Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sales tax and its planned projects

Great news! The LA Times Bottleneck Blog just reported that amended sales tax authorization bill was just approved by the State Senate Appropriations Committee.

New "intent language" specified that some of the sales tax revenues must be spent on the Green Line to LAX, 605 freeway traffic hotspots, the Foothill Gold Line extension and 710 Freeway to satisfy concerns of some legislators that projects, despite being named, won't be funded — without making changes that would invalidate the Metro ballot language. Whew, we finally got this far!

On objections that not enough planning went into this measure, it's not like the projects in the Draft LRTP and the proposed sales tax are all that new. They haven't changed much from the L.A. County Transportation Commission's 10/91 Draft 30-Year Plan map (detail, right, click to enlarge).

The Proposed Rail Component of the March 1992 "LACTC Proposed 30-Year Integrated Transportation Plan" included three tiers:

Fundable Plan

  • Red Line segments 1, 2, and 3 (North Hollywood)
  • Orange Line (now Purple), east to Atlantic and west to Westwood
  • San Fernando Valley East-West, North Hollywood to Sepulveda (Canoga Park "included in LACTC's commitment to the overall East-West Transit Project, pending outcome of the EIR and Public-Private Partnership initiatives.")
  • Pasadena Line
  • Green Line
  • Commuter Rail
  • Blue Line Downtown Connector
  • Right-of-Way Protection Program

Candidate Corridors

  • Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa in the San Gabriel Valley
  • Downtown Los Angeles to USC
  • USC to Santa Monica
  • Downtown Los Angeles to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport area
  • Green Line to Orange County Rail Connection
  • Green Line Multi-Modal Transportation Center to Westchester Parkway
  • Route 60 Corridor in the San Gabriel Valley
  • El Segundo to Torrance

Expanded Plan (the colored circles of Possible Future Extensions on the map)

  • The Tri-Cities Corridor linking the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena
  • An extension of the Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa Corridor in the San Gabriel Valley to the Pomona Valley
  • Crenshaw Corridor providing a mid-city connection between the Green Line and the Exposition Corridor
  • A corridor extending from Westchester Parkway to Marina Del Rey

Then there's the LAX-Palmdale Public-Private Partnership Project.

So sixteen years later the project list hasn't changed much at all, beyond rise (especially Crenshaw) and fall in priority, and a couple of mode changes.

Would yet another round of studies change anything — especially after the extensive studies c. 2000 and the current round of corridor studies — or just delay the benefits of completed projects again?