Congelan Renta de Algunos Inquilinos de Caltrans

October 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

EL SERENO – Un proyecto de ley firmado el lunes por el gobernador Jerry Brown congelará la renta de algunos inquilinos que viven en propiedades de Caltrans a lo largo de la ruta de extensión propuesta de la Autopista 710 en El Sereno, el sur de Pasadena y Pasadena.

“El SB 400 proporcionará a los inquilinos de larga data un alivio financiero y la oportunidad de comprar sus casas a un precio asequible”, dijo el senador Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge. “Aunque estoy decepcionado de que no pudiéramos capturar a todos los inquilinos en este proyecto de ley con una congelación de alquileres, me complace que los más necesitados lo recibieron”.

Caltrans, durante décadas ha poseído cientos de hogares a lo largo de un camino de seis millas que iba ser una extensión de superficie de la Autopista 710. Las demandas y la oposición política retrasaron la extensión, y el plan cambió en años posteriores a una propuesta de túnel que también se considera muerta desde que la Junta de Directores de Metro retiró su apoyo en mayo.

En el 2016, Caltrans empezó a vender algunas de las más de 460 casas que posee, dando prioridad a los inquilinos que viven en ellas y pueden comprarlas a un precio justo.

El proyecto de ley evita que Caltrans aumente la renta antes de una venta para cualquier persona inscrita en el Programa de Alquiler Asequible de Caltrans, cual es disponible para personas de bajos ingresos y totaliza 123 de los inquilinos, según un informe estatal del Senado.

Metro Buying More Zero Emission Busses; Launches ‘Good Manners’ Campaign

October 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro officials announced Tuesday that they have signed a contract with New Flyer of America for dozens of zero-emission and compressed natural gas buses to help the agency reach its goal of a 100 percent zero-emission fleet by 2030.

“Metro is fully committed to improving the health of people across the region — and these new electric buses will help improve air quality and reduce noise pollution,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, chair of the Metro board.

The transportation agency also announced an online and print etiquette campaign to raise public awareness about proper behavior while riding its buses and trains.

The Metro Manners campaign uses anime characters and focuses on what the agency said are some of the most common etiquette problems on the transportation system, including seat-hogging, blocking aisles and eating and drinking while riding.

Thousands of Cyclists to Take Over Downtown Streets Sunday

October 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

CicLAvia returns to downtown Los Angeles this weekend, with a new hub in Echo Park, Metro officials have announced.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, thousands of bikers and pedestrians are expected to take to the streets for the event, which is hosted by Metro and meant to inspire Angelenos to explore new neighborhoods and get out of their cars as the route’s streets are blocked to vehicle traffic.ciclaviafavicon

This will be CicLAvia’s 23rd event since its launch in 2010, and an annual return to its original downtown route, known as the Heart of Los Angeles, which also includes hubs in Chinatown, Boyle Heights, the Arts District and Little Tokyo.

“CicLAvia transforms our bustling streets into great public spaces that everyone can enjoy,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, chair of the Metro Board. “I am glad it is returning to downtown L.A. where people of all ages can spend the day rediscovering a historic neighborhood, enjoying healthy recreation, and making new friends.”

Hubs along the route will include activities celebrating Los Angeles’ successful bid for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic games, an urban camping program for local children, pedi-cabs and play zones featuring vintage board games, a news conference kick-off, and activities commemorating the annual return to the original route that started CicLAvia.

“Funding open streets events like CicLAvia are part of Metro’s ongoing efforts to support active transportation options like bicycling throughout Los Angeles County,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said. “Working with organizations like CicLAvia helps us realize our mission of introducing more people to the benefits of bicycling and transit to see L.A.’s wealth of local destinations.”

The route and more information on the event can be found at http://www.ciclavia.org/.

Peatón Golpeado por Tren de Metro en el Centro de L.A.

September 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LOS ÁNGELES

(CNS) – Un peatón fue golpeado el martes por un tren de Metro en la estación de las calles Séptima y Figueroa en el centro de Los Ángeles, dijeron las autoridades.

Los paramédicos que fueron enviados a la escena alrededor de las 9:40 de la mañana tomaron a la persona, descrita solo como un varón, a un hospital con lesiones de severidad desconocida, reportó el Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles.

