Double-decking Hollywood Freeway VS. Monorails

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Double-decking Hollywood Freeway VS. Monorails

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:13 pm

Tonight at Philip's (1001 N. Alameda) there will be a demontration against plans to build a second level over the Hollywood Freeway. A Caltrans meeting, which will take place inside, begins at 6:30 pm. The demonstration will be out in front.

There are alternatives to double-decking L.A.'s freeways which are vastly cheaper, safer (during earthquakes), environmentally-friendly, and more effective in terms of reducing traffic: building trains and monorails. The latter are in use in Japan and Europe.

[title was changed and topic was moved to the Main Forum to reflect subject matter by the moderator on 10-17-02 ]
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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:20 pm

Not to mention Las Vegas is putting in a HUGE monorail system. I'm not going to be able to make this meeting, but keep us posted on this, Ross.

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Double decking the H'wood Fwy

Postby Nathan » Fri Sep 20, 2002 8:23 am

For those of us unfamiliar with the plan and unable to make the meeting, where (that is, from where to where) are they planning to pull off this little piece of pseudofuturistic doo-da-doo? That's all the Hollywood Tower needs, a freeway running right by its neon...

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double-decking Hollywood Freeway

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Mon Sep 23, 2002 7:22 am

Sorry for the late response. My internet service was down for two days (thanks to Microsoft).

I could not attend the demonstration since I heard about it on short notice, but my parents were there, and when I hear their report, I'll relay it.

I do know that there's a plan to double-deck most, if not all, the freeways in L.A. I don't know who's pushing it (perhaps Caltrans), but it's being discussed a lot. As Bob Hoskins said in Who Framed Roger Rabbit regarding freeways, only a toon could think of something like that.
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Double-decking Hollywood Freeway

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Mon Sep 23, 2002 6:02 pm

The freeway would be double-decked from Vermont to the Valley. Few picketers showed up at Philip's, but several people signed petitions against the plan.

At the meeting, one of the speakers said monorails aren't viable in L.A. because people aren't equipped to be trained for them. I expect to be getting more information about the meeting soon.

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Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Thu Oct 03, 2002 3:09 pm

I recenty got more information about this and clarifications about what I previously stated, and I'll post it as soon as I'm less swamped (early next week, I hope). But the proposed double-decking of the Hollywood Freeway does indeed cover Vermont Street to the Valley, with the possibility of it being expanded below Vermont. :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Postby Velas » Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:15 am

Ludicrous!

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Postby Joe » Mon Oct 14, 2002 10:30 am

I don't want to start a political debate on transportation, but I need to comment regarding rail systems.

Rail systems are NOT less expensive and do not ease congestion. This has been proven over and over in the past decade through out the country. Often when a rider on train or monorail will pay only $2 to ride, but the taxpayer will subsidize the ride with $20-$30 PER RIDER, PER TRIP! Meanwhile, buses, a less expensive and more flexible mass transportation, only cost the taxpayer about $2-$3 per rider, per trip. When broken down by cost per mile, freeways run 1/4 of what it takes to build rail systems.

Many studies show that car drivers are far less likely to ride a train and more likely to ride a bus when given the alternative. They are also less likely to ride a bus to a train.

Europe and Japan are poor examples of transportation alternatives. Those regions do not have the freeway systems we have and train riders have far less freedom to choose how they get around.

Sorry M-M, Vegas lacks the density for their rail system to be cost effective.

The bottom line, US citizens out west love their cars. Building a train system will not take people out of their cars, only the bus riders from the closed bus routes where the train now exists. With a train in place, the freeways will not be less congested. To make trains cost effective, you need high urban density, which the last I checked LA lacks a little of that with it's miles of housing tracts and suburbs. Mass transportaion needs to go where people live!

When considering alternative methods of transportation, look to MODERN ideas like buses, carpools, telecommuting, rapid transit bus systems that go where the people actually live, not where the government wants you to go!

It’s unfortunate to see and hear the double-decker freeway, but a rail system cutting through a neighborhood isn’t the answer either.

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Monorails

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Thu Oct 17, 2002 3:28 pm

I'd like to present responses from two people who are politically and technically-savvy, one of whom has been an activist in L.A. for 25 years and has attended countless hearings. The other person (who is quoted first) is adept technically.

