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Quixote
Nov 16, 2008, 11:48 PM
I can't wait to see the gentrification in the Crenshaw district when that line gets built. It'll be like Harlem west coast.

I don't think the Crenshaw line will necessarily gentrify the Crenshaw district; rather it'll add some life to that community and sprout new development and businesses.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Nov 17, 2008, 12:18 AM
i think the Red line should be extended all the way to LAX. imagine that line. linking LAX, UCLA, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Universal and Downtown LA, pretty much all the major points of interest for tourist in Los Angeles.

any takers?

OhioGuy
Nov 17, 2008, 12:43 AM
A westward extension of the Red Line down La Cienega is still being considered (Alternative 11), though the Purple Line extension down Wilshire would still be of top priority. My hope is that the Red Line extension would be built in conjunction with the first phase of the Purple Line extension (to La Cienega or further, but no further than Beverly Hills) so that Hollywood and West Hollywood would immediately benefit from the extensions to Westwood and Santa Monica once they're completed.

It would be nice if they could extend the red line through Hollywood & West Hollywood to Bevery Hills while also working on the purple line. It's just disappointing that the only way to get to/from WeHo is by bus.

Quixote
Nov 17, 2008, 12:45 AM
i think the Red line should be extended all the way to LAX. imagine that line. linking LAX, UCLA, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Universal and Downtown LA, pretty much all the major points of interest for tourist in Los Angeles.

any takers?

The question of how to extend the Red Line (assuming Alternative 11 is the chosen alignment) will eventually come up. There could be two options:

1) Extend the Red Line down La Cienega to LAX via the Harbor Subdivision ROW.

2) Extend the Red Line down La Cienega to Venice via Venice Blvd.

The former option would not have the ridership potential to warrant such an extension. Besides, the Crenshaw line could eventually travel as far north as Hollywood/Highland. Santa Monica would be a 20-minute ride away on the Green Line (up Lincoln Blvd.), Westwood via the I-405 Corridor, Beverly Hills via the Crenshaw line and a quick ride on the Purple Line, and Downtown by way of the LAX Express/Harbor Subdivision.


EDIT: I'm sorry. This is assuming that the Red Line will terminate at Wilshire/La Cienega.

Quixote
Nov 17, 2008, 1:02 AM
It would be nice if they could extend the red line through Hollywood & West Hollywood to Bevery Hills while also working on the purple line. It's just disappointing that the only way to get to/from WeHo is by bus.

Hollywood/Highland to Beverly Hills is about the same distance as Wilshire/Western to Beverly Hills. It would take just as long to construct, if not longer due to tunnel curvatures.

The timeline for this project really depends on how much federal funding it receives. With this new administration, we'll see just how keen they are on improving this country's mass transit infrastructure.

Wright Concept
Nov 17, 2008, 5:53 AM
A westward extension of the Red Line down La Cienega is still being considered (Alternative 11), though the Purple Line extension down Wilshire would still be of top priority. My hope is that the Red Line extension would be built in conjunction with the first phase of the Purple Line extension (to La Cienega or further, but no further than Beverly Hills) so that Hollywood and West Hollywood would immediately benefit from the extensions to Westwood and Santa Monica once they're completed.

A strategic approach is to eliminate the Wilshire/La Cienega Station and move that north to Cedars Sinai/Beverly Center, then the Purple Line can travel back down to meet up at Beverly Hills. That would enable a quick pedestrian connection to West Hollywood via San Vicente and take advantage of the large parking structure at Beverly Center to double as a park-ride/Transit Center since most of the buses end nearby at Santa Monica & San Vicente and be a perfect connecting point for a future connection to the Red Line.

edluva
Nov 17, 2008, 9:08 AM
i still think harbor sub to LAX should be served by some sort of limited-stop express DMU or EMU akin to heathrow express, leaving open the option of having amtrak, metrolink, or future HSR connect international travelers and commuters directly to short-haul destinations. red line from la cienega is too slow with all its implied stops, esp considering union station is where the majority of connections are to begin with. green could be extended northwards to future expo and red to connect LAX to the westside.

LivingInExile
Nov 17, 2008, 6:02 PM
They should bring something down to San Pedro, Harbor City or Wilmington. Those are some of the densest districts in L.A!

Quixote
Nov 17, 2008, 7:46 PM
^ http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/harbor_subdivision/default.htm

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2919374014_2096d4afeb_b.jpg
From Flickr, by angelenic

LivingInExile
Nov 17, 2008, 9:04 PM
Whoa, thanks!

That study covers all the districts I just mentioned PLUS Cason & Torrance. The potential connection they have showing for San Pedro should be re-aligned, and have it follow Gaffey all the way down until at least 5th street.

JDRCRASH
Nov 18, 2008, 8:27 PM
Don't mind me asking Westsidelife, but is there a plan to connect the Expo Line with the Crenshaw transit Corridor, via 405 Freeway, just north of LAX? Or is that the Van Nuys to LAX corridor?

dweebo2220
Nov 18, 2008, 9:35 PM
looking at that map makes clear how important a 405 line is. So sad they didn't incorporate it into the widening.

dragonsky
Nov 19, 2008, 4:22 AM
Measure R takes biggest lead yet

The half-cent sales tax for transportation projects in Los Angeles County known as Measure R took its largest lead yet on Tuesday, as the Los Angeles County Registrar posted updated results from the Nov. 4 election. The results are unofficial.

Measure R now holds 67.51% of the vote out of the almost 2.85 million ballots cast. It needs 66.67% to be approved. The Registrar estimates there are still approximately 185,000 votes to be counted, with most of those provisional ballots. The next update of results is scheduled to be posted on Friday afternoon.

In terms of raw votes, Measure R's lead is now about 23,051 -- an increase from about 16,675 after last Friday's update. The fewer votes there are to be counted, the more difficult that lead will be to overcome.

In related news, a sales tax increase in Santa Clara County to extend the BART rail system to the southern Bay Area has taken an extremely narrow lead after trailing since Election Day. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that the difference between winning and losing is less than a dozen votes. About 9,800 votes remain to be counted, reports the Chronicle.

--Steve Hymon

November 18, 2008 in Measure R | Permalink

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/11/measure-r-takes.html

Quixote
Nov 22, 2008, 5:34 AM
Measure R's Lead Keeps Growing (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/11/measure-rs-le-2.html)

By Steve Hymon
November 21, 2008

The lead for Measure R reached almost a full percentage point on Friday, as the Los Angeles County Registrar updated vote totals from the Nov. 4 election. Measure R now has 67.65% of the vote, the largest lead it has had. Two-thirds approval is needed for passage. The vote totals are still unofficial.

The lead for Measure R in terms of raw votes now stands at about 27,630. I'll find out the number of outstanding votes still to be counted on Monday. At this point, the majority of absentee and provisional ballots have been counted.

Measure R, if approved, would raise the sales tax by a half-cent in Los Angeles County to pay for mass transit and road projects. The largest project is an extension of the subway to the Westside.

dragonsky
Nov 22, 2008, 5:38 AM
Measure R now ahead by full percentage point

The end is near on the counting of ballots: The Los Angeles County Registrar updated the numbers again on Measure R today. The half-cent sales tax increase in L.A. County for transportation projects now has 67.79% of the vote -- the first time it has led by a full percentage point. The lead in raw votes is about 32,164. The results are still unofficial.

The registrar's office said about 75,000 votes still need to be counted -- about 65,000 provisional ballots and 10,000 absentee.

Though it's mathematically possible for Measure R to lose, it's extremely unlikely from a statistical point of view.

--Steve Hymon

November 24, 2008 in Measure R | Permalink

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/11/update-on-measu.html

dragonsky
Nov 24, 2008, 12:14 AM
Will the Dodger Trolley return?

I was driving in WeHo Friday afternoon when the phone rang. I tapped the talk button on the phone speaker and got ... "It's Rosendahl." It was Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and he was ticked.

Not at me. At the Dodgers. He had earlier in the day been in the City Council's Transportation Committee and heard a report on the Dodger Trolley. It seems the shuttle between Union Station and Dodger Stadium went over budget due to its popularity (blogdowntown reported this last month) and Rosendahl said that the price had gone from an expected $70,000 to $150,000. About 704 people on average took the trolley to games, according to a city report released last month.

What really steamed Rosendahl was that, according to him, city officials were saying it would cost $350,000 to run the trolley for a full season in 2009, if the council decides to continue it. This past year, the trolley was basically a test program and didn't start until late July.

Furthermore, Rosendahl was ticked because the Dodgers wouldn't pick up any of the cost this year, saying that baseball teams shouldn't have to pay for mass transit. That's government's job, the team said. Of course, not every team builds its stadium far from the downtown street grid, behind residential neighborhoods, and surrounds it with 16,000-plus parking spaces that are currently going for $15 a pop.

"The city isn't going to pay for it if I have my way," Rosendahl said.

He also wanted the Dodgers to open their books for the city. Good luck with that -- the players union has wanted to see the real books of Major League Baseball teams for years. Nonetheless, as ESPN reported at the time, the last labor negotiations in 2006 were a cinch simply because teams were making so much money.

This will be a fun standoff, should it transpire. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is saying the city budget is already deep in the hole, but the Dodgers have proved in the past to have a lot of friends on the City Council. At the same time, the Dodgers may be rolling the money trucks up to free agent Manny Ramirez any day now -- giving the team cause to plead poverty.

What do you think should happen? Should the city send the Dodgers to the showers? Or is the city getting good bang for its buck (or in this case 350,000 of them)?

-- Steve Hymon

November 24, 2008 in Dodger Stadium parking | Permalink

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/11/will-the-dodger.html

bobcat
Nov 27, 2008, 1:16 AM
Latest Measure R results

Yes - 2,027,679 - 67.89%
No - 959,019 - 32.11%

Another 40,000 votes counted. With fewer than 35,000 ballots remaining looks like this puts it over the top.

