Metro Board Preview: Saved Bus Cuts, East Line Extension Safety, the 710 EIR and More…

This Thursday, the Metro Board of Directors meets for their monthly round of political jousting and infighting.  The agenda lacks an issue that is going to pack the Board Room, but there are still some important agenda items that are bound to attract some attention.

The 710 is going to be a hot item on Thursday's agenda. Photo: Glendale News-Press

The highlight of the meeting could be the debate over funding an environmental study of the 710 Big Dig and other options to “complete” the 710.  If nothing else, two members of the Board have publicly stated opposition, Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian and Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar.

The environmental studies will cost at least $37 million dollars and is regularly mocked by environmental groups, both locally and nationally as one of the dumbest projects in the country.  We’ve written a lot about this project before, and you can read all about it by clicking here.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Board Member Richard Katz, and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas propose a targeted hiring program for Metro construction contractors to target areas of high unemployment.  This is basically the first step in insuring that Metro dollars from Measure R, Proposition C and other local taxes go to fight local unemployment.  There are several things that need to happen before this proposal is finalized, including making sure the final proposal is legal under federal guidelines.

A motion by County Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe instructs staff to delay the closure of a list of bus lines and study ways to improve the efficiency of Lines 126, 177, 202, 442, 607 and 620.

Generally, Streetsblog supports the preservation of bus lines, but a compelling case against this motion is made by Kymberleigh Richards, a member of the San Fernando Valley Service Sector Council, who examines bus lines as part of her appointed position.  Richards isn’t just annoyed that the Metro Board is stepping on the Service Sector process, but also outlines why these bus lines are slated for cancellation.  I managed to get a copy of her letter to Metro Staff, and you can read it here.

Streetsblog wrote a lot about Metro’s “free transit for field trips” program when it was first proposed and first offered.  We’re happy to hear it’s going well, and that it’s going to continue for this school year.

We’ll have some sort of coverage of the Board Meeting later today.  How much coverage depends on you (see our poll, posted below.)


Former Metro Board Chair: How Much Will 710 Tunnel Cost?

Maybe Ara Najarian has been reading the news about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie canceling the ARC Rail Tunnel Project because of concerns about cost over runs. Najarian, the Glendale Mayor and Member of the Metro Board, tells the Glendale News-Press that he will ask the Metro Board of Directors to order a cost analysis […]

Streetsblog Asks Metro Board to Waive Attorney Client-Privilege on Najarian’s 710 Big Dig Motion

SBLA Metro 710 Priviledge At last week’s Metro Board meeting, County Attorney Charles Safer responded to an April motion by Board Member Ara Najarian containing questions on the I-710 Gap Closure Project. The Najarian motion sought the answers to three basic questions concerning the relationship between Caltrans and Metro on this project. Specifically, Najarian sought […]

The Week in Livable Streets Events

Do you like Metro public meetings? What if I were to tell you they were meetings for the I-710 Big Dig and the High Desert Corridor? Not excited? Well, good news! There are also meetings for Metro Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – We’ve written that despite being the largest highway expansion project being debated in the […]

Najarian Metro Board Seat in Danger Over Opposition to 710 Big Dig

(The original version of the story stated that the League of Cities selects the Metro Board Members. Dana Gabbard points out it is actually The City Selection Committee. The CSC is not a subsidiary of the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division. Its authority is Sections 50270 through 50281 of the Government Code, and it is administered […]