Measure R Highway Funds Ready to Roll. Transit Funds? Not So Much.

Yesterday, the Bottleneck Blog publicly released the changes to Metro’s Long Range Plan that will be voted upon by the Metro Board at the end of the month.  Steve Hymon noted that there were many changes to the timelines to complete projects, and many of them weren’t acceleration notices.  Below is the timeline, with various comments that were collected from around the Internet and news reports included.

First is the Subway to the Sea, which many people felt was the jewel of the promised Measure R projects.  The timeline for the project looks like this:

Subway to La Cienega — 2019

Subway to Century City — 2026

Subway to Westwood — 2032

The timeline was panned by everyone: first by LAist which noted that less than a year ago Metro officials opined that the line could be open in five years,  later by Curbed who noted that the Expo Line would be 22 years old by the time it was completed, and lastly by Mayor Villaraigosa who called the timeline "too long."  How long is too long?  Metblogs notes that by the time it is competed, "you could be dead."

Expo Line light rail phase II, Culver City to Santa Monica — 2015

Gold Line light rail extension — 2017

Westside to San Fernando Valley transit project along the 405 Freeway — 2038

The Bus Bench notes that the "usual suspects got bent over."  Using numbers crunched at Metro Rider, Browne Molyneaux shows that voting for more transit doesn’t equal getting more transit.  The Gold Line Foothill’s Extension will be completed by 2015 or 2017 but the Gold Line Eastside Extension won’t be done until 2035.  The communities benefitting from the Foothill extension voted for the project with about 55% of the vote.  Eastside communities voted for Measure R with about 75%.

Wilshire Boulevard bus lane in city of Los Angeles — 2015

Crenshaw Boulevard light rail or bus rapid transit — 2029

Damien Goodmon, who wrote to me and others about the project list on Monday night,  was particularly incensed that South L.A. residents, who voted overwhelmingly for Measure R, were actually seeing a major delay in the completion of the Crenshaw line.  In the first draft of the Long Range Transportation Plan unveiled last year, the completion date for the Crenshaw project was listed as 2025.

In his email, he wrote, "And I will remind all parties, that the Crenshaw project was in the
dedicated funding plan in the 2001 Long Range Transportation Plan and
the Draft 2008 LRTP, meaning, the project was to be funded, built and operational well before 2029, EVEN IF MEASURE R FAILED."

Green Line to LAX — 2016 to 2018

Regional Connector downtown light rail — 2018

Back when Measure R was being debated by the Los Angeles City Council, that Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced that Metro had promised him that the Green Line extension would be accelerated under Measure R.  I guess that’s one promise that Metro has been able to keep.

So what are Measure R funds going to be used for in the short-term?  The Whittier Daily News has the answer with the timeline for highway projects that will be funded based on their start dates and total cost:

Ready immediately: Alameda Corridor East road/train track separations, $1.12 billion

2012: 10 Freeway car-pool lanes from 605 Freeway to Puente Avenue, $198.6 million

2013: 5 Freeway, interchange at Carmenita Road, $379.7 million

2014: 10 Freeway car-pool lanes from Puente Avenue to Citrus Avenue, $182.8 million

2015: 10 Freeway car-pool lanes from Citrus Avenue to 57 Freeway, $192.1 million

2015-2017: Gold Line extension eastward from Pasadena, $905 million


Metro Board Can Move Measure R Funds with Two-Thirds Vote

Despite near unanimous opposition by a parade of public speakers, the Metro Board of Directors voted with near unanimity. In fact, there was more disagreement among the present Board Members over grammatical changes to the ordinance that will allow voters to vote on extending the Measure R sales tax than there was over Duarte City […]

Beyond the Spin, Breaking Down Measure J

On Monday, October 15, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was feeling good. The Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which includes the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press-Telegram, SGV Tribune and Pasadena Star-News, had endorsed Measure J. In front of the hundreds of transit advocates and professionals at Railvolution, a sales tax extension […]