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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The L.A. Metro TAP Card System--For Everyone Who Is Not Yet Aware That Paper Metro Tickets Are No Longer Dispensed from the Ticket Vending Machines


The change to the TAP card system began on August 8, 2012.

What is TAP?

TAP is Los Angeles County's new fare collection system that replaces paper passes and frees you up from hauling around exact change. Think of your TAP card as a "transit fare wallet". You must load a pass and/or cash value onto the card in order to board using a TAP card.

Read more about the TAP card on the site above.

 Complaints About Metro

I went with two friends today to Chinatown and Grand Park via Metro (Gold Line and Purple Line). The last time I used the Metro, it was a very easy process the buy a paper ticket from the ticket machine. We couldn't figure out how this time or could about 8 younger people also trying to buy their tickets. Metro has changed to using TAP cards only--you need to buy a card for $1 and then put the type of ticket you want to purchase on it. We each paid $5 for a one-day pass, but if we could have figured out the machine quicker (actually we never did, but someone else did and told us how to do it), I think we could have gotten a senior day pass for $1.80. It would have helped if Metro's LED instructions on the machine were working or if they simply could have put instructions on the screen that would have made sense. This was at the Del Mar Station. Other complaints: Metro needs to clean the windows on the elevator going down from the Gold Line and also needs to clean the outside of their subway cars--both were very dirty. Not happy with Metro today.

Registrar’s Official Results Verifies Failure of Measure J 


 “Now that the Registrar has verified that Measure J has failed, it is vital that we move forward this time with an equitable regional transportation system that includes rail connections to LAX, Bob Hope, Ontario, Palmdale, Long Beach municipal airports and other transit needs,” said MTA Chairman Michael D. Antonovich.

Supervisor Antonovich emphasized the need to work with the input and cooperation of all our cities and unincorporated communities. “We must stop undermining communities including the San Fernando Valley, by sending their tax dollars over the hill to the Subway and Expo Line projects. It is wrong to tax some communities to fund the private interest of one.”

“Our County’s 88 cities and 134 unincorporated communities voters spoke – Measure J was not the answer to developing a cost-effective regional transit system that meets our entire county’s current and future needs,” he added. “Unlike Measure J, a new plan will not lock funding to communities at their 2004 population percentages, paralyzing the Santa Clarita, San Gabriel, Antelope Valleys and the South Bay’s ability to meet their transit needs.”

The voters’ rejection of Measure J allows our county, cities and unincorporated communities to present a regional transit plan that will include connective rail to our airports and extend the Gold Line to Claremont, Bob Hope Airport, and South El Monte.

Monday Evening Is 710 Tunnel Meeting Night at the Pasadena City  Council

Article is below with link.  Please note that the address of meeting in incorrect.  
The correct address is:

Pasadena Convention Center
Ballroom Building, Ballrooms E-H
300 East Green Street, Pasadena
 A lot of other cities have come out against Metro's attempt to build this destructive hole under the pair of Pasadenas, including our very ownSierra Madre. Monday night it will be the big dog's turn to either bark or sit up and wag its perky tail. Hopefully Chris Holden won't still be voting. Also please be aware that SCAG and the SGVCOG are also for it, so there is the town wrecker goon squad element to consider as well. Here is how thePasadena Star News describes the meeting (click here):

The City Council will take a position Monday on whether or not a tunnel should complete the Long Beach (710) Freeway. Though it opposed three other alternatives at a meeting in August, the council has shied away from taking a position on the tunnel connecting linking the San Bernardino (10) and Foothill (210) freeways.

While some residents believe the council kept quiet so that the freeway extension wouldn't become an issue in the state Assembly campaign of former City Councilman Chris Holden, city officials said they were awaiting a legal opinion.

Councilman Terry Tornek said he is glad the council will finally take a stand on the tunnel, but he's not sure it will affect Metro's decision to extend the freeway. "Frankly, I've been asking to have this brought forward much sooner, I think the public deserves to have an opportunity to know how we feel about this stuff," Tornek said. "But I also think there is a misconception about the influence the council can have in all this. This isn't our project and we are not the decision-makers here."

The council must reconcile whatever position it takes with voter-approved Measure A, which was passed in 2001. Pasadena residents took a position in support of "completing the 710 freeway between I-10 and I-210." At an August City Council meeting, Councilman Steve Madison proposed a resolution to oppose the tunnel.

Terry Tournek's statement kind of gets under my skin a little bit. Metro, the so-called "lead agency" pushing for this regional environmental cataclysm, is in the end is just another bureaucratic planning organization that lives off of our taxes. So why exactly are they so powerful that they can defy the wishes of elected officials and the tax paying citizens who sustain their employment? What almighty force stands behind them that makes whatever we and our representatives want to do so meaningless? Who exactly are these decision makers? And why do they have the God-like power to defy our wishes and spend $10s of billions of our dollars when doing it? Nobody ever seems to say.  

I received a notice from the wonderful folks at the No on 710 Action Committee (click here), and it included an e-mail that was sent by Weston DeWalt to the Mayor and City Council of Pasadena. It is a great read, and I am posting it here in its entirety.

Over the past five or six years I have found myself engaged in a variety of issues of concern to Pasadena residents, and through those efforts have met a number of individuals devoted to causes of equal concern to them. In the sharing of stories of our experiences, I began to notice that, when organized labor and/or the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce was promoting a specific action to be taken by the City Council, those who held an opposing view most often found themselves on the losing end of the debate. In recent years, the frequency of that occurrence has become even more glaring, and an increasing number of Pasadena citizens have begun to take notice. The blunt force and suppression tactics used to hasten the City Council’s approval of the final Rose Bowl/NFL EIR – for many – has proven to be the last straw. Or is there a final-final straw yet to come?