El servicio en las líneas rojas y moradas fueron interrumpidas, y los autobuses fueron traídos adentro para transportar a pasajeros alrededor del área. Pero cerca de una hora después, los trenes estaban de regreso en servicio, con retrasos residuales de hasta 20 minutos esperados hasta altas horas de la mañana, según Metro.

Las circunstancias de la lesión están abajo investigación.

Metro to Expand Bike Share Program in July

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro’s bike share program will expand to Pasadena on July 14 and the Port of Los Angeles on July 31, the agency announced.

The expansion has been in the works for some time, but the exact launch dates had not been announced until now. Another planned expansion of the program into Venice will be announced in the near future.

“We are tremendously excited that Metro’s bike share program is expanding to new communities in L.A. County following our successful pilot launch in downtown L.A. last summer,” said John Fasana, Metro board chair and mayor pro-tem of Duarte.

“Even more Angelenos can rent these bicycles for short trips as well as to make first-mile, last-mile connections to Metro’s robust bus and rail system,” he said.

A total of 30 stations will be coming to Pasadena, while 13 will be installed at the Port of Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles is an incredible place to discover on two wheels – and now, we’re making it even easier for cyclists to explore,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The expansion of the Metro Bike Share program is an example of our strong commitment to offering Angelenos more transportation choices, and making our region more sustainable.”

“Metro’s bike sharing system is currently only located in downtown Los Angeles and has 61 stations and about 700 bicycles. The coming expansion into Pasadena, Port of L.A. and Venice will create a total of 1,400 bicycles at up to 125 stations.

“Bike share has many benefits, but most importantly it will encourage healthy communities in the harbor,” City Councilman Joe Buscaino said.

“My family and I will certainly use the bike share to enjoy the L.A. and Wilmington waterfronts. Bike share will help connect all of the wonderful assets we already have at our waterfront and will be a key ingredient in the success of the new San Pedro Public Market.”

Metro Board Redirects $700 Million Away From 710 Freeway Tunnel

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

In a move that could effectively kill the Long Beach (710) Freeway tunnel extension between Alhambra and Pasadena, the Metro Board of Directors voted Thursday to redirect its $700 million for the project to alterative street improvements.

The unanimous 12-0 vote ran contrary to a Metro staff report endorsing the tunnel, which would run 4.9 miles and help close the 6.2-mile gap between the 710’s terminus and the Foothill (210) Freeway, at total cost of over $3 billion.

But with Metro pulling its portion of the funding, the project may effectively now be dead, although Caltrans has the final authority on building the tunnel and is expected to vote on the issue later this year or in 2018.

The motion redirecting the money was introduced by Metro board Chairman and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Fasana had previously supported the tunnel but said he was reversing course because he did not believe the full funding for the project would ever materialize and he wanted to help the communities along the corridor immediately, particularly where freeway traffic is dumped at the end of the 710
Freeway in Alhambra.

“I thought the tunnel was the best approach. I have also come to the realization that it is not fundable. If it happened it would be many, many years away,” Fasana said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Metro board member, said he sympathized with both sides but also did not believe the funding for the tunnel would ever materialize.

“So eyes wide open, let’s think of the incremental things. What can we do so that folks who are choked on public streets, who do suffer from asthma and cancer have real options,” Garcetti said.

The possibility of a 710 extension has been on the table for decades, but has been thwarted by generations of opposition from some of the communities in its path, including South Pasadena.

Caltrans began in the 1950s and 1960s buying empty lots, houses and apartments along the planned route of the surface freeway extension. But a series of lawsuits and opposition from some communities and activists has kept the project in perpetual limbo for decades.

Last year, Caltrans began the process of selling off the houses and apartments it owns along the corridor as part of its shift away from a surface freeway extension and toward a tunnel or other options.

The tunnel received a wave of momentum after county voters approved Measure R in 2008, a half-cent sales tax that raised $780 million for improvements along the 710 corridor, some of which has already been spent on studies and reports.

Some leaders of communities along the corridor, including Alhambra, have been in support of the tunnel as a viable alterative to relieve the extra congestion and air pollution caused by freeway traffic cutting through the surface streets. But other communities have opposed it out of safety concerns over building the tunnel and with doubts that it would relieve congestion or reduce air pollution in the area.