BrighamYen
Nov 27, 2008, 1:40 AM
YES! Eat that AntonoBITCH and Molina! Woohoo!

JDRCRASH
Nov 27, 2008, 3:09 AM
:haha:

jamesinclair
Nov 28, 2008, 1:00 AM
"Of course, not every team builds its stadium far from the downtown street grid, behind residential neighborhoods, and surrounds it with 16,000-plus parking spaces that are currently going for $15 a pop."

Why did the city allow them to build such a big parking lot?

LosAngelesSportsFan
Nov 28, 2008, 7:00 PM
remember, it was built 50 years ago, right when the auto industry was booming and rail was being removed from LA.

bobcat
Nov 29, 2008, 2:12 AM
15,000 more Measure R ballots counted. Might fall just short of 68% approval.

Measure R

Yes - 2,039,214 - 67.93%
No - 962,569 - 32.07%

northbay
Nov 29, 2008, 2:29 AM
15,000 more Measure R ballots counted. Might fall just short of 68% approval.

Measure R

Yes - 2,039,214 - 67.93%
No - 962,569 - 32.07%

actually, i think its 66.67% approval (two-thirds majority)

so it passed ;)

bobcat
Nov 29, 2008, 2:40 AM
actually, i think its 66.67% approval (two-thirds majority)

so it passed ;)

Yeah, we've known for some time that it would pass, just noting that the percentage of Yes votes would be just under 68%.

northbay
Nov 29, 2008, 3:27 AM
Yeah, we've known for some time that it would pass, just noting that the percentage of Yes votes would be just under 68%.

like anyone cares. if its more than 66.67, it passes: 66.7 or 99.7 doesnt make much difference

bobcat
Nov 29, 2008, 4:01 AM
like anyone cares. if its more than 66.67, it passes: 66.7 or 99.7 doesnt make much difference

If nobody cares then they can just ignore it, can't they?

dragonsky
Nov 29, 2008, 6:40 AM
http://www.latimes.com/media/graphic/2008-11/43636478.gif

California commission to decide on safety of L.A. rail line
Next week the PUC plans to consider whether Expo Line planners have taken adequate steps to protect students at two campuses along the route.
By Steve Hymon
November 28, 2008

A state authority is set to decide next week whether transportation planners have done enough to make the Expo Line safe as it passes two South Los Angeles schools.

Some residents and school officials want the rail line to either be put underground or on a bridge near one or both schools.

Builders of the $862-million line say that would unnecessarily drive up costs and probably delay a transit system that could open by 2010 and provide an alternative to the Westside's traffic congestion.

The rail line follows a long-dormant right-of-way along Exposition Boulevard and will eventually connect downtown Los Angeles, USC, South Los Angeles, Culver City -- and one day Santa Monica.

But the tracks are slated to run next to the Foshay Learning Center and Dorsey High School.

The Exposition Line Construction Authority, the agency created to build the project, wants to set up rail crossings at street level outside the schools. Community activists and the Los Angeles Unified School District contend that children will be at risk of being run over or killed if the street level crossings are allowed.

On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to take up the matter. The five-member commission has two decisions to make: whether to allow the tracks to cross Farmdale Avenue outside Dorsey and whether to allow the tracks to cross atop an existing pedestrian tunnel next to Foshay.

Last month, a commission-appointed judge suggested an alternative. Judge Kenneth L. Koss recommended that pedestrian bridges be built over the tracks next to both schools and that Farmdale Avenue be closed to vehicle traffic at the tracks. The commission now has the final say.

All sides have expressed concern with the pedestrian bridges, saying that it's not wise to put that many students in such a small space. Transit officials still want to build the street-level rail crossings -- contending that they're safe.

"They're going to end up with a project that hits people," said Damien Goodmon, who is leading the community effort on behalf of the Fix Expo Campaign.

Goodmon said that building trains at street level is not only dangerous, but also ties up traffic and forces officials to run trains so slowly that people won't want to take them.

Many proponents of the train say Goodmon and others have exaggerated the street-crossing dangers and created a "folklore" in South Los Angeles about the Expo Line.

"They're saying we're going to build something that kills kids," said Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, a member of the construction authority's board. "It's not something in the realm of possibility. They don't have the substance to carry their own arguments."

Expo Line officials say they will take pains to make the train safe. Construction authority chief Rick Thorpe said the agency would slow trains from 55 mph to 10 mph outside Dorsey immediately before and after school hours and also post security guards on both sides of the crossing gates to keep students from ducking under and dashing across the tracks before trains pass.

That's not enough, say safety consultants for the school district and residents. The problem, in short: Children will be children.

"Kids' risk perception at different age brackets is different than adults'," said Najmedin Meshkati, a USC professor of civil engineering who studies causes of transportation accidents. "They are more prone to risk."

School officials put it this way in a legal brief to the Public Utilities Commission: "Under crowded conditions, as would be expected at the at-grade crossing, students frequently misbehave, pushing other students and inciting fights."

School officials and advocates point to the fact that the Expo Line already plans to have four major bridges and a tunnel separating the tracks from streets along its route. The area near Dorsey and Foshay -- made up predominantly of Latinos and African Americans -- deserves the same safety features that are being built in other parts of South Los Angeles and in Culver City, they say.

Over the last two years the cost for the Expo Line has risen from $640 million to $862 million. Goodmon and school officials say that the line has been able to cope with rising costs, proving that more money can be found when needed.

Thorpe said that bridges and the tunnel were built to mitigate traffic concerns on the largest streets along the Expo Line route. Environmental study of the pedestrian bridges, rail bridges or tunnels and rerouting traffic off Farmdale could mean that the rest of the line would sit completed while a year or more is spent replanning the sections of track near the schools.


Light rail lines that run at street level have become increasingly popular in the United States because they are cheaper to build than subways. Trains operating down the middle of streets are found in parts of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver and Portland.

Although most operate without incident, light rail lines in the United States killed 60 people in collisions between 2002 and 2006, according to the Federal Transit Administration.

Critics of the Expo Line plan also say safety problems along the Blue Line light rail between Los Angeles and Long Beach suggest they have reason to be concerned about street-grade trains.

The Blue Line has killed 26 people in vehicles and 65 pedestrians since opening in 1990, and there have been more pedestrian deaths in the last five years than in the Blue Line's first five years. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say that 20 of the pedestrian deaths were suicides.

MTA officials say that safety features have been added over the years, and they're working to install more equipment to keep people off the tracks. They also say that only one pedestrian death has occurred on the Gold Line, which was built to higher safety standards than the Blue Line, since its 2003 debut. They say that death was a suicide.

"If everybody listens to what we tell them to do, you won't have one fatality anywhere," said Abdul Zohbi, the system safety manager for the MTA. "Any system is as safe as users make it."

No matter how the PUC rules, legal action may follow. Even the planned second phase of the Expo Line, from Culver City to Santa Monica, has generated controversy.

A Westside group called Neighbors for Smart Rail has helped South Los Angeles residents with the Dorsey and Foshay issues.

The goal, members say, is to set a precedent should the second phase of the Expo Line be routed on an existing rail right-of-way near the Westside Pavilion.

If so, they want the train to go over or under busy streets for traffic and safety reasons. Another group, Light Rail for Cheviot, suggests that the other group doesn't want the train going through its neighborhood and is trying to drive up the costs.

Officials suggest that the real problem with the Expo Line is unrealistic expectations.

"Transportation is always a complex and difficult thing to do, and money always comes in fits and starts," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, a member of the Construction Authority Board. "It's easy to talk about the perfect approach. But that will not happen."

Hymon is a Times staff writer.

BrighamYen
Nov 29, 2008, 7:47 AM
Damien Goodman is a big idiot.

dragonsky
Nov 30, 2008, 4:49 AM
Gold Line extension to L.A. Eastside stirs hopes, fears
Some residents say they would welcome more upscale retailers. Others worry the character of the neighborhoods will change.
By Hector Becerra
November 30, 2008

David Contreras sits alone in his rockabilly clothing shop in Boyle Heights. At first, he explains, he wanted an "atomic age" theme for his store, with Cadillac fins mounted on walls, stars on the ceiling -- sort of like a glamorous 1950s department store.

But he figured that would scare people away in the working-class neighborhood he grew up in before moving away to New York and then Silver Lake. So he went with a tiki-bar look instead, thinking it would be warmer and humbler. Some people still freak out when they walk in, he said, raising his clenched hands and contorting his face as if to impersonate a doomed woman on a vintage horror movie poster. People still stumble into his store, wondering where Frank's TV repair shop went.

"Everyone thinks we're gentrifying, but we don't want to gentrify. We just want to be a cool place for people to hang out," said Contreras, 49. "We're like the Neiman Marcus of Boyle Heights! Everyone likes glamour. What's wrong with that?"

Contreras' store sits in an old, wedge-shaped brick building at Boyle Avenue and Whittier Boulevard, a crossroads of impending change on the Eastside. By next year, a new light rail line will be running a few blocks from his store -- the first foray of L.A.'s rail system into the eastern neighborhoods beyond downtown's skyscrapers.

The Gold Line extension has long been hailed as a turning point for the predominantly Latino areas, "transit equity" for residents who heavily use mass transit but until now have had only one option: the bus.

But as the opening of the line draws closer, there is growing angst about how it will change development patterns in Boyle Heights and East L.A.

The construction of rail across Los Angeles over the last three decades has helped transform some neighborhoods. The area around the Red Line subway terminus in North Hollywood has become a hip arts and theater district with a growing skyline of loft and condo projects. The Red Line has also helped fuel the revival of Hollywood, with dense mixed-use developments popping up next to subway stations. The Blue Line helped foster downtown Long Beach's resurgence.

