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

Friday, January 11, 2013

Go Metro Interactive Map

http://www.metro.net/



Just click on the map.

Los Angeles DWP unveils solar power buyback program

 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/

 January 11, 2013 |  3:54 pm

 

Solar panels in the parking lot of Taft High School in Woodland Hills. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers for the first time will be able to sell back excess solar energy created on rooptops and parking lots under a new program approved Friday by the city utility's board of commissioners.

Described as the largest urban rooftop solar program of its kind in the nation, the so-called feed-in-tariff program would pay customers 17 cents per kilowatt hour for energy produced on their own equipment. The DWP has already accepted more than a dozen applicants and will be taking dozens more as it accepts contracts for up to 100 megawatts of solar power through 2016.

Environmentalists, business supporters and solar vendors were thrilled by the vote. Feed-in-tariff programs help generate jobs and economic activity while decreasing greenhouse emissions, they say.

"Today’s vote is a major step forward for the economic and environmental sustainability of Los Angeles," said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council, which has been the leading advocate for the CLEAN LA Solar program since 2009. "We are grateful to our CLEAN LA Coalition partners as well as Mayor Villaraigosa and the many city leaders who helped make this vision a reality."

High-Speed Rail Director Holds Out Hope That SF-LA Line Will Be Running By 2029

 http://sfappeal.com/news/2013/01/high-speed-rail-director-holds-out-hope-that-sf-la-line-will-be-running-by-2029.php

 January 10, 2013 

 

A representative of California High-Speed Rail was in San Francisco Thursday to talk about the rail system's near- and long-term plans in the Bay Area.

Regional director of CHSR in Northern California Ben Tripousis joined San Francisco Director of Transportation Policy Gillian Gillett for a high-speed rail forum at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.

Tripousis told a packed auditorium that a 2-hour-and-45-minute-trip from San Francisco's Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles' Union Station could be a reality by 2029, but that a host of political, financial and logistical obstacles must be hurdled before high-speed trains reach the Bay Area.

"To quote Ben Franklin, 'We must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately,'" Tripousis said.

One of the keys to making the 800-mile high-speed train system a reality is moving ahead with early investments in local transportation corridors that will eventually accommodate high-speed trains, Tripousis said.

"Here in the Bay Area, our focus is largely on the electrification of Caltrain," he said.

As part of the $8 billion high-speed rail funding plan approved by the state legislature in July 2012, more than $700 million was committed to the electrification of Caltrain between San Francisco and San Jose, Tripousis said.

Additional investments were committed to other Bay Area agencies, including BART, which is slated to receive $145 million, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which will receive $61 million, Tripousis said.

Gillett said that the modernization of Caltrain and the eventual accommodation of high-speed rail in San Francisco offers a chance to revitalize certain areas of the city, such as redeveloping a plot of more than 20 acres around Mission Bay that is currently used by Caltrain as a storage yard for locomotives and train cars.

High-speed rail is also expected to stimulate the region's economic growth by allowing San Francisco International Airport to concentrate on expanding long-distance and international airline service, instead of continuing to be bogged down by north-south regional flights, Gillett said.

"We are 'this close' to getting congestion management by the Federal Aviation Administration," she said. "We are reaching our limits in the air."

More than 60 percent of the Bay Area's flights head to Southern California, Tripousis added.
Despite high-speed rail's many challenges, Tripousis said the CHRSA is on track to break ground this summer.

Construction on the first operating phase of the rail system--a 130-mile stretch between the Central Valley cities of Madera and Bakersfield -- is expected to start in July, he said.

Metro seeking to persuade Congress to expand America Fast Forward program

 http://thesource.metro.net/2013/01/11/metro-seeking-to-persuade-congress-to-expand-america-fast-forward-program/

Official ribbon cutting held for HOV direct connector between 5 and 14 freeways

 http://thesource.metro.net/2013/01/11/official-ribbon-cutting-held-for-hov-direct-connector-between-5-and-14-freeways/

 

Want to understand how the state of California funds transportation? Check out this easy to understand chart!!

 http://thesource.metro.net/2013/01/11/want-to-understand-how-the-state-of-california-funds-transportation-check-out-this-easy-to-understand-chart/

 

CHART_C_12-13

Click above to see extremely large version of this chart on our Flickr page — might take a few seconds to load.