A Metro study concluded the tunnel would carry 90,000 vehicles and remove 42,000 vehicles a day from local streets. But the Metro board’s vote will redirect the agency’s $700 million that had been dedicated to the project toward traffic, safety and public transportation improvements along the gap corridor and the greater San Gabriel Valley area.

The alternative choices endorsed by Metro are included as options in Caltrans’ draft environmental report on the tunnel, which was issued in 2015 and removed a surface freeway as an option.

Dozens of public speakers lined up at the board meeting to voice opposition or support for the motion, including prominent public officials from communities near and along the corridor.

“Supporting the tunnel should be a no-brainer for the board. Our goal is to relieve congestion in our neighborhoods,” Alhambra Mayor David Mejia said.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to endorse a state Senate bill that would prohibit the construction of the tunnel while creating an I-710 Gap Corridor Transit Zone Advisory Committee, which would review alternative options to a tunnel.

 

Metro Opens Secure Bike Parking Spot At Hollywood Red Line

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A Metro Bike Hub facility now open at the Hollywood/Vine Red Line station offers parking for 64 bicycles.

The $560,000, 1,000-square-foot secure-access facility is equipped with a closed-circuit TV surveillance system and will offer peak-hour staff availability, same-day repairs, accessory sales and bike-related clinics, according to Metro.

“Hollywood and Vine, one of L.A.’s premiere entertainment destinations known around the world, now has a safe, secure facility for everyone who wants to travel by bicycle to enjoy the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hotels, theaters, museums, nightlife and other major Hollywood venues,” said John Fasana, Metro board chair and mayor pro tem of Duarte.

The Metro Bike Hub will be staffed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. by BikeHub, a Metro contractor.

Although the facility will not provide bikes as part of Metro’s bike-share system currently located throughout downtown Los Angeles, Bike Hub is working on partnerships with local tour operators to rent bikes at the site, Metro officials said.

“Metro’s Bike Hub is a welcome new addition to Hollywood and Vine,” said City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the 13th Council District that includes Hollywood.

“If we want to reduce our reliance on motor vehicles, Los Angeles residents need better, reliable transit options,” he said.

Other Metro bike hubs are planned for Culver City, North Hollywood and Union Station, as well as future transit projects like the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks and Airport Metro Connector stations. The bike-sharing program is also coming soon to Venice, the Port of Los Angeles and Pasadena.

The Hollywood-Vine Metro Bike Hub was funded in part through a $374,000 Federal Transit Administration grant.

Council Opposes Senate Bill that Would Bring Changes to Metro Board

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously opposed a state Senate bill that would drastically overhaul the governing board of Metro.

The bill is Sen. Tony Mendoza’s third attempt in two years to overhaul the board of the county’s transit agency and increase the representation of cities in areas outside the city of Los Angeles. Mendoza, D-Artesia, contends the county’s other 87 cities are underrepresented on the board and its projects often benefit Los Angeles at the expense of smaller cities.

The Metro board is made up of 13 voting members and a non-voting representative of the governor. The board oversees the agency’s vast network of public buses and rail lines. The board comprises the mayor of Los Angeles, three appointees of the mayor, all five members of the Board of Supervisors and a representative from each of the county’s four sub-regions.

SB 268 would eliminate three members of the Board of Supervisors from the Metro board while adding three members from the county’s sub-regions. It would also eliminate the Los Angeles mayor’s three appointees in favor of five City Council members.

The current publicly available text of the bill does not include mention of the three additional members from the county’s sub-regions, but a spokesman for Mendoza said it will be added soon.

“SB 268 runs counter to the spirit of local control by changing the membership of the Metro board without local consensus,” Los Angeles City

Councilman Mike Bonin wrote in a letter to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

“These changes set a dangerous precedent for state control of local transportation boards and agencies.”

Bonin is the chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee and also one of Los Angeles’ representatives on the board.

“The primary reason for the bill is to ensure that there is fair and equal voting rights for other parts of the district. The communities that currently don’t have as much influence on the board will have more ability to have a larger voting percentage,” said Tim Kirkonnell, communications director for Mendoza.

