The Orange Line Conversion to Light Rail: This is the 3rd in a series on the San Fernando Valley transit corridor projects that are being discussed as contenders for funding from a transportation sales tax measure that could be put on the November 2016 ballot.
The Orange Bus Rapid Transit Line that crosses the San Fernando Valley from the Red Line station in North Hollywood to Chatsworth 18 miles to the west was an immediate success upon opening in 2005: Ridership tripled on the line during the first year and then climbed another 35% to about 30,000 boardings a day. The line’s success, however, means buses are crowded during peak periods, which has caused proponents to argue it should be converted to light rail.Read more
Transportation leaders stood up for transportation at the American Public Transportation Association’s “SU4T Day” press conference at LA Metro headquarters Thursday to urge Congress to reauthorize the often-delayed federal transportation bill. Many expressed thanks for the Measure R sales tax that continues to provide local money for transportation projects even when the future of federal funding is so uncertain, and also noted that Measure R has been useful in leveraging significant federal “matching” funds.
Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane was among those who called on members of Congress to get their act together: “We think there are lessons to be learned in Washington that we have already learned here in LA County,” Denny said. “It is time to find common ground – and to stop posturing and start authorizing!” Denny was referring to the business-labor-environmental coalition that came together to support passage of the Measure R sales tax – unlikely partners who are more often at odds, except when it comes to transportation
It should be noted that incoming LA Metro CEO Philip Washington, currently CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District, is the chair of the American Public Transportation Association. It should also be noted that transportation leaders in LA County are considering passage of another sales tax measure, which at Move LA we like to call Measure R2.
The passage of the Measure BB half-cent sales tax for transportation in Alameda County last November provides a few lessons for all of those (including Move LA) who are thinking about putting a similar transportation measure on the ballot here, probably in 2016. One of the most salient is that it’s important to start the campaign early in order to build both consensus and ownership.Read more
On April 9 140 communities across the U.S. are staging a “Stand Up for Transportation Day” to emphasize the need for long-term investment in our transportation infrastructure — and the reauthorization of a federal transportation bill before it expires on May 31. Below is an unhappy story about ongoing problems reauthorizing the federal bill. (Note: The Washington DC-based American Public Transportation Association is organizing “Stand Up for Transportation Day” — and I borrowed some from their blog for my post below. Also note: Incoming LA Metro CEO Phillip Washington is APTA’s current chair.)
LA County has embarked on the largest public works project in the U.S. — with 5 rail lines under construction now — largely because the Measure R half-cent sales tax for transportation is producing revenues of $36 billion over 30 years. That’s a lot of bang for a lot less than a buck — to be exact, only about 8 cents per person a day.Read more
Ben Plowden, director of surface transport strategy and planning for Transport for London, was a featured speaker at the Live Ride Share conference co-hosted by Move LA and other partners in February. He did this interview with The Planning Report after also touring Portland and Seattle — a tour of several cities was necessary, he said, to lower his rate of carbon output per minute of speaking — and we excerpt the 3,000-word interview here for brevity.Read more
Emissions from diesel engines are the single most pernicious source of air pollution in Southern California — of both NOx (oxides of nitrogen), the precursor to ozone, and fine particulate matter, which next to cigarettes is one of the most significant causes of lung cancer. Diesel emissions are also a major environmental justice problem because they are concentrated along the 710 freeway corridor that runs through low income communities in southeast LA County, from the ports up through the San Gabriel Valley and on into San Bernardino County.Read more
This is the 2nd in a series on the transit corridor projects that are being talked about in the San Fernando Valley for inclusion in a transportation measure likely to be placed on the ballot in 2016. The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project could be one of the most transformative projects that would be funded, connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside and finally fixing the problem that is the 405 freeway.
USC Professor Manuel Pastor, a featured speaker at Move LA's 7th annual Transportation Conversation on April 22, believes Los Angeles is being reinvented – moving away from sprawl and toward compact development, from car dependence to transit orientation, from fragmentation to a cross-sector interest in inclusion — and that the build-out of the transit system is a sweet spot in this transformation. We couldn’t agree more.Read more