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, November 5, 2012

Lisa Korbatov: Vote ‘No’ on Measure J — It cheats all of us

 (PR NewsChannel) / November 5, 2012 / BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. 

Measure J is the latest sleight-of-hand trick that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and local Assembly-man Mike Feuer have come up with to give MTA a blank check to the tune of $90 billion over 60 years, and taxing those yet to be born.
Lisa Korbatov Measure J
Lisa Korbatov is a member of the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education.
Measure J burdens us with higher sales taxes until 2069. It extends Measure R, passed four years ago with many promises–all broken. This is a tax on your children, grandchildren and on your great grandchildren for transportation projects that will likely be obsolete or not meet their needs. How could any logical voter, especially one who resides in Beverly Hills, owns real estate or businesses here, seriously consider voting for J, giving a blank check to the very agency that the Beverly Hills Unified School District and the City of Beverly Hills are suing for using its tax monies to run roughshod over this community?

Before you take a vote on Measure J let’s review how Metro has treated this community.

The facts are well known and not up for debate. They form the basis of our collective lawsuits against Metro. The fact is the residents of Beverly Hills value the education of their children. The Beverly Hills High School, built in 1929, must be renewed and must grow. If not, it cannot serve future generations.

Metro could easily run the subway right under Santa Monica Boulevard like Metro originally said and not hurt anyone. But Metro would rather spend an extra $100 million to take care of a couple of developer friends who bundle and give large political donations,and enrich them with a vanity station.  Instead of the Santa Monica route, Metro’s tunnels will run down the very heart of our tight campus, directly under our major instructional buildings, and endanger our children, our staff and financially our bond measure.  (Who will buy bonds from a school district whose principal campus is endangered?)

When this community came together to protest Metro’s plan, Metro spent millions of taxpayer money to create a seismic bogeyman. They found “faults” that thorough trenching proved did not exist. They located other faults where the city of Los Angeles said there were none.

Yes, “junk science” and dubious experts were put up as irrefutable evidence in numerous dog-and-pony shows at the Metro “Taj Mahal” downtown. The fact is Metro has not just wasted its own pool of money; it has wasted ours.

Metro is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, and nobody can guarantee our students’ safety on that campus if two electrified, oxygenated tubes are running through a methane field while 2500 staff and students reside above. If you vote “yes” on Measure J, you will be granting Metro an extension of the war-fund it is using to wage war on Beverly Hills. A “yes” vote on Measure J is a vote against Beverly Hills–plain and simple.

Metro desperately wants Measure J. Why? Because Villaraigosa and Yaroslavsky are searching for their legacy as their time in public office comes to an end.

Their grandiose rail projects are all way over budget. Not one gets you to any airport in the Los Angeles area–not LAX, not Burbank, not Long Beach, not Ontario. How do you spend $90 billion and not even go to an airport?

When Measure R was put to the voters in 2008 and barely passed, the duo promised billions in matching federal funds. No matter how many times the mayor of L.A. goes to D.C. and lobbies furiously up and down the halls of Congress, he cannot find more federal funds for these projects. Metro wants $50 billion more in local funding to deliver less than what was originally promised.

The program is not moving forward. It is not moving anywhere.That is the legacy these politicians face without Measure J.

Who wins if Measure J passes? JMB, Century Plaza, Westfield, Parsons Brinkerhoff, AEG, and any other friend of Villaraigosa or Yaroslavsky who feed at the public trough.

Who loses if Measure J passes? We do. The black community loses. The Latino community loses. The San Fernando Valley. The San Gabriel Valley. In fact, the entire county of Los Angeles loses. We will be stuck forever with one plan and no more money–and that plan fails utterly to provide for regional and local transportation needs.

“No On J” is sending a message to the powers that be that corporate welfare, crony capitalism and back room deals are not acceptable.

On Nov. 6 please vote “No on Measure J.” If Metro comes back with a fair plan that truly addresses our need for transportation, we will be among the first to vote for it. This is not it.

