Cienega, from Hollywood to Inglewood, if not the airport. And a small connector line from Fairfax and Santa Monica - a station that's on that map above, to at least Fairfax and Wilshire, if not the Expo...you can't expect people to walk all the way from La Brea or La Cienega to Fairfax if they need something on that thoroughfare. I mean, we NEED to cover the Grove / Farmer's Market / Beverly Center with these developments, otherwise what's the point? A stop on Fairfax and Santa Monica and La Cienega & S.M. pretty much covers the Sunset Strip too.

And the Crenshaw line - which now may be a possibility with this latest study - it shouldn't just stop at Wilshire, but turn diagonal and go up Rossmore/ Vine to Hollywood - though I doubt Hancock Park would let that happen. Finally the whole development would seem incomplete without lines running all the way down Western and Vermont from Hollywood to Southern Los Angeles.

And then, don't forget about that "Silver Line" down Sunset thru Silverlake and Echo Park, hitting up Dodger Stadium on the way to downtown! With an off-shoot hitting up Los Feliz and Glendale on the way to the Gold Line in Pasadena. And how about a line down Melrose or 3rd from La Cienega to at least Vermont, though the one running down 3rd should go all the way to downtown. It would help a lot of commuters.

So there you go...this is a good beginning but we need more north-south-east-west-all-over action. Jerk off to these 9-10 additional lines that are NEEDED!!! Haha (a sad laughter)...

Yep I fantasize about subway lines running down Western, La Brea, Fairfax, La Cienega, 405, etc... I suppose I should move to a city that I don't just have to fantasize about it but I love LA too much to leave just for the lack of mass transit.

dktshb
Oct 17, 2007, 5:34 AM
The thing is, how would these lines be connected to the Expo? I don't mean to sound greedy - indeed, we are starving beggars who should be satisfied with the few morsels we're being promised - but we're going to have to think of some serious North-South corridor-action here. No one's really pretending this is adequate, right? It's like we're giving the comatose/sleeping person of Los Angeles a spine..but she still doesn't have LEGS. Still can't get up and walk.

Ideally - yes I'm just jacking off over this but I'm inviting you to a group jack-off session - there should be N-S lines going all the way down La Brea and La Cienega, from Hollywood to Inglewood, if not the airport. And a small connector line from Fairfax and Santa Monica - a station that's on that map above, to at least Fairfax and Wilshire, if not the Expo...you can't expect people to walk all the way from La Brea or La Cienega to Fairfax if they need something on that thoroughfare. I mean, we NEED to cover the Grove / Farmer's Market / Beverly Center with these developments, otherwise what's the point? A stop on Fairfax and Santa Monica and La Cienega & S.M. pretty much covers the Sunset Strip too.

And the Crenshaw line - which now may be a possibility with this latest study - it shouldn't just stop at Wilshire, but turn diagonal and go up Rossmore/ Vine to Hollywood - though I doubt Hancock Park would let that happen. Finally the whole development would seem incomplete without lines running all the way down Western and Vermont from Hollywood to Southern Los Angeles.

And then, don't forget about that "Silver Line" down Sunset thru Silverlake and Echo Park, hitting up Dodger Stadium on the way to downtown! With an off-shoot hitting up Los Feliz and Glendale on the way to the Gold Line in Pasadena. And how about a line down Melrose or 3rd from La Cienega to at least Vermont, though the one running down 3rd should go all the way to downtown. It would help a lot of commuters.

So there you go...this is a good beginning but we need more north-south-east-west-all-over action. Jerk off to these 9-10 additional lines that are NEEDED!!! Haha (a sad laughter)... I fantasize about those north/south lines too... down Western, La Brea, Fairfax, La Cienega, etc... I suppose I could always move to a city with a well established mass transit system but I love this city too much to leave it.

Wright Concept
Oct 17, 2007, 6:16 PM
See below
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Wright Concept
Oct 17, 2007, 6:22 PM
http://i21.tinypic.com/i2k08x.jpg

The Westside is well overdue for mass transit infrastructure improvements. In this letter I would like to suggest an idea for a route for the subway corridor and stops that will maximize the effectiveness and desirability of this rail corridor and it's complimentary parts, in both a Short and Long term applications.


Short Term: Plan, build and operate a branch of the Expo LRT utilizing old Sepulveda ROW or corridor of approximate proximity to Westwood on UCLA's Lot 32.

