By Steve Scauzillo, June 5, 2014
A new Interconnected Corridor Management System will be tried out on the
210 freeway, that will give planners real-time traffic counts and allow
them to adjust ramp meters, message signs and trains and buses in and
around 210 freeway from Pasadena to Duarte Monday, May 20, 2014.
Members of the agency in charge of extending the Gold Line to
Claremont were shocked this week to learn the project is not included on
the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Short Range Transportation
Already, the omission has rekindled the bad blood between
the independent Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction
Authority and MTA, known as Metro, that began when the last 12-mile
extension of the northerly portion of the rail line was left out of
Metro’s long range planning in 2012.
Members of the Construction Authority board, including Metro
board member John Fasana, a Duarte City Councilman, voted unanimously in
May to direct Metro staff to list the full project in the plan.
far, Metro has only given more than $851 million for the project’s
first extension from east Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border, under
construction and scheduled to be completed in September 2015. Monies for
the entire project extension to Claremont and possibly beyond to
Montclair or the Ontario International Airport are not mentioned.
“The board said in the motion that the Gold Line to Claremont
should be included in the 10-year (short range) plan and should be on
their future projects list,” explained Lisa Levy Bush, spokesperson for
the Construction Authority.
The total cost of the Gold Line
Foothill extension to Claremont is about $1.86 billion, a number the
Metro staff does not recognize in the new document, she said.
under Measure R, a half-cent sales tax passed by voters in 2008 for
transportation projects, the full project to Claremont was listed. The
fact that voters approved the entire project is ammunition being used by
board members and members of the state Legislature to get Metro to
amend the short-range plan by including the entire Gold Line extension
along the foothills of Los Angeles County.
“I am extremely disappointed and frustrated that the plan totally
ignores a regional priority — completion of the Gold Line Foothill
Extension to Claremont,” wrote Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, in a
letter to Metro’s Robert Calix, transportation planning manager, dated
Holden goes on to say that the extension was listed by
Metro as a capital project in the 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan as
“first in line for any new funding sources outside federal New Starts,”
yet the latest document doesn’t include the cost of the project to
Claremont nor does it mention completion of the “voter-mandated
Doug Tessitor, chairman of the Gold Line Foothill Construction
Authority Board, said it seems like every time the Gold Line takes a
step forward, such as nearing completion of its first foothill
extension, Metro wants to pull on the reins.
“We’ve always been the ugly step-child. They don’t want us to go to the dance,” he said in an interview Thursday.
said he believes the board is more open to a regional approach to rail
projects. He said new Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has
tremendous power on the Metro board, has indicated his support for the
“I don’t think it is coming from the board. I think it is the
Metro staff led probably by Art Leahy. I don’t know what his animus is
against our project,” Tessitor said.
Metro CEO Leahy has been
vocal about not supporting the Foothill extension to Claremont,
Montclair or Ontario. At a San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
meeting in June 2012 he said: “The Gold Line is funded to Azusa. Period.
There is no more money for the Gold Line (Foothill Extension).”
short-range plan is an effort to appeal for more tax dollars, possibly
through an additional tax measure for transportation set for the
November 2016 ballot in Los Angeles County.
If additional funds were available, the plan calls for speeding up the completion dates for the following Metro projects:
Line Extension from 2035 to 2023; Westside subway (Purple Line
Extension) from 2036 to 2025; LAX Metro Connector from 2028 to 2023;
Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor from 2039 to 2027.
It also calls
for speeding up a planned extension of the Eastside Gold Line from East
Los Angeles to either South El Monte along the 60 Freeway corridor or to
Whittier along Washington Boulevard from 2035 to 2025.
Comments on the Metro short-range plan are being taken until June
18. The Metro board is scheduled to vote on the plan at its July board
Glendora and Montclair have also written letters to Metro
asking that the short-range plan include the full extension, Tessitor