Lisa Korbatov is a member of the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education.
Direct link:  http://www.prnewschannel.com/2012/11/05/lisa-korbatov-vote-no-on-measure-j-it-cheats-all-of-us/
SOURCE:  Lisa Korbatov

Transpo & Election, ExpressLanes, Measure J, Metro Division 13, TAP, ACE & More 


November 5: This Date In Los Angeles Transportation History (Voters reject a transit sales tax measure despite a savvy marketing campaign which includes a film featuring comedian Paul Lynde and legendary local newscaster Ralph Story)
Metro Transportation Library Primary Resources Blog

Image Of The Day (This is what a flooded subway looks like from the street -- Battery Park, Manhattan)
via Huffington Post

110 Freeway Toll Lanes To Debut Next Saturday

Analysis: Crude-By-Rail Carves Out Long-Term North American Niche

Black Community Voices Against Measure J
Crenshaw Subway Coalition

Construction Begins On $72 Million Bus Depot Near Union Station
Blog Downtown

The Delusion Behind Measure J Tells You A Lot About L.A.
LA Observed

Funding For Twin Cities Transit Center Approved By Riverside Transit Agency
Valley News

Is L.A.'s Transit TAP Card Headed To Google Wallet App?

Is Technology The Fix To America's Infrastructure Crisis?
Emergency Management

It's Not Easy Turning Highland Park's York Boulevard Green
Curbed LA

Measure J Support Has A Twist ("Local officials support transit proposition but don't want the money to fund 710 extension.")
La CaƱada Valley Sun

Missing From Presidential Race: Roads, Bridges
Associated Press

New Jersey Transit's Damaged Rail Cars Won't Be Easy To Replace
Business Week

[New York] Metro Transportation Authority Releases Photos From Tunnels Post Hurricane Sandy (video compilation)

No 710 Coalition: No On Measure J
StreetsBlog LA

Opinion: LA's Measure J Will Create Jobs And Clean The Environment
Huffington Post

Opinion: Measure J -- A Self-Help Economic Stimulus Package For L.A. County
Huffington Post

Opinion: Measure J Still Worthwhile, Despite Possible Fare Hikes
Los Angeles Times

Pay Lanes: A First In L.A. County Will Start Saturday
Los Angeles Daily News
Pay Lanes: How It Works
Los Angeles Daily News

SaMo Wants To Be More Pedestrian-Friendly And To Charge Developers More For Not Building Parking
Curbed LA

San Gabriel Valley Cities Slow Down Attempt To Form New Alameda Corridor-East Authority
Pasadena Star-News

Sandy Exposes Need To Invest In Transit, Some Advocates Say ("The storm’s difficulties highlight the need for a rebalance in transportation investments, experts say. The days of the country building farther and farther out on the exurban fringe are over, and more attention must be paid to long-neglected transit systems such as New York’s, they say.")

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/11/02/3898551/sandy-exposes-need-to-invest-in.html#storylink=cpy"
McClatchy Newspapers

Stop Climate Change: Move To The City, Start Walking ("The real problem with cars is not that they don’t get enough miles per gallon; it’s that they make it too easy for people to spread out, encouraging forms of development that are inherently wasteful and damaging...The critical energy drain in a typical American suburb is not the Hummer in the driveway; it’s everything else the Hummer makes possible — the oversized houses and irrigated yards, the network of new feeder roads and residential streets, the costly and inefficient outward expansion of the power grid, the duplicated stores and schools, the two-hour solo commutes.")

Supervisor Looks To Get Veterans Parking Privileges ("Supervisor Michael Antonovich is encouraging cities throughout the county to opt into the provisions of legislation that exempts military veterans from paying for metered parking.")
South Pasadena Patch

Transportation Policy Largely Absent From Presidential Race; Obama, Romney Lack Funding Plan
Washington Post

Urban Air Would Make LA Billboard An Aerial Garden With WiFi ("Summit Media has already agreed to "donate prominent billboards along major LA thoroughfares to provide the launch pad for the first Urban Air prototype.")
Curbed LA

Weathering The Next 108-Year Storm (Transit and climate change)
Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard Blog
Flooded Bus Barns And Buckled Rails: Public Transportation And Climate Change Adaptation (128p. PDF : August, 2011)

What Has President Obama Done To Improve American Transportation Policy?
StreetsBlog DC
USC Professor and Transportation Expert Says Measure J Takes L.A. Transit ‘In The Wrong Direction’ 


Posted Monday, November 5–4:38 PM
By Matt Lopez
Courier Staff Writer

James Moore Ph.D, a USC professor and one of the region’s leading transportation experts has published a scathing critique in opposition of Measure J, calling the 30-year transportation tax extension a “bad public investment that will ultimately bring us less overall transit service and reduce overall transit use.” Moore says Measure J “will take LA’s mass transit system in the wrong direction.” 

