City of Azusa held ribbon cutting for 210 Freeway landscaping improvements

Photos: Martin Quiroz/City of Azusa

The City of Azusa held a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday for the 210 Freeway Landscaping Project. The project, which covered the on and off ramps of the 210 and underpass on Azusa Avenue, was funded $669,000 through the 2009 Call for Projects.

Improvements completed include a pedestrian pathway with decorative sidewalks, wayfinding and bus stop improvements, bike improvements and signs with a few segments that include high-visibility safety bicycle lane striping, lighting and landscaping.

City of Santa Clarita holds ribbon cutting for Sand Canyon/SR-14 Beautification Project

The City of Santa Clarita held a ribbon cutting earlier this morning for the newly completed Sand Canyon Road/SR-14 Beautification Project. The project included improvements to 3.4 acres with environmentally-friendly landscaping and a water efficient irrigation system.

Officials said that beautification of freeway entry points helps maintain property values and supports the city’s and other business organizations’ efforts to attract targeted companies to the area.

Metro provided $1.352 million for the project through the agency’s Call for Projects.

City of Santa Clarita holds ribbon cutting ceremony for Old Town Newhall Roundabout

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Vintage cars pass through the brand new roundabout. Photo: Metro

The City of Santa Clarita held a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier today for the Old Town Newhall Roundabout project. The project, located at the intersection of Main, 5th Street and Newhall Avenue, includes installation of a roundabout with landscaping, crosswalks, induction energy saving street lighting and street lane modification to improve traffic flow.

The project cost $2,536,717, of which $702,563 was funded by Metro through Call for Projects. Check out the video below of an aerial view of the roundabout.

City of Santa Clarita held ribbon cutting for new McBean Park and Ride

McBean Park and Ride ribbon cutting. The event was attended by Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, Councilmembers TimBen Boydston and Marsha McLean, along with representatives from other local elected officials. Photo: Michael Richmai/Metro

McBean Park and Ride ribbon cutting. The event was attended by Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, Councilmembers TimBen Boydston and Marsha McLean, along with representatives from other local elected officials. Photo: Michael Richmai/Metro

Metro participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new City of Santa Clarita McBean Park and Ride yesterday morning.

The McBean Park and Ride facility, adjacent to the McBean Regional Transit Center, was funded with a $2.9 million federal grant through the Metro’s 2007 Call for Projects. The lot provides 282 transit parking spaces, including 7 handicapped spaces, bike lockers, a passenger drop off area, new passenger platforms with seating, signage, landscaping and irrigation, handicap access ramps, information kiosks, and solar powered station canopies.

The McBean Park and Ride will connect with Santa Clarita Transit buses that link Santa Clarita Valley to distant destinations in Los Angeles County and the Antelope Valley. 

Metro Participates in “Bike Talk” Radio Program

Metro participated in the November 9 installment of KPFK’s “Bike Talk” radio program, a weekly radio show that discusses issues of interest to the L.A. bicycling community.

Diego Cardoso, executive officer of countywide planning and development at Metro, discussed Metro’s efforts to fund bicycle infrastructure improvements through the Call for Projects, which has doubled the amount of funding available to cities for the Bicycle category. He also mentioned Measure R local return funds that go to cities for their priority transportation projects that can include bicycle improvements.

Diego reported that Metro is also pursuing an Open Streets Program to extend CicLAvia-type events to cities throughout the county, as well as developing a business plan to implement a countywide bike share program.

The radio show is available online or via iTunes podcast.

City of West Hollywood holds ribbon cutting for La Brea Streetscape Project

WeHo officials dedicate the new landscaping. Photos by Joshua Barash.

WeHo officials dedicate the new landscaping. Photos by Joshua Barash.

The city of West Hollywood held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning for the La Brea Streetscape Project. The project includes design, installation and construction of streetscape improvements to a .375 mile segment of La Brea Avenue in West Hollywood.

These improvements include 3 new median islands, added green space to the area, used drought tolerant plants in the medians and parkways, stormwater infiltration parkways, 40 new trees, and 20 new pedestrian level lights. The project makes La Brea Avenue a greener, more complete street that can support more alternative modes of transit.

Metro provided $862, 500 in funding through Call for Projects for the $1.4M project.

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City of Santa Clarita breaks ground on new Sand Canyon Road/SR- 14 Beautification Project

The City of Santa Clarita broke ground on the Sand Canyon/SR-14 Gateway Beautification Project earlier today. The project is designed to improve 3.4 acres with environmentally-friendly landscaping and a water efficient irrigation system. Metro has provided $1.352 million for the project through Call for Projects.

