Metro Board Preview: Route 2 Terminus, Villaraigosa’s Ten Year Plan, Gates for the Gold Line and the Crenshaw Corridor DEIR

12_7_09_quad_gates.jpgComing soon to the Eastside. Photo:ntbraymer/Flickr

This Thursday the Metro Board meets for the last time in 2009 in a special meeting this Thursday at 9:30 A.M. in Metro’s Headquarters next to Union Station.  As normal, there’s a full agenda, with plenty of controversial and interesting items on the agenda.  Some old friends, such as the Mayor’s, optimistic plan to build every Measure R transit project in the next decade to some new items such as a debate over whether or not to study building a subway on the Crenshaw Corridor.

As normal, the agenda is divided into three parts, a consent agenda where all items will be voted on at once, a non-consent agenda with the more controversial ones, and a supplemental agenda added later.

Oddly, some of the more controversial items appear on the consent calendar.  The Mayor is asking for a full review of Metro policies, budgeting and staffing to analyze the best ways to "speed up" the Measure R timeline so that all transit projects could be completed in ten years.  That item is joined by several others, including a proposal to add four "quad gates" to various stations on the Gold Line Eastside Extension to improve on the safety amenities around the rail line.

However, the most odd item to appear on the "consent" agenda is the declaration that the "hybrid" alternative for the Route 2 Terminus Project be labeled the"Locally Preferred Alternative."  It’s not all that odd that the "Locally Preferred Alternative" is hated by the locals, but it is at least a little strange that the Board Secretary doesn’t think that a Board Item that has been fought tooth and nail by local community groups deserves its own debate by Board Members.  Maybe they’re hoping that the Board won’t hear any of the questions on whether or not designating an option that wasn’t studied in the environmental documents could be declared a "Locally Preferred Alternative" is legal or not.

For more background on the difference between the "Locally Preferred Alternative" and the alternative preferred by the locals, check out these two stories on the recent history of the project and the community’s threat to sue if Metro moves forward with what they’re calling the hybrid alternative.

But that isn’t to say that the non-consent agenda is a sleeper. 

12_7_09_Crenshaw.jpgHow much of the Crenshaw Light Rail project would run at-grade?

Highlighting the agenda is a Metro proposal that outlines plans for and funding for the environmental documents for the Crenshaw Corridor.  That may not sound controversial, but added to the agenda is an amendment by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that expands the amount of the light rail line that could run below grade, pending the results of the review.  Ridley-Thomas’ motion already has strong support from the Crenshaw Community and activists will be bussed to the Board Room to voice their opinion.

Community members are worried that a light rail line through the heart of the Corridor would be a safety hazard, would remove too much street parking and hinder revitalization efforts more than help them.

As normal, Streetsblog will "live tweet" the meeting.  Whether I’ll do it in person or over the phone remains to be decided.

  • The FixExpo contingent (aka Damien Goodmon) can at best be seen as a segment of the Crenshaw Community. I think there is diversity as to what people in the corridor support. Also the South Bay (centered on Redondo Beach) will have a bus of residents attending the Metro meeting. Mr. Goodmon most certainly does not speak for them.

    As I have noted before, this is a public process and we’ll see where it leads. I also note in my opinion both Parks and Ridley-Thomas are doing old fashioned pandering, a common aspect of the South L.A. political culture. Mr. Goodmon is making big noises about the motion. But Goodmon’s track record is big talk but little accomplishment. Whoever is paying the bills at this point must be wondering why keep throwing good money after bad, given the lack of outcomes beyond Mr. Goodmon’s abundent skill at accomplishing self promotion and grandstanding.

  • Erik G.

    Can we get an update on how many of the Light Rail fatalities in L.A. County have been ruled suicides?

  • Stephen

    If Dana Gabbard is like the rest the arm chair quarterbacks found in the comments on the LA Times and LA Curbed, he just sits on his ass, while Goodmon is out there pushing for what he and his group want.

    It’s a thankless job. The most successful are those who “Get IT.” “IT” is the media-legal-organizing trifecta that is necessary to get any public agency to do what they oppose or are hesitant to do, which is often in our community. Very few do it well over a sustained period of time. Most burn out.

    It’s not surprising people hate on him. White people never like when black people use the r-word. But it’s not possible to deny he’s shifted the power balance, filled a void, and helped create the political atmosphere that a subway motion in South L.A. can be offered.

    Anyone who doesn’t get THAT doesn’t get community organizing or politics in general.

  • “I also note in my opinion both Parks and Ridley-Thomas are doing old fashioned pandering, a common aspect of the South L.A. political culture.”

    Dana Gabbard, whose angry girth rarely reaches beyond the dust of a saturday afternoon at an olde folk’s home near 3rd and Hope as well as the questionable reach of the Internet that is his virtual armchair, makes clear that his perspective is one that fails to understand the few hundred years of how those who have been pushed into an intentional ghetto—there is a reason that the name South-Central exists, and it has to do with black folk being physically forced from the in-bound busses at Central Avenue in the eastern part of downtown Los Angeles, to give a whiff of Dana’s stench of gross ignorance—and it is not “pandering.”

    Perhaps, Dana, you should tell the people of Pasadena that their train-crossings—which have features that extend to gates and lowering crossing-arms for even the sidewalks! (please name where else such extravagant measures exist)—are meant to make up for their own gross idiocy, for the absence of such features in east L.A. as well as along the segments for which “FixExpo contingent (aka Damien Goodmon)” are pushing will also exist in far better form in West L.A. owing to the subway going underground for the sake of safety. perhaps you might take the time to deconstruct the ways and means that Pasadena did and West L.A. is getting their far more expensive segments of subway, instead of hefting that belligerently ignorant bulk about in a way that has long since become tiresome and is now obviously discriminatory in its angry bounce.