Professor Moore is a University of Southern California, Director of the Transportation Engineering program, and Vice Dean for Academic Programs in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Moore conducts research on the engineering economic aspects of large-scale transportation and land use systems. His research includes risk management of infrastructure networks subject to natural hazards and terrorist threats; economic impact modeling; transportation network performance and control; large scale computational models of metropolitan land use/transport systems, especially in California; evaluation of new technologies; and infrastructure investment and pricing policies.
The Courier stands by Moore’s piece opposing Measure J, reprinted in full here:

Friday’s LA Times revealed important facts about LA County Measure J that its proponents thus far have chosen to ignore: Like previous plans to fund rail construction, Measure J will necessitate cuts in existing bus service and increases in fares. What the Times – especially Dan Turner’s half-hearted attempt to defend Measure J in spite of these pending fare increases and service cuts – is that Measure J’s heavy investment in rail at the expense of low fares and a robust bus system is, by the numbers, a bad public investment that will ultimately bring us less overall transit service and reduce overall transit use. Despite all the hype, Measure J will take LA’s mass transit system in the wrong direction.

Yes, MTA’s rail lines are relatively well-utilized compared to other systems in the United States. But the key to providing the transit service Los Angeles needs is how wisely we spend, not how many trains we fill.  In fact, MTA’s rail system is cost-inefficient compared to its own bus system in terms of operating costs and operating subsidies; the inefficiency of Metro Rail is even starker when accounting for the enormous cost of building rail lines. Buses recover a far larger share of their capital costs than rail, even accounting for the bus mode’s share of road costs.  Taxpayers  subsidize each new trip ranges from $14 on the Metro Blue Line to $50 on the Gold Line compared to less than a dollar on the Wilshire Rapid bus. Expanding rail drives an ever escalating tax payer subsidy for transit, and a fiscal necessity for the MTA to shift resources from buses to rail.

Metro has spent $11 billion plus on the Los Angeles rail system to date, and in doing so has substantially reduced total transit ridership by shifting resources from buses that move many to trains the move few.  The system’s ridership zenith was in 1985, when LA County had close to 20% fewer residents than it does today.  Ridership began to crater the day the MTA began to shift resources from bus services and low fares to the agency’s rail plan. Ridership only began to climb again after court-mandated improvements in the bus system and a court-ordered fare freeze beginning in the mid-1990’s, the result of a federal civil rights lawsuit by the Bus Riders Union.  After ten years of ridership increases totaling 37% and approaching a return to 1985 levels, the federal court’s consent decree binding the MTA expired.  Announcing that it could no longer continue to fund both current transit operations and rail expansion, the MTA began to pull back from bus service and raise fares.  If the recent trends in MTA bus fare increases and bus service contractions continue, the MTA could face a loss of 100 million annual riders over the next three years, all in the name of freeing up resources for rail. (For more details on these trends, see here.)

We know what to expect.  The numbers do not lie. Spending billions for less transit is a bad buy.  Measure J just ensures that the agency is empowered to do even more of the same by extending local sales taxes from Measure R for an additional 30 years until 2069.  Unfortunately, we cannot trust the MTA to make cost effective choices, and voters should not fool themselves into believing otherwise.  Measure J + MTA Rail Plan = Bus Fare Hikes + Bus Service Reductions = Less Total Tran

African American Leaders Lash Out Against LA County Measure J Hours Before Polls Open 



(Note: Los Cerritos Community Newspaper urges a NO VOTE on MEASURE J on Tuesday here in Los Angeles County.
By Randy Economy

Los Angeles, CA – Several key African-American leaders have lashed out against Los Angeles County Measure J with less than 18 hours before voters head to the ballot box.
“Members of our community vividly remember Mayor Villaraigosa’s betrayal of the Leimert Park Village and Crenshaw community,” said Damien Goodmon, Chair of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition.

“We have regularly sought compromise since May of 2011, but Villaraigosa has remained uninterested. Measure J is simply the latest form of disrespect. It is quite audacious to propose a $90 billion sales tax increase on South L.A. that returns not a penny for the transportation requests of our community,” Goodman told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper on Monday.

In a release to media members on Tuesday, the list of leaders against Measure J now includes South L.A. representatives on the MTA Board of Directors, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks and former State Senator Nate Holden), Mike Davis the current Chair of the California Assembly Select Committee on Rail Transportation as well as local community newspapers including Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.

Also urging a no vote on Measure J is former LA City Councilmember Bob Farrell, the Black Clergy Community & Labor Alliance, African-American Cultural Center, Council of Black Political Organizations, South LA Power Coalition and the California Friends of the African-American Caucus, among others, according to Goodmon.

Assemblyman Davis called Measure J, “Since previous promises still go unfulfilled, can we really trust this proposition?” Ridley-Thomas – said “in an environment where … people are asking, ‘Why are we being hit by so many different tax proposals?’ Measure J is nothing more than a distraction.”

Dr. Anthony Samad from the Urban Issues Forum & Past President of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles slammed the measure by saying, “Villaraigosa has the audacity to float another half cent tax bond to complete current projects—not including the Crenshaw/LAX project. Let’s me get this straight—you want the black community to tax itself, until the year 2069, for transportation projects that won’t impact nor improve our community? Well, that’s straight-up JACKING.”

Measure J Transit Tax Hike: Bus Riders Oppose it, Saying Metro Funneled 2008 Measure R to Fancy Rail, Starving Working-Class Bus Lines


 By Hillel Aron

 Measure J opponents.jpg
 Measure J opponents: 30-year tax screws bus riders so hipsters can gush about rail.

The Bus Riders Union put on one of their famous street-theater gigs the other day at Vermont Ave. and Wilshire Blvd. to protest Measure J, a proposed sales tax extension on the Los Angeles ballot that would tax all L.A. County consumers until the year 2069.

The performance featured the "Legion of Doom" made up of Rail Dracula, the Highway Hurricane and the Measure J Monster, who fought and presumably were defeated by Superpasajera, the bus-riding masked hero.

On a more serious note, two priests spoke against
Father against Measure J.jpg
 Measure J Transit Tax Hike: Priests speak out against 30-year tax as starving bus service. 
Measure J: Father Bill Delaney of St. Agnes Catholic Church and Father David Nations of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.

"The potentially devastating impacts of Measure J -- combined with the MTA's record of shamelessly ignoring the needs and concerns of working class Latinos and blacks as it advances a corporate-driven agenda -- has moved leaders of major churches to speak out," said the Bus Riders Union in a press release.

Denny Zane, a leading advocate for the 2008 countywide sales tax hike approved by voters -- and a key force behind this proposed 30-year extension of that tax hike just four years later, finds the Bus Riders Union's position galling.

Zane says that both Measure R from 2008 and the proposed Measure J on the November 6, 2012 ballot send 20 percent of the tax hike into the bus system.

"All around the country, bus systems had major dramatic cutbacks," Zane says.

Hurricane against MEasure J.jpg
 Measure J transit tax opponents say bus service for L.A.working people is getting the shaft.

But Measure J opponents point out that to the millions of bus riders, 20 percent of this latest tax hike is chicken feed.

The vast majority of the millions of mass transit users in Los Angeles and its suburbs use the bus -- not the subways and light rail. But, they note, under Measure J, the subways and rail get the lion's share of this proposed sales tax hike to 2069.

LA County's Measure J fast tracks important transportation projects


Adrian Martinez’s Blog


There has been a lot of discussion about Measure J, which will appear on the ballot tomorrow for L.A. County residents.  NRDC urges residents in L.A. County to vote YES on Measure J.  Measure J would extend by an additional 30 years L.A.’s half-cent transportation sales tax, Measure R, approved in 2008.  In doing so, it will accelerate the construction of traffic-relieving transportation projects already in the works, as well as the creation of an estimated 250,000 new local jobs according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.  In just three years, Measure R has successfully completed an extension of the Orange Line and begun construction on two light-rail lines.  By voting YES on Measure J, we can bring cleaner air, less traffic congestion, and a higher quality of life to their communities in a matter of years rather than decades.

L.A. County is on the precipice of completely transforming its transportation system.  The expansion of the transit systems is a key strategy to combat the incessant gridlock that plagues our metro area.  It is not the only strategy, but it a key part of transforming the county's transportation system.  Measure J will accelerate key links in that transit system.  While some have been critical of Measure R and Measure J for its inclusion of highway and heavy rail projects, I think the big point is that we are changing the way we invest in transportation projects.  For decades, we have put highway widening and expansions at the forefront of our transportation strategy.  Even though Measures R and J don’t completely exclude these expenditures, there is a shift towards more focus on transit.  The following chart outlines how the spending works for these measures:   
Measure J Funding Description
The 20% for highway projects is still a lot, but a fair portion of that allocation goes towards improvements to intersections and other projects that are needed to maintain the current highways we have.  Moreover, I think the fact that this amounts to only 20% is a dramatic shift from a prior emphasis on highway expansions.  On the federal level, there has generally been a funding split of 80% for highways/roads and 20% for transit.  My colleagues, Deron Lovaas recently blogged about the history of TIFIA and how 80% of these loans have historically gone to highway projects. Overall, I hope LA County is a bellwether that we need to focus less on highway widening and more on transit.