But the Eastside is different. Residents there have much more ambivalent feelings about gentrification than the neighborhoods to the west and north. Some have high hopes for the Gold Line, expecting it to bring some of the better chain shops -- Borders, Trader Joe's -- that have avoided the Eastside. Others are more suspicious, fearing that an influx of money and outsiders will change the area's character and push out the poor.

"I would love to have a yoga studio that's affordable," resident Sandra Martinez, 40, said with a half-guilty laugh. "The problem with a yoga studio is when that moves in, that's the end -- that's the definition of gentrification."

Even before the Gold Line started nearing completion, there were growing signs of change.

There's a controversial proposal to knock down the working-class 1930s Wyvernwood Garden Apartments to make room for mostly market-rate condominiums and retail space. Developers have also been talking about transforming the 14-story Art Deco Sears, Roebuck & Co. building into a complex of condos, retail space and restaurants.

Experts said the addition of the light rail line, which will run from Union Station to East L.A., will accelerate development.

Rail lines mean access, which is valuable, said Lisa Schweitzer, a professor in the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development. Rail also means a bump in property values, she said, with land around the line becoming "perpetually valuable."

Some developments are already planned with the Gold Line. That, experts say, will in turn become a catalyst for more development -- though the toughening economy could temporarily slow that down. Then there's the fact that traffic is worsening in L.A. and people might want to move closer to the core of the city.

"Naturally, these neighborhoods will be gentrified," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who represents much of the Eastside. "But they will be gentrified overnight if we allow developers to."

Diversity long gone

At various points, going back to the early 20th century, Jews, Russians, Italians, Japanese and Mexicans all called Boyle Heights and East L.A. home. The neighborhoods' more than half a dozen old cemeteries -- including the Serbian Cemetery on 3rd Street, along the Gold Line route -- speak to the long-gone diversity.

By the 1960s, Boyle Heights and East L.A. had begun to cement themselves as the motherland for L.A.'s growing Mexican American community. The neighborhoods, always working-class, remained vibrant but became poorer with the infusion of immigrants.

Although Boyle Heights and much of the Eastside have been pocked with gangs, crime has declined sharply for several years. The housing boom that hit many parts of Southern California -- before the bust -- arrived in these neighborhoods a bit later, but they remained largely affordable.

Change didn't stop, though; it only happened at a slower pace than in places including Silver Lake and Echo Park, cultural cousins to the neighborhoods east of the L.A. River. In recent years, large housing projects along 1st Street in Boyle Heights have been converted into town houses, with a mix of market rate and affordable housing. And a popular wine bar opened at Mariachi Plaza, which is being renovated as part of the Gold Line project.


East L.A.'s first Starbucks opened a few years ago.

Diana Tarango, 73, remembers when neighbors on her East L.A. street included Germans and Japanese. A third-generation Mexican American, Tarango said she misses the diversity and thinks the Eastside has too many discount stores, flower shops and taco trucks.

The Gold Line, Tarango said, will put the neighborhood on a fast track to change. "To me this is one of the best things that could happen to East L.A," she said.

"Why do we have to go to Pasadena for a Borders? Don't give me second-class retail," she said. "Does everything have to be low-income? Why not build for people who can own homes now -- condos, town houses? Because when you own something, it becomes yours and you take pride in it."

Tarango said that when she told her husband that maybe Trader Joe's could come to East L.A., he replied, "You would be the only one shopping there."

"I don't think so," she said. "I think if you offer it to people, I think they would buy into it. But if you don't offer it, you're being complacent. I'm 73, but I'm not complacent."

But Lydia Avila-Hernandez, 25, of Boyle Heights worries that for all the good the rail line will bring, it will also highlight differences between many Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans over issues that include affordable housing, street vending and even taco trucks.

"Even my own friends I grew up with, I told one of them about the Gold Line and she said, 'That's good, then white people can come and make the neighborhood better,' " said Avila-Hernandez. "I told her, 'How could you say that? Just because they're Mexicanos doesn't mean they're bad.' "

Avila-Hernandez said the Gold Line, beyond its mass transit benefits, could be a very good thing as long as the community is involved and has a voice. Otherwise, she said, it could get divisive -- even without the wholesale movement of people from other parts of L.A.

Molina said it will be important that no matter what changes take place, there be "opportunities for people living there today."

Whatever one calls it, change is necessary, she added. Molina said there's no reason that over time people in neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and East L.A. should not be able to partake of some of the things that people in places like Arcadia and Temple City do.

"People don't like always going to the corner liquor store for food products," she said. "Everyone likes a Trader Joe's. But change and opportunities have to be incorporated within the framework of the community there today, families that have been there forever."

Sandra Martinez can see both sides of the gentrification debate. A Salvadoran American who works for a health foundation, she was priced out of Echo Park. A real estate agent was able to find a duplex for her and her sister in Boyle Heights, next to the new County-USC Medical Center.

Martinez quickly grew to like her new neighborhood, with its good eateries, which included not just Mexican restaurants but also a Salvadoran one and a Middle Eastern restaurant just a few blocks away.

She discovered the new wine bar, Eastside Luv, at 1st and Boyle. The trendy, popular homegrown bar represents a kind of meeting of the past and possible future of Boyle Heights -- a place where young professionals socialize next to Mariachi Plaza with its for-hire musicians.

Next to the wine bar, itself a reminder that what people call gentrification isn't always an outside thing, is an old-school cantina, where lonesome-looking immigrant men with 10-gallon hats can be found hunkered over beers.

But though she liked some of the changes that happened in Echo Park, she found others unsavory and wouldn't want them to befall her newly adopted neighborhood. She cites the time a record store opened in her Echo Park neighborhood and she went in to look for some Latin music.

"I was struck by the fact they didn't have any, and I thought to myself, 'That's just rude!' " Martinez recalled. "I thought, 'Where do you think you are?' "

Becerra is a Times staff writer.

JDRCRASH
Nov 30, 2008, 5:44 AM
Damien Goodman is a big idiot.

Oh, but it gets better; turns out, apparantly this guy is the same person who drew that future Metro Rail Map crisscrossed with rail lines that he hopes will be built, which include many at grade light-rail extensions...

"Children will be children"? Uhh, they're high school teenagers, not five year olds.:sly:

Wright Concept
Nov 30, 2008, 6:24 AM
^ Damn, I would have never guessed. :D

LosAngelesSportsFan
Nov 30, 2008, 8:11 PM
Lol

dweebo2220
Dec 1, 2008, 1:07 AM
Damien is right, kids will get killed nonstop by Expo. Have you seen this video of the intersection when school gets out?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXtY-33nX8c

These kids are IDIOTS. Maybe it's social darwinism, but these kids WILL get run over. It will be horrific. They'll just wander out onto the tracks I bet, texting or listening to their ipod or just being assholes and not giving a shit. I'd trust 5 year olds a hundred times more than these punks. You forget that teenagers are extraordinarily thoughtless and it gets worse and worse each decade.

Wright Concept
Dec 1, 2008, 3:00 AM
So how does putting a light rail underground or elevated automatically adds accountability to these reckless teenagers? Isn't that the parents and LAUSD's job to begin instilling that?

dweebo2220
Dec 1, 2008, 3:50 AM
It doesn't. I'm not saying it's the job of MTA to do anything except build reasonably safe transit, and I would say that the expo line IS reasonably safe as it stands.

We have parents/LAUSD/society not doing a good job--these kids are IDIOTS thanks to compounded neglect. However, regardless of whose responsibility it is many kids will get killed/injured by this train.

I don't know what the right solution is, but I don't think we have the resources/resolve to solve the underlying problem of stupid teenagers, while we do have the ability to make this train safer than is reasonable.

It's a cost-benefit analysis: I'm guessing it would cost a lot more and take a lot longer to instill a sense of responsibility in the ungrateful youth of today than it would to build an under/over pass for the train.

llamaorama
Dec 1, 2008, 5:10 AM
To be fair the ROW at that point looks like a under/overpass would be possible. As for Forshay, maybe it would better since an elevated structure there would avoid the goofy crossover intersection at Rodeo and Expo.

I dunno,since the whole argument here does seem like a legit safety concern and not some obstructionist anti-rail thing, I can sympathize with it.

Wright Concept
Dec 1, 2008, 5:14 AM
Which will get shot down for being an elevated structure by the residents.

Wright Concept
Dec 1, 2008, 5:22 AM
It doesn't. I'm not saying it's the job of MTA to do anything except build reasonably safe transit, and I would say that the expo line IS reasonably safe as it stands.

We have parents/LAUSD/society not doing a good job--these kids are IDIOTS thanks to compounded neglect. However, regardless of whose responsibility it is many kids will get killed/injured by this train.

I don't know what the right solution is, but I don't think we have the resources/resolve to solve the underlying problem of stupid teenagers, while we do have the ability to make this train safer than is reasonable.

With crossing gates, wider pedestrian pathways and most importantly Dorsey locking that extra exit close to the crossing and funnelling the students to the main exit. Those simple things would work to improve the flow and give the students more time to reach the exit and pay attention to the crossing. If this had been a privately built line, why would they spend the extra money on something that their neighbor can easily do and change? And if someone does get in an accident and that was private property or trespassing the right-of-way who's fault will it be?

It's a cost-benefit analysis: I'm guessing it would cost a lot more and take a lot longer to instill a sense of responsibility in the ungrateful youth of today than it would to build an under/over pass for the train.

Naw, it's a lot more cost-effective to take care of the kids than it is to take care of the Light Rail. It's just that LAUSD costs too much with all the specialists and administrators, one thing they should do right now to test this is add some stoplights around Expo and Farmdale and see how the students react and adjust.

Wright Concept
Dec 1, 2008, 5:29 AM
Damien is right, kids will get killed nonstop by Expo. Have you seen this video of the intersection when school gets out?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXtY-33nX8c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXtY-33nX8c)

You know what's missing in that video a stop light at Expo and Farmdale.

Wright Concept
Dec 1, 2008, 5:34 AM
To be fair the ROW at that point looks like a under/overpass would be possible.

There's a major storm drain next to the right-of-way making underpass out of the question and an overpass possible but the community doesn't want to look at one.

As for Forshay, maybe it would better since an elevated structure there would avoid the goofy crossover intersection at Rodeo and Expo.

There is a station one block to the west at Western which would slow the trains and have a place for the pedestrians to cross and wait for the passing trains.

BrighamYen
Dec 1, 2008, 6:47 AM
Damien Goodman isn't doing this for the "good" of the community. He's doing this to elevate his own wanna-be dreams of being a politician. At the expense of the greater good of LA by trying to instill fear and resentment in his group against everyone else.

Trust me, I've been to the transit meetings where he and I have both spoke. He was AGAINST Measure R and his partner in crime at the meeting said "Why should Wilshire Blvd. get a subway? We will be voting No on a racist measure." LOL!

Damien Goodman is a stupid aspiring politician. A bad one at that.

JDRCRASH
Dec 1, 2008, 7:28 PM
I'd trust 5 year olds a hundred times more than these punks. You forget that teenagers are extraordinarily thoughtless and it gets worse and worse each decade.

I have to disagree with that generalized assumption, and here's why:

As a (temporary) San Gabriel Valley resident, it just so happens that I can take advantage of a relatively close-by opportunity to use the Metrolink to get to Downtown, other parts of the valley, the beaches, etc. Whenever I ride it, unless its very crowded, I sit upstairs, just to get a good view, and you can't go 2 miles on the train without seeing at least one school. There are even a few that are adjacent to the railway, complete with rail crossings. Once and a while, I see quite a bit of teenagers crossing the tracks, and most stop and wait for the train to go by, and, when I look from the back window, I even see them wait for the crossings to go back up again.

Highly opposite to what I would call "mindless teenagers".

BrighamYen
Dec 1, 2008, 8:25 PM
I agree with WC.

No gate crossings today = students walking across dirt berm and defunct old ROW.

Gate crossings tomorrow = students wait when crossing arms come down, they cross when crossing arms go back up.

To prepare for the arrival of the Expo (Aqua) Line, the school obviously would hold an entire school meeting in the auditorium and discuss this with the students in there. Then, flyers would be passed out liberally and still be posted around campus talking about safety.

What is so hard about that?

Wright Concept
Dec 2, 2008, 1:56 AM
I would suggest all of you also write to the five commissioners with your
own personal message, asap, perhaps copying the ALJ and Public Advisor.

The first five email addresses below are the commissioners'; after the blank
line is ALJ Kenneth L. Koss and the Public Advisor.

mp1@cpuc.ca.gov
dgx@cpuc.ca. gov
jb2@cpuc.ca.gov
crc@cpuc.ca.gov
tas@cpuc.ca.gov

KLK@cpuc.ca.gov
public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

dragonsky
Dec 2, 2008, 2:41 AM
With ballots all counted, Measure R's victory is complete

The Los Angeles County registrar finished counting ballots on Friday, and here's the final line score for Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects -- including the start of the Westside subway extension -- in Los Angeles County:

Yes: 2,039,214 votes, 67.93%

No: 962,569 votes, 32.07%

Measure R needed two-thirds votes to pass, meaning it won by a raw vote total of about 37,000 votes. The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to declare the results official at its meeting on Tuesday.

Measure R was the seventh countywide transportation bond or tax to go to voters in Los Angeles County since 1968. Of those, Measure R received the highest percentage of the vote and the most votes. The list, courtesy of Matthew Barrett at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's library:

1968: Rapid Transit Bond, 62 rail miles, 44.88% yes, 50.01% no. FAILED

1974: One-cent sales tax in perpetuity, 46.39% yes, 50.01% no. FAILED

1976: 1/2-cent sales tax for 232 miles of rail construction, 40.64% yes, 50.01% no. FAILED

1976: 1/2-cent sales tax in perpetuity, 39.64% yes, 50.01% no. FAILED

1980: 1/2-cent sales tax in perpetuity, 54.33% yes, 50.01% no. PASSED

1990: 1/2-cent sales tax in perpetuity, 50.44% yes, 50.01% no. PASSED

2008: 1/2-cent sales tax for 30 years, 67.93% yes, 32.07% no. PASSED

If you were a proponent of Measure R and want to know which politicians worked this issue, here's a short list -- all people we've mentioned before on this blog:

-- Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). Feuer took an old state bill from 2004 that would have authorized a sales tax back then and revamped it for 2008 and helped navigate the often tricky currents of the Legislature. He also stumped hard for it in recent weeks on both the airwaves and with community groups.

-- MTA and Metrolink board member Richard Katz. He did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, meaning he negotiated with a lot of other concerned pols who wanted to see their projects included in Measure R.

-- County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. He wrote the countywide measure in 1998 that banned sales tax money from the 1980 and 1990 elections from being used for subway tunneling, saying that the subway was consuming too much resources. But he got behind the subway extension this time around, saying that with a new pot of money the project could become a reality.

-- And, finally, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. When trying to oust James K. Hahn from office in 2005, Villaraigosa campaigned on building the subway to the sea -- and at times was mocked by the Hahn campaign for making such a promise. Upon taking office, he commissioned a study to show tunneling in methane gas-prone areas was safe, used that study to convince Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) to repeal the congressional ban on subway tunneling in those areas and then, as an MTA board member, voted to launch the ongoing alternatives analysis to see if a subway is needed and what route it might take.

Measure R was the fourth step and could provide the subway up to $4.1 billion. Measure R proponents say that should get the train from its terminus at Wilshire and Western to Westwood.

In addition, Villaraigosa ran the Measure R campaign -- meaning he did a lot of the fund-raising -- and he also put his longtime political strategist Ace Smith in charge of a campaign. "When he ran for mayor, everyone told us that it" -- the subway -- "was not doable," Smith told me on Monday. "But the guy did it."

Interestingly, the subway was not mentioned per se in Villaraigosa's inaugural speech in July 2005 -- a speech that carried a theme of dreaming big:

I’d like to now turn to another matter that may not sound like the stuff of dreams, but is critical if we are to improve the quality of life of our city’s residents. And that’s traffic.

The time we spend stuck in traffic is time we do not spend helping our kids with their homework or being productive at work.

So, Los Angeles, join me in fighting for the investment in public transportation that is the hallmark of any great city. Join me in implementing the common sense traffic plans that have been bottlenecked for too long. Join me in transforming Los Angeles into a city that connects our communities and brings us all closer together.

All that said, the hard work is likely just beginning. Measure R is expected to bring in as much as $40 billion over the next three decades for a variety of transit and road projects. It also freezes MTA fares for everyone until mid-2010 (and some longer) and will return millions of dollars to cities in the county to spend on transportation projects.

What remains to be seen is whether the Measure R transit projects are built in a first-class way that provides a good alternative to driving and whether the road projects can help erase some of the longstanding tie-ups that cause congestion. It's one thing to talk about transportation, it's another to pick up the shovel and to start digging.

-- Steve Hymon

December 01, 2008 in Measure R | Permalink

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/12/with-ballots-al.html

BrighamYen
Dec 2, 2008, 8:28 AM
Again, eat that AntonoBITCH!

JDRCRASH
Dec 2, 2008, 7:52 PM
Don't be surprised to see some suggest for a lawsuit......sigh....and they wouldn't be willing to use that same money towards Measure R. Sometimes, people can truly be so stupid.

BrighamYen
Dec 2, 2008, 8:11 PM
I hope Antonovich dies (of natural causes) and/or resigns SOON.

JDRCRASH
Dec 2, 2008, 8:27 PM
Along with Dennis Hathaway, Don Knabe, and all the rest of the NIMBY politicians and cronies that pollute our naturally evolving city.....

Quixote
Dec 3, 2008, 4:09 AM
Transit Sales Tax Goes in Effect July 1st (http://laist.com/2008/12/02/transit_sales_tax_goes_in_effect_ju.php)

By Zach Behrens
December 2, 2008

During the first year after the half-cent sale tax increase begins (LA County will then be 8.75%), an estimated $650 million for transit projects will be collected, according to Metro who today said a "comprehensive financial plan that will lay out a strategy for delivering projects," will be presented in January. Projects that will be funded include the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension in the San Gabriel Valley, Regional Light Rail Connector in Downtown LA, Metro Green Line extension to LAX and the South Bay, and the Westside subway extension.

BrighamYen
Dec 3, 2008, 8:58 AM
Transit Sales Tax Goes in Effect July 1st (http://laist.com/2008/12/02/transit_sales_tax_goes_in_effect_ju.php)

By Zach Behrens
December 2, 2008

During the first year after the half-cent sale tax increase begins (LA County will then be 8.75%), an estimated $650 million for transit projects will be collected, according to Metro who today said a "comprehensive financial plan that will lay out a strategy for delivering projects," will be presented in January. Projects that will be funded include the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension in the San Gabriel Valley, Regional Light Rail Connector in Downtown LA, Metro Green Line extension to LAX and the South Bay, and the Westside subway extension.


