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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

House passes five-month transportation funding extension


By David Lawder, July 15, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a five-month transportation funding extension on Wednesday aimed at avoiding an Aug. 1 road construction slowdown but that does nothing to revive the idled U.S. Export-Import Bank.

House Republicans passed the measure less than 48 hours after its introduction in a move that conservatives in the party said would give them an advantage over Ex-Im backers in the Senate, who aim to use their version of the bill as a vehicle to renew the trade bank's charter, which expired on June 30.

Passed by a 312-119 bipartisan vote, the House bill would authorize federal spending on highway and rail transit projects through Dec. 18 and inject about $8.1 billion into the rapidly dwindling Highway Trust Fund.

It would be paid for by extending higher airport security fees levied on airline tickets for two more years, to 2026, and with revenue from tax changes aimed at improving compliance and collections.

While Republicans and Democrats both said they would rather pass a six-year transportation bill, they have been unable to agree on where to find the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to fund it.

Many House Republicans are eyeing revenue captured from repatriating some $2 trillion in U.S. corporate profits held overseas, but say that must be part of a broader international corporate tax reform plan that needs more time to develop.

"We want to do a multi-year highway bill," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said on the House floor. "We know we’re not going to write that bill in the next two weeks. We know we need at least two or three months."

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was set to consider its own transportation funding plan later on Wednesday.

Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans aim to try to attach a renewal of the Ex-Im Bank's charter to a Senate transportation bill, and conservative Republicans vowed on Wednesday to try to stop them.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to block an Ex-Im amendment, which would show they are "more than campaign conservatives."

"I am willing to use any and all procedural tools to stop this corporate welfare, this corruption, from being propagated," Cruz told reporters.

But in a test vote last month, 65 senators voiced support for Ex-Im, enough to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.

Video by Joe Cano: Alhambra 710 Day Deception

Watch the Los Angeles Metro Rail Map's Spectacular Growth From 1990 to 2026


By Bianca Barragan, July 15, 2015


In honor of the Blue Line and Metro rail's twenty-fifth birthday yesterday, Metro's put together a sort of online, ongoing party—a website with tons of information on their art tours and concerts (free!), as well as a badass animated map that charts how Los Angeles's rail lines have grown since 1990. Click the autoplay button and watch as the Red Line extends three times, as the Gold Line branches out to the east, and into the future, when the Crenshaw Line is helping to better connect people to LAX, the Regional Connector links light rail lines through Downtown, and the Expo Line and Gold Line extensions—both under construction now and readying to open next year—are up and running. By 2026, when the Purple Line subway extension to Century City is complete, Metro will have 113 miles of rail lines across the county.

 City is complete, Metro will have 113 miles of rail lines across the county.

Long Beach sues Caltrans, OCTA over 405 Freeway widening project


By Eric Bradley, July 14, 2015


Looking South on the 405 Freeway, from Seal Beach Boulevard. Orange County approved toll lanes on the 405 from Seal Beach to Costa Mesa. Seal Beach Calif., Monday July 28, 2014

Long Beach is suing Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority over the $1.7 billion project to expand the 405 Freeway.

The City Council authorized the city attorney in closed session Tuesday to file the lawsuit challenging the environmental documents filed with the plan, which widens the 405 by four lanes through Orange County to just past the Long Beach border.

“We don’t believe it adequately mitigates the impacts to the residents of Long Beach,” City Attorney Charles Parkin said.

The city is seeking additional measures to reduce the impact of increased traffic on local streets, according to Parkin.

OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik said in an email the organization could not comment specifically on the lawsuit without seeing it.

“We have worked closely with Long Beach and every other city along the freeway, and this is disappointing for the hundreds of thousands of people we are trying to help throughout Southern California who get stuck in 405 traffic day after day,” said Zlotnik.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Robert Garcia addressed the issue on Twitter, writing, “The project as planned is unacceptable and would have significant impacts to Long Beach. We will fight this in court.”

The environmental impact report for the 405 expansion lists five intersection that will see improvements in Long Beach related to the widening plans, but assigns about 7-25 percent of the cost for the upgrades to OCTA. The rest is expected to be picked up by the city.

“If we were not to sue, then the city would have to develop plans and identify funds to provide the sufficient mitigations for the traffic problems the OCTA project would cause,” said Arturo Sanchez, deputy city manager.

Construction on the 405 project is scheduled to start next year.

More than 370,000 cars use the stretch of freeway daily, and forecasts say the number will increase by 35 percent by 2040.