Recap of today's Metro Board meeting

The Metro Board approved amendments to the Measure R ordinance and its extension, which included the motion by Director John Fasana to allow for the transfer of funds between the transit capital and highway capital subfunds within the same subregion.

Board members voted 10 – 1 to approve the Fasana amendment and to integrate the amendment into the existing Measure R Extension Ordinance, with Board Chairman Antonovich voting against and Director Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining. The remaining portions of the item to place the amended Ordinance on the Nov. 6 ballot passed 9 – 3, with directors Antonovich, Knabe and Ridley-Thomas voting no. Mayor Villaraigosa was absent from today’s proceedings.

The amendments will be considered by voters with the Measure R extension language on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Board Chairman Antonovich proposed that members consider items 4 and 5 together within the context of a reevaluation of safety procedures. Here are links to the individual items:

  •  Update on the Expo Line / BLue Line junction, regarding Metro and CPUC investigation of an alignment issue on the junction at Washington Boulevard and Flower Street, where the Blue and Expo Lines merge. The report from the Metro Inspector General is still in progress and should be completed in the fall. 
  • And the Yaroslavsky motion to convene a Metro Blue Line Task Force to examine safety procedures and strategies for the Blue Line operation.

Directors approved the Yaroslavsky motion as amended by Director Mark Ridley-Thomas to establish public information protocols to report accident and service disruption information when incidents occur and regularly report the information to news media and via social media.

I-710 Corridor Project draft EIR/EIS statement released

CALTRANS has just released the Draft EIR/EIS 710 Corridor project for public review, including a schedule of related hearing times and locations. (Note that the first hearing is tomorrow.) The project is studying the I-710 Freeway between the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the Pomona Freeway, looking for ways to ease traffic and improve air quality along the busy corridor.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Interstate 5 Joint Powers Authority have released the Draft EIR/EIS on the I-710 Corridor Project for a 60-day public review.

The environmental review is looking at proposals that would improve Interstate 710 (I-710) in Los Angeles County between Ocean Boulevard and State Route 60 (SR-60).

Major elements addressed in the Draft EIR/EIS include widening the I-710 freeway up to ten general purpose lanes (five lanes in each direction); modernizing and reconfiguring the I-405, SR-91 and a portion of the I-5 interchanges with the I-710; modernizing and reconfiguring most local arterial interchanges along the I-710; and looking at a provision of a separate four-lane freight corridor to be used by conventional or zero-emission trucks.

Caltrans and Metro will hold a series of public hearings in August to update the public on the Draft EIR/EIS and the potential effects this project may have on the environment. Those hearing dates are:

·        August 7, 2012 (6 – 9 p.m.) – Progress Park, 15500 Downey Ave., Paramount, Calif.

·        August 8, 2012, (6 – 9 p.m.) – Silverado Park Community Center, 1545 W. 31st Street, Long Beach, Calif.

·        August 9, 2012 (4 – 8 p.m.)  – Rosewood Park, 5600 Harbor Street, Commerce, Calif.

Electronic versions of the Draft EIR/EIS on compact disc also are available for review at public libraries throughout the I-710 corridor. The Draft EIR/EIS may also be viewed here.

In addition, copies of the Draft EIR/EIS are available for review at Caltrans District 7 Office, 100 South Main Street, in downtown Los Angeles; at Metro’s Dorothy Grey Transportation Library, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles; at Gateway Cities Council of Governments, 16401 Paramount Blvd., Paramount; at the City of Commerce Public Library, Bristow Park Branch, 1466 S. McDonnell Ave., Commerce; County of Los Angeles Public Library, 12000 South Garfield Ave., South Gate; the East Rancho Dominguez Library at 4205 East Compton Blvd, Compton; the Main Long Beach Public Library at 101 Pacific Ave, in Long Beach; and the Bret Harte Library at 1595 West Willow Street in Long Beach.

The public is encouraged to review the Draft EIR/EIR over the next 60 days and plan on attending the upcoming public hearings in August. The public is asked to assess whether or not the potential impacts have been addressed and provide any information that should be included in the final document. The public can submit written comments until August 29, 2012 to Ronald Kosinki, Caltrans District 7, Division of Environmental Planning, 100 South Main Street, MS 16A, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Transportation headlines, Monday, Aug. 6

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 orRSS feed.

Special Metro Board meeting discussing Measure R amendment (StreetsBlog LA)

The Metro Board meeting is currently underway. Under discussion today is a Measure R amendment that could allow a highway/transit funding swap. 