:previous: :banana: :yes: :cheers: :worship::) :notacrook: :previous:

dragonsky
Dec 4, 2008, 2:37 AM
Will the MTA get on board with Google Transit? Maybe, officials say
3:00 PM, December 3, 2008

There may be some movement on the is-Google-Transit-ever-coming-to-Los Angeles front: testing could begin in the first half of 2009, says a key official with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Google Transit is the popular service that allows users to easily plan and map trips on mass transit. With the cooperation of transit agencies, Google Transit has posted bus and/or train schedules for New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh. Click on the above map and you can see how Google Transit may help someone navigate a trip from Columbia University in New York City to the Union Square Cafe.

What do all those cities have in common? They're all big cities -- kind of like Los Angeles is a big city!

But, thus far, the MTA remains missing on Google Transit. Instead, the MTA has three online trip planners: its regular trip planner, a test version of the trip planner that has schedules for dozens of transit agencies in L.A. County, and a program that allows cellphone users to see how long until the next rapid bus arrives.

All three also have shortcomings. The regular planner can be fickle (unless you really dig long bus trips) and neither the regular nor test versions of the planner recognizes the name of a business as your present location (Google Transit usually does). And the rapid bus program provides schedules only for some stops.

Matt Raymond, the chief communications officer for the MTA, said he thought a pilot program with Google Transit could happen soon, but that the agency was still not firmly committed to a permanent relationship with Google even after months of talks between the two.

"I guess the bottom line is we want to provide our customers the best possible service," Raymond said. "Google is a for-profit entity, and we have to make sure that we have solid policies in how we give public information out."

Raymond said that the MTA still needed to resolve several issues. Among them are finding a way to provide frequent schedule updates to Google and finding a way to ensure that Google is providing MTA customers with accurate information about the best way to get from Point A to Point B.

The other big issue is the MTA's willingness to surrender publicly owned data, albeit data that has to be specially formatted by the MTA for use by Google. Raymond said that the trip planner feature on the MTA website gets up to 40 million hits a month, making it the most popular feature on the site. "It's a valuable tool and it's a main driver to our website," Raymond said. "If we want to use it as a future revenue stream, we don't know the impact of having all the information on a different system."

In other words, the MTA is considering putting advertising on its website, which is currently free of it. The trip planner generates the page views that could lure advertisers for the perpetually cash-strapped agency. Of course, the agency isn't quite as cash-strapped as it was Nov. 3, the day before 67.93% of voters approved a 30-year half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax hike expected to generate $30 billion to $40 billion for MTA and Caltrans projects.

In the meantime, OCTA in Orange County already has its bus schedules on Google Transit, as does the Burbank bus system. Metrolink went live on G.T. this month, and Big Blue Bus officials in Santa Monica say they're working on putting their bus info on G.T. too, but that their data is tied up with another vendor at the moment, an issue that must first be resolved.

The next big agency to go live on G.T. is likely to be Foothill Transit, one of the largest bus agencies in Los Angeles County.

"We've been in beta testing since August ,and we're almost done and we're hoping to be up and online with Google Transit in January or February," said Felicia Friesema, the spokeswoman for Foothill Transit. "We're really excited about it, and we're hoping that more transit agencies get on board because Google Transit in Los Angeles County will only be as good as the number of agencies that are on it."

With the holidays upon us, it's likely that many people will soon be unwrapping new smartphones that easily access the Internet and all its bells and whistles. If transit ridership remains high and gas prices spike, it will be mighty interesting to see whether consumers begin clamoring for a wider variety of transit information.

--Steve Hymon

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/12/view-larger-map.html

Quixote
Dec 4, 2008, 3:12 AM
Speaking of the Gold Line Foothill Extension...

Two Routes Identified for Rail Line Extension to Ontario Airport (http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_11124348?source=rss)

By Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
December 2, 2008

A study has identified two feasible routes for extending the Metro Gold Line light rail system from Montclair to L.A./Ontario International Airport.

After 10 months - and narrowing down the options from 13 possibilities - the two best routes have been identified, said Jerry Sims, project manager for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

One route would travel east from Montclair along the Pacific Electric Trail before heading south along the Cucamonga Creek Channel to the airport.

The second route would be constructed on a new track alongside the Metrolink track and south along the Cucamonga Creek Channel to the airport.

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension board of directors will host open houses tonight in Upland and Thursday in Rancho Cucamonga to give residents a chance to learn more about the routes, Sims said.

"We're seeing throughout the nation the extension of light rails to regional airports," said Mike Bair, director of transit and rail programs for San Bernardino Associated Governments. "If we can get to Montclair - and that's a big if - it's not a far stretch to go to the airport."

Depending on the route selected, the extension would cost $300 million to $400 million.

The route would take passengers from Montclair to the airport in 15 minutes.

The extension to the airport would add 14,000 new riders on the Gold Line per day, Sims said.

There are now 24,000 riders daily taking the Gold Line, which ends in Pasadena. By the time the line is extended to the airport, Sims said it will carry 60,000 to 70,000 riders a day.

"It's going to be an important line and it will touch the airport," Sims said.

The open house will give residents an opportunity to learn more about proposed stations in Montclair, Upland, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga as well.

A committee, comprising of all the cities involved, as well as Sanbag and the Southern California Association of Governments, was set up to ensure everyone's concerns about the proposed routes were heard, Bair said.

Because the project is in its early stages, Sims said a completion date has yet to be determined. The study was the first step in a process required for the project to qualify for federal funding, he said.

The next phase is to conduct an alternative analysis as well as an environment assessment. Funding sources for those studies have yet to be identified, Bair said.

The route running along the Metrolink tracks would be the most economical option, with a price tag of $300 million, Sims said.

The Pacific Electric Trail is a little longer than the other route and would cost about $400 million.

Because of its proximity to the existing trail, a barrier would be constructed to separate the two, he said.

makoy731
Dec 8, 2008, 1:26 AM
does anyone have updated pictures of the gold line eastside extension and expo line?

JDRCRASH
Dec 9, 2008, 8:33 PM
Metro Board Approves Construction of New Parking Garage to Serve Metro Gold Line Atlantic Station

December 4, 2008

Contact:
José Ubaldo/Marc Littman
Metro Media Relations
213.922.3087/922.2700
www.metro.net/pressroom

The Metro Board of Directors today approved spending an additional $8.7 million for a three-story parking garage that will serve the Atlantic terminus station on the Metro Gold Line to East Los Angeles.

The new three-story garage will have 286 parking spaces. It is scheduled to be completed six months after the new light rail line opens next summer. It was initially planned to have 127 surface parking spaces at the Atlantic Boulevard and Pomona Street location.

Looking ahead to the future, Metro anticipates the light rail line will steadily attract new riders. A dozen bus lines will serve the six-mile Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension now being built from Union Station to East Los Angeles via Little Tokyo/Arts District and Boyle Heights. The Metro Gold Line also is within walking distance of thousands of residents.

Altogether, Metro has budgeted $13 million for the parking garage. Construction on the rail line is still within budget and the project is ahead of schedule with construction more than 90 percent complete.

The light rail Eastside extension will have eight new stations; Little Tokyo/Arts District, Pico Aliso, Mariachi Plaza, Soto, Indiana, Maravilla, ELA Civic Center and Atlantic, two of them are underground.

dragonsky
Dec 12, 2008, 6:23 AM
City of L.A. preps a list of projects for Obama
4:44 PM, December 10, 2008

You've probably heard by now that President-elect Barack Obama has said that he intends to create millions of jobs by providing federal dollars for public works projects. That has gotten the attention of city officials in Los Angeles, who are preparing a list of projects they would like to ask the federal government to fund if Obama's plan goes forward.

The 20-page document (not yet available online) was circulated at Wednesday afternoon's meeting of the City Council's Transportation Committee. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, the committee chairwoman, warned several times that this was hardly a final list and lots could change. It was largely put together by a variety of city agencies and won't be final until city pols say it's final -- meaning there's going to be a scramble for projects in their respective districts.

So what's on the list? In short, there's lots. Jim Clark, the city's chief lobbyist to the federal government, told the committee were 189 projects totaling more than $7 billion. The criteria to make the list was simple -- projects needed to be under construction within six months and finished within two years. The idea, after all, is to create jobs. That said, Clark also warned council members that there was a lot unknown about Obama's proposed stimulus plan: namely whether Congress would go for it, how much money it may dole out and where those dollars would go.

Among some of the projects listed: Street repair throughout the city, including the bumpathon that has become Wilshire Boulevard; L.A. River bike path improvements and expansion; funding for the elephant exhibit at the zoo (yes, the same one that the council recently put a hold on funding); Los Angeles Convention Center improvements, and Los Angeles International Airport improvements including, money for moving the north runways farther apart (a project still under study) and an improved baggage system for the Bradley International Terminal.

The list also includes some big projects on the transportation front that are within the city of L.A. but are being managed by the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Among these are requests for money for the Expo Line light rail, repaving of parts of the 210 and 60 freeways, 405 freeway "carpool enhancements," a carpool lane for the 5 Freeway between the 170 and 118 freeways in the San Fernando Valley.

Of those, the Expo Line is probably the most politically interesting. The $862-million rail line is currently under construction, but the state Public Utilities Commission has yet to decide how two street crossings will be built near two schools in South Los Angeles. If the PUC votes to require pedestrian bridges or to put the train tracks on a bridge or tunnel near one or both of the schools, that could cost millions of dollars that the Expo Line Construction Authority -- the agency building the line -- says it doesn't have.

The question is whether that could change under Obama's plan.

--Steve Hymon

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/12/city-of-la-prep.html

dragonsky
Dec 12, 2008, 6:24 AM
Los Angeles receives $210 million in federal funds to ease traffic jams
2:29 PM, December 11, 2008

Los Angeles will get $210 million in federal money to ease freeway congestion and improve bus service, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters said in a statement that it is the largest grant to ease congestion the department has awarded to any city to date.

