The final Metro Board of Directors’ meeting of the year has come and gone. Don’t fret: they’ll be back on Jan. 25, 2018! 🙂
The full meeting agenda is above along with links to staff reports on each item. Here’s the official recap. Among the items the Board tackled Thursday morning, the Board:
•Received an informational report on the “Twenty-Eight by ’28” plan to have 28 Metro highway and road projects completed in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Source post and staff report. The Metro Board is scheduled to consider adoption of the plan at their meeting on Jan. 25.
Board Members were effusive in their praise for the plan and L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti for putting it together. Several urged supporters of the Crenshaw/LAX Line northern extension — which isn’t in the plan — to keep pushing for the project.
•Approved a $2.9-million contract with Gruen Associates to design the Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements Project. Staff report. The project aims to better connect the largest transit hub in Southern California to the surrounding neighborhood — Chinatown, El Pueblo State Historic Park and Olvera Street, in particular — and make the station easier and safer to reach for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. More at this earlier Source post.
•Approved a joint development agreement with the firm La Veranda for a property at Cesar Chavez and Soto Street in Boyle Heights. The project “contemplates 76 affordable rental apartments, one unrestricted property manager’s apartment, approximately 8,000 square feet of retail space, 40 residential parking spaces, and 16 commercial parking spaces,” according to the Metro staff report. Interesting nugget: this is a plot of land Metro originally purchased for extending the subway to Boyle Heights. The Gold Line was extended instead, thus this parcel is no longer needed.
•Continued discussion until January a 10-year license with Outdoor Media Group to sell and display advertising on about 2,000 agency buses and a 10-year license with Intersection Parent, Inc., to sell and display advertising on the Metro Rail System. The two licenses together are expected to generate more than $300 million for Metro over 10 years. Staff report.
As part of the license with Intersection, interactive digital displays will be added to the Metro Rail system.
Board Members expressed concerns about how much control local cities would have about digital ads on Metro-owned properties and asked County Counsel for a legal analysis.
In addition, several Board Members wants to know to what extent digital displays would be added to busier bus stations as the Orange Line and Silver Line fall under the bus advertising contract. Staff said that both vendors are willing to work with Metro to treat some bus stations as if they are rail.
Board Member Sheila Kuehl also introduced a motion that would limit how much any one advertiser could use a “station domination” strategy and would require Metro to alert local cities about such station dominations at above-ground stations.
•Approved a two phase, six-month Short Term Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and Planning Document (Short Term ENA) with Watt Companies for a joint development on Metro- and county-owned land at Expo/Crenshaw Station adjacent to the Expo Line and future Crenshaw/LAX Line. Source post and staff report.
•Approved funding a new set of restrooms and renovating the existing restrooms at Union Station. From the staff report:
The existing Los Angeles Union Station building is over seventy-seven (77) years old. The current set of passenger concourse public restroom facilities were not properly maintained and renovated by the previous owner. The original public restroom design had 55 toilets, 17 urinals, and 46 lavatories. The prior owners’ decisions resulted in many non-compliant modifications. Today there are only 17 toilets, 5 urinals, 10 lavatories, and 2 baby-changing areas. These restroom facility reductions occurred despite an increase from a 1939 daily average of 33 trains in and out (serving approximately 7,000 people) to a present daily average of 511 trains in and out, and 900 buses in and out (serving approximately 75,000 people). In short, although the LAUS foot traffic has increased by 11 times its original (low volume), the former compliant minimum fixture quantity or capacity has declined to less than one-third (1/3) of the original city-approved design.
The project is targeted for completion in 2020.
•Approved a $6.5-million contract with Sepulveda Mobility Partners to prepare a Sepulveda Transit Feasibility Study and Technical Compendium.
“The 20-month Study will analyze a variety of options for adding new rail transit service between the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) (see Attachment C). The results of the Study will support initiation of the environmental review process and further consideration of a Public Private Partnership (P3) delivery method,” according to the staff report, which includes links to attachments.
Board Member Sheila Kuehl said she hopes that cut-and-cover methods are not used to build the project because of disruptions to neighbors.
•Approved a motion designed to encourage Metro contractors to hire more women for transportation construction jobs.