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Letter 1: Light Rail for Cheviot’s Response

10:02 AM PST on November 6, 2007


Light Rail for Cheviot has been forwarded copies of an identical emailfrom Westwood Gardens Civic Association and West of Westwood HomeownersAssociation, see way below. We have the following comments.

The unsigned email correctly states that the Expo Board voted to studytwo routes, the ROW and the Venice/Sepulveda route, and (in the middle)it concedes that both Venice and Sepulveda present construction andfunding difficulties. It makes statements about station locationand type along the ROW, although these recommendations have yet to bemade and the Expo maps referred to indicate only possible locations.

The email refers to Light Rail for Cheviot's website where we have been"confident" of achieving grade separation at Overland. Yes, we do feelconfident about this, given that two crossings on Phase 1, La Brea and LaCienega, got grade-separation with car counts of 938 and 989per lane per hour respectively, combined with other factors that arguedfor mitigation. Our amateur counts at Overland showed some 1200 cars,and, according to Colleen Heller, another count there showed 992 or 993cars. There are, at Overland, other mitigating factors too. FURTHERMORE,Light Rail for Cheviot has offered a constructive solution to the gradecrossing question at Overland and Westwood, the "Green Corridor" concept(see our website). This transit parkway would secure federal funds (toaugment Expo funding) to "daylight" and filter groundwater from BallonaCreek's "tributaries," underground storm drains carrying Stone Canyoncreek and urban runoff; the Construction Authority has agreed to studythis idea for the EIR.

The email goes on to say "members of Light Rail for Cheviot have statedseveral times at different meetings that if there is no grade separationat Overland they would not support Expo on the ROW, let's hope they meanwhat they say." While some members may have said that, neither co-Chairhas said that, and, in fact, we have written to Terri Tippit and othersin NFSR that Light Rail for Cheviot is not going to take a position onthis issue until the Construction Authority's grade-crossingrecommendations come out. We favor grade-separation at Overland andexpect it will be recommended. If it is not recommended, we will fightfor it.

What is increasingly clear is that we all want grade-separation atOverland, and we all want the best light rail possible for West LA andfor Los Angeles as a whole. Trashing those with whom we are not intotal agreement or trashing the Construction Authority or the MTA isnot going to help us get the mitigations we want.

Cheers, Karen Leonard

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