Mendoza introduced two bills last year that sought to increase representation of the smaller cities, including one that would have replaced three of the county seats with a post for Long Beach and for appointees of the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the Assembly, and

another that would have added 10 new seats. Both were shelved by the Senate.

The new bill comes as Metro and the county are making plans for spending the estimated $120 billion that will be generated by a half-cent sales tax increase stemming from voter approval of Measure M in November.

“This bill would disrupt that process and make it more difficult for Metro to make critical investments that will create jobs, reduce traffic, and reduce pollution,” Bonin’s letter said.

The City Council approved the resolution May 19 with a 10-0 vote.

 

SR-710: Metro Committee Backs ‘Transportation Management’ Over Tunnel

May 24, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Decades of uncertainty and discord over the controversial State Route 710 North project could soon turn a new page if transportation officials vote Thursday to adopt a recommendation to fund a traffic management system as the preferred route to fill the transportation “gap” between the Long Beach (710) and Foothill (210) freeways.

The decision by the Metro Ad-Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee to support the traffic management system alternative over a proposal to build a 6.3-mile tunnel to close the gap, however, is not without controversy.

Eddie Torres, president of the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and a longtime proponent of the tunnel alternative, told EGP he was stunned by committee member and Metro Board Chair John Fasana’s unexpected motion to bypass the tunnel option for the street management system.

Fasana is also mayor pro tem of Duarte — a San Gabriel Valley city where streets are not impacted by the traffic spilling over from the 710 terminus in Alhambra — and had previously expressed support for the tunnel alternative.

Torres went on to say he believes Fasana was pushed to make the motion and become the “bad guy” because the decision would not be controversial among his constituents.

The proposed traffic management system, one of five alternatives under consideration in the SR-710 Study, would upgrade and synchronize signals and make other enhancements to local streets and intersections. Proponents say it’s a more cost-effective and achievable plan to improve the traffic congestion that has made traveling north from the 710’s end on Valley Boulevard to connect to the 210 in South Pasadena a nightmare.

Last week, after two years reviewing some 8,000 public comments and weighing the impacts and benefits of each of the five alternatives under consideration, the SR-710 Study team presented the tunnel option as the preferred alternative to Metro’s Ad-Hoc Committee, but with a caveat.

In a letter to stakeholders, Metro officials explained the single bore freeway tunnel with tolls and truck restrictions was the alternative that “best addresses the purpose and need of the project,” however, with a price tag of $1.5 billion, it is “not fundable in the foreseeable future.”

(METRO)

(METRO)

Only $780 million in Measure R funds were earmarked for the SR-710 North project.

In response, Fasana moved to make the transportation system management alternative the preferred option. His motion calls for using $105 million of the Measure R funds to build the system and for the remainder to be used on new mobility improvement projects to relieve congestion in the San Gabriel Valley.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council threw its support behind legislation by a Pasadena assemblyman that would prohibit the construction of a tunnel to extend the 710 Freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. Residents of the more affluent areas of Pasadena and South Pasadena have long opposed the tunnel and most other options as disruptive to their neighborhoods, while residents in less affluent East Los Angeles and Commerce have complained they have disproportionately shouldered the burden of the region’s transportation needs.

The bill by Assemblyman Chris Holden — which failed its first hearing in April but could be reconsidered — would create the I-710 Gap Corridor Transit Zone Advisory Committee, which would review a wide range of mass transit options to fill the 6.2-mile gap between Alhambra and Pasadena, which currently are linked only by surface streets. They would recommend solutions that do not include a tunnel or a surface freeway.

It’s not clear if the options to be considered would be those already considered in the SR-710 Study and Draft EIR, or if the process would start over.

The panel would include representatives from the cities of Alhambra, Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Pasadena, along with Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and select members of the California Legislature.

Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents communities in northeast L.A. near the 710 gap, was the lone dissenter to the resolution supporting Holden’s bill.

“We should move away from the kind of hysteria that gets engendered by this discussion and move into a dispassionate discussion about the benefits of a tunnel and how it accomplishes the goals of all of those communities impacted,” Cedillo said.

Metro received 1,328 comments supporting the tunnel alternative. Torres calls the traffic management system a “band aid solution.”