Peters said the funding would help local leaders in their efforts to convert existing carpool lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes, with tolls adjusting according to congestion levels. "Los Angeles’ willingness to try something new will mean less traffic, better transit and a cleaner environment," she said.

The project by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the state Department of Transportation involves conversion of 28 miles of carpool lanes on the 10 Freeway from Alameda Street to the 605 Freeway, and 33 miles of lanes on the Harbor Freeway from 182nd Street/Artesia Transit Center to Adams Boulevard, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Peters said the money would also be used to pay for new bus service and improve park-and-ride facilities.

-- Nita Lelyveld

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/12/los-angeles-rec.html

dragonsky
Dec 19, 2008, 6:58 AM
Expo Line crossings issue to be resolved in '09
1:51 PM, December 18, 2008

The California Public Utilities Commission once again punted making a decision on two disputed street crossings near schools for the Expo Line light rail line that is under construction. The Commission was scheduled to take up the issue at today's meeting in San Francisco, but has now pushed the matter to its Jan. 29 meeting to take more time to study the matter.

The light rail line will travel from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. The PUC has already approved 36 of 38 street crossings, but the Expo Line Construction Authority still needs permission to build the rail lines atop a pedestrian tunnel at Harvard Boulevard next to the Foshay Learning Center and to build rails across Farmdale Avenue in South Los Angeles, adjacent to Dorsey High School.

Meanwhile, the $862-million rail line remains under construction. The Construction Authority wants to build street-level crossings. The Los Angeles Unified School District and some community activists want the rail lines completely separated -- by tunnel or bridge -- from the street near both schools for safety reasons. Their fear is that students or other residents could be hit by the train no matter how the crossings are designed.

Earlier this fall, a PUC judge ruled that the Expo Line should build pedestrian bridges with elevators over the tracks at both locations. The Construction Authority says that could delay the project nine to 12 months and cost an extra $18 million -- the reason the authority has been lobbying the commission to amend the judge's decision and keep the rail line at street level. In filings last week, the authority also pointed to damage caused by urine in other MTA elevators. Yes, there are photos.

-- Steve Hymon

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/12/expo-line-cross.html

Wright Concept
Dec 26, 2008, 2:57 AM
PUC commissioner takes position on Expo Line controversy
11:54 AM, December 24, 2008
California Public Utilities Commissioner Rachelle Chong on Tuesday filed an alternative proposal on how best to solve the controversy involving two Expo Line light rail street crossings in South Los Angeles.

The gist of it: Chong's proposal makes it more likely that a pedestrian bridge -- at the least -- will be built across the tracks next to Dorsey High School. That means the Expo Line is going to have to find some extra money. Building the bridge could also jeopardize plans to open the line in 2010.

First, some background.

The Expo Line Construction Authority, which is building the $862-million line from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, still needs the state's permission to build two at-grade street crossings next to schools in South Los Angeles -- the Foshay Learning Center and Dorsey High School. At Foshay, the construction authority needs the state's approval to put rails atop an existing pedestrian tunnel at Harvard Boulevard. At Dorsey, the authority needs approval to lay rails across Farmdale Avenue.

In October, a PUC administrative law judge denied those requests and instead proposed that pedestrian bridges be built over the tracks at both locations for safety reasons -- with bridges, no students or other people would have to walk across the tracks at those sites.
But the judge doesn't have last say on the matter. It's up to the five-member PUC to decide and the commission has already twice postponed a vote on the issue. At present, no one is happy with the judge's proposed solution: The construction authority doesn't believe the pedestrian bridges would be safe, saying they would funnel too many students into too small a space, including elevators. Community activists and the LAUSD want the train to either tunnel under Farmdale or go over it on a bridge. Activists also want the train to tunnel under both Western and Harvard avenues (Western is near Harvard).

Under Chong's proposal, the construction authority would be allowed to build rails across the pedestrian tunnel next to Foshay, but she denied the construction authority's request to build an at-grade crossing of Farmdale next to Dorsey. Her proposal leaves open the possibility of a pedestrian bridge over the tracks or a rail bridge over Farmdale -- and due to the PUC process, makes it unlikely a street-level crossing with no pedestrian bridge will even be considered.

Chong also proposes giving the construction authority something it requested: that the PUC act as the lead agency in considering future environmental review of the crossings. That's wonky, but significant: It basically means that a lawsuit over the environmental studies would go directly to the California Supreme Court (if it decided to hear it) whereas a lawsuit against the construction authority would start lower on the legal ladder, in Superior Court.

In other words, that move could shorten the time the issue is in court, thereby also shortening construction time and project costs. The proposal from Chong will be considered at the PUC's Jan. 29 meeting. Keep in mind, it's just a proposal. The PUC can decide to keep it, amend it or toss it out completely. But it does appear that both the community, the LAUSD and the Expo Line are getting closer to knowing what they're actually building at the two crossings.

llamaorama
Dec 28, 2008, 5:34 AM
This might seem like a "if it was that simple..." kind of solution, but: Crossing Guards?

JDRCRASH
Dec 28, 2008, 7:26 PM
^ Unfortunately, for these Public Trans. NIMBIES, cross guards aren't enough.:brickwall: :brickwall: :brickwall:
They're lame ass excuse? "Children will be Children".....except its Dorsey High, not Dorsey Elementary.

I mean c'mon now, what kind of retard in their right mind is gonna go under the crossguards??!!

sopas ej
Dec 28, 2008, 11:10 PM
I thought of crossing guards too, but they aren't there at all hours of the day, people will argue, like for afterschool activities, etc.

I thought Measure R was supposed to infuse a lot of money into LA County's public transportation. Wouldn't it pay for pedestrian bridges, or HELL, wouldn't it pay to put the Expo Line through a trench near these disputed areas? So what if it delays the project by a year or two, I think it'd be well worth it.

StethJeff
Dec 28, 2008, 11:30 PM
I thought of crossing guards too, but they aren't there at all hours of the day, people will argue, like for afterschool activities, etc.

I thought Measure R was supposed to infuse a lot of money into LA County's public transportation. Wouldn't it pay for pedestrian bridges, or HELL, wouldn't it pay to put the Expo Line through a trench near these disputed areas? So what if it delays the project by a year or two, I think it'd be well worth it.

The trench idea was always the one that I thought made the most sense. Aren't trenches going to be in use in the areas around USC?

OhioGuy
Dec 30, 2008, 6:54 PM
I don't know if this video was ever posted here in SSP, but I thought it was interesting. It's from 1985 regarding Los Angeles rail rapid transit.

Metro Rail: The Future is Now - 1985 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkFoW5lr-tU)

LongBeachUrbanist
Dec 30, 2008, 8:02 PM
I thought of crossing guards too, but they aren't there at all hours of the day, people will argue, like for afterschool activities, etc.

Suppose they were available all day. In fact, suppose there were four full time crossing guards, providing double and overlapping coverage from 6 AM through 6 PM every school day for thirty years. (Overkill? Yes, but I'm making a point.)

Even that would cost less than a bridge or a tunnel. And it would provide four full-time jobs to people in the neighborhood.

$80K/year x 4 crossing guards x 30 years = $9.6 million.

Not all problems require an expensively-engineered solution.

electricron
Dec 31, 2008, 3:24 AM
Here's a cheaper solution.

Build a 12 foot high unscalable sound wall several blocks in both directions, except at the street intersection protected by crossing signals and gates.

I fail to see the difference between an automobile traveling down the city street and a light rail train. Step in front of either, a 110 decibel horn sounds, saying "Get out of the way before I run you over!"

At least a train can't swerve off the tracks, but an automobile can change drections. It's much easier to avoid a train than a car.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Dec 31, 2008, 3:38 AM
i agree. all of this is unnecessary and ridiculous. as i have said before, lets let darwinism work. if the idiots think they can beat a train, then so be it. after one or two dumbasses try, the rest will learn, or evolve, not to.

happy new year

dragonsky
Dec 31, 2008, 3:56 AM
Advocacy group criticizes California transportation wish list
The state plans to spend 31% of federal road money on creating new capacity instead of addressing long-deferred maintenance and repair projects, the group says.
By Patrick McGreevy
The Los Angeles Times
7:39 PM PST, December 30, 2008

California officials are counting on Washington to inject billions of dollars in transportation money to help revive the state economy. But a public advocacy group said the state's wish list of projects would undermine efforts to repair and modernize the state's crumbling infrastructure and reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

The California Public Interest Research Group reports that the state plans to spend 31% of road money on creating new capacity instead of addressing long-deferred maintenance and repair projects. By contrast, the group said, Massachusetts would commit 100% of its road funds to repairs.

"We can't afford to waste precious resources on new highways at the expense of ready-to-go projects to repair and maintain existing roads and bridges and expand public transportation," said Erin Steva, a spokeswoman for the group.

The group also faulted the California Department of Transportation's list, saying that only 37% of the funds would flow to public transportation. The group called for a higher percentage, citing the record ridership on California's mass transit systems, which have been hit by severe cutbacks in recent years. The proposed percentage is less than what is being planned in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, CALPIRG said.

Caltrans spokesman Benjamin DeLanty defended the list, saying that it was an initial response to a request from members of Congress for possible projects and may change as federal legislation and state needs evolve.

"We note that the list provided included a fairly even distribution among capital, maintenance and mass transportation projects," DeLanty said. "However, that list continues to be a work in progress and is not definitive."

dragonsky
Dec 31, 2008, 3:57 AM
Groundwork laid in 2008 for major transit changes in Southern California
By Steve Hymon
The Los Angeles Times
6:08 PM PST, December 30, 2008

When it comes to improving the ways we get around the Southland, change usually occurs at a glacial pace.