Something that can be implemented quickly that would cost-effectively serve the Westside mobility needs to the city's second largest activity center until the subway is completed to at least Westwood. This would run north of the future Expo/Sepulveda intersection and be built as wye and utilize (if possible) in an elevated configuration on the Sepulveda Blvd Right-of-way.

This would make stops at:
* Santa Monica Blvd to serve the 3 high rise office complexes.
* Wilshire Blvd/ UCLA Lot 32 or 36 between on Wilshire Blvd between Gayley and Veteran.

Between the Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd stations the elevated LRT would run along the edge of Westwood Park and cut through the old Federal Building site on route to Wilshire/Gayley. This corridor would serve a dual purpose; When the Subway continues westward to Westwood, this LRT will serve as a feeder to the future subway with service operating between; Westwood to Santa Monica - to eliminate the close service duplication with Expo Phase 2 west to Santa Monica - and Westwood to the large UCLA off campus population in Palms, Culver City and Mid-City along the Expo Line that will feed this subway. It's other purpose is to start the framework for a future north-south corridor connecting the San Fernando Valley and the Westside parallel to the 405 Freeway and Sepulveda Pass.

Long Term. Wilshire-West Subway HRT Corridor with Cedars and Century City deviations

For this mass transit investment to bring the biggest ROI for the Metro Region, it needs to go underground and away from the straight Wilshire Corridor at only two points to serve two bustling and vital regional centers as indicated on many regional planning studies and to serve the biggest immediate need, this subway needs a MOS to Westwood, with a long term vision to Santa Monica.

In addition with the Crenshaw-Prairie corridor currently undergoing its Alternative Analysis provides an once in a lifetime opportunity to create a highly effective integrated transportation network that increases the regions chances for very scarse federal funds to help fund and build these lines, because region will not have in-fighting but instead the various connected regions would work together to help earn a larger share of the funding pie.

From Wilshire/Western, the line will go straight down Wilshire making stops at:

* No stop at Wilshire/Crenshaw based off the low density land-uses, huge opposition by Hancock Park and very restrictive Historic Protection Overlay zoning, transit connections and the close proximity of Wilshire/Western station this station is not neccessary.
* Wilshire/La Brea (Future integrated transfer to the Crenshaw Corridor)There are new dense, mixed-use urban developments and a growing renaissance along the Miracle Mile that will be further strengthed with this subway. This stop is a prime location for a connection with the Crenshaw Corridor because of these activities and improves potential to extend the Crenshaw Corridor north to Hollywood on La Brea Avenue.
* Wilshire/Fairfax-Museum Row

The route stays on Wilshire until San Vicente where the route turns northward and stops at:
* Beverly Center and Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Cedars Sinai is a world renowned medical facility and research center, that serves as a focal point for that area. The surrounding area has the zoning and land use now and in the future to activate and thrive denser activity and development with the opening of the subway as compared to the narrow lots and protected zoning of the Wilshire/La Cienega area. The location of the station will be within a 5-10 min walk down San Vicente Blvd to attractions such as the Pacific Design Center and West Hollywood nightlife that would faciliate denser land-uses and activities and can physically link and impact West Hollywood with this subway line immediately. Making this small diversion helps ensure that a future connection tying this area to Hollywood/Highland via the Sunset Strip and West Hollywood, as shown on (the map). This would reduce about 1 mile of duplicative tunneling that would be in competition with each other and limits funding opportunities.

Next up is;
* Wilshire/Beverly Drive
50,000 jobs in a small area and majority of those working in those jobs come from outside of Beverly Hills.

The route continues on and diverts Wilshire again to serve:
* Century City
With the high rise offices and current modernization and redevelopment of the area the subway will cement the area as LA's 3rd Central business district.
Finally it proceeds to a stop at
* Westwood (Gayley/Wilshire Blvd)
LA's second CBD with close to 100,000 jobs and over 40,000 UCLA students in the area everyday and is one of the busiest intersections in the nation, this area is crying for high capacity transit service.