  • David Galvan

    Well, it’s nice to see how civil and reasonable everyone can be. *facepalm*

  • Stephen, you think grandstanding demagoguery is a great way to be a champion of the people? And you make judgements on my activism based on empty suppositions? I know real community organizing or politics in general. And Damioen Goodmon doesn’t even remotely have any resemblance to that.

    Randall, instead of personal attacks and unreadable rambling disjointed comments shouldn’t you be worried about your quickly dwindling blog? Or have you guys decided posting somewhere that actually gets read is the best use of your time?

  • Spokker

    Would crossing gates installed on the Eastside Extension encourage Metro to run the trains at a faster speed? If so, any accidents that do occur are more likely to be fatal.

  • Dana,

    Perhaps you should have spent some time months ago persuading your socata colleagues to stop with “personal attacks” as well as learn to be civil in public yourself: your ignorance regarding the “dwindling” blog to which I contribute might not be “dwindling” had I all day to attend it while being on SSI rather than rebuilding a small publishing house.

    So what have you done after all these years with respect to RTD/MTA/Metro? (I believe I asked you that some months ago, and have yet to read an answer.) Even the BRU, against which you flail nonstop, has done more than socata. Do you think that Metro’s unprecedented move to create a PR blog had nothing to do with what The Bus Bench has been doing for the last couple of years?

    Then again, perhaps you appreciate barely being able to get round in this dirt farmer bastion. Aftr all, your excuse to not attend the Measure R debate—two blocks from a Gold Line stop—was attributed to a distinct lack of Metro bus service.

    I suggest you spend some years in the rest of the world so as to understand how things get done and stay done.

  • Spokker

    Yeah, it’s odd that Gabbard is talking about personal attacks. Two SOCATA members came to our booth at the Gold Line opening and told us we were crazy to be supporting enhanced Metrolink service in a very snide, sarcastic way.

    I’m a dick to people sometimes too, and so is BusTard, but I think we’re more honest about it than SOCATA members. SOCATA is the kind of organization that will plead for civil discourse and then yell at you for having a different opinion than them.

  • What Spokker said.

    I’ve stopped trying to figure out what fuels Dana and others. Where the border line is drawn between “amusing” and “pathological” I’ll leave for others to decide.

    Re: Dana, when I do read him I visualize a pig and remember to old adage: don’t wrestle with them; I’ll only get dirty and the pig loves it.

  • Spokker, I am sorry about any rudeness at the Gold Line opening. I am no fan of Metrolink MAX but I just ignored you advocates for it (which included SO.CA.TA member Nick Matonak) when I circled the event. I’ve done the same when at events where the Foothill extension people were selling their nonsense. But I did reflect on how pointless it seemed for the Transit Coalition to have that their dominant advocacy issue for such an important event, since Metrolink MAX has zero chance of happening. SO.CA.TA is a collection of individuals, not a monolith like most groups seem to operate under. If you want to decide what one or two members does taints all of us, I can’t do anything about that.

    Crude personal attacks just leave me dumbfounded at the self-destructive aspect.

    Today’s Sentinel’s coverage omits any mention of Mr. Goodmon and confirmed my suspicion he may find things a bit crowded once attention is paid by the community powers that be.

    http://www.lasentinel.net/Will-Black-Contractors-Participate-in-Crenshaw-Light-Rail-Project.html

    And as the phrase goes, time wounds all heels…

  • Oh, “crude” personal attacks are what upset you now, eh, Dana? Were one to look through Streetsblog L.A. alone, there would be quite a bit of exactly that issuing from that festering gob of yours.

    Just as you admonished another Streetsblog reader who was concerned about the heat in this kitchen, perhaps you should take a taste of your own medicine:
    “In re #67 -I don’t quite understand why folks show up sometimes on this blog and wail that we longtime hands and our bare-knuckled posts somehow discourage the public about becoming involved with these issues. Long before the internet existed this was often how advocates, stakeholders etc. worked things out–back then via letters to the editor, community forums, etc. And if a few slightly hardball posts make you shiver and cry, then you would do us all a favor by not getting involved. Any involvement with political processes (and that is what transportation funding and policy issues are–political) calls for having a bit of a thick skin and willingness to be forthright about where you stand.”

    from http://la.streetsblog.org/2009/10/23/what-was-the-point-of-yesterdays-rant-from-gloria-molina/

    So let’s get back to your own discriminatory condemnations of Damien Goodmon and Ridley Scott-Thomas. And before more of your glossolalia spills out, answer why it is that the west L.A. segments of the Expo line and the Pasadena portions of the Gold Line require that which the South-Central and East L.A. parts of the respective light rail will not and did not get, and why a community desiring them is led by “pandering” politicians who “rant.” Molina “rants” to get the same thing in East L.A. and people like you state that such features are not needed, that people should not be so stupid as to get hit by the train. Does that mean the extravagant crossing features of the Gold Line in Pasadena imply that people in Pasadena are so stupid as to need all that to not get hit by the Gold Line? I have yet to hear you kvetch about the overly expensive parts of the Expo Line in West L.A. nor have you ever stated one thing about the remarkable crossing features of the Gold Line in Pasadena; should one assume that all of that was acquired without “pandering” or “rants”?

  • Randall, this conversation can serve no purpose any more.

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