In one sense, that remains true at the end of 2008. There is little statistical evidence to suggest that any commuting patterns were seriously altered. Nor did any new roads or mass transit projects debut.

Yet, 2008 was very eventful. The groundwork was laid for some dramatic developments that could come in future years, and transportation was often big news. Here, from my point of view, are the 10 most significant stories of the year:

* A deadly Metrolink crash occurs in Chatsworth. The commuter rail agency suffered its third major crash with passenger fatalities in the last six years when a three-car train hit a Union Pacific freight train Sept. 12, killing 25 and injuring 135. The Metrolink engineer was text messaging in the moments before the crash and blew past a red signal light, although the train's conductor and three observers say the light appeared to be green. The collision remains under federal investigation, but it has already prompted a committee of experts to recommend that Metrolink place more emphasis on improving passenger safety.

Another Metrolink train hit a freight train in Rialto in November -- this time with only slight injuries to passengers. It remains to be seen whether Metrolink's Board of Directors -- most of whose members rarely ride the trains -- will implement true safety fixes in 2009.

* Measure R passes in Los Angeles County. The Achilles heel of mass transit in L.A. County, the nation's most populous, has always been lack of money.

Not anymore. The half-cent sales tax hike could provide $40 billion over its 30-year life span for a long, long list of projects that critics said were mostly designed to please the big city politicians who put the tax on the ballot. The story now is whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will stick with its spending plan and which road, rail and bus projects will get built first. The Expo Line and extension of the Gold Line look to have the edge. Of course, tax revenues will lag as long as the economy is headed downward.

* The "subway to the sea" is reborn. This long-held dream to run a transit line from downtown Los Angeles to the city's heavily congested Westside didn't have one cent of funding until Measure R passed. Now it has $4.1 billion, plus any state, federal or private money that can be secured.

The subway may also have a route. An MTA study this year determined that putting the line under Wilshire Boulevard -- with a swing south to Century City -- would result in the most ridership and that a second line from Hollywood to Beverly Hills via Santa Monica Boulevard could perform well.

That line, however, still has no money.

* A hands-free cellphone law goes into effect. Legislators guiding the state with the most cars in the nation overcame years of resistance from telephone manufacturers and made it illegal for drivers to hold cellphones to their ear. A first offense brings a $20 fine plus court fees that usually mean a ticket north of $70 in most parts of the state. On Jan. 1, text messaging while driving also becomes illegal.

* Congestion pricing gets the nod. After New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg met resistance to his plan to charge a toll to drive into lower Manhattan, Los Angeles secured $210 million from the federal government to convert the carpool lanes on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways into toll lanes.

The plan is still being shaped, and the tolls will probably be announced this spring. Also in the works is a plan to use some of the money to add an extra carpool lane on the 10 between the 605 and 710 freeways, which means there would be more road space to potentially sell.

If the toll lanes work and speed up traffic, it's going to be very tempting for transportation officials to try this on other carpool lanes in the county.

* O.C. toll road is rejected. After years of talk, studies, more talk and loooong public meetings, both the California Coastal Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce gave a thumbs down to a plan to extend the 241 toll road through San Onofre State Beach. The project now appears dead, once and for all.

* Gas prices go up -- then down. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas during the first part of the year inspired less driving, more use of mass transit, tanked SUV sales and "drill here, drill now" chants at the Republican National Convention. Then prices fell below $2 a gallon for regular, their lowest level since early 2005.

* Obama is elected president. None of the many presidential candidates talked much about transportation. Obama did more than most and has given strong signals that he's ready to pump billions of dollars of federal money into road and transit projects after taking office Jan. 20. We'll see.

* Cyclists fight back. Cyclists have long complained that they get a raw deal on Southland roads. Then Dr. Christopher Thompson slammed on his brakes July 4, allegedly causing two cyclists to crash into his car in Mandeville Canyon and suffer significant injuries.

But this time, with the cycling community in outrage, authorities responded. Thompson was charged with two felony counts of reckless driving and is awaiting arraignment Jan. 15 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

* High-speed rail bond passes. Voters agreed to issue up to $9.95 billion in state bonds to begin planning for a bullet train that initially would run between Anaheim and San Francisco. The project will need billions more to actually get built, but if it does, 2008 will be seen as the year things got rolling.

sopas ej
Dec 31, 2008, 5:06 AM
I don't know if this video was ever posted here in SSP, but I thought it was interesting. It's from 1985 regarding Los Angeles rail rapid transit.

Metro Rail: The Future is Now - 1985 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkFoW5lr-tU)

Interesting video... hehe the narrator sounds like he narrated those old films from the 1950s-1960s.

electricron
Dec 31, 2008, 4:06 PM
Advocacy group criticizes California transportation wish list
The state plans to spend 31% of federal road money on creating new capacity instead of addressing long-deferred maintenance and repair projects, the group says.
By Patrick McGreevy
The Los Angeles Times
7:39 PM PST, December 30, 2008

California officials are counting on Washington to inject billions of dollars in transportation money to help revive the state economy. But a public advocacy group said the state's wish list of projects would undermine efforts to repair and modernize the state's crumbling infrastructure and reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

The California Public Interest Research Group reports that the state plans to spend 31% of road money on creating new capacity instead of addressing long-deferred maintenance and repair projects. By contrast, the group said, Massachusetts would commit 100% of its road funds to repairs.

"We can't afford to waste precious resources on new highways at the expense of ready-to-go projects to repair and maintain existing roads and bridges and expand public transportation," said Erin Steva, a spokeswoman for the group.

The group also faulted the California Department of Transportation's list, saying that only 37% of the funds would flow to public transportation. The group called for a higher percentage, citing the record ridership on California's mass transit systems, which have been hit by severe cutbacks in recent years. The proposed percentage is less than what is being planned in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, CALPIRG said.

Caltrans spokesman Benjamin DeLanty defended the list, saying that it was an initial response to a request from members of Congress for possible projects and may change as federal legislation and state needs evolve.

"We note that the list provided included a fairly even distribution among capital, maintenance and mass transportation projects," DeLanty said. "However, that list continues to be a work in progress and is not definitive."


Sounds California's plans are balanced to me.

31% for new highway projects and 37% for new transit projects leaves 32% for highway maintenance projects. That's only 1% less of a third. Some people are never happy.

I would also like to point out the BIASED article failed to mention how much of the total must be going for maintenance. I guess they assume we couldn't do the simple math! :0

LosAngelesSportsFan
Dec 31, 2008, 7:05 PM
it is balanced and i imagine the new roads would be in the central valley area or carpool lanes in LA and SF, but i rather have 80 percent dedicated to mass transit and 20 percent to maintenance. no more new roads.

Wright Concept
Dec 31, 2008, 10:19 PM
I thought of crossing guards too, but they aren't there at all hours of the day, people will argue, like for afterschool activities, etc.

I thought Measure R was supposed to infuse a lot of money into LA County's public transportation. Wouldn't it pay for pedestrian bridges, or HELL, wouldn't it pay to put the Expo Line through a trench near these disputed areas? So what if it delays the project by a year or two, I think it'd be well worth it.

Measure R is clearly for a list of new projects, like Phase 2 of Expo. Besides if they have committed funding for it but the CPUC decides to leave the crossing at-grade what difference will it make?

That trench at USC is right next to a busy freeway off ramp at Flower/Exposition and busier Figueroa Street do to it's proximity to the freeway. The trench begins to surface right at Trousdale Parkway, USC's main pedestrian throughfare and continues at-grade down Expo.

At the Farmdale crossing there is a major storm line (the area is in what used to be a swamp/marsh land) only 12' below so a trench would have to be very deep to avoid it, the CPUC has already ruled that out. And to do the same thing all that is needed is a pedestrian bridge and CPUC becomes the lead agency on this new change to the EIR, because this is what it is.

Wright Concept
Dec 31, 2008, 10:21 PM
it is balanced and i imagine the new roads would be in the central valley area or carpool lanes in LA and SF, but i rather have 80 percent dedicated to mass transit and 20 percent to maintenance. no more new roads.

The other piece is that most of the Road projects already have their EIR's completed and are ready to go for construction. Massachusetts has had a law for over 20-30 years I believe that eliminated new road construction and moved it to Transit. SO what is needed more is for stimulus funding for transit will have to go for ready to go studies of projects so that within a year or two when more tax money is stimulated more public works projects can go out and are funded.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Jan 1, 2009, 2:38 AM
thanks WC, that cleared up a lot for me. Either way, the future is bright for rail in LA, now we really have to prioritize it over everything else. Its the one thing that will shape the city for the future and we need to do it right and right now.

Wright Concept
Jan 3, 2009, 10:05 PM
thanks WC, that cleared up a lot for me. Either way, the future is bright for rail in LA, now we really have to prioritize it over everything else. Its the one thing that will shape the city for the future and we need to do it right and right now.

Exactly! That was the beauty in how Measure R was written because the transit advocates had a role in assisting Mike Feueur in how to write them in relation to ready to go projects in LA County that are under study with some flexibility. The adage was take a look at Denver FasTraks and take it one step further to list the ready to go or under study projects and fund those with the ones we know for sure that will have strong regional buy in. So that some areas don't want MagLev or some other technology and instead can make that added Metrolink service or begin study on other future projects with the same funding allocation.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Jan 4, 2009, 12:14 AM
im curious to see what the MTA applies for in regards to federal funds from the stimulus package. If we can get the Downtown Connector, Expo 2 and Gold Line Foothill some funding from that we can accelerate funds to the Purple line right? those 3 that i listed can get started in 2 years and meet the criteria correct?