While this subway corridor to only Westwood contains 6 new stations, they will be the locations of highest activity and provide good use of the Metro Connections model of Hub-spoke design and provide the fastest, cost effective and most usable route choice. In the future, with funding and ridership opportunities, the subway could extend west towards Santa Monica, stopping at the following locations;

* Veterans Administration ("Phase 2")
* Wilshire/Bundy ("Phase 2")
* Wilshire/26th ("Phase 2")
* Wilshire/14th ("Phase 2")
* 4th/Colorado (Future Expo Line terminus)

To conclude, the Westside needs solutions to improve mobility and make the area accessible to other areas of LA county. With the right solution with an extension of the Wilshire Subway to at least Westwood serving Cedars Sinai and Century City and tying into future transit projects such as Crenshaw Corridor and Expo Line helps ensure that LA is building an efficient transit network that will be well used from Opening day and for years to come and makes sure that we have the right pieces in place to grab those scarse federal funds so that LA can build more of it.


Thank you for your time.

jlrobe
Oct 21, 2007, 4:22 PM
from the mta:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/blinkertx/subway.jpg

I went to the meeting. Everyone was pro subway and the MTA was seemed very serious about going the subway route

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 22, 2007, 7:21 PM
Nice work Jerard. I like the rational, systematic approach.

I really like the stub of Expo to UCLA. Not only would that stub create a useful loop and a western transit hub (something I've advocated for awhile), but it would also plant the seeds in people's minds about a north-south route, serving both the Valley and LAX.

My only concern: if this stub were built, would it remove some urgency from some people's minds for the subway?

As for the "Crenshaw connection", I still think that the Crenshaw Line should simply go into a tunnel under Crenshaw Blvd north of Washington and terminate at the Wilshire/Western station. As to the San Vicente - La Brea diversion you suggest - would that be running at-grade?

Wright Concept
Oct 22, 2007, 11:22 PM
Nice work Jerard. I like the rational, systematic approach.

My only concern: if this stub were built, would it remove some urgency from some people's minds for the subway?

I thought about that for close to 10 years now (I still have my sketches in my Composition books on this) when I was doodling these ideas up in boring times in High School during the Clusterphuck Era a.k.a as Mayor Riordan's term of office, when I lived in Palms by the Expo ROW and the way things go politically it actually gives the Purple Line subway the carrot it needs to push it westward because it creates a transit node/center. In addition, because this will be a well used line this helps consensus for a subway because this will reach capacity from day one so to give the subway another practical political advantage because the length of time it will take for hurdles to clear the subway.

Strategically I'm using the same guise of why the Downtown Connector is so valuable to the system because of the capacity factors of the Blue and future Expo Lines will make this corridor not only one of political fantasy but one of realistic neccessity.

As for the "Crenshaw connection", I still think that the Crenshaw Line should simply go into a tunnel under Crenshaw Blvd north of Washington and terminate at the Wilshire/Western station. As to the San Vicente - La Brea diversion you suggest - would that be running at-grade?

No, mostly underground so that the connection to Melrose and Hollywood can be acheived. In some case you could conceptually run at-grade because on Venice between Crenshaw and San Vicente, it's virtually grade separated in that segment and the wide San Vicente parkway could allow at-grade operation, but it's not neccessary. The other logical reason for it is environmental concerns that tunnelling under Crenshaw north of Pico would create with Hydrogen Sulfide which is more of a deterent than Methane and politically it would shut up those cockroaches in Hancock Park around a Wilshire/Crenshaw station who wouldn't want the subway anyway. And it would place it in an area that supports the density.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 23, 2007, 4:05 PM
^ I'll buy that. :)

Wright Concept
Oct 23, 2007, 4:41 PM
Hopefully so does the powers that be. :tup: :cheers:

RAlossi
Oct 24, 2007, 7:43 AM
Will someone please tell Metro to stop letting their people jackhammer on Union Station's Gold Line platform at 12:30 am? Double-paned windows be damned, I can feel it.

sopas ej
Oct 26, 2007, 6:22 PM
From the LA Times:

Unpaid fares may cost MTA millions

Percentage of non-payers using subway, light rail and Orange Line rises at night and on weekends, report shows.

By Jeffrey L. Rabin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 26, 2007

About 5% of weekday passengers on Los Angeles' subway, light rail lines and Orange Line buses are getting a free ride by failing to pay fares.

A study for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found that the percentage of fare evaders on the subway, most light rail lines and the Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley increases at night and on weekends.

MTA Chief Executive Officer Roger Snoble said there were more fare evaders during off-peak periods when fewer fare inspectors were on duty.

Unlike in other major cities, MTA's entire rail network and Orange Line busway operates on an honor system. There are no turnstiles or entry gates.

Riders must produce proof of payment when asked for it by a sheriff's deputy or inspector. It is no secret that the open architecture of the stations and the absence of station agents has allowed some riders to avoid paying fares.

