Fault findings break new ground (ZevWeb)
USC Earth Sciences Professor James Dolan talks about the seismic work done in the Century City area to determine the best location for a subway station. As a result of that work — Dolan was part of the team of researchers involved — it was discovered that the West Beverly Hills Lineament, a previously known fault, is actually a northern extension of the well-known Newport-Inglewood Fault. As Dolan puts it, such discoveries may spark concern, but it’s better to know as much as possible about the area’s underlying earthquakes — the alternative is, of course, not knowing. The website for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky — who is also a Metro Board Member — also had a very detailed story on last week’s seismic reports. Give it a read.
Van Nuys congestion spurs new transit dreams (Daily News)
A brief look at the Van Nuys Rapidway Project studies that are now underway; public meetings begin tonight in Panorama City. Metro officials say everything is on the table for now in terms of adding transit to Van Nuys Boulevard between Ventura Boulevard and the 210 freeway. But one prominent transit activist says the agency is being shortsighted and should be studying a rail line between Sylmar and the Expo Line. The big issue with the Van Nuys Boulevard project is funds — Measure R sets aside $68.5 million, which is not enough on its own for a rail line. I know there’s a lot of interest in this project, so please keep in mind that Metro is studying Van Nuys Boulevard as one project; a separate Measure R project would link the Westside to the San Fernando Valley via the Sepulveda Pass. The planning for that one is just getting underway.
California bullet train: the high price of speed (Los Angeles Times)
Another bullet aimed at the bullet train project. The story looks at mounting opposition to the high-speed rail project that would require the destruction and/or relocation of many homes and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley — in particular in the Bakersfield area . The train would even pass on a viaduct through the campus of Bakersfield High School, which doesn’t please the locals. High-speed rail officials say the project will enhance the overall quality-of-life in the state; the above video of the train passing through Bakersfield is from the Authority. Excerpt:
Across the length of the Central Valley, the bullet train as drawn would destroy churches, schools, private homes, shelters for low-income people, animal processing plants, warehouses, banks, medical offices, auto parts stores, factories, farm fields, mobile home parks, apartment buildings and much else as it cuts through the richest agricultural belt in the nation and through some of the most depressed cities in California.
Although the potential for such disruption was understood in general terms when the project began 15 years ago, the reality is only now beginning to sink in.
The potential economic, cultural and political damage may be an omen. The Central Valley, where construction could start next year, is expected to be the politically easiest and lowest-cost segment of the system, designed to move millions of passengers between Southern California and the Bay Area. The project’s effects could be even greater in more populous places like Silicon Valley, Orange County, Burbank, San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles.