Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marcy Winograd's full statement on 30/10

As a congressional candidate, I advocate transitioning from a permanent war economy to a new Green economy that fast-tracks mass transit projects like the 30/10 initiative to accelerate construction of 12 key Metro expansion projects. When I campaign, people often tell me that one of their greatest concerns in Los Angeles is the traffic. 'Please,' they beg, 'do something about the gridlock. I can't take it anymore.' When LA County voters approved Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase to fund critical transportation projects, they, too, said they couldn't take it anymore. Rather than wait 30 years to expand our Metro transit system, we need to speed up this initiative with a federal loan guarantee that will create new jobs and provide much-needed relief.

Certainly, California pays its fair share of taxes, with virtually half of our tax money subsidizing perpetual war policies championed by my opponent, Jane Harman. For every million dollars she voted to invest in the Iraq invasion or the Afghanistan occupation, we could have doubled the number of jobs had we invested the same money in mass transit.

In Congress, I will fight for federal dollars, low-interest bonds, to construct 30/10 transit projects that will help us get where we really need to go - sustainability. We need light rail, affordable buses, and safe bike lanes to get us out of our cars and into a new frame of mind.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Full 30 in 10 answer from Dana Gabbard

For what it is worth, my worry isn't Metro's competence. I wonder whether there is an ability to marshal the physical forces and materials to do the work. Construction projects of this magnitude can only be undertake by a handful of supersized companies and there are projects in other parts of the world (like the NY 2nd avenue subway extension) that may be gobbling up that capacity. There are structural limitations on massive infrastructure projects that may be a difficult hurdle to do the work in 10 years even if the funding stream to do so is in place. Do we have supplies of aggregate and other materials in this state that we would need for the subway etc., or can transport be arranged?

Full 30 in 10 answer from Jerard Wright

(responding to Alpern):

No, that battle needs to be figured out or at the very least have a preliminary plan of attack at this early stage or the very least have options on the table to make that possible because one of the pieces that will make a difference in securing an infrastructure bank loan are where's the money to operate the service? This is no different then securing a business loan, they need to know where your revenue is coming from and if you can afford to operate at the levels that are needed.

Full 30 in 10 answer from Ken Alpern

In the big picture, the Orange Line, the Silver Line, the Expo Line, the Eastside and Foothill Gold Lines have and appear to be moving along nicely. Same with the Crenshaw Line and the Downtown Connector and the Wilshire Subway.

Do I take issue with Metro on key points at times? Of course, but overall I think that David Mieger and Renee Berlin and Jody Litvak and Roderick Diaz and Alan Patashnick and the bunch are doing a great job. I think that the Foothill Gold and Expo Authorities are carrying their own from their end of things, and I think we've replaced one great CEO with another great CEO.

A much greater and real threat is state underfunding of transit operations...but at this time the folks at Metro are doing a pretty good job with the tools they've been given. While I don't believe they can be all finished in ten years, I do think that the planning and consensus will be well-completed and construction more limited by the availability of workers and raw materials than any limitations associated with Metro itself.

Full 30 in 10 answer from Kymberleigh Richards

Going on your presumption, that money is essentially no object, I'm going to also presume that the unions can deliver on the warm bodies needed for construction (they certainly have made enough noise at Metro Board meetings about that). So I believe the following projects are possible by 2020 (with the rationales):

Crenshaw/LAX: LPA is the target for year's end. That makes EIR/EIS possible by 2012, and Eastside Gold Line took about eight years to build, including underground.
Expo Phase II: Expo Authority is now in shovel-ready mode and there are no underground grade separations to complicate matters. This would probably be the second Measure R project -- Foothill Gold Line being the first -- to go into revenue service.

Eastside Gold Line II: EIR/EIS will be released this summer, but it depends on which of the two final alignments Metro chooses to build first (as you know, Antonovich already had the Board approve a motion that whichever isn't the chosen alignment be put on the list for future LRTPs) as to whether or not this can make the deadline. It all depends on how much grade separation is in the LPA.

Green Line to LAX: While Metro is only in "early planning stages" on this, a lot of work was done when the Green Line was originally built and that created a database that can be drawn on for the engineering. That, plus the relatively short length, means that even if the EIR/EIS doesn't happen until 2015 or 2016 it could be operational by decade's end.

Regional Connector: With the EIR/EIS coming this summer, this could begin construction sometime in 2011. Yes, it's probably all going to be underground, and that means tunnel boring and station box construction, so it'll be a tight squeeze to finish by 2020, but it's within the realm of probability.

I-405 Corridor: I expect a Metro Express bus service between Van Nuys and Westwood shortly after the northbound carpool lanes are finished (in fact, Jerard Wright and I are the catalysts on our respective governance councils for this to happen). I don't expect rail in this decade, though; at best, I expect it to be built concurrently with the last phase of the Purple Line, opening at the same time as Wilshire/Westwood Station. But I'm including it here because you could consider the express bus to be a first step toward that Measure R project, and that's very likely in the next couple of years.

Green Line South Bay Extension: A long shot, since only the preliminary environmental studies are being done, but if it ends up largely at-grade, it might be doable by 2020.

Westside Subway: EIR/EIS is scheduled for this September, and tunneling could begin within a year after that. It took seven years for Union Station to MacArthur Park to be completed, and Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/Fairfax is only slightly longer with fewer complications, so I'll say that segment is conceivable by the end of the decade.

Full 30 in 10 answer from Bart Reed

But "30/10" is the act to get funding to build current projects such as the Downtown Regional Connector, the Subway towards the Sea, the Crenshaw, Green, Foothill Gold, Eastside Gold and Expo Light Rail Lines that would be spread in building over 30 years and to compact them into just 10.

In reality, all these projects are staggered in delivery. And Expo and Foothill Gold are under construction by different construction authorities. Metro is currently building the Orange Line extension, with the next project in queue being the Crenshaw Line. Crenshaw is very much line the Eastside Gold Line, which Metro built on-time, safely and on-budget.

The big, complex Connector and Subway won't break ground for about 4 years. The same folks that did the Eastside Gold Line can handle these two projects. The other projects such as the Green Line to LAX and to the Southbay will start after that.

As far as contracting and technical experience, there are plenty of teams out there that have built projects in LA and around the country and they have the experience to complete these projects on-time and within budget.

What Stephen forgets is that the problems with projects such as the subway in the 1990's happened because of political mistakes and machinations and lack of corporate construction experience. At this time with projects built under the current two management teams (Snoble and Leahy), it is unlikely to repeat some of those mistakes from the 90's, as most have learned their lessons.

The current management have met targets and budgets and there is no reason to expect anything different.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One last thanks to LA Weekly

Last Thursday I got a chance to go out and party with many of the best bloggers, twitterers and social media folks in Los Angeles at LA Weekly's "LA Web Awards 2009" party and reception at Bardot.

While I was personally honored to receive "Best Activist Website" on behalf of LA Streetsblog, I was just as happy to have a chance to get out of the house and party sin bebito.

That's right, for the first time in half a year, Marybeth and myself were able to get out of the house and hang out without Samuel. As much as I adore the little one, it was great to get out with my wife and party.

And does LA Weekly ever know how to throw a party. Bardot is excellent. An open bar is a treat (even if I was limited to Shirley Temples). And the other award winners were great folks to meet and chat with. A special shout out to Zach at LAist who introduced us to half the restaurant and "Caroline on Crack" who I believe is the only person to walk off with two awards.