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.
For the MTA, the buck stops at Leimert Park (LAObserved)
Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas guest blogs, arguing that Metro must build a Leimert Park station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line whether or not it can be done within the project's current budget. Excerpt:
A decision on the station has languished, despite it being one of those rare causes seemingly everyone says they support. The station would connect Los Angeles to the city's African American cultural center, much like the current stations in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Culver City and Mariachi Plaza have enhanced the appeal of those destinations.
But when the station came up for a Metro board vote in 2011, Metro's own staff was divided: some said the agency could afford the station, others said it was impossible. The Mayor — who effectively controls four of the board's 13 votes — insisted no additional money be put up for a station and persuaded a majority of the board to go along with him.
The Metro board must soon stop the hedging and make the right decision. In the first week of May, the leading bidder for the Crenshaw/LAX rail line will be made public, to then be approved by the board at the end of the month.
If the bid does not include the station, or if it says construction costs are beyond what had been expected, the Metro board must decide whether it can find additional resources for a station.
If Metro does not come up with a way to build the station, Leimert Park supporters, after being held waiting for two years, will be finally spurned.
We'll see what happens when the bid results are released in early May. Until then, this post offers a very interesting — and rare — view into Metro Board politics.
405 project stuck in the slow lane (L.A. Times)
The Times catches up with the news that the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project is running behind schedule and has gone over budget. Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky isn't pleased with the way the project has been run while Metro officials say that some parts of the project have already opened (the Sunset Boulevard bridge, for example) and others will continue to open throughout 2013.
Meanwhile, in a blog post written off the 405 news, LAObserved's Mark Lacter says the 405 project should serve as a cautionary tale about the time and expense involved in extending the subway to Westwood.
Mayoral candidate survey: Eric Garcetti (L.A. Streetsblog)
Streetsblog throws some fresh transportation questions at the candidates for mayor of Los Angeles. Among the inquiries: who would they put on the Metro Board, what do they think of LADOT's leadership, what transportation project do they want to pursue in their first year of office, where will funds come from for pedestrian improvements, etc. Good questions. Eric Garcetti gets first crack at answering.