 

With Gov. Jerry Brown releasing his state budget proposal on Thursday, I thought it would be a good time to post this chart without any commentary.

Okay, some commentary….Holy Guacamole, that’s insane!

Metro government relations staff encouraged me to think of the boxes as individual buckets, some with hoses connecting them to other buckets. That kind of helps.

Enjoy perusing the chart and please forward this post to anyone considering a career as a transportation policy analyst.

Why the Bum’s Rush for the $4.5 Billion Street Tax?
 http://citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/4344-why-the-bum-s-rush-for-the-4-5-billion-street-tax



 LA WATCHDOG - Our Council Members are without doubt some of the smartest guys in the world.  And you do not even have to ask them.  They will demonstrate their extraordinary intellect by their actions. 

How else do you explain why the all knowing City Council needs less than four weeks to slap a $4.5
billion tax increase on the ballot without allowing the Neighborhood Councils, homeowner associations, business owners, apartment owners, commercial landlords, and all other property owners to have adequate time to review, analyze, and comment on this massive, 30 year assault on their wallets?

But that is why the charter-authorized Neighborhood Councils have called for a 60 day cooling off period so that they have adequate time to review and analyze the fiscal impact report (that is yet to be prepared) and hold Brown Act compliant meetings so that they can advise the City Council pursuant to the terms of the City Charter.

There is no doubt that our streets, the second worst in the country, need lots of love, attention, and money.  But this massive public works program cannot be developed in the bowels of City Hall by the Elected Elite, the City’s bureaucracy, and all their self serving cronies.

We must have an open and transparent process.

On Wednesday, after the song and dance show by Council Members Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino, the two sponsors of the Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Improvement Measure (the “Street Measure”), and Nazario Seuceda, the Director of the Bureau of Street Services, City Council President Herb Wesson wisely deferred consideration of this matter until Tuesday, January 15, in the hope that the City will produce a fiscal impact report and a more detailed implementation plan.

This $3 billion street reconstruction project will be financed through ten annual issuances of $300 million of 20 year bonds and will be repaid over the next 30 years, with the last payment in 2043! As a result, the total cost of this project, including interest, will approach $4.5 billion.

But rather than financing this project with a regressive parcel tax, the City will tax our property based on its assessed value. This will increase our property taxes for the next 30 years by an average of $150 million a year, or 3.8%.  The annual payments will peak at $250 million, a 6% increase, in 2024. 

And once again, just like with the unfunded pension liability, we are burdening the next generation of Angelenos with the failure of the City to maintain its streets over the past decade. 

Wednesday’s presentation also raised other questions and doubts.

For example, what is the true status of our streets and is it prudent to rely solely on the Bureau of Street Services that is under the thumb of the Mayor, the City Council, and the politically appointed Board of Public Works?  Or does it make sense to get an independent assessment of the status of our streets?

And why have our streets been underfunded? 

Very simply, our self-serving Elected Elite short changed our streets and sidewalks (and every other City program and service) to finance the $1.3 billion increase in labor costs over the last seven years. 

There is also serious concern about whether the Bureau of Street Services, Engineering, and Contract Administration have the technical, operational, financial, and management expertise and experience to bring the “largest public infrastructure project in the country” in on time and on budget.

The City also will establish a Citizens Oversight Committee to advise the City Council on the program implementation.  But who will be on that committee and how independent will it be? Or will it be a lap dog like we experienced at the Los Angeles Community College District?

The City also claimed that once our streets are reconstructed, we will never have to worry about failed streets again.  But how does the City intend to finance the Bureau of Street Services in the future to make sure that our streets are properly maintained? 

There are other claims that need to be clarified, such as the preposterous assertion that this street reconstruction program will create 30,000 private sector jobs over the next decade and will not involve a buildup of the City’s work force. 

The City also needs to answer the question why the streets (and sidewalks for that matter) should not be the responsibility of the General Fund. Rather than tagging property owners with a $4.5 billion tax increase, the City ought to consider other methods to finance our streets, including from the savings from outsourcing the City’s operations to more efficient service providers. 

While the City Council may be foolish enough to place the Street Measure on the ballot, the odds of
this measure obtaining the approval of two thirds of the voters are slim, especially given the complete lack of trust and confidence in the Elected Elite and their cronies that occupy City Hall.

The Neighborhood Councils are right to demand that the City Council postpone any decision on the Street Measure for 60 days as there are too many unanswered questions and outstanding issues. 

