Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 27 (part 2)

I missed this one earlier and I’m going to be tied up tomorrow morning at the Move LA conference, so I thought it best to add now:

More buses and highways across the region will ease traffic gridlock, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti says (Daily News) 

Speaking at a transportation forum on the San Gabriel Valley on Wednesday, Mayor Garcetti indicated that he wants to pursue regional solutions — including the extension of the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont and the Los Angeles County-San Bernardino County line. As many readers know, the Pasadena to Azusa segment is under construction and is being funded by Measure R.

The Azusa-Claremont segment is in Metro’s long-range plan but remains unfunded and has been controversial in the past because many in the San Gabriel Valley thought it should have been funded by Measure R.

Excerpt:

Funding for a second extension of the Gold Line, from Azusa to Claremont, has not materialized. Yet, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority is moving ahead on engineering and designs this summer.

“Our project will be ready in 2017. If there is a sales tax initiative passed in 2016 we will be shovel ready and could complete the project by 2022,” said Habib Balian, CEO of the Authority.

The mayor of Los Angeles announced that he fully supports the Gold Line extension from Azusa to Claremont.

In the past, smaller cities in the county clashed with former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but on Wednesday Duarte Mayor John Fasana, who represents the 31 San Gabriel Valley cities on the MTA board, welcomed the regional message brought by Garcetti to the inland areas.

“At times we’ve had to bare our knuckles and fight for the resources,” Fasana said. “Now, we see an unprecedented opportunity. This new era really bodes well for us.”

All that said, funding is likely to depend on whether the Metro Board — which includes Garcetti and three of his appointees — ultimately decides to pursue a new sales tax increase to Los Angeles County voters to consider in Nov. 2016. While some Board members have openly discussed the possibility, they certainly have NOT yet voted on going forth with a ballot measure.

The activist group Move LA is holding a conference on Friday in downtown Los Angeles in which a “Measure R 2” will be the focus of discussion. I don’t know how much or how little anyone in elected office is prepared to commit to such a notion, nor do we know what projects would ultimately be funded. Metro has been, and continues, to work with Councils of Government across the county to find out more about their transportation priorities.

In the meantime, it is certainly interesting to hear the mayor support a Gold Line extension that is entirely outside the city’s boundaries, although the Gold Line certainly has a busy segment in the city and will ultimately run through downtown Los Angeles after the Regional Connector is built.

4 replies

  1. Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at one point endorsed the Gold Line extension all the way to Ontario Airport. I sense the pieces are slowly coming together for a coalition that would back a 4th sales tax for key projects throughout the county. Tomorrow should be interesting. And then Saturday with the hearing.

  2. It’s frustrating to see the Mayor’s continued faith in pouring billions of dollars into freeway widening that only momentarily alleviates traffic congestion on the reconstructed roadways while just shifting the congestion elsewhere. So long as we continue to provide more and more free roadways, it just encourages more people to drive, thus making traffic everywhere worse and adding to our already poor air pollution. I just don’t understand how Mayor Garcetti either doesn’t recognize this or feels it necessary to pay homage to the great highway gods. Haven’t we done enough damage to our built and natural environments already with the great highway experiment? Time to try something else.

  3. San Bernardino County, the City of Ontario, and Ontario Airport should contribute the majority of the cost to build the Gold Line extension to ONT.