Purpose

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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Leaders tout 110 toll lanes, but some motorists grumble

 The fares, set to begin late Saturday, are seen as a way of easing congestion on the 110. But the timing of the opening a week after voters decided on Measure J is raising questions.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1111-toll-lanes-20121111,0,5497986.story

 

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to start your transponders. Or not.
Los Angeles County's first toll lanes were scheduled to go live on an 11-mile stretch of the 110 Freeway late Saturday amid hopes of faster commutes and early grumblings from some unhappy motorists.
The express lanes run between Adams Boulevard just south of downtown and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center near Torrance and the 91 Freeway. Officials aim to keep the lanes moving at 45 mph or faster. Solo drivers will pay an average of $4 to $7 per trip — and as much as $15.40 — depending on congestion and toll-lane demand.

"All commuters will benefit … because the ExpressLanes will redistribute and clear traffic across all lanes of the 110 Freeway," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member.

Many academics, planners and elected officials tout the potential benefits of toll lanes. But some motorists already are objecting that government is again dipping into their wallets.

"I voted on a lot less important items last Tuesday than the conversion of carpool to express lanes," said 49-year-old Hans Koenigsmann of San Pedro. "Toll is about revenue and income, and toll roads are cumbersome, inefficient and a step back into past times."

Some have questioned the timing of the toll lane debut just days after voters cast ballots on Measure J, a countywide transportation tax extension. The measure is falling short of approval, but some ballots remain to be counted.

"As best as I can surmise, the date was pushed back to avoid clouding the favorability of the Measure J vote," Ridley-Thomas, who criticized the measure, said recently. Metro officials have denied any scheduling connection between the election and toll lane opening.

Either way, here are a few things motorists should know:

•Anyone who wants to use the lanes, including carpoolers, needs a transponder. They cost $40 if you pay with a credit/debit card, and that money can be used toward fares. If you pay with cash, the upfront cost is $75, $50 of which can be used toward fares. Discounts are available for low-income households. The devices can be purchased online at http://www.metroexpresslanes.net; at walk-in centers at 500 W. 190th Street in Gardena or at the El Monte Station at 3501 Santa Anita Ave.; and by printing out and mailing an application to Metro ExpressLanes, P.O. Box 3878, Gardena, CA 90247.

•Fines for using the lanes without a transponder run between $25 and $55. Although carpoolers and motorcyclists need to obtain transponders, they don't pay tolls. Transponders must be set to accurately reflect the number of passengers in the vehicle on each trip. Those caught setting a transponder to two people or more while driving solo will face fines of at least $341.

•Those with electric and hybrid vehicles also need transponders and will have to pay tolls until at least March 1, 2014, in order to use the lanes. At that time, they will need a special green or white sticker issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

• FasTrak brand transponders from other regions will work here, but motorists will be charged the same rates as solo drivers even if they are carpooling because their devices do not have the same settings.
ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

ed on Measure J is raising questions.

Obama Had Broad Support, Young Voters Supported Tax Increases, Los Angeles Exit Poll Shows

 http://uspolitics.einnews.com/pr_news/122694237/obama-had-broad-support-young-voters-supported-tax-increases-los-angeles-exit-poll-shows

 

PR Newswire
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Barack Obama enjoyed broad support across every demographic of voters in the city of Los Angeles, according to an exit poll conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.

City voters chose the president over challenger Mitt Romney nearly four-to-one: 78 percent of those polled said they voted for Obama, versus 22 percent for Romney. Obama had a double-digit advantage in all age groups, all ethnicities, and all religions. The only category Romney led was among Los Angeles Republicans, where he won 83 percent of the vote.

"What's surprising about the result is that the president's support remained so strong in Los Angeles, to the point that he picked up more of John McCain's 2008 voters than Romney took from Obama's column," said Professor Fernando Guerra, director of the center.

The exit poll also found that younger voters in Los Angeles were more likely to vote in favor of Propositions 30 and 38, both of which would increase taxes statewide (Prop. 30 passed while Prop. 38 failed). Younger voters also threw more support behind Measure J, which extends an existing sales tax in Los Angeles County that would otherwise expire in 2039.

"Young voters were far more willing to approve a tax increase, but typically younger voters have not yet reached the higher income brackets that will be most affected by those increases," Guerra said.

The results below are based on a tally of 2,595 completed surveys from 50 precincts in the city. Votes for other candidates or non-responses were not included in the percentages below.
In the Presidential election, for whom did you vote today?

Citywide
Valley
Non-Valley
Men
Women
White
Black
Latino
Asian
Barack Obama
78%
71%
83%
74%
82%
71%
99%
82%
77%
Mitt Romney
22%
29%
17%
26%
18%
29%
1%
18%
23%
How did you vote on Prop. 30, Temporary Taxes to Fund Education?

Citywide
White
Black
Latino
Asian
18-22
23-29
30-44
45-64
65+
Yes
69%
64%
81%
73%
68%
80%
74%
74%
65%
62%
No
31%
46%
19%
27%
32%
20%
26%
26%
35%
38%
How did you vote on Prop. 38, Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs?

Citywide
White
Black
Latino
Asian
18-22
23-29
30-44
45-64
65+
Yes
39%
29%
56%
49%
40%
50%
50%
44%
31%
37%
No
61%
71%
44%
51%
60%
50%
50%
56%
69%
63%
How did you vote on Measure B, Require Adult Film Performers to Use Condoms?

Citywide
Men
Women
White
Black
Latino
Asian
Valley
Non-Valley
Yes
52%
39%
63%
41%
69%
62%
56%
49%
54%
No
48%
61%
37%
59%
31%
38%
44%
51%
46%
How did you vote on Measure J, Shall LA County's ½-Cent Sales Tax Continue for Another 30 Years or Until Voters Decide to End It?

Citywide
White
Black
Latino
Asian
18-22
23-29
30-44
45-64
65+
Yes
61%
60%
64%
60%
61%
61%
69%
69%
54%
56%
No
39%
40%
36%
40%
39%
39%
31%
31%
46%
44%


The margin of error on all questions is +/-1.89%.

The survey uses CSLA's sampling methodology called the "racially stratified homogeneous precinct approach." This method addresses limitations in standard exit poll sampling that typically has not provided accurate sampling of ethnic groups in urban settings. The exit polls are designed to study the relationships between voting preferences, ethnic relations, policy preferences, community attitudes, government and community action, and quality of life, and investigate the effects of precinct qualities on voting patterns.

More than 150 student volunteers from LMU canvassed precincts throughout the day and entered data for the initial analysis.

Additional data will be available from the exit poll, including information on voter response by age, political party, sexual orientation, employment status, their presidential vote in 2008, and other demographic information. For details, contact Mason Stockstill at 310.338.5133 or mason.stockstill@lmu.edu.

About Loyola Marymount University
Located between the Pacific Ocean and downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University is a comprehensive university offering 60 major programs, 36 master's degrees and a doctoral degree in education from four colleges, two schools and Loyola Law School. Founded in 1911, LMU is ranked third in "Best Regional Universities/West" by U.S. News & World Report. LMU is the largest Jesuit Catholic university for undergraduates on the West Coast with more than 5,900 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate and law students. For more LMU news and events, please visit www.lmu.edu/news.

SOURCE Loyola Marymount University

Ron Kaye: Measure J loss is a victory for the people

 http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2012-11-09/opinion/tn-gnp-1111-ron-kaye-measure-j-loss-is-a-victory-for-the-people_1_public-transit-transit-system-sales-tax-revenue

 http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2012-11-09/opinion/tn-gnp-1111-ron-kaye-measure-j-loss-is-a-victory-for-the-people_1_public-transit-transit-system-sales-tax-revenue/2

 November 09, 2012

 We can’t keep on destroying the public transit system in order to save it — that surely is the lesson we need to learn from the defeat of Measure J on Tuesday.

We all want a real public transit system. We want to park our cars and ride comfortably to where we want to go. But Measure J was phony, a taxpayer rip-off that was brought down by an extraordinary coalition of the rich and poor and so many from virtually every corner of the region. It was historic and offers a blueprint of what people can do in defense of their own interests if they respect the interests of others.

For more than a century, the rich got richer profiting from sprawling development of this giant county. The demographics may have changed, but greed knows no racial or other boundaries, and so they are seeking to profit from vertical — rather than horizontal — development without building the kind of public transit system that is needed.

And then Beverly Hills residents figured out that running the subway under their high school with its active gas and oil fields posed a danger to students since the only reason for the route was to enhance the property value of a developer with political clout and deep Chicago connections close to President Obama.

Residents from the harbors to Pasadena saw through what was going on with expansion of the 710 Freeway north to Interstate 10 and the extension beyond to Pasadena. It served only trucking companies and Teamsters drivers — at the expense of cleaner air and improved public transit — when a cheaper and cleaner alternative for freight was available at no cost to taxpayers from the railroads.

What formed out of the awakening of so many people from so many different backgrounds in so many neighborhoods was a coalition of ordinary people who beat the money machine, keeping Measure J more than 2 percentage points below the two-thirds majority needed for passage.
Message from Metro CEO, Art Leahy

November 9, 2012
Subject:  Measure J


Dear Metro Stakeholder, 

Measure J, the proposed 30-year extension of the Measure R half-cent transportation sales tax in L.A. County to accelerate transportation projects, fell just short of the required two-thirds majority needed to pass on election night. It did, however, receive an overwhelming 64.7% of the vote. We are encouraged by this expression of confidence as it indicates a clear public mandate for the rapid growth of regional transit and highway projects, extending local transportation funds to cities, and continued transit operational improvements to serve our region's mobility needs.

