To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Monday, October 1, 2012

LA County to get $546 million loan for train line


The Associated Press
Updated:   10/01/2012 02:44:44 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles County will receive more than a half-billion dollars in federal money to build a long-awaited commuter rail line linking downtown areas with Los Angeles International Airport through some of the region's poorer neighborhoods, it was announced Monday.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood approved a $545.9 million loan for construction of the Crenshaw Corridor light-rail line, the department announced.
"President Obama called for an America built to last, and this loan program can help us achieve that," LaHood said in a statement, calling the line a major transportation project that will help the regional economy continue to grow.

The loan will supply more than a third of the projected $1.75 billion cost of the project. The money will help construct an 8 1/2-mile train line linking the existing Metro Exposition Line to the Green Line near Los Angeles International Airport.

When it opens in six years, the line will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo, and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County, officials said.

Some of the neighborhoods it will serve are low-income and in areas where residents for many years complained that they were underserved by public transportation.

"Offering people in that corridor the ability to take a clean, efficient source of transportation is a big step forward for not only the people in the corridor but for people in the region who want to

get to that corridor," Raffi Hamparian, director of federal relations for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told The Associated Press. 
 The work is expected to be completed in 2018, said David Yale, the agency's executive officer for countywide planning.
Most of the funding comes from a half-cent sales tax approved by county voters in 2008.

The federal loan actually was announced two years ago.

"But a lot of paperwork goes into securing these things. The good news is that the deal is now officially complete," Steve Hymon, an official with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said on an agency blog.

The loan comes from the department's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, a program that was greatly expanded in a federal transportation spending bill approved by Congress over the summer, according to the Metro blog.

Governor Signs Bill to Extend Sales Tax for L.A. Transportation Projects 


Measure J will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in Los Angeles. If approved, it will speed up major public transit and highway projects across the county.
Los Angeles County voters will officially decide in November whether to extend from 30 to 60 years a half-cent sales tax that would accelerate public transportation projects across the region.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill over the weekend that allows Metro to place Measure J on the Nov. 6 ballot. If approved, it would require the transit agency to break ground on 15 major transit and highway projects within 5 years instead of 20 years.

The covered projects include extending a subway to Westwood, the Green
Line to LAX and the Gold Line into the San Gabriel Valley and a new transit
corridor along the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass.

If approved, Measure J would be an extension of Measure R, which is otherwise set to expire in 2039.

Measure R contains funding for local projects like the Gold Line extension to the Azusa/Glendora border and the 710 Tunnel project.  There is also money for local highways.

Tax measures require two-thirds voter approval to pass. Measure R received 67.1 percent of the vote in 2008.

Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who rerpesents most of the San Gabriel Valley opposes the extending the tax, saying it prevents the transit agency from asking voters for money for projects that become important in the future.

The Bus Riders Union, an advocacy group for low-income and minority bus riders, also opposes the tax extension. The group says the accelerated transit project will come at the expense of bus service, which has been cut in recent years.

Supporters of extending the tax include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D- Los Angeles. The backers say extending the tax will allow Metro to accelerate projects, creating thousands of construction jobs and eventually easing traffic.

"We need to get these transportation projects underway now," Feuer said. "By signing AB 1446, the governor has agreed to empower L.A. County voters to jumpstart 250,000 jobs and break through traffic congestion that chokes our region."

San Gabriel Council to host 710 study session 


By Lauren Gold
Updated:   10/01/2012 05:09:16 PM PDT

SAN GABRIEL - The City Council Tuesday will hold a study session and discussion on the 710 Gap Closure Project.
The city has historically been a proponent of completing the freeway from I-10 to I-210 and currently supports the tunnel alternative.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently studying five alternatives to fill the 4.5 mile gap: "no build," light rail, bus, transportation management technology and a dual-bore underground freeway tunnel. The EIR is set to be completed in 2014.
Following the study session the council will hold a regular council meeting, at which it will vote to approve the general municipal election for March 5, 2013.
For a full agenda, visit http://www.sangabrielcity.com/archives/36/10-02-12%20Agenda1.pdf.

San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (COG) Transportation Forum
 By Charles E. Miller
 Ever wanted to speak directly to Pro-710 Tunnel folks?

The San Gabriel Valley COG is having a "Transportation Forum" on October 3rd at the Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010/

Apparently there will be an opportunity for Q&A or public discussion at the end (currently planned, according to the COG staff).

Primary speakers are:
Barbara Messina
Mike Antonovich
Doug Failing
Don Knabe
Gloria Molina
and Michael Miles

There will be a panel discussion facilitated by John Fasana.

The COG staff stated that they have also confirmed Chu, Napolitano and Eng to speak. Antonovich, Knabe and Molina are giving "Regional Perspectives."

There is nobody that will represent our No 710 viewpoint known to be speaking at this event.

Governor Brown vetoes Sen. Carol Liu's bill to sell Caltrans homes in 710 path


By Lauren Gold
Updated:   10/01/2012 10:56:46 AM PDT

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he vetoed a bill by Sen. Carol Liu, D-Glendale, that would require Caltrans to sell any homes it no longer needs to demolish for the completion of the 710 freeway.

The bill specified that the majority of the homes should be sold as soon as Metro eliminates a surface freeway option for the 710, and money from the sale of the homes would go toward local transportation projects.

In his letter to state legislature, Brown explained that the bill was "premature for two reasons."

First, he said, Caltrans is already in the process of reevaluating its role in the properties' management and is set to develop a strategy by November. Second, Metro is still in the first stage of an EIR for the 710 Gap Closure Project, he said.

"The environmental process requires evaluation of all reasonable options for closing the gap," Brown said in the letter. "A law requiring Caltrans to sell the properties purchased for building a surface freeway - before the environmental process is completed would taint the process."

Metro is currently studying five options for the 4.5 mile freeway extension: "no build," bus, light rail, traffic management technology and a dual-bore underground freeway tunnel. The EIR will be completed in 2014.