Transportation headlines, Monday, July 22

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 Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

ART OF TRANSIT: Visitors take a ride at Descano Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge on Saturday. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: Visitors take a ride at Descano Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge on Saturday. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Freeway fighters protest before Metro meeting on SR-710 North study (Pasadena Star News)

Opponents of the tunnel alternative in the ongoing study held a rally before Metro officials convened a community meeting on the project. The five alternatives under study to improve traffic congestion in the area around the 710 gap are the required no build option, traffic signal and intersection improvements, light rail between East L.A. and Pasadena, bus rapid transit between East L.A. and Pasadena and a tunnel directly between the 710 terminus at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra and the 710 stub south of the 210 freeway in Pasadena.

Below is a video Metro released earlier this year on the project.

Avoid eminent domain at Regional Connector site (Downtown News)

The DN editorial urges Metro and property owner Robert Davies Volk to somehow, someway find a way to negotiate the sale of a key parcel at 1st and Central needed to build the new Little Tokyo underground station. Metro has made an offer that Volk says isn't enough. The Metro Board in June voted to purse eminent domain proceedings if necessary.

Man steals bus, takes for long ride (Fox News)

A shirtless man in San Francisco somehow broke into a locked bus and then drove it 100 miles before a CHP spike strip flattened the vehicle's tires. The bus was outfitted with a GPS system so authorities could find it. The short article doesn't say what the thief was planning to do with the bus.

 

2 replies

  1. The eminent domain article is exactly why Metro needs to re-think their strategy when building and designing stations, especially in land that are already owned by a private citizen.

    Why not just let the property owner keep the property but Metro pays for the construction cost of demolition and remodeling, ensuring that land to be a mixed use property? Metro and the property owner can work together with the design of the station, with the condition that it be a mixed use property that the property owner can still continue to make money on.

    No one wants to see local businesses going away. So who says a train station can only be a train station and nothing else? Why not a train station with space for restaurants and other stores within that station?

    Then it’ll be a win-win situation. Metro doesn’t need to buy the land at the expense of tax dollars, they can focus on the remodeling, but the land is still owned by the owner who will see his property values rise and has still has a constant revenue stream by renting out the retail space as a mixed use complex.

    If I were the land owner, I’d agree to such a proposal. I get to keep the land, I get to see my property values rise, and Metro pays for all the demolition and remodeling, and I am to rent out the spaces in that station for constant revenue.

  2. LAX – The answer to your questions is one word: Liability. If Metro does not own the land where the station is being built and will operate, then the land owner has the potenial to be named in any personal injury/liability action that arrises from the public’s use of Metro’s facilities on the land. This creates all sorts of legal headaches.

    Not only that, but let’s take your idea to a potential future consideration: Metro leases the land with a Right of Entry and Development agreement (or whatever the appropriate legal papers would be called) for 50 years (or 100). Then, down the road in 50 or 100 years, the owner of the property decides that they want an even better deal – now they hold the entire Regional Connector System as it exists at that time hostage with the threat that they will close down this station and take back their land if the future Metro doesn’t give them what they want. This would not be a good situation for a the tax payers or Metro.

    As a caretaker of the Public Trust, Metro needs to have complete contol (ownership) of the lands it builds our transportation system on. Metro can not put itself in a situation when a provate entity could hold sway of the transportation system at some future point. In addition, there could be State or Federal laws that prevent this as well, the violation of which, could put a hold on state or federal funding and delay the entire project. Someone with more delayed knowledge of Right of Way laws will have to chime in on that.