Concerned that fare evasion is costing millions of dollars in lost revenue, MTA officials are looking into possible solutions, including what it might cost to install entry gates.

A Carlsbad-based consulting firm, Transportation Management and Design Inc., was hired to determine the magnitude of the fare-evasion problem.

Consultant Joe Forgiarini said three-member teams consisting of a sheriff's deputy, MTA security officer and representative of the consulting firm randomly boarded rail cars and Orange Line buses during a two-week period in October.

Passengers were asked for their tickets or transit passes as the train or bus traveled between stations.

Violators were not issued citations during the study.

The study found that 4.4% of weekday passengers on the Red Line subway had not paid or paid an incorrect amount. The percentage on weekends was between 6% and 7%.

The Green Line from Norwalk to Redondo Beach had the highest percentage of passengers without tickets. Six percent of weekday riders on the Green Line had no proof of payment or paid incorrect fares. The percentage rose to nearly 8% on Saturday. One of every 10 passengers Sunday was a fare evader.

On the Blue Line from Los Angeles to Long Beach, the percentage ranged from slightly more than 5% on weekdays and Saturdays to 8.2% on Sundays.

The Gold Line between Los Angeles and Pasadena had the lowest level of fare evasion -- 3% during the week and a little more than 4% on weekends.

Orange Line buses had a fare evasion rate of 5% weekdays and Sundays and 6% on Saturdays.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-evade26oct26,1,5546373.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Echo Park
Oct 26, 2007, 8:05 PM
I've been asked to show my ticket once this entire month despite riding metro almost everyday. And I've never in my life been asked to show proof of fare on the green line. I been mixed about turnstiles, but they dont seem to discourage ridership in other cities. I just wonder how much of that money is made back through fines. Maybe we should have just hiked the fines instead of the fare.

Wright Concept
Oct 26, 2007, 8:15 PM
^ That would make more sense to simply double the fines instead of paying $30M to install fare gates and a lot more per year to operate and maintain them.

BrighamYen
Oct 27, 2007, 9:41 PM
^ What if someone can't afford to pay the fines? Do they just get community service?

edluva
Oct 28, 2007, 9:22 AM
Will someone please tell Metro to stop letting their people jackhammer on Union Station's Gold Line platform at 12:30 am? Double-paned windows be damned, I can feel it.

will someone please tell LA to stop letting those damn productions ungrateful as they are hijack our busy arterials and subway stations for filming, at rush hour? This is a real city where hundreds of thousands of people live and work, not a hollywood backlot, where are our fucking priorities?

BrighamYen
Oct 28, 2007, 11:09 AM
^ Where? Power, connections, and money. None acting exclusive of each other of course.

edluva
Oct 28, 2007, 11:52 AM
it's what happens when a city lacks alternative industries with political clout. idiots become bigshots.

BrighamYen
Oct 28, 2007, 12:07 PM
^ Well, given your distaste for Capitalism (which I don't necessarily disagree with), there are very few "alternative industries" that aren't somehow run by idiots chasing after the same thing everyone else on Wall Street blindly gropes for. The system is completely flawed and neither Hollywood nor any other city or industry in the "industrialized" world is unplugged from this proverbial game that inevitably results in "Game Over."

edluva
Oct 28, 2007, 12:32 PM
hollywood is the worst. better a disparate group than a monopoly by the worst. i'd rather a group of tech, bio-sci or even wall street execs run the show than some flaky self-important producers who care little about urban development. at least the others won't hijack our streets. not to mention the dumbing down of the general populace. i'm always shocked at the number of failed (aka struggling) actors here, and the extent of intellectual uncuriousity and political disinterest in our general populace - as though angelenos are given a continuous i.v. infusion of pop-trash.

which ties into your point about capitalism. the people who run the show are usually in the know - they concentrate in cities which execute the global economy in knowing fashion. consumers are more likely to surrender their intellectual autonomy to pop-culture. of the major american cities, LA is most symptomatic of the consumer, not the executive.

BrighamYen
Oct 28, 2007, 8:18 PM
^ Your comparison of the consumer and the producer leaves out the bigger and more important picture of overall intellectual, technological, and environmental degradation. The fact that corporate and political figures have esoteric "in-the-know" (fueled mainly by greed and power as opposed to altruistic intellectual curiosity) contributing to the fantasy of a "sustainable" globalised economy under the current economic paradigm only transfers the blame and stupidity to those in "executive power." Our (the developed world's) current complacency with the current technological synaptic pattern (use of unsustainable energies) is one of the main culprits for our path toward ultimate destruction.

LA's hyper consumer-driven culture by the upper class is exacerbated by the lack of venues conducive to intellectual discussion free of capitalistic opaqueness. LA Times (and pretty much all other papers operated by capitalists writers), is no exception. To be freed from the system's grasp is the only way to see reality (whether you are a consumer or executer). However, to be freed from the system would inherently contridict the executers' roles in our economy. The consumer has more power to be freed and resist the system.

In the end, the question of who does more damage (executer or consumer) is moot because the game of life for all those who play in our globalised economy (all industrialized nations) is unsustainable and everyone will eventually collapse.

Wright Concept
Oct 28, 2007, 9:55 PM
http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=6383&IssueNum=229

LA CITY BEAT
Jody Feerst Litvak
The woman from Metro who hears all of our complaints about Westside traffic
–Alan Mittelstaedt

The idea of driving a car or riding a bus in rush hour on the Westside is close to self-torture, yet thousands of people bravely do it every day. Several hundred of them showed up for five public hearings convened this month by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to examine traffic solutions, a legal first step for getting additional Westside transit service, which includes the proverbial “Subway to the Sea.”

Running the hearings: Metro’s Jody Feerst Litvak, known for her wit and running meetings more smoothly than rush-hour traffic by strictly imposing the two-minute rule on speakers. “I don’t care if you’re the former mayor of Beverly Hills,” she told the former mayor of Beverly Hills. “Well, I do care, but you know what I mean.”

She showed various modes of travel – not just subway – as well as different routes, including extending the Metro Purple Line that now ends at the Wilshire/Western station and connecting a Westside transit line with the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line station. And, if you think traffic is bad now, by 2030 some 80,000 new jobs will strain the roads and bus systems, with the workforce reaching 560,000 workers.

Some short-term solutions are being readied. One of them, a bus-only lane during peak hours on Wilshire Boulevard, is awaiting a verdict on funding by the Federal Transportation Administration by early next year.

Litvak, a regional communications manager, originally joined one of Metro’s early incarnations, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, in 1990. She’s worked for politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and served on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. A native Angeleno, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She lives in Westwood with her husband and two children.

If all goes well, Metro’s report could go to the Metro Board of Directors by next summer and the board could order up a round of environmental reports. The good news: If a subway is chosen among the transit alternatives studied, and funding is secured, it could be up and running in 10 years at a cost estimated at $4.8 billion. The bad news: the project is still in the early stages and not in Metro’s long-range plans, a list of projects extending to 2030.

So, yes, there’s still time to be heard. The final meeting on the Westside study will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29 at West Hollywood’s Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. You can also find more information at metro.net/westside.




CityBeat: You’ve been out talking to hundreds of people about a topic very near to their hearts – traffic. What are they telling you?

Jody Feerst Litvak: Traffic is pretty bad on the Westside and we need to do something. That’s been pretty clear from all of the meetings.

How many people have you heard from?

We had 369 people at five meetings – 102 of them made verbal comments.

How would you characterize people’s tolerance of traffic in Los Angeles?

Everybody’s frustrated by it. We heard pretty clearly at these meetings that things are bad and getting worse. On the Westside, even as little as five years ago, everybody knew their sneaky little routes for how to get around. But even those aren’t working anymore.

What’s different about the public’s openness to public transportation compared to say 15 or 20 years ago when people thought subways would bring in the wrong people to their communities?

When I first joined the agency, as this young, wet-behind-the-ears know-nothing who couldn’t even spell transportation, the Blue Line had just opened. And when you went out and talked to people about new transit ideas, people in L.A. didn’t have a real experience of it other than maybe this ancient memory of the old Red Cars. All of this stuff was just unknown. And there’s just a really marked difference in the kinds of comments we’re getting. People have a better understanding of the bus system. Light rail isn’t this new idea anymore. Subway has been operating for a while. We have the Orange Line, an example of Bus Rapid Transit, in the Valley. Even if it’s not in the areas where they live, they know it is close by. It’s here and it’s real for them A lot of the fear of the unknown, or just the not knowing, it’s not there anymore. People get it.

What about the people showing up for the public hearings?