Here’s the press release from the City of Santa Clarita:

The project will improve 3.4 acres within the Caltrans rights of way at the Sand Canyon north and south bound on and off ramps.  Environmentally-friendly landscaping will include sizeable oak trees, shrubs, and grasses, as well as low twisting stone walls and natural colored stone pavers.

The Sand Canyon Road and SR 14 beautification project is part of the City of Santa Clarita’s commitment to beautifying all gateway corridors to provide a positive community image for residents and visitors.  Beautification of entry points also helps maintain higher property values and supports the City’s and other business organization’s effort to attract targeted companies to the area.

“This project is part of the City’s overall goal to make significant improvements to major gateways into and out of our community,” commented Mayor Bob Kellar. “I know the residents and commuters who travel this area daily will appreciate the new environmentally-friendly, drought tolerant landscaping that is designed to complement the natural terrain and thrive in this environment.”

This beautification project is a federally funded Metro grant administered through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).  Responsible for allocating federal, state and local transportation funds to improve all modes of surface transportation, Metro distributes funding through the Call for Projects program and the Sand Canyon Road/State 14 beautification project has a total fund of $1.352 million.

“Our freeways help our region stay mobile, but we should also work to keep them maintained,” said Metro Board Chair and Lakewood City Council Member Diane DuBois. “The Sand Canyon Beautification Project is going to make not just the roadway, but the Sand Canyon area, more inviting. And it’s being funded $1.352 million from Metro’s Call for Projects. When completed, it will make Santa Clarita an even more welcoming place, and best of all it is being done in an environmentally friendly way.”

For more information on the Sand Canyon Road and SR 14 beautification project or the groundbreaking, please contact Gail Ortiz at (661) 255-4314.

Metro Board meeting preview: several items — including project acceleration — could determine how billions of dollars are spent

June Board meeting agenda

The Metro Board of Directors meeting on Thursday should be both interesting and longer than a cold winter’s night with a broken furnace and no firewood, matches or a blanket. The Board has a lot on its collective plate, including several items that taken together will determine how billions — yes, billions — of dollars will be spent by Metro in the coming years.

As it happens, the items are also indirectly or directly related so please allow yours truly to attempt to explain how the pieces of the puzzle fit together:

ITEM 52 The Board will consider awarding a $1,272,632,356 contract to Walsh/Shea Corridor Contractors to build the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the 8.5-mile light rail line between the Expo Line and Green Line. The Board voted last month to add two optional stations to the project at Leimert Park and Hindry before the staff contract recommendation had been released.

As it happens, the cost of the contract was higher than expected, in part because of the cost of the new stations. That, in turn, has resulted in the overall cost of the project increasing to $2.058 billion. That also means that Metro has to put aside more contingency money — specifically, $160 million.

In order to cover that cost, staff has proposed moving some Measure R funds around: $47 million from the South Bay’s ramps and interchanges project, $47 million from the Airport Metro Connector project, $55 million from the Call for Projects for the Central Area and $10 million from the Wilshire Bus Lane project (an older project not to be confused with the peak hour bus lanes that are scheduled to fully open in 2014). STAFF REPORT

Please keep reading — much more after the jump! 

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New Baldwin Park Transit Center now open for service

The grand opening of the Baldwin Park Transit Center took place this past Saturday. The $13.6 million project consists of a five-level parking structure providing more than 500 additional spaces – 200 of which are dedicated for rail and bus commuters, a rest area for bus drivers, a police compound for storage and an overhead pedestrian bridge between the Metrolink Station and the new parking structure.

The transit center will be served by Metro, Metrolink, Foothill Transit and Baldwin Park Transit. In addition to providing parking for local commuters, it will also make a significant impact to the environment by reducing carbon emissions by decreasing the number of vehicle miles traveled.

Metro contributed $4.187 million for the construction of the Baldwin Park parking structure and transit center improvements, along with another $905,000 for the pedestrian bridge crossing through the Call for Projects.

American Planning Association L.A. honors Rosemead Boulevard Beautification Project

The American Planning Association Los Angeles Chapter has awarded the Planning Excellence in Implementation Award to the Temple City Council for the Rosemead Boulevard Beautification and Safety Enhancement Project. The project is partially funded by Metro’s 2011 Call for Projects.

The project, once completed, will include ADA compliant sidewalks, more trees, a separated bike lane and pedestrian amenities.

The 2013 APA LA Awards will be held on June 13 at the historic San Gabriel Mission Playhouse in the City of San Gabriel.