As to your statement that freeways are 1/4 the cost of monorails and trains, one of my friends remarked, "This argument is skewed by a number of factors, making it in a sense an apples-to-oranges comparison. For example, if you are talking about infrastructure alone, for monorails you must consider the cost of not only the beamway, the switching mechanisms, and power-transfer mechanisms, but also the capital expenditure of the trains themselves. Comparing this to freeways skirts the issue that the capital expenditure for travelling on freeways (e.g., a car) is shifted to the individual, as opposed to the municipality. That can't help but close the cost gap quite a bit. But we can reasonably assume that the municipality would charge a fare such as would cover the cost of the train (and power). So if you take the trains and cars out of the equation, it becomes a matter of the cost of roadway vs. beamway. In that case, I would be absolutely dumbfounded if roads were found to be cheaper (even taking into account the power transfer mechanisms).

"To complicate the issue still further, there are variables and intangibles that are harder to calculate--like the cost of auto accidents, pollution (and thus pollution control, at numerous points), lost productivity (from spending time in traffic), the environmental impact of building (and subsequently disposing of cars and their parts, and more)."

Here's what the Los Angeles activist of 25 years had to say: "There are so many factors in calculating costs, efficiencies, etc. I know Metrolink is heavily subsidized per trip--I don't know why it's so expensive. But the buses are used as the last resort for people without cars. They are not pleasant to be in and will not attract middle class commuters unless big changes are made. The costs of freeway construction are immense, including land acquisition. Monorails need almost no land and could be put on public right of ways. The construction costs should be relatively low (although, they are paving a bike way along the banks of the L.A. River, putting in fencing and lights and it's costing $1,000,000/mile).

"I don't think the spread out argument is important for monorails--given the low price of construction. Parking lots and connections at stations need to be provided of course. The cost of fuel per commuter is relevant AND the time spent/wasted on clogged freeways. Telecommuting may be modern (it was predicted to be a large chunk of employee practices by now and it's not happening), but buses and carpools are not."

I would add that one proposal to bring back the Red Car, spearheaded by George Eslinger, would save costs by making use of existing Metrolink tracks and old Red Car right of ways, such as the tunnel on 2nd street near downtown.

Also, some rail systems may "cut through neighborhoods" as you say, but freeways destroy them. In L.A., the communities of Echo Park and Silverlake were split in two when the 2 Freeway was built.

As for the issue of popularity of monorails among the public, L.A. residents several years ago, passed a ballot initiative to have a monorail built along the 134 Freeway, but the City Council Member of that area (whose name I'll provide soon) killed the project. In Seattle, an initiative to have People Movers and monorails throughout the city was approved by voters in 1997 (it made the cover of the Seattle Weekly, which I still have), but that endeavor also got enmeshed in politics.

Finally, as to your statement that Las Vegas lacks the density for monorails, the Strip is QUITE congested and very built-up, and on my last visit three years ago, there were already at least four monorail systems in operation.

Oh, and here's where one can learn more about monorails: www.monorails.org/
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Re: Monorails

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Double decking the Hollywood Freeway

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Fri Oct 18, 2002 10:06 am

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Disney monorails

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Red Car Return Not Possible

Postby FranklinHills » Fri Oct 18, 2002 10:39 am


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Re: Red Car

Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Fri Oct 18, 2002 11:45 am

Franklin Hills wrote: "To the person who proposed bringing back the Red Cars"

I mentioned the proposal, but it was presented by George Eslinger at a meeting of the Los Angeles Transit Advocates and various community meetings, one of which I recorded.

"and stated that there is a possibility of using the Belmont Tunnel (which runs the half mile from Glendale/Temple to Hill and 4th under the Subway Terminal Building), it is not possible. As anyone who has taken the Conservancy's Pershing Square walking tour knows, some of the foundations of the buildings on Bunker Hill, including the Bonaventure Hotel, bisected through the tunnel, rendering it useless for tunnel purposes forevermore."

According to Eslinger, Councilman Hernandez told him about a proposal of "using the tunnel down to Figueroa because there's a block-in just on the west side of Figueroa."
[This quote copyright 2002 by Ross Plesset]

"And the thought of bringing back the Red Cars is quaint, but not practical. The problems associated with putting the Gold Line in from Union Station to Pasadena have demonstrated that light rail is not a silver bullet. South Pasadena fought vigorously to prevent the Gold Line from going in "at grade," meaning no undercrossings. They lost, but future projects will not be so lucky."

That sounds awfully final: "future projects WILL NOT be so lucky."

I don't believe the Red Car would go to Pasadena anyway because the Gold Line will already go there--it was not part of the presentation.

There has been A LOT of interest in Eslinger's Red Car proposal all over the county. He admitted at the time that the plan would change many times as different issues would arise.

The plan may or may not reach fruition, but my intent was to reinforce the point that rail transit is not more expensive than freeways.

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Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Sat Nov 16, 2002 1:20 pm

On the last voting day, there was another development in the efforts to expand the monorail track in downtown Seattle. Go to: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0, ... 38,00.html

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Postby I_LUV_POWER!!!! » Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:25 pm

This is a lengthy document about ways of alleviating traffic in the Valley. Monorails are discussed in the letters to the Times (second letter), which is about two-thirds down the page.

*******************

For parties Interested in Ventura/Hollywood Freeway Issues

From: Gerald A. Silver, Pres.
      Homeowners of Encino
      Coalition of Freeway

Residents (CFR)
Subject: #83 DOUBLE DECKING VENTURA/HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY
MORE COMMENT ON THE FREEWAY EXPANSION ISSUE...
Please bear in mind that ANY expansion of the Ventura Freeway, including monorail down the center would require widening and land takes. This is because Federal funding requirements specifify that existing freeway lanes must be brought up to standard! This means standard 12 ft. lanes, not 10 1/2 ft. or 11 ft., and all medians and shoulders must be brought up to standard.
*********

Friday, May 30, 2003 10:21 AM
Subject: Light Rail on the US 101
Now that double-decking and widening the US 101 to add 4 carpool lanes has been strongly rejected by the citizens and political leaders, we are starting hear some support for light rail down the middle of the US 101.
This is a foolish strategy that will not keep up with the increasing demand for more driving capacity. Granted, some people will accept this inconvenient and third rate service - but not enough to keep up with the problem. This is a very expensive project that will only cause the traffic problem on the US 101 get worse.
Light rail is only supported by 2 groups:

1. People who are not familiar with the many reports by the government and transportation consultants that clearly show that LIGHT RAIL DOES NOT REDUCE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

2. Those who will profit financially by the implementation of light rail.

There is ONE AND ONLY ONE practical solution to the freeway congestion problem and that is DUALMODE TECHNOLOGY:
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/
FR
*********

Friday, May 30, 2003 10:30 AM
Never mind which freeway they propose to expand - I totally disagree. The point is not how many homes or businesses lost, environment compromised. POINT IS: planning, funding, construction, loss homes, businesses, whether live near or far from the freeway, when completed, congestion is just as bad. ANY PROPOSAL MUST find a way to get drivers out of their cars Solutions must include subway, bus service including parking, helicopters, light rail and flying fish BUT NOT THE FREEWAYS. Population increase inevitable, traffic congestion on freeway inevitable. Drivers must learn to shun and hate the freeway, love the convenience, safety and low price of other methods of transportation Because southern California drivers are so wedded to their cars, as the population increases, the issue of freeway congestion and expansion will never die. Financial and social hardship to those near freeway is NOT a cogent argument against expansion. The question is how to improve mass transportation NOT how to expand the freeway. As you rightly point out, the focus is on what we now call alternative options -- they are the ONLY solution The freeways and its attendant problems should be consigned to its proper value of ZERO. The issue is MASS TRANSPORTATION, not automobile transportation by freeway We need a shift in focus and emphasis.
GM.
*********

Friday, May 30, 2003 11:47 AM
Assemblymember Pavley's May/June 2003 E-Newsletter

101 Freeway Widening Not a Long-Term Solution I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and have lived in Agoura Hills for more than 25 years. Both communities were quiet suburban escapes from downtown L.A. where many people commuted to work. The 101 freeway was wide open and sped people to their destinations.
Rapid growth in Southern California has been reflected in multiple ways, including serious traffic congestion. Over the past 30 years, no major improvements have been made to the 101 freeway, and the Level of Service (LOS) through the San Fernando Valley in particular has plummeted to today's near-gridlock LOS "F." More than that, the rush-hour commute that used to be eastbound toward downtown Los Angeles has completely reversed. Rush-hour now heads from downtown and the Valley through Las Virgenes westbound. Traffic on the 101 is a nightmare, and without something fundamentally changing, will only get worse.

