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:
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.
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.
Categories: Transportation Headlines