You also have –and I can’t measure it, it’s just my gut –you have more people in Los Angeles in the last 15 years or so who have come here from other places in the country and the world, and they’re just more comfortable with transit. And living in dense, urban areas and that sort of urbanist feel. There’s this marked shift. Bringing the residential into downtown. Not that that’s right for everybody. But I get this sense that L.A. is thinking and talking about these issues in newer ways than two decades ago.

How will it be possible to finally coax people out of their cars?

People really get that we have built, in terms of roads and freeways, all that we can build, although we need to look at using that capacity in smarter ways and more effectively.

How impatient are people?

They want it. Like we should have done it before, but let’s not waste anymore time. Let’s get on with it. Most of them want subways, but people talked about all kinds of alternatives. Most said they want something below ground. The monorail proponents have been out and asked us to study monorail. Generally people have said a preference for a Wilshire alignment, but we were really surprised by the number who said we also need a line going west, starting from the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line station.

Are there crucial destinations missed by the subway routes being explored?

There was virtual unanimity that you need to improve access to Beverly Hills, Century City, and the UCLA-Westwood area. We had speakers tell us to make sure to include stops at The Grove, Cedars Sinai, and the Beverly Center. We also had someone in Santa Monica ask that we move a potential stop and serve both Santa Monica and St. John’s Hospitals. A lot of people said you need something from the airport through the Sepulveda pass to the Valley. Several people said that, if we go all the way to Santa Monica, somehow it needs to connect with the Expo Line.

Is anyone worried about safety?

We didn’t hear as much as I thought we might, but there are people who want to make sure we can tunnel safely. There are some people who are concerned in single-family residential areas, with older historic homes with old foundations, that it might not be safe. We had some people from Windsor Square and the Hancock Park area who said they didn’t want a station at Crenshaw. But that wasn’t a comment about safety. They were more concerned about increased traffic and density in a lower density area.

Does anyone think you’re just wasting their time because of the uncertainty about funding?

You always get the people who show up and say you can’t trust the politicians Their opinion is they got us into this mess in the first place and nothing will ever happen.

Do you find many people are fanatics about buses and want nothing else?

People said buses are important, but given the congestion in the area, buses are continuing to slow down in the same traffic as cars. They can’t be the only solution in this area. There’s a different level of sophistication in terms of the public and how they talk and think about issues.

The bus-only lane will bring some relief, won’t it?

Wilshire is one of the highest-traveled bus corridor we have. In peak periods, you have buses running every two minutes. We’ve had some political rough-going in terms of how long it’s taken us on the bus-only lane. But the city of Los Angeles is committed to doing a bus lane during peak periods, roughly 7 to 9 in the morning and 4 to 7 in the evening.

How serious is Metro about solving Westside traffic?

Metro is very serious about addressing mobility issues on the Westside and throughout the county. It seems that transportation is a high priority now.

10-25-07

Wright Concept
Oct 28, 2007, 10:07 PM
Inland Empire Daily Bulletin

$500K rail study set
KOA to examine ending Gold Line at Ontario airport
By Andrea Bennett, Staff Writer


ONTARIO - KOA Corp. of Monterey Park and Ontario will conduct a $500,000 study of options for ending the Metro Gold Line at LA/Ontario International Airport, officials announced Wednesday.
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http://i21.tinypic.com/9ixwg2.gif
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The 12- to 16-month study will be underway in November. Among its tasks, the team will hold community outreach meetings, assess public and private rights-of-way, conduct traffic analyses, and identify potential rail routes and station locations.

"This is momentous for us," said Habib Balian, CEO of Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. "As you know, when you go after a project this size, it takes many years to come to fruition. We need to get started on this project." Current plans include extending the line 24 miles from east Pasadena to Montclair in two phases, which still await federal approval and funding. But adding an extra six to eight miles would bring the light rail line all the way to the airport, which is a terminus that makes a lot more sense than Montclair to many local, state and federal officials.

"I think it makes the line better," said Robert Clark, Community Development Director of Montclair, which has spent the past three years developing a mixed-use and residential "transit village" around its station. "Everyone agrees the light rail should supply access to the airport," Clark said. "It'll probably strengthen the value of the line and our trans-center, too."

Ontario Mayor Paul Leon said the link to LA/ONT would give an expanding region an essential connection. "The Inland Empire is growing. From 2000 to 2020, the area's population is expected to go from 3.26 million to 5.28 million - up by 2.02 million," Leon said. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently endorsed the link to LA/ONT with its potential to ease congestion at LAX by taking travelers directly to the Ontario airport instead.