MTA begins long-range planning... In 2001, the MTA put together its Long-Range Transportation Plan for L.A. County to guide transportation development through the year 2025. Not one dollar was included for 101 improvements for yet another 24 years, pending the outcome of the 101 Corridor Improvement Study initiated by the Malibu/Las Virgenes Council of Governments in June of 2001.

I have been closely monitoring this MTA Study. Fifty different options were winnowed down to a final five, and earlier this month, the 101 Technical Advisory Committee released its recommended strategy for how to improve mobility on the 101 from downtown L.A. to Highway 23 in Thousand Oaks through the year 2025.

We can't pave our way out of traffic congestion... While I was reserving judgment on the direction that the Study seemed to be heading, I was disappointed to learn that the final recommended 'improvement' is a massive widening of the freeway. More pavement. A lot more pavement. Even the MTA and Caltrans concede that this plan will, if we are lucky, keep traffic at LOS "F." And it will come at a terrible toll to the residents of the San Fernando Valley whose homes and/or livelihoods along the corridor will be wiped out. This is not acceptable to me. The human cost, coupled with the economic realities of the state budget, make it clear that we must do better. This means exercising some real vision and finding ways to make it easy and convenient to get people out of their cars entirely.
Transit options have both short- and long-term prospects... -The Metro Rapid Bus can be extended westward to the Highway 23/101 Transit Center.

-The MTA has just approved the San Fernando Valley Metro Rapidway along the railroad tracks right-of-way north of the freeway. This will provide a direct transit link from Warner Center to the Redline subway station in Universal City to Union Station.

-Evaluate a light-rail connection or other transit option from Warner Center to the Las Virgenes communities to the 23. (The Westside has recently agreed on light rail from Santa Monica to the Coliseum.)

-Park-and-ride lots can be built close to the 101 to facilitate ride-sharing and van pooling, and to provide a place for people to leave their cars and get on the SFV East/West Busway or Metro Rapid Bus. The only park-and-ride lots near the 101 right now of which I am aware are in Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, and near Universal City. I recently carried a bill that could provide additional shared-use facilities. We need to construct additional lots close to transportation corridors.

-Encourage planning that will reduce urban sprawl, and incentivize smart growth strategies.

-HOV lanes have been a success on the 405. Look at places where they could be added along the 101 within the existing rights of way.

-Continue to construct cost-effective improvements such as freeway on/off ramps, soundwalls, signal synchronization , and lane modifications.

-Re-evaluate all mass transit options along the 101, 118 and other north/south or east/west corridors.

-Do everything possible to stop the development of Ahmanson Ranch, which will add another 45,000 cars everyday to the 101.

-Hold a San Fernando Valley Transportation Summit to do some true visioning about realistic and publicly-acceptable ways to improve traffic flow, reduce bottlenecks, etc. and get people out of their cars.

-Limit trucks to off-peak hours.

-Use school bond proceeds to construct neighborhood schools to minimize long trips on school buses for children.

The 101 Technical Advisory Committee's recommendation of adding 4-6 more lanes to the freeway is not acceptable. Passing the buck to the next generation to solve this traffic nightmare is irresponsible. I am concerned about the cost in real dollars to our economy, the increased time we are wasting in our cars, and the continued degradation of our air quality.

Final Steering Committee recommendation to MTA ... On Friday, May 23, the 101 Corridor Improvement Study Steering Committee, of which my office is a member, met to make its final recommendations to the Metropolitan Transit Authority. This concluded the two-year technical study and roughly 50 briefings and/or community workshops. In addition to my district director, participants included representatives for State Senator Sheila Kuehl; L.A. Mayor James Hahn and a number of L.A. City Councilmembers; the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Hidden Hills, the Las Virgenes/Malibu Council of Governments, and a number of involved agencies, organizations, and members of the public.

Although there was broad opposition to freeway widening, there was a strong consensus for the development of a long-range vision that focuses on transit and alternative means of travel to solve the serious problems that everyone conceded must be addressed.

From the technical findings and public comments over the course of the study, Senator Kuehl's office identified four consensus recommendations that I agreed would be appropriate to send to the MTA Board to include in its plans.

1. That Caltrans, the MTA and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) include the list of near- and mid-range projects in the necessary regional transportation plans, including the current update to the MTA's Short-Range Transportation Plan, and support these projects in the earliest possible funding cycle.

2. That the MTA include the 101 Corridor as a "Congested Corridor" in next year's update to the Short-Range Transportation Plan to help support funding for these projects.