BrighamYen
Jan 4, 2009, 12:35 AM
The Downtown Connector would make life so much easier coming from Pasadena heading into DTLA. Currently, the transfer at Union Station is totally annoying because I'm pretty well aware that there is like nothing going on outside the confines of the station. However, if the immediate area around Union Station was to develop some great mixed-use infill projects and the 101 freeway was capped with a park, I don't think it would be AS bad since I could actually walk outside Union Station and be somewhere. In fact, it might actually be pleasant...

JDRCRASH
Jan 4, 2009, 4:12 AM
What i'm a little concerned is that after the Westside and San Fernando Valley subway extensions are completed, there will be no more new subway lines.

LosAngelesSportsFan
Jan 4, 2009, 4:20 AM
nonsense, there are plenty of subway lines that should be built. remember, as more people start riding, the areas around lines will get denser and subways will become the only viable option on many corridors. Think way down the line, not just 10 years or so. I think the 405 parallel to LAX should be subway, as should the red line extension to Glendale and really, any line in the basin, as long as funding is available.

JDRCRASH
Jan 4, 2009, 4:35 AM
^ Aha! There is the key! But until that becomes available, the studies that are required for any future subway lines(if not all new Mass Transit lines) must be completed so when the funding does show up, it will be shovel ready. And currently, those studies seem to be going too slow, with some not planned to be done before 2015.

Wright Concept
Jan 4, 2009, 4:39 AM
im curious to see what the MTA applies for in regards to federal funds from the stimulus package. If we can get the Downtown Connector, Expo 2 and Gold Line Foothill some funding from that we can accelerate funds to the Purple line right? those 3 that i listed can get started in 2 years and meet the criteria correct?

That is a very possible scenario, considering that Regional Connector has a better initial FTA Cost-Effectiveness rating compared to the Wilshire Purple Line.


After Expo 2 and Foothill, Regional Connector, a hypothetical combination could be an initial phase of Wilshire Subway, Crenshaw Corridor (between Expo and Green Line), Green Line to South Bay Galleria with consideration to Eastside Phase 2. Then after this could be 405 Corridor, Purple Line to Westwood. As long as these projects stay the course without too many interruptions.

The other factor is that there is money to do some additional planning for future corridors like Burbank-Glendale, Orange Line conversion, Crenshaw North to Wilshire, even the Santa Monica Blvd corridor. Most of this will probably be considered once we get the first projects moving along.

Wright Concept
Jan 4, 2009, 4:44 AM
^ Aha! There is the key! But until that becomes available, the studies that are required for any future subway lines(if not all new Mass Transit lines) must be completed so when the funding does show up, it will be shovel ready. And currently, those studies seem to be going too slow, with some not planned to be done before 2015.

Studies take time between 2-4 years to fully impliment and prepare. In the past two years, the Wilshire corridor is near completed the Alternative Analysis phase.

JDRCRASH
Jan 4, 2009, 8:39 AM
^Studies individually? Or all together?

Wright Concept
Jan 4, 2009, 5:29 PM
Studies individually. You can have multiple studies occur all at the same time.

BrighamYen
Jan 4, 2009, 8:21 PM
I bumped into a new director that was just hired at the Metrolink (from Chicago) and he told me that we're getting some new trains from New Jersey? And that Metrolink is planning on extending direct service into Downtown San Diego?! (Instead of just stopping at Oceanside.)

LosAngelesSportsFan
Jan 4, 2009, 8:23 PM
i was under the impression that the purple was going to be built to westwood as one phase with the passage of Measure R? is it still going to be two phases?

as a side note, i have introduced a few friends to rail recently, and they all love it. They now call me and ask how they can use the rail system to get places. times are definitely changing.

BrighamYen
Jan 4, 2009, 9:19 PM
^ Haha I do that too with people I know. Hopefully they'll tell their friends and their friends...

Wright Concept
Jan 4, 2009, 11:29 PM
i was under the impression that the purple was going to be built to westwood as one phase with the passage of Measure R? is it still going to be two phases?

It may do that, however it would need a lot of upfront cash to do that. Realistically they'll break it into two segments so that they can stretch the most out of the local money and get better federal funding matches since they are doing other projects locally that can be used toward the higher ridership projects.

BrighamYen
Jan 5, 2009, 1:10 AM
WC - any response to what that director said about extending Metrolink to SD? Anymore detailed info? I think it's great news since that would mean Union Station would probably get even busier and access to SD would get even easier.

KarLarRec1
Jan 5, 2009, 2:35 AM
A serious question: How would this be any more convenient than Amtrak's service to San Diego?

BrighamYen
Jan 5, 2009, 2:45 AM
My guess is that it would mean more stations serving LA and SD? Currently, I don't think Amtrak stations share the same as Metrolink?

Wright Concept
Jan 5, 2009, 4:12 AM
WC - any response to what that director said about extending Metrolink to SD? Anymore detailed info? I think it's great news since that would mean Union Station would probably get even busier and access to SD would get even easier.


This is the first I even heard of this. I'll find more information and get back to you. He maybe thinking of more dynamic scheduling that will allow Metrolink Orange County trains will have a timed connection with San Diego Coaster trains in Oceanside. Because two different agencies operate the service.

Wright Concept
Jan 5, 2009, 4:14 AM
I bumped into a new director that was just hired at the Metrolink (from Chicago) and he told me that we're getting some new trains from New Jersey?

These are either leased or purchased retired cars by NJ Transit that will be used on the busier Metrolink lines. Utah is buying them as well to jumpstart their Frontrunner Commuter rail.

Quixote
Jan 5, 2009, 4:52 AM
I think they're looking at extending Metrolink service to San Diego from Corona via the I-15 corridor...

http://transittalk.proboards37.com/index.cgi?board=metrolink&action=display&thread=646

Quixote
Jan 5, 2009, 8:12 PM
From The Transit Coalition:

http://friends4expo.org/images/labrea-2892-600.jpg

Another milestone: the first Expo Line bridge pier is complete, first of four on the east side of La Brea. Forms are being assembled for the second, out of frame to the right.

Quixote
Jan 6, 2009, 2:54 AM
http://la.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12_29/1_5_09_metro.jpg

Metro Considers 4 Alternatives for Gold Line Extension (http://la.streetsblog.org/2009/01/05/metro-considers-4-alternatives-for-gold-line-extension/)

By Damien Newton
January 5, 2009

Metro is ready to hit the ground running in 2009. Staff is prepared to offer 4 alternatives to extending the Gold Line at this month's Metro Board meeting following the formal unveiling at next week's Planning and Programming Committee Meeting.

Route selection for the extension has been somewhat controversial, and had been a point of debate during the battle over Measure R. However, with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement now completed, we are one step closer to seeing the Gold Line penetrate deeper into the Eastside than its current alignment.

The four routes still being considered, hot off Metro's press release presses, are:


SR-60: This alignment generally follows the southern edge of the SR-60 Freeway within the existing right-of-way. It would terminate just west of the I-605/SR-60 interchange. This alternative would follow the slope of the freeway and become elevated over freeway ramps.

Beverly: This alignment follows SR-60 for a short stretch before traveling south on Garfield Avenue to connect with Beverly Boulevard. On Beverly Boulevard, this alignment continues east, using the Whittier Greenway to terminate at Whittier Boulevard. This alternative is primarily at-grade (street level) with short elevated structures along Garfield Avenue and at the San Gabriel River.

Beverly/Whittier: This alignment is the same as the Beverly alternative until reaching Montebello Boulevard where it heads south to Whittier Boulevard. Once on Whittier Boulevard, this alignment becomes elevated to cross two rivers and the I-605 freeway, ending at-grade in the city of Whittier.

Washington: This alignment follows SR-60 to Garfield Avenue, traveling south to Washington Boulevard. From there, the alignment continues east to the city of Whittier. This alternative is elevated along parts of Garfield Avenue and all of Washington Boulevard to eliminate conflict with truck traffic in the Washington Boulevard corridor.

In addition to Los Angeles, the study also includes 11 municipalities and parts of unincorporated L.A. County.

Wright Concept
Jan 6, 2009, 3:10 AM
I think they're looking at extending Metrolink service to San Diego from Corona via the I-15 corridor...

http://transittalk.proboards37.com/index.cgi?board=metrolink&action=display&thread=646

That is mostly for HSR preparation.

dragonsky
Jan 6, 2009, 3:15 AM
710 tunnel soil sample drilling begins Tuesday
12:57 PM, January 5, 2009

Here's one sure to provide a little indigestion to those who have been fighting the 710 extension for years: Caltrans this week is starting to drill for soil samples to see if it's geologically feasible to build a tunnel to complete the 710. The road currently ends along the city of Los Angeles-Alhambra boundary but was intended to run north to a junction with the 210 and 134 in Pasadena.

Caltrans is saying the drilling will be route neutral. By that, the agency means that it will test soil in the coming months to consider a wide variety of routes instead of just the traditional one it has looked at for years that runs pretty much straight north along the L.A.-Alhambra line and then straight up the gut of South Pasadena. That means there's going to be drilling in Pasadena, Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, Monterey Park and San Marino.

Which, of course, begs the question: Is there anyone out there who really thinks a tunnel route will one day be proposed to go under either wealthy La Canada-Flintridge or San Marino? Please. I cut through San Marino on my drive to work some days, and on garbage day, homeowners (or their employees) have to wheel dumpsters to the curb. If you can create a dumpster worth of trash each week, you likely have the resources to fight a freeway.

The above map shows the areas that Caltrans is going to study -- click on it to see a larger image. Here's a link to a Caltrans and Metropolitan Transportation Authority website on the 710 study. The news release from Caltrans follows.

-- Steve Hymon

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/01/710-tunnel-soil.html

Kingofthehill
Jan 6, 2009, 4:52 AM
So,

Who's going to ride the Gold Line East LA extension when it opens? Assuming I'll still be in LA by then, I'll be there with my camera ;)