With Election Over, It’s Time To Focus on Federal Transportation Policy

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We’re now over 24 hours removed from one of the most memorable elections in American and Californian history.  On the transportation front, Obama is putting together his administration, the proponents of Prop. 1a are readying their action plan, and the citizen’s of Los Angeles are anxiously awaiting their new transit projects.

So, what’s next for Livable Streets Advocates?  While there are lots of worthy projects locally and statewide, we shouldn’t forget that billions of federal dollars for transportation will be allocated as part of the reauthorization of the federal transportation trust fund and perhaps another fedreal relief package.  Activists have outlined a plan for Congress to make sure that these federal dollars are spent on the kinds of projects that will stimulate the economy and create a more sustainable transportation system.  Build 4 America outlined a five-point plan calls for Congress and the Obama administration to:

  • Build
    rail and transit networks that are competitive with those in China and
    Europe, reducing oil dependence and connecting metro regions.
  • Invest in "the cleanest forms of transportation — modern public transit, walking and biking."
  • Adopt a "fix-it-first" policy to repair crumbling roads and bridges rather than building new ones.
  • Stop wasteful spending and re-evaluate projects that have already been approved.
  • "Save Americans money" by providing them with cost-efficient, sustainable transportation options where they live and work.

Locally, the Transportation 4 America is organizing to make sure Southern California is involved in the fight to make sure that the federal government spends transportation dollars with our best interests at heart.  Also, following the call from the Thunderhead Alliance, the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition has submitted local projects, that are "ready to build" to the Alliance to help their lobbying efforts for the expected Economic Stimulus Bill that Congress may be working on.  If the Economic Stimulus Bill doesn’t get passed or doesn’t include transportation provisions, the list will help provide the framework for the next federal transportation trust fund.

The LACBC’s list is available after the jump.  It should be noted that this list reflects ready-to-build projects that have been approved by a Master Plan and are through the initial engineering and design stage.  This
list is NOT a reflection of what cities themselves believe is ready to
build, just projects that from LACBC’s initial research looks like they
are ready to build.

  1. Los Angeles River
    Bike Path
  • San Fernando Valley,
    ~20 miles, ~20 grade separations
  • San Fernando Valley
  • $100M

    2.  
    Los Angeles River Bike Path

  • Maywood to Lincoln
    Heights, ~8 miles, ~12 grade seps
  • Maywood, Ca to 
    Los Angeles, Ca
  • $52M

    3.  
    Arroyo Seco Bike Path

  • Highland Park to
    Lincoln Heights, ~5 miles, ~3 grade seps
  • Los Angeles, Ca
  • $19M

    4.  
    Beach Bike Path

  • Palisades to Malibu,
    ~3 miles, grade separated
  • Los Angeles, Ca
  • $12M

    5.  
    Burbank Chandler ROW gap closure

  • NoHo Red Line Station
    to Burbank, ~2 miles
  • Los Angeles, CA
    and Burbank, Ca
  • $4M

    6.   Compton
    Creek Bike Path

  • Compton to Long
    Beach, ~4 miles, ~2 grade separations
  • Compton, Ca and
    Long Beach, Ca
  • $14M

    7.  
    Los Angeles River Bike Path

  • San Fernando Valley,
    ~20 miles, ~20 grade separations
  • Los Angeles, Ca
  • $100M

    8.  
    San Fernando Road

  • Rail with trail,
    San Fernando to Burbank, ~10 miles
  • Los Angeles, Ca,
    Burbank, Ca
  • $20M

    9.  
    San Jose Creek Bike Path

  • South El Monte to
    Pomona, ~9miles, ~5 grade seps
  • El Monte, Ca and
    Pomona, Ca
  • $33M

    10. 
    P&E Rail Trail

  • Bellflower, Artesia,
    Paramount, ~6 miles, ~5 grade separations
  • Bellflower, Ca,
    Artesia, CA and Paramount, Ca
  • $27M

    11.
    Tujunga Wash Bike Path

  • Sunland to Studio
    City, ~10 miles, ~15 grade seps
  • Sunland, Ca and
    Los Angeles, Ca
  • $65M

    12. 
    McBean Bridge Upgrade 

  • Upgrade and widening
    including shared use path
  • Valencia, CA Bridge 
  • $6700000

    13.
    San Fernando Rail with Trail 

  • Construct Class
    I path on east side of San Fernando Rd.
  • Valencia, CA 
  • $5152250

    14.
    Bouquet Canyon Creek Trail 

  • Construct Class
    I path on south side of Bouquet Canyon
  • Valencia, CA 
  • $5746000

    15.
    South Fork Trail Extension 

  • Construct Class
    I path on south side of flood control channel
  • Valencia, CA
  • $1036000

    16.
    River Trail Extension 

  • Construct Class
    I extension of existing path to link with private developer improvements
  • Valencia, CA
  • $499000

    17.
    Valencia Town Center North-South Connector 

  • Construct Class
    I path connecting two pedestrian bridges
  • Valencia, CA 
  • $140000 
  • At least this cycle we’ll have an administration that actually cares about transportation. What became TEA-LU was dragged out for years with endless extensions as the Bushies delayed it to pander to the far right. It got to where I didn’t think the Bush crowd cared even about paving streets and highways. Which is funny as it was under Bush’s dad that the revolutionary multi-modal ISTEA was adopted.

    This 2006 memo by the L.A. City Council Chief Legislative Analyst’s office succinctly lays out the federal funding challenges that reauthorization will have to deal with: http://www.socata.net/17.html

    I have for at least a year been hearing stakeholders discuss gearing up for this round of renewal. Should be an interesting and dynamic process. And I have heard local electeds have been promised at least one Congressional hearing about the bill will be held in Southern California.

  • Vito

    Arent’ items 1 & 7 the same thing?

  • One of the most powerful means we have to redirect transportation dollars is by getting lawmakers to pass laws that force traffic engineers to properly measure the effects of their designs on pedestrians, bicyclists, and mass transit.

  • W. K. Lis

    The U.S. must have a Secretary of Transportation that will be pro-transit. Is David L. Gunn available? He was fired as President of Amtrak in 2005 because he refused to prepare Amtrak for privatization.

  • Marcotico

    Hey Ubraj, we met a few weeks ago at your store. I came across this the other day and thought you may be interested, though you may have seen it already…

    Mutlti-Modal LOS Analysis for Urban Streets:

    http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?ID=9470

    -and the accompanying user guide:

    http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?ID=9186

    The problem is getting the agencies to spend money on this type of modeling, cuz it ain’t cheap. I was telling a planner at Metro that we need to get some graduate PhD’s at UCLA and UCI who have a real technical number crunching bent to get excited about this stuff.

    Right now public agencies are having a hard time dedicating money to the kind of modelling efforts to support these theories. When i was in school we learned that these models require tons of data to be accurate, and that kind of data hasn’t been collected since the 1960’s. (think paying people to stand and take crossing counts at intersects at AM and PM peak times, and conducting in-depth interviews of peds and cyclists). So a lot of agencies are just updating 40 year old data with simple growth factors, then running car-centric models.

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