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.
The Governor also talked to the Chinese about possibly investing in the California high-speed rail project, which is about $55 billion short of funds needed to complete the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles segment. “People here do stuff,” the governor said. “They don’t sit around and mope and process and navel-gaze. The rest of the world is moving at Mach speed.” There’s a short video — the Chinese trains are certainly sleek looking.
KABC-TV showed the debate live but good luck finding the video on their cluttered website. I tuned in and the candidates got the “what will you do about traffic?” as the second question of the night. Both were supportive of more mass transit, with Garcetti in particular calling for a Sepulveda Pass rail tunnel to connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside.
Some quick background: A transit project spanning the Sepulveda Pass was included in the list of projects to receive Measure R funding. The Sepulveda Pass project is due to get about $1 billion but under Metro’s long-range plan would not be finished until the late 2030s. For that reason, Metro is exploring public-private financing that would both fully fund the project and possibly allow it to be built faster. Here is a post from last year about the concepts being studied; a rail tunnel is among them.
The activist group Angelenos Against Gridlock is competing for one of the 10 $100,000 grants to be handed out by the Goodhirsh Foundation as part of its LA 2050 plan initiative to help make the region a better place. The group is seeking money to build a campaign to persuade the region to build out its rail system. From their proposal:
The biggest challenge to building the housing supply that will meet demand and lower costs, and to making areas with affordable housing accessible, is our traffic and lack of adequate mobility options, which causes citizens to block new housing construction.
Can’t argue with that. The reason that so many developments become big battles is the fear — sometimes well-founded, and often not — they will bring unbearable traffic to neighborhoods where driving is the only option.
BART extension to San Jose; heavy lifting about to begin (San Jose Mercury News)
Heavy construction of a 10-mile segment of BART from Frement to downtown San Jose is expected to begin. The project has a scheduled completion date of 2018 but officials are trying to beat that goal by a year. When done, the BART line will mean that San Jose is connected to San Francisco directly by the existing Caltrain and will also have a rail connection to the many cities in the East Bay.