Most supporters of Measure J don't claim its perfect, but it is what we need right now to help push a 21st century transportation vision for Los Angeles County.  There are going to be some bad apple projects in this bushel.  But we have had those bad projects in the miz for decades.  We need to continue to oppose these bad apples while we focus on building positive projects.  Finally, Measure J is not the end of the line, there are many more stops to enhance our transportation system in LA County.  For example, there is a lot of work to get more infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.  We also need to ensure that our bus service expands and remains affordable for the large portion of transit riders who take the bus.  So, remember, Vote Yes on Measure J tomorrow, so we can keep our quest for better transportation alternatives moving in LA County. 
No on Measure J Bus Riders Union Photo

Bus Riders Union: They got the money...We got the Truth! Like and Share! #NoOnJ http://bit.ly/VoteNoOnJ

No On Measure J Bus Riders Union's Photo

Bus Riders Union: This is what Measure J is all about- Massive profits for real estate developers via public funds. What more proof do you need that rail in LA has little to do with mass transit, and everything to do with the interests of the elite? All at the expense of mobility o flow income communities of color who depend on it!—@ Metro Los Angeles #NoOnJ http://bit.ly/VoteNoOnJ

Vote No on Measure J Bus Riders Union's Photo

Election 2012: Local candidates on transportation in Alhambra

 http://www.alhambNovember 5, 2012 

 Monica Luhar Reporter Corpsrasource.org/


Transportation is a hot topic in Alhambra, where issues like the 710 Freeway gap, biking, and senior services affect residents and Alhambra Source readers. Local candidates Rep. Judy Chu (D) and Jack Orswell (R) are running for the 27th Congressional District, Dr. Matthew Lin (R) and Edwin "Ed" Chau (D) are running for the 49th State Assembly District, and Dr. Stephen Placido and Elizabeth Salinas are running for Alhambra City Council. Here's what each has to say about transportation.


Chu: “We need an adequate, safe and effective solution to the 710 gap problem, which is disproportionately affecting residents of Alhambra. That is why I support the completion of the environmental impact review (EIR). We must follow the will of residents of Los Angeles County, who voted to make $780 million available through Measure R to explore solutions to this problem.”

Chau: “I am in support of completing the 710 freeway and that has been my position since day one…The tunnel option is the option I would prefer. And obviously, having said that, I think what we want to do now is to find ways to cause the least disruption to the neighborhood. Whether it’s acquisition of additional homes or whatever it is, we need to find ways to minimize that disruption.”

Placido: "[The 710 freeway completion] will take commuter traffic off our streets, it'll improve air quality, and it's the #1 project in the five Southern California counties that will improve air quality and traffic. Working towards that, I think it'll keep our streets safer, it'll keep traffic away from our schools, our parks, and where kids play. So I think that's important.” (From Alhambra Preservation Group)
Orswell: “Supports a light rail system or bus system, but would like to see results from Environmental Impact Survey. “In the next 18 months when it comes out, if the tunnel is for passenger/cars only, and if it doesn’t cause air pollution and all that and meets the needs of Alhambra and meets the needs of Pasadena and surrounding communities, then it would be a viable solution.”

Lin: “I would like to see the freeway pass. I think that it connects the two dots. […] The connection will release local traffic so that they [people] don’t end up bound by local streets. It will release significant congestion in the area.”

Salinas: “I have lived in Alhambra 30+ years and the alleged ‘completion of the 710’ has been used as a political pandering pitch for as long as I have been alive…I can think of a lot of other issues that should take precedence, like more funding for our local schools and finding tenants for all or our vacant store fronts, for example.”


Chu: “I support residents using alternative transportations like biking, and commend the city for working to improve safety. I look forward to reviewing the plan when it comes  out on November 19th, and will work with the City of Alhambra to make our community more accessible and safe for everyone…I pledge to work with the city to ensure the safety needs of pedestrians, bikers and drivers are met to the fullest extent possible.”

Lin: “I think the bike plan is really good and the bike plan somehow will encourage students to go to school so family/parents don’t have to get up and drive the kids to school and back home every day… It will cut down on a lot of pollution.”


Chu: “I support programs like Access Services, which provides transportation help to people with disabilities and the elderly.  We must ensure that even in these tight financial times, people with mobility challenges still have the means to get around.”
Orswell: “What I’d like to see is a more regional operation, where you pick up an Arcadia transit and make it to Alhambra and vice versa. A senior transportation circle that is more regional instead of localized, city by city.”

Orswell:“If today’s kids are looking to other sources of transportation other than automobiles, then we have to provide bike lanes, have a light rail system and more mass transit systems available, convenient and easy to use.”