Moving forward, Metro remains focused on our core mission — continued improvement of our bus, rail and highway systems, while also delivering twenty-seven new transit and highway projects over the next 25 years as approved by voters when they passed Measure R in 2008. Just this year we opened the Canoga extension of the Metro Orange Line and the first phase of the Expo Line to Culver City. Currently, construction is underway for the Expo Line Phase 2 and the Gold Line Foothill Extension. Shortly, we will begin construction of the Crenshaw/LAX corridor, the Regional Connector and the Westside Subway Extension. Among the highway projects, the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project is advancing toward completion. Additional highway improvements across Los Angeles County are progressing, including pursuit of a High Desert Corridor project and widening and capacity enhancements to Interstate 5.

We have a lot to look forward to as our County undertakes one of the biggest transportation infrastructure programs in the nation. Thank you for your continued partnership, support and commitment as we work together to improve mobility and the quality of life for the Los Angeles region.

Best wishes on this Veterans Day weekend as we celebrate the men and women who have served our country.
Arthur T. Leahy
Chief Executive Officer
Assessment of SR 710 Project Purpose and Needs

Memorandum from Nelson-Nygaard Consulting Associates (hired by the City of South Pasadena) to Sergio Gonzalez, City Manager, City of South Pasadena

http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/15119324

Measure J Gets 65% Support and Doesn’t Pass

 http://www.cahsrblog.com/2012/11/measure-j-gets-65-support-and-doesnt-pass/

  Nov 8th, 2012 | Posted by

The news wasn’t all good for passenger rail on Election Day. Los Angeles County’s Measure J, which would have extended the sales tax for transportation that was approved in 2008 by another 30 years, got 64.72% of the vote – and therefore “lost” according to the idiotic rule requiring a 2/3 vote to raise taxes in California. Measure J would have allowed acceleration of a variety of rail projects in LA, and while Measure J’s failure doesn’t mean those projects are dead, it does mean it’ll take a little while longer to build out electric rail.
feb10 486
The “defeat” of Measure J is being hailed as a victory by the anti-transit Bus Riders Union:
“I think this clearly for us was about trying to show from the community that we were not going to give a vote of confidence to (the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) and obviously MTA could not pass the [two-thirds] threshold,” said Sunyoung Yang of the Bus Riders Union, a group that strongly opposed Measure J.

“We’re very happy about it,” Yang said. “We had pretty much a grass-roots guerrilla campaign where we had to compete to get into the media and on the radio waves. … We had to generate a lot of events and media, as well as phone banking.”
The BRU’s opposition to Measure J wasn’t surprising. They are a highly ideological group, founded and backed by an obscure sectarian group in LA, the Labor Community Strategy Center. Led by Eric Mann, the LCSC burst onto the scene in the early 1990s with organizing against the closure of an auto plant in Van Nuys, and then did some good work going after oil refineries in the South Bay. In 1996, they hit upon a winning strategy by forming the Bus Riders Union, on the strange argument that investing in rail lines was something benefiting the rich at the expense of the low income people who relied on bus transit. The BRU won a consent decree in federal court against Metro’s rail planning, one reason why Metro is only now able to start the big buildout of the rail network LA once had and desperately needs again.

The irony is that if you’ve ever actually been on Metro Rail in LA, you’ll see that most of its riders are just as diverse in terms of racial, social, and class backgrounds as you find on a bus. Metro Rail lines help provide reliable, affordable, speedy transit options for a whole range of Southern Californians. Those factors matter a lot to the working class folks that the BRU claims as their base. At the end of a long day working in the service industry, people just want to get home quickly to their families without spending a lot of money or getting stuck in traffic. Rail provides that opportunity.

As gas prices continue to rise, so too does Metro’s operating costs for the bus fleet. That’s not an argument against buses, but it IS an argument for more rail. Rail’s operating costs aren’t subject to gas price spikes, especially as LA’s electric power generally comes from non-fossil fuel sources whose costs are stable. By providing more rail on the most heavily used travel corridors, Metro can move a lot more people for less money in the coming years than buses can.

That’s not an argument that rail should be favored over buses. LA needs both. And they need people
who will advocate for raising the revenue to fund a robust mass transit system, with rail lines moving people quickly along the main corridors and connecting the stations to other neighborhoods with reliable, frequent bus service.

But that doesn’t fit with the BRU/LCSC ideology that rail is for the rich and therefore must be opposed, and so they continue to try and convince low income voters and communities of color that Metro’s rail building plans come at their expense. It’s a strategy that doesn’t do any favors for mass transit or the people that depend on it.

Of course, it wouldn’t matter what the BRU thought if California didn’t have that obnoxious and destructive 2/3 rule. Prop 30 was able to pass with 54% of the vote because it amended the state constitution. With the tax revolt over as a political force, maybe California can begin to rip out the legal and constitutional remnants of that destructive movement. 64% is a big win and Measure J ought to be law.

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