Some of the issues tackled by the Metro Board at today’s meeting:
•The Board approved a budget of $30 million for a project that will add pedestrian gates on both sides of the tracks — Metro and the Union Pacific — at 27 intersections along the Blue Line. This is a separate project than the ongoing Blue Line improvements which involves renovating stations, reworking sections of track and overheard wire and, ultimately, adding new light rail vehicles to Metro’s busiest light rail line. Staff report
•The Board approved a $17.8-million contract with Gruen Associates to design the Aviation/96th Street Station that will be along the Crenshaw/LAX Line and will serve as the transfer point to the LAX automated people mover to be built. The people mover will also have three stations near airport terminals, a station at a new ground transportation facility and a station at a new consolidated rental car center. Staff report
•The Board pushed back making a decision on a parking ordinance until its September meeting. The ordinance gives Metro legal authority to set particular rules for its parking lots, including the legal right to impose fees. A later study will look harder at the issue of parking fees. To make it perfectly clear, the Board has NOT made any decision yet whether to impose fees at Metro lots beyond the fees already in place. Staff report
•The Board adopted the official names for the stations along the Crenshaw/LAX Line that is currently under construction. The names, from north to south: Expo/Crenshaw, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leimert Park, Hyde Park, Fairview Heights, Downtown Inglewood, Westchester/Veterans and Aviation/Century. Staff report and motion
•The Board approved a motion designed to encourage cities who pursue bikeshare on their own to use the vendor chosen by Metro for the regional bikeshare program, which begins next spring in downtown Los Angeles. As part of the motion, Metro staff will report back to the Board every two months on expediting the regional bikeshare program to other communities/cities. The Board also made clear that it needs to have a firm definition of interoperability to understand how the regional bikeshare program will mesh with bikeshare in Long Beach and Santa Monica; those two cities have chosen a different bikeshare vendor.
As part of the Board conversation, Director John Fasana asked if perhaps Metro — if truly convinced that its vendor is best — should “buy out” other systems so there is only one bikeshare system. Board Chair Mark Ridley Thomas then suggested to Metro CEO Phil Washington that would be a good thing to explore and then get back to the Board. Motion
•The Board approved a motion asking Metro to conduct a study on how best to resume operations of Angels Flight in downtown L.A.; the funicular has been closed for several years due to a regulatory issue. Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti — who proposed the motion — said he is not asking for Metro to take over Angels Flight, which is currently operated as a nonprofit.
Several public speakers and Board Members pointed to the importance of Angels Flight, saying many downtown residents and workers use it go up and down Bunker Hill and to reach jobs, dining and businesses. Motion
•The Board approved an update to Metro’s joint development policy, most notably establishing a goal that 35 percent of all residential units developed on Metro land qualify as affordable housing. About 31 percent of units thus far developed in Metro joint properties qualify as affordable. Staff report
•The Board approved a $52.8-million contract for design and construction of a new subway vehicle maintenance facility at the Red Line yards in the Arts District. In addition, the Board approved a motion to establish a Design Advisory Committee for the facility to help resolve ongoing concerns by the Arts District about the facility interfering with new open space planned near the Sixth Street Viaduct.
This was Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ first meeting as Board Chair, a role he will fill through next June. Please see this earlier post for more about his agenda during his tenure.
Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects
Mention of the Santa Fe yard but no mention of the prospective stations on Santa Fe at 1st and under the viaduct— a plan which has been under discussion in one form or another for 5 years…
Does the board ever give reasons as to why to push back decisions on the board agenda. I’m specifically interested in understanding if there was a serious reason they decided to push their decision on their new Parking ordinance back two months.
Sometimes they do — often it’s because they want more info or more time to consider something. I think time was the issue yesterday — the item came up toward the end of a very long meeting and the Board still had to deal with closed session. There are no Board meetings in August, so Sept is the next available time.
Editor, The Source
Most other stuff are rubber stamped with full approval without much discussion. But something like parking fees is likely to generate more discussion and debate among their peers. After all, the Metro Board are politicians first and foremost and the parking fee issue is a debate even among Metro riders here and on other transit forums like LA Streetsblog and LA Curbed.
An issue like parking fees is likely to be a big issue that are divisive even among Democrat politicians who control the majority of politics here in LA. One wing of Democrats may see this as a common sense solution to increase revenue for Metro, another wing might see it differently that it may dissuade riders from using Metro.
In addition, there are two GOP Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich who represent 4th (South Bay, Harbor regions) and 5th districts (Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita regions) of LA County which are more in the outskirts of LA County who may have concerns about raising parking fees for outlying Metro Rail stations.
Since more information is needed, they gave us time. This is actually a plus for both sides whether you’re for or against the idea of charging parking for Metro stations. If I were you, I’d see this as a good opportunity to state your position to write or contact your LA County Board of Supervisors before they reconvene this matter in September.
To emphasize: the parking ordinance does not impose a parking fee. It only gives Metro the legal authority to do so if it chooses (which would be at a later date).
Editor, The Source
Concerning the Red Line maintenance yard a facilities. The facilities should last longer than about 25 years. In addition next to nothing was along Santa Fe whrn the facility was build. Now that the Art’s District has discovered the area the MTA is expected to alter it’s operation to apise the new arrivals. Sound ass backwards to me.
Why was nothing done at this same time to bring the Red line Art’s District station(s) closer reality? Seems like the perfect time to add the money to get things rolling.