Slow road to Pasadena? (Daily News)

Caltrans wants to reduce the speed limit on the Pasadena Freeway from 55 to 45 mph. The goal is to make it safer and to “green up” the surrounding areas. Are safety and environmental concerns good enough reasons to slow us down a bit? What do you think? 

New late-night service gets a gold star from customers (Whittier Daily News)

A couple of comments on Metro’s new 2 a.m. late-night weekend service that went into effect July 27: “I’m ecstatic. This will make a huge difference. I’ll take the train a lot more.”  “It will help Old Pasadena for sure. It will entice a lot more people to stay later.” And “This one move I guarantee will cut the number of DUIs in half.” Wouldn’t that be great. 

Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe draws thousands to Coliseum (L.A. Times)

Tens of thousands gathered at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum yesterday to honor the symbol of the Catholic Church in what organizers called “the largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation.” And many took the new Metro Expo Line, which stops nearby.

Metro Board meeting, adjourned from July 26, gets underway

Good morning, Metro riders and interested parties.

The regular Board Meeting of July 26, 2012, adjourned to Monday, August 6, is now underway here at Metro headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

Up for discussion is the proposed amendment to the Measure R Traffic Relief and Rail Expansion Ordinance.

You can listen in by phoning 213-922-6045.

Here’s the agenda.

Source report: Review of July 26 Board meeting

Metro begins series of SR-710 Community Liaison Council meetings next week

Metro will host a series of seven SR-710 Community Liaison Council (CLCs) meetings starting August 6 through August 13, 2012. The purpose for the meetings is to provide members of the CLCs an overview of what was heard from the public and a detailed explanation on alternatives presented at the SR-710 open houses held this past spring. 

Meetings will take place on the following days:

Monday, August 6, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
Ramona Hall
4580 North Figueroa St
Los Angeles,CA90065

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
Chef’s Center
45 N San Gabriel Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107

Wednesday August 8, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
Alhambra Library
101 S 1st St

Thursday, August 9, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
El Sereno Library
5226 S Huntington Dr
Los Angeles,CA90032

Thursday, August 9, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
Monrovia Community Center
119 W Palm Ave
Monrovia, CA 91016

Thursday, August 9, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
Garfield Youth House
625 Stratford Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Monday, August 13, 2012
6:30 – 7:30 PM
La Canada High School
4463 Oak Grove Dr
La Canada, CA 91011

For more information, visit the SR-710 page on Metro’s website. 

Foothill Extension update: concrete pour for the deck of I-210 Gold Line Bridge completed

From the Foothill Construction Authority:

On Wednesday, crews placed more than 64 truck loads (that’s 600 cubic yards) I-210 Gold Line Bridge. The work began in the late afternoon and was completed at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. It required a full eastbound freeway closure from 11 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

As with previous major concrete placements, this activity required significant coordination and orchestration and marks another milestone in the completion of the bridge. The deck is now covered with curing blankets and plastic, which will remain in place for about seven days.

Over the next few weeks, crews will begin the process of finishing the exterior of the bridge.

Transportation headlines, Friday, Aug 2

Carmageddon II is coming! Will you take on the challenge of staying out of your car for a weekend? Photo by Juan Ocampo

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 orRSS feed.

The Best Days to Commute in Metro Areas (Governing)

Research firm Inrix reports that the best day for Angelenos to drive to work is Monday. The average commute time on Monday is shortened by three minutes each way, and though that doesn’t seem like much, every minute not spent sitting in traffic is a good minute, right? The worst day for Los Angeles commuters? Thursday. So for those who want to get around the worst of rush hour traffic, perhaps try carpooling or taking public transit on Thursdays.

Learning to Love Congestion (Planetizen)

While on the topic of traffic, Planetizen has an interesting piece on why congestion may actually be a good thing, at least in urban areas. The right kind of congestion can bring prosperity and happiness to downtown centers. The article cites Boston’s Newbury Street as an example of a heavily trafficked and successful area. Which streets in Los Angeles also fit the bill? Downtown’s Spring Street is looking pretty good.

Carmageddon sequel gets a positive spin (Los Angeles Times)

Though apocalyptic traffic might not happen this September, officials gathered yesterday to ask Los Angeles County residents not to get complacent about Carmageddon II. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky led the charge in challenging Angelenos to stay local and stay car-free during the I-405 closure taking place Sept. 29-30.

 DASH Downtown Route D to be Extended (LADOT)

Come Monday, DASH Route D riders will be able to easily transfer to the Metro Expo Line. Two new stops have been added at 23rd Street and Flower Street in each direction, right by the Expo Line 23rd Street Station. This brings even more connectivity and transit options for those who live and work in downtown Los Angeles.