The City Council’s delay in dealing with the Measure A/710 extension issue – now going on for almost five months – seems to many to have been politically motivated. For some there is the belief that the delay was orchestrated in order to give Chris Holden time to clear the building without having to cast a vote, which could have jeopardized his election to the State Assembly. For others there is the belief that the delay was to help insure Holden’s favorable inclination toward the F-7 tunnel would be absent when a vote was taken on the Measure A/710 extension issue. Either way – if a delay was manufactured – the Council would have been in violation of a City ordinance that prohibits a purposeful delay in conducting business of concern to Pasadena citizens, and we would have been denied our right to fair and timely representation.

On December 10, when it has been announced that the Council will finally address the Measure A/710 extension issue, we may hear that the only reason for the delay was the City’s desire to clearly ascertain its legal position, that the complexity of the issue and the need to thoroughly analyze the situation were the sole reasons for the delay. If that should prove to be the case, I would recommend a serious dose of skepticism, especially in light of the fact that the City Manager – back in September – was telling citizens that it was his expectation that the matter would be resolved by Election Day in November.

When all is said and done, it may be that the City Council will vote to oppose the F-7 tunnel on December 10. If so, a good many of us will be grateful, but – should that come to pass – I think we should not lose sight of the effort that has been expended over the past several months to finally get the Council to the December 10 judgment day and what the City Council’s inaction may have contributed to the suppression of a wider awareness of the threat that the F-7 tunnel presents; thus encouraging METRO in its continuing ambitions.

If the Council does not vote to oppose METRO’s F-7 tunnel proposal, we can add that decision to the victory column of the Chamber of Commerce, whose seeming disregard for quality-of-life-issues – to my view – could well contribute to a degradation of the very environment that draws businesses, customers and residents to our city.

Finally, it must be considered that the City Council might decide to kick the can down the road by arguing that the Measure A/710 extension issue is just too complex to allow a clear decision as to what action the City Council could take and will advise that a ballot measure is the only option available to those who want to challenge the proposed F-7 tunnel. The attorneys with whom I have spoken about the Measure A/710 extension issue have all said that taking such a position would be nothing but a dodge, an effort on the part of Councilmembers to avoid having to publicly declare their positions. I and many other Pasadena residents share that belief.

Whatever is to come on December 10, some important civic lessons have been learned, and, thanks to many of you, there appears to be an ever-growing interest in more closely scrutinizing the actions of individual Councilmembers and the influences to which they respond. It is a scrutiny that is long overdue.

The Pasadena City Council meets and will discuss all of this on Monday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m. The address is 100 No. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena CA 91109. These occasions have been turning out huge crowds of justifiably angry folks, so getting there a little early is advised. I'm going to bring my laptop and post about it "live" from the meeting. If anybody would like to join me I can come by and give you a lift to the meeting. You have yet to live if you haven't had the chance to ride in a fuel efficient Saturn Ion yet.

MTA Board Meeting on North Cities Seat
Najarian will seek a new nomination


On December 6, 2012 the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division City Selection Committee held its regular meeting to, among other things, confirm the nomination of Ara Najarian to the seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors.

Such confirmations have historically been pro forma ratifications. The Najarian nomination came from the North County Cities Sector at meeting held this past October. North County Cities represent one-million residents.

The MTA Board includes one representative from the San Gabriel Valley Cities, West Side Cities, Gateway Cities, and North County Cities.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. It serves as transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder, and operator for one of the country’s largest, most populous counties. More than 9.6 million people – nearly one-third of California’s residents – live, work, and play within its 1,433-square-mile service area. Ara Najarian has consistently worked with communities to ensure an efficient and effective transportation system for the greater Los Angeles area.

Najarian has been active in seeking an alternative to the construction of a 5 mile, 10 billion dollar tunnel extending the 710 Freeway that impacts North County Cities.

Stung by his effective organizing and vocal opposition to the tunnel, many San Gabriel Valley Cities did not vote to confirm Najarian’s selection from his regional cities of Glendale, Burbank, La Canada, San Fernando, Malibu, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Hidden Hills, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, and Palmdale. Although Najarian received a majority of numerical city votes, he fell short of the majority for the population weighted vote.

Ironically, Najarian has been a leading supporter of the San Gabriel Valley’s most important transportation project, the Gold Line light rail. It was during his term as MTA Chairman that the Gold Line was unanimously included in the MTA Long Range Transportation Plan and significant funding obtained for its construction.

Through the established process, Ara Najarian will work with the North County / San Fernando Valley Sector to convene a meeting, receive another nomination to the seat and be successful in a vote to confirm his selection.

Although Ara Najarian continues his efforts to identify an alternative to the construction of a 5 mile, 10 billion dollar tunnel extending the 710 Freeway that impacts North County Cities, we believe that these efforts also bring to light the importance of strong representation on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors. Ara Najarian has consistently proven that he works to improve an efficient and effective transportation system not only for the North County Cities but for the communities throughout Los Angeles County.
 Re: Pasadena City Council Meeting, December 10, 2012
Vicki Kea posted in No 710 on Avenue 64
 I urge anyone who cannot attend Monday night’s...
Vicki Kea2:11am Dec 9
I urge anyone who cannot attend Monday night’s (12/10/12) meeting to e-mail their comments to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net. Doing so will add their comments to the official record. Possibly preface your comments with something to the effect of:

As I am unable to attend the Monday, December 10th, 2012, City Council meeting, I am submitting my comments for the record by e-mail.

 From Carla Riggs: send emails to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net.
**  Parking:  Parking validation will be available for those utilizing the Pasadena Convention Center Garage (bring your parking ticket to the meeting location in the Center to be validated). 

Two entrances: Marengo Avenue to the west and Euclid Avenue to the east between Green and Cordova