Transportation headlines, Tuesday, July 31

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

An uphill climb for downtown L.A. Streetcar (KCET)

D.J. Waldie wonders aloud whether downtown property owners along the proposed alignment will vote to tax themselves to pay for the project. Bottom line: without such as tax, the project will be very short of funding. Waldie primarily has questions about the route and whether it will appeal to enough of downtown L.A. to make the project worthwhile.

Touchdown pass or lost yardage — what will be AEG? (L.A. Streetsblog)

The op-ed written by a pair of environmental health advocates says that the proposed downtown football stadium could impair air quality because of increased traffic to games, increase noise in surrounding neighborhoods and displace residents of nearby neighborhoods. Read it for yourself and decide if a football stadium, on the site of part of the current convention center and next to a heavily-trafficked freeway, could really do that much harm to the area. The stadium is really going to be louder than the freeway? I doubt it.

Long Beach staff says 405 plan would cause bottleneck (Long Beach Business Journal)

A plan to widen the 405 freeway in northern Orange County has Long Beach officials fearful that they will get the brunt of the traffic caused by a wide freeway meeting a narrower one at the boundary between O.C. and L.A. counties. Seems like a legitimate concern; on the other hand, part of the O.C.’s plan may include a toll lane to help speed up traffic for some. Tough one, people.

9 replies

  1. The streetcar should be funded by measure R. Asking residents to pay for something that businesses and office workers will benefit from is robbery. I voted for measure R because it was a reasonable way (albeit the funds don’t get evenly distributed) to fund transit systems that benefit most areas.

    Sure that measure R pot of money is allotted for, but I don’t see DTLA residents voting for this tax. It’s a shame the city council is trying to create more ways to tax it’s residents instead of working on way to improve efficiencies in the way the (mis) manage the city.

  2. I believe (Not positive, but it’s what I’ve read somewhere…) that the streetcar is getting $1M from Measure R’s local returns to LA City. Many of the largest landowners along the route are already on board with the project and I think if the residents can be convinced to vote for it, you won’t hear much griping from those who will foot the majority of the bill.

    I wish there was enough money to push it up first to Grand. I think this will make a big difference… though with Grand Park opening, it is still an easy walk from Hill to Grand (There needs to be a stop at Hill half way between 1st and Temple, right at the Metro entrance!)

    Also, I think it would be more useful for the route to go on 9th instead of 7th… but we’ll see.
    I explain why in detail here:
    http://steven-white.com/2012/07/12/the-downtown-la-streetcar-should-travel-on-9th-street/

  3. Sell the rights to private companies to build and operate a streetcar in DTLA. I’m sure private transportation companies from Europe or Asia can get this built fast and efficiently than taxpayer funded Metro.

  4. The stadium in Downtown is going to dump way too many people there. Look at what happened a while back while E3 and a Kings game happened on the same day, with weekday traffic. Nightmare. Plus with football, you have the added effect of people who will be tailgating coming from various random locations. This is why the Industry stadium is a much, much better idea, and provides better multimodal access to more of the region, not just those within 10 miles of downtown.

  5. Frank, this has happened before. LA used to have hundreds of miles of rail that were bought up from the private companies by GM, standard oil and Goodyear and replaced by busses. I don’t think we want to repeat history here!

  6. Mike S,

    As if the car companies are making any money these days to buy out anything! Detroit is in shambles, the Big Three needed federal bailouts, people a distrustful of oil companies due to the BP oil spill, what makes you think Great American Streetcar Scandal II is going to happen if public transit is privatized again? Sure back in the 1960s, people were stupid to be duped that replacing streetcars with buses was a wonderful idea, but it’s a different world now.

    Going back to privatization is something we seriously need to look into. The City of LA is short on cash, people don’t want high taxes in this economy, the only thing left to do is scale back to the private sector.

    The less burden there is on taxpayers in providing transit service, the more there are taxes available for other important needs. I certainly say education for our kids, affordable healthcare, tighter gun control, anti-drug advocacy, better law enforcement, and fire fighting service is far more important than providing public transit.

    The cost of providing public transit service in this county is a strain on tax funds. If the private sector can do it efficiently and for profit (and it seems it can looking at how mass transit corporations work over in Asia), might as well just sell Metro to Japanese and Taiwanese mass transit corportations who can run things better.

  7. @ Shawn

    I don’t believe it is correct to assume that if Metro went private there would be more money to fund other Goverment services. The Majority of Metro’s budget is comprised of funds derived from the 3 1/2 penny sales taxes (Props A & C, and Measure R) for transporation purposes. If Metro went private these taxes would probably cease to exist and would not be redirected to schools or other services. Once taxes go down it is very difficult for them to come back up hence why it is usually considered political suicide if someone attempts to change Prop 13 or the debate over the Bush tax cuts.