We shall see whether the light bulbs on the City Council are bright enough to follow this common sense advice from their constituents.

LA’s $3 Billion Street Scheme: The Real Story They Don’t Want You to Hear 

 http://citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/4339-la-s-3-billion-street-scheme-the-real-story-they-don-t-want-you-to-hear

Ron Kaye, 11 Jan 2013 




 

POLITICS - Listen closely to the hot air and cold-blooded lies that rookie Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander spewed out at Wednesday’s meeting to win support for the largest bond issue in the LA history — a $3 billion property tax increase. 

Their argument in favor of putting the bond issue on the May ballot to fix the city’s potholed and crumbling streets — 31 percent in poor or failed condition, few in good condition — amounts to an indictment of six decades of City Hall leadership and its neglect of this most basic responsibility.

As you have heard if you took the trouble to listen, they gloss over the truth and rewrite the history of the last 20 years by claiming City Hall is doing a great job in infrastructure repair even though they have to admit we have long had the worst streets in America — proof if any were needed that we have the worst city government in America.

They were followed on the Council stage by the bureaucrat in charge of street maintenance, Nazario Sauceda, who has trouble reading his PowerPoint presentation as if it were written by someone else, even getting confused about whether 8,100 miles of streets are in desperate need of repair or ten times that. Streets 

He claims without any evidence that 30,000 jobs will be created, that project labor agreements with unions and contractors will help train thousands of workers, that safeguards like “independent audits” and “citizen oversight” will prevent the money from being ripped off as usual — measures that have proven totally inadequate to prevent scandalous abuses over school, community college and city bond issues in the past.

What followed was a parade of ordinary citizens, each given just one minute to comment. Most of them were cyclists who demanded bike lanes everywhere as the price of their support and a few pedestrians who want $1 billion more to fix the treacherous sidewalks. No one noted it has been 30 years since the city has even has a policy on who is responsible for broken sidewalks, the city or property owners.

There also were a couple of community activists who spoke including civic leader Jack Humphreville who wanted to know whether they even had a detailed study to back up this proposal and how they could have the audacity to propose it with fixing the pension crisis, the budget crisis or any of the other failures of the city to serve the citizenry.

A majority of the Council signed onto this proposal when it was introduced, waived through all committees and brought to the full Council within a week.

The outrageous haste to slurry cover their failure for decades prompted the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates and NC Coalition to demand a 60-day delay so the proposal could be examined by the nearly 100 NCs in the city.

Council President Herb Wesson, the dictator with a smiley face, recognized their importance and delayed a vote for six days until next Tuesday so the masters of manipulation at City Hall can figure out a way to get around them before the Jan. 30 deadline to put it on the ballot.

All I can say is if we let them get away with this as we have for 60 years of failed leadership, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Know full well that if they get away with this, they will be able to get away with anything they want whenever they want.
 

New California Transit Map Simplifies Car-Free Travel Across the State 

 http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/01/10/new-california-transit-map-simplifies-car-free-travel-across-the-state/

Not to worry: Alfred Twu and his team of cartographers have created a map of transit throughout the state. The new map features “both intracity and regional rail lines as well as connecting buses, proving once and for all that it’s possible to get to almost anywhere in the state on public transit,” says Twu.

The map ties together networks for Amtrak, BART, Muni, VTA, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter
Express, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Diego North County Transit District (NCTD), San Diego Trolley, LA Metro, and Metrolink, as well as key bus and ferry connections.

Of course, travelers can use apps like Google Maps to plan a transit trip automatically, but this map
provides a nifty overview of the possibilities for transit trips that are available.

For those looking to reach camping and hiking destinations in Northern California without a car, another great resource is Post-Car Adventuring, a handbook which includes specific guidance on how to reach Big Sur, Mt. Diablo, Lake Tahoe, Tassajara, Yosemite, and Napa using only transit, bikes, and your own two feet.

Megabus, the Recovery of American Downtowns, and the Resurgence of the Bus Industry

 http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/January-2013/Megabus-the-Recovery-of-Downtowns-and-the-Resurgence-of-the-Bus-Industry/

Posted Monday at 3:58 p.m.
By Whet Moser
 
 
The 312
 

Megabus, the Recovery of American Downtowns, and the Resurgence of the Bus Industry

Posted Monday at 3:58 p.m.
By Whet Moser
Megabus

I used to take buses a lot: Vegas to Chicago and back, Chicago to Virginia, a long couple-weeks loop from Virginia to Chicago to several northeastern cities, Chicago to Atlanta. But I haven't been on a bus in a few years, because of my uniquely bad luck with fellow passengers. There was the time a guy cooking up in the stall next to me at the Chicago Greyhound station got dragged out under the door by a couple cops; the guy who got kicked off the bus for threatening to cut someone's heart out; the time I got woken up when the bus almost went into a spin; the time I got woken up by someone's hand covering my face; the guy with the white-supremacist tattoo at 4a.m. in rural Kentucky. Bus travel got a bit wearying after awhile, and I haven't been on one since 2007 or so.
Turns out I'm missing a trend (PDF, via):

That's from a new report by DePaul's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, which has been keeping tabs on intercity bus service for awhile now. It's a surprising recovery for an industry that looked to be in terminal decline:

In the 1960s, the number of intercity arrivals and departures exceeded that of commercial airlines as well as passenger railroads in major cities by a substantial margin.  By the 1980s, most of the trains had been discontinued, but the number of departures by commercial airlines grew to such as extent that it generally exceeded the number of intercity bus departures by a factor of two.
Not all cities suffered to the same degree.  In Chicago, the largest city in our sample, service dropped from 454 departures to 290 during this interval, a 36.2 percent decline. Chicago continued to be home to the country’s largest station operated by Greyhound, but the carrier’s daily activity there dropped from 287 to 186 buses.

In 1960, there were 454 daily arrivals and departures by bus in and out of Chicago. In 1980, 290; in 2002, 147 (O'Hare has about 2,400 flights every day). From 2002-2006, intercity bus service across the country declined eight percent. Then it turned around. What happened? It's a combination of a few things.

1. Megabus opened in 2006: 32 daily buses out of Chicago, rising to 42 in 2007. Megabus pushed stagnant giants to improve their service; Greyhound Express is an imitation of the Megabus model, with WiFi and dollar fares.

2. More interesting, to me at least: "the resurgence of central-business districts. Travelers too young to remember the stigma associated with bus travel, especially those living on college campuses and in large cities, are turning to motor coaches in especially large numbers." Airports tend to be well out of the way, and with Chicago excepted, time-consuming to get to. It takes two hours to fly from Chicago to New York... and then another hour to get from LaGuardia to midtown Manhattan. The Megabus stops a couple blocks from Penn Station.
And it's mostly young people. The Chaddick Institute surveyed "curbside" (i.e. Megabus, BoltBus) users (PDF), and the demographic is dramatic:

Five out of six are traveling for fun or personal matters; a majority are women, which is encouraging. The researchers attribute it to money, which I don't doubt, having been there, but I'm surprised they don't mention time. When I was in college, I could afford to spend 14-20 hours on a bus instead of six or seven flying (and waiting, and standing in lines). Once I started working, spending half a day in transit instead of a day or two was worth the money-for-vacation-days trade.

Federal Transportation Policy in 2012: Looking Back on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

NCHRP Web-Only Document 192:

Deployment, Use, and Effect of Real-Time Traveler Information Systems

 Deployment, Use, And Effect Of Real-Time Traveler Information Systems

Click on link to view.

Amtrak promises improvements in 2013

  http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/railroads/276519-amtrak-promises-capital-improvements-in-2013
 
By Keith Laing - 01/10/13  


 Amtrak is promising to make major improvements to its infrastructure and development of high-speed rail programs in the Northeast United States in 2013.

The announcement comes after a year in which Republicans in the House sought repeatedly to deny the national passenger rail service funding from the federal government that it has received since its inception in 1971.

Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman said Thursday that his company was pushing ahead with its upgrade plans, despite the GOP's attacks.

"Amtrak continues to advance and invest in projects that provide both near-term benefits and long-term improvements for the effective delivery and reliability of intercity passenger rail service," Boardman said in a statement.

Among the 2013 plans for Amtrak is the completion of a bridge replacement the company says will enable it to run faster trains in the Northeast Corridor. Other plans include receipt of the first of 70 new electric locomotives and 130 new rails cars, and the addition of a new round-trip route between New York and Washington, D.C., on the company's Acela high-speed trains.

Amtrak said it was also complete the installation of automatic Positive Train Control (PTC) systems that will enable all its trains to be controlled electronically in the Northeast Corridor and Pennsylvania's Keystone corridor.

Amtrak pointed out that the developments follow a year that saw it set a new ridership record.

Lawmakers are scheduled to consider a new funding bill for rail programs soon because the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), which contains Amtrak's funding, is set to expire this year.
 
 
Better, faster and lighter
 http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2013/01/rail-safety-regulations

Jan 9th 2013, 15:37 by N.B. | WASHINGTON, D.C. 


60% of EIR Challenges Involve Infill Projects

 




Almost 60% of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act challenge environmental review projects in infill locations as opposed to greenfield locations, according to a new analysis of 95 recent cases by two lawyers at Holland & Knight.

The new analysis comes on the heels of three other recent studies concluding that CEQA actions are struck down by courts between 40-60% of the time, compared to virtually zero for NEPA.

Mixed-use projects and infrastructure projects were challenged more frequently than any other type of project. Most of the EIRs were challenged on the basis of  water supply, traffic, or air quality.

The study by veteran CEQA hands Jennifer Hernandez and Daniel Golub also concluded that about 70% of the plaintiffs in these cases were local organizations, most frequently environmental or homeowner groups. About two-thirds of the projects were private development projects, while a third were public projects.

The Holland & Knight study is the fourth study by private CEQA practitioners on trends on CEQA litigation – a topic that has been the subject of lots of political spin over the years but very little empirical research

In 2011, veteran CEQA lawyer Clem Shute found that over a 40-year period, courts had found CEQA EIRs inadequate more than 40% of the time, compared to 0% -- yes, zero – for NEPA compliance by federal agencies.

More recently, the Thomas Law Group – the firm of veteran CEQA lawyer Tina Thomas – found that EIRs were successfully challenged about half the time, while Negative Declarations were successfully challenged 60% of the time. A recent study by Holland & Knight using the same database found that 52% of Categorical Exemptions were struck down in court as well.

The latest Holland & Knight report was an analysis not of outcomes but of who sues and over what. It was based on 95 court challenges to environmental impact reports between 1997 and 2012.
Does Anybody Want to Buy a Tunnel? Cartoon by Joe Cano

Posted on Facebook, January 13, 2013


 
Caltrans Tenants Get-together to Plan Unity--Saturday Jan 12, 2013

Email from Sylvia Plummer

Subject: Caltran Tenants Get-Together to Plan Unity -- Saturday Jan 12
Date: Jan 11, 2013 8:20 AM

This just came from Roberto Flores:


What?:  Caltrans Tenants Get-Together to Plan Unity

When?: Sat, Jan 12 at 2:00pm

Where?: 2028 Berkshire, South Pasadena
Why?  We want a Rent Moratorium on Caltrans’ Rent Hike

Questions???  Text me at 213-304-5424

Cynthia and I, and many other folks that have been already addressing the outrageous rent hike issue, would like to invite all of you and your neighbors to join us to one of several meetings to push back on the unreasonable Caltrans rent hike that many of us have received.  I have attached the 2 documents that can help put these rents in perspective; our Audit Analysis which points out how and why they wrongfully justify these rent hikes and the Caltrans Rental Housing Task Force – Final Draft Report (February 18, 2004) where Caltrans agrees to a reasonable method of raising rents where appropriate.  There are other meetings and groups that are sprouting up throughout the corridor and we want to work with everyone.  Marie Salas, for instance, has had an organizing meeting and we hope she has time to come and share what they are doing.  We all know that there are many reasons why this rent hike is wrong and  unreasonable, but we have to put our personal differences aside and gather our thoughts and resources and make our voices heard and our just strength felt.

One of the suggestions is that at the meeting we break down into committees, such as Legal, Political, Research, Fundraising and Outreach.  We are not in competition with any of the other groups out there.  On the contrary, we want to help them, encourage them and want to coordinate with them.   

We have been asked and are happy  to host this gathering.  It will be at our home, 2028 Berkshire 91030 in South Pasadena on Saturday Jan. 12 at 2:00pm.