Monrovia Mayor Rob Hammond said the future rail will also transport commuters to work, alleviating traffic. "Imagine a future of lost productivity from people sitting on the freeway. Traffic is the further fracturing of the American family," Hammond said. "We need to get that fixed."

San Bernardino Associated Governments, Sanbag, and the Southern California Association of Governments, SCAG, are paying for the $500,000 study. Since the actual route from Montclair to LA/ONT has not yet been carved out, public outreach will be a critical part of the project, Balian said.

A short video was shown at the end of the meeting, depicting the many destinations the extended line would offer travelers and concluding at LA/ONT. Balian said the promotional video will begin airing on local cable channels in an effort to drum up public support for the project.

andrea.bennett@dailybulletin.com

(909) 483-9347

Quixote
Oct 31, 2007, 1:36 AM
Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Meetings

November 8, 10, 14 & 15

You are invited

Metro invites you to an Early Scoping Meeting about the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Project. The goal of the proposed project is to improve mobility in the Corridor by connecting with the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension (under construction) to cities further east of Los Angeles. The meeting’s purpose is to obtain public feedback on the project’s purpose and need and potential alternatives including rail and bus options, as part of an Alternatives Analysis (AA). This Analysis will study and narrow down alternatives for possible further environmental review. Light Rail Transit (LRT), currently used in the Metro Gold Line, is being considered.

We want to hear your thoughts and welcome your participation.

Meeting Agenda

Open House

Review the proposed study goals and objectives
Speak with project representatives
View study displays and maps
Submit written/verbal comments
Project Presentation

Learn about the project in a presentation by Metro staff

Public Comment Forum

Put your comments on the record. Verbal comments will be recorded. Written comments may be submitted at the meeting or no later than November 30, 2007 to:

Kimberly Yu, Project Manager
Metro
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
or yuki@metro.net or fax to 213.922.3005

Project Map (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/eastside_phase2/study%20area%20map.pdf)

Please Join Us

6:30 – 8:30 pm, Thursday, November 8
Palm Park
5703 Palm Av
Whittier, CA

9 – 12 noon, Saturday, November 10
Senior Center at City Park
115 South Taylor Av
Montebello, CA

6:30 – 8:30 pm, Wednesday, November 14
Potrero Heights Elementary School
8026 East Hill Dr
Rosemead, CA

6:30 – 8:30 pm, Thursday, November 15
North Park Middle School/Cafeteria
4450 Durfee Av
Pico Rivera, CA

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Source: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/eastside_phase2/meetings.htm)

RAlossi
Oct 31, 2007, 2:15 AM
Whoa, they're actually considering an additional Eastside extension?? That's amazing! I know there's so much support for something down Whittier Blvd., all the way out to Whittier.

LongBeachUrbanist
Oct 31, 2007, 6:13 PM
To be clear: nobody has decided to build these lines. Metro is studying all of these by request of the Board. The Board will decide which of these (if any) will get built, given limited resources.

The project analyses taking place were initiated about a year ago. At that time, each of these projects was advocated by a board member. Ultimately, the board members voted to request initial studies for all these projects, to gauge public interest and begin the environmental process.

This is why we have all these studies and scoping meetings happening now. Once they are done, the politics will begin. Only then will we see which (if any) of these projects will get built.

jlrobe
Oct 31, 2007, 9:36 PM
hollywood is the worst. better a disparate group than a monopoly by the worst. i'd rather a group of tech, bio-sci run the show than some flaky self-important producers who care little about urban development.

I am a geek to the nth degree. I would not want to trade LA for San Jose anytime soon. I also wouldnt want an ag town like fresno, an energy town like houston, or cheesy touristy town like Orlando, or a manufacturing town like Detroit.

It is best to live in mid-sized cities that have diverse economies like San Diego, Denver, Seattle, Pittsburg, Vancouver, etc.

Technically speaking, LA is very diverse. It has more tech and manufacturing than any of those cities with the exception of maybe san diego. It also has more finance, business, and advertising than most of those cities as well. It just has a disproportionately large entertainment industry. But even that industry is not as dominant in terms of total GDP as Wall st is to NY, Tourism is to SF, or the auto-industry is in detroit. For some reason, hollywood has a big footprint despite its fairly meager GDP footprint.

I hate the hollywood effect though.