“Why ask us for our opinion if you’re only going to use money as an excuse to not give us what we want,” he complained.

If not fundable, Metro officials should have removed the tunnel as an option years ago when the cost estimates were released, Torres said.

“Why spend money on this study and process if they already knew how expensive [the tunnel] would be” and had no way to make it a reality, he added in frustration.

Over the last few years, Metro has held dozens of public hearings and informational workshops in the various communities impacted by the SR-710. They shared the findings from the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement on each of the five alternatives, which also included a light rail train, a rapid bus line and a “no build” option.

Members of the 710 coalition, a group in favor of the tunnel with members from Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel and San Marino, were thrilled to learn the study team’s report favored a tunnel, which they argue will reduce congestion, air pollution, emissions and cut-through traffic.

“Lets stop debating and start building,” urged Alhambra Mayor Dave Mejia in a note to supporters last week. But upon learning of the new motion, Monterey Park Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian urged residents to attend the upcoming Metro Board meeting to express their disapproval.

“Instead of listening to Metro staff, the Ad Hoc Committee approved a motion that goes against the wishes of the voters when you approved Measure R and the completion of the 710 gap,” she wrote in an email to residents.

According to Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar’s spokesperson, Rick Coca, his boss is concerned there are no specific provisions in Fasana’s motion to relieve traffic congestions in two of the most highly impacted areas, East Los Angeles and El Sereno, a neighborhood the councilman represents.

Those areas have been inundated with commuters trying to get around traffic tie-ups, and the resulting pollution from vehicle emissions.

But Huizar on Wednesday voted to support Holden’s bill, saying he, Sup. Hilda Solis and Mayor Garcetti all oppose building a tunnel.

“All of us agree that it’s time to get away from this boondoggle of a project that’s going to cost billions of dollars but not ease much traffic … that those dollars instead be used for a more efficient way, a more 21st century way, in planning for transportation,” Huizar said.

According to Coca, Huizar will send a letter to the Metro Board detailing his concerns with the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation, and advocate that the plan ultimately approved serve the needs of his eastside constituents.

The Metro Board could vote on Fasana’s motion as early as Thursday. A final environmental document is expected to be completed in 2018 before the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7 makes the final selection on the alternative to move forward.

Information from City News Service used in this report.

 

Metro Signs Deal to Buy Subway Trains from China Railway

April 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles County transportation officials sealed the deal on a $178 million, 64 rail car purchase from China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation Ltd. during a signing ceremony Wednesday at the Red Line Station at Union Station.

Coupled with up to five options to buy additional subway cars, the total value of the contract is 282 cars for $647 million.

As part of the agreement, China Railway will purchase a facility in the L.A. region where it will manufacture major components for propulsion, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems, according to a Metro statement.

Front Row: Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO and Chuanhe Zhou, CRRC MA President sign new Metro Red/Purple Line rail car contract. Back Row: Zhongyi An, General Manager, CRRC Changchun; Guohua Xi, President, CRRC; Wang Jun, Vice President, CRRC; Jia Bo, Vice President, CRRC MA. (Photo courtesy of L.A. Metro)

Front Row: Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO and Chuanhe Zhou, CRRC MA President sign new Metro Red/Purple Line rail car contract. Back Row: Zhongyi An, General Manager, CRRC Changchun; Guohua Xi, President, CRRC; Wang Jun, Vice President, CRRC; Jia Bo, Vice President, CRRC MA. (Photo courtesy of L.A. Metro)

“Manufacturing the subway cars’ exterior shell will take place in the company’s facility in Changchun, China, and final assembly will be done in Springfield, Massachusetts,” said Metro, adding that the contract “exceeds the federal government’s ‘Buy America’ provisions, which require 60 percent of component parts be American-made.”

“We are confident that our contract with CRRC will produce the best, highest quality rail vehicles that our customers expect and deserve,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington, who pointed out that with three major rail lines concurrently under construction, “Metro is leading a transit infrastructure revolution in L.A. County.”

“Our strategic investments today will enable us to easily accommodate tens of thousands of future Metro customers,” Washington said.

Next Page »

Copyright © 2017 Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews, Inc. ·