Hope to see you and neighbors all here,

Roberto Flores

Caltrans's 710 Freeway Houses Getting 10 Percent Rent Hike

 http://la.curbed.com/

January 10, 2013

 
The California Department of Transportation began buying up houses decades ago along a potential route to extend the 710 Freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. They now own more than 500 houses, but seem not to be very good landlords. According to the Valley Sun, "the California state auditor found Caltrans failed to collect $22.5 million in recent years by charging below-market rents, inadequately oversaw repair work and neglected the properties." And now that a surface freeway has been ruled out (and a report on the alternatives to close the gap is due later this month), Caltrans is going to have a lot of surplus houses on its hands. They've already identified 17 that they don't need, but a spokesperson says there's no timeline for selling them. That's bound to annoy state Senator Carol Liu, who's been trying to pressure Caltrans to sell off their mismanaged houses. Last year, she submitted a bill that would have forced Caltrans to sell the houses (Jerry Brown vetoed it), and now she's looking at ways to incentivize a sale: "The bill requires that Caltrans provide repairs required by lenders and government housing assistance programs. [Liu is said to be] looking at an amendment that would allow Caltrans to forgo these repairs and dock the sale price accordingly." In the meantime, tenants in 350 Caltrans-owned houses have been notified that their rents will go up 10 percent on March 1.

The 710 Tunnel Dis-information Squad

Posted by Joe Cano on Facebook, January 11, 2013


 
Plenty of room for more, who's next? Just a historical note: Molina got her nickname from fellow students at Cal State LA. I just seem to be getting a good number of folks relaying stories from the old college days. Many folks with axes to grind indeed. I am very good at data mining.

New proposed budget would reorganize California transportation

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22352479/new-proposed-budget-would-reorganize-california-transportation?source=most_viewed

By Lauren Gold, Staff Writer
Updated:   01/10/2013 09:30:09 PM PST
 
Six state transportation departments will be grouped together under one central agency this July, "streamlining" future projects and ending wasteful spending, if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2013-14 budget is approved.

The governor's budget proposal, released Thursday, includes a government reorganization plan that creates a new Transportation Agency, that will centralize Caltrans, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the High-Speed Rail Authority, the Highway Patrol, the California Transportation Commission and the Board of Pilot Commissioners under one roof.

Previously, Caltrans was under the umbrella of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. The reorganization also creates the Government Operations Agency and the Business and Consumer Services Agency.

"Upon implementation, this plan will improve the management and coordination of government activities, which will facilitate further consolidations and cost savings," Brown said in a March letter to the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency that approved the plan this spring.

Brown first proposed the reorganization last January as part of the 2012-13 budget and it was approved by the legislature last year. If the budget is implemented, the reorganization would go into effect on July 1.

Robert Oakes, a spokesman for state Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, said the reorganization has been a long time coming.

"There have been discussions  for many years about a more efficient and centralized system ... so the governor's proposal makes a lot of sense," Oakes said. "It's been a long time since the government did a reorganization plan at all and it was good to see the governor stepped forward on this."

But Liu's chief of staff, Suzanne Reed, said she still has many questions about what this reorganization will mean for projects such as the 710 Freeway extension, which is in the first phase of a three- year environmental study.

"I have absolutely no clarity whatsoever," Reed said. "We're just going to keep doing what we are doing ... We assume all the people we are dealing with to date will have a continued role in what we are going to be dealing with in the future when the 710 (Environmental Impact Report) plays out."

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Marc Littman said Thursday the agency's funding for local projects will be "stabilized" in the new budget, but declined to comment on how the new Transportation Agency might influence Metro's local decision-making process.

"Metro is reviewing the governor's budget but our initial analysis is there shouldn't be much change in terms of transportation funding for Los Angeles County," Littman said.

Caltrans officials did not return multiple calls for comment.

Assemblyman Edwin Chau, D-Alhambra, said he thinks the new agency will centralize the discussion about transportation.

Although he said it "remains to be seen" how the new agency will affect such local projects as the Gold Line or the 710 Freeway extension, Chau said he thinks the agency will be more accessible to those who are most affected by the transportation projects.

"I think the reorganization itself is a good thing because it does allow the stakeholders to really come together to exchange ideas to what is best for the state of California, including the 710 Freeway," Chau said. "It's very unique in the sense that we now have a separate department of transportation and a secretary of transportation and the agency itself has several entities under this umbrella."

Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, said the reorganization will also be a chance for multiple transportation groups to come together and plan for future projects.

"I am excited about the governor's plan to convene a working group that focuses on the state's transportation and infrastructure needs and explores long-term funding options for transportation projects," Holden said in a statement.