3. That the Steering Committee support a long-range multi-modal vision for this Corridor, including transit options, and that a "placeholder" be put in the Regional Transportation Plans (including the MTA's Long-Range Transportation Plan and SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan) so that a vision can be better defined and funded.

4. That the Steering Committee encourage local government entities to review their general plans, and make land use policy decisions that will support smart growth and integrate transit use as we all work together to confront the congestion and address the quality of life in this corridor.
The challenge is great, but I'm confident that the collective resources of citizens working together for real 21st century solutions will allow us to address this critical issue San Fernando Valley Metro Rapidway Progresses

A new rapid transit connector has moved another step forward with the award of the design/build contract on May 2 for the San Fernando Valley Metro Rapidway (formerly known as the "East/West Busway.") The North Hollywood Metro Redline subway is already being well used by commuters travelling between Universal City and downtown Los Angeles.

The Valley Metro Rapidway will extend that transit connection 14 miles west to Warner Center, with 13 stations roughly one mile apart, and park-and-ride lots at five of the stations with over 3,000 spaces. Major stops will include the Van Nuys Government Center, Valley College, and Pierce College. With the completion of this project in 2005, commuters will have a convenient 30-mile mass transit alternative to the congestion of the 101 freeway all the way from the west San Fernando Valley to downtown.
*********
LA Times -May 31, 2003
In Need of a Plan, Any Plan, to Improve Freeway Delay in choosing a way to expand the 710 could cost such a project federal funding.

By Deborah Schoch,
Times Staff Writer

Although no one can say just how the Long Beach Freeway might be upgraded to improve traffic flow, a transportation panel is rushing to meet a deadline to secure federal funding for whatever project might evolve.

The panel is seeking up to $400 million from Congress in a major transportation funding bill that could pass this fall. Those who support expanding the truck-choked freeway say that developments this week buoyed the project's chances to secure federal dollars in a race for funds on Capitol Hill.
Some residents remain on edge, worried that their homes might be vulnerable if the freeway is significantly widened.

The last 10 days have been a roller-coaster ride for those residents and commuters monitoring a 29-month, $3.9-million study of how to improve a major artery overwhelmed by cargo moving from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

First came the May 22 vote by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that seemed to apply the brakes - at least for now - to plans to expand the freeway between East Los Angeles and Long Beach. Then, on Wednesday, a separate transportation panel advanced an ambitious schedule to design a plan over the summer.

"We just got the feeling it was moving full speed ahead," said Julie Masters, a senior staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council who attended the meeting Wednesday.

The panel has promised to minimize the demolition of homes and businesses.

The vote comes amid continued debate over how to better move cargo through the nation's largest port complex and what costs should be borne by surrounding communities. Most people agree the freeway must be improved, but the preferred methods vary widely.
Three construction plans made public this spring called for major construction along an 18-mile stretch of freeway.

The plans were widely condemned by residents along the freeway because they could force the removal of up to 1,000 homes and businesses. The board of the project's lead agency, the MTA, last week voted to shelve the three plans and recommend a fourth that would not take homes. It also asked that MTA staff work with local officials to develop a new "hybrid" plan with pieces from the rejected construction plans, as long as homes were not taken.
Then, on Wednesday, the transportation panel voted 8 to 4 to move ahead with designing a hybrid plan this summer. The panel represents local cities, the ports and four state and regional planning agencies.

Some critics were mystified by the vote, especially in light of concerns that the panel already had ignored residents' concerns.
Making matters even murkier, it was unclear who in the end would decide whether and how the Long Beach Freeway should be improved.

Some say that authority belongs to the transportation panel, known as the Oversight Policy Committee.
"In this process, the final decision on picking the locally preferred strategy is the body that met [Wednesday]," said Richard Powers, executive director of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, which provides staff to the panel. "The MTA is one of 20 members on this board, and the collective body is the one that makes the determination on the locally preferred strategy."
But the MTA's executive officer for planning, Jim de la Loza, said Friday that the policy committee will make a recommendation, but that the MTA board has the final say.

Under a revised schedule, local officials will meet June 11 to start choosing what parts of the old plans they want included in a hybrid design. The policy committee is to choose a conceptual plan July 16 and endorse a final strategy Oct. 16. The process ahead is akin to pulling apart Lego pieces and fitting them together in a different design, planners say.
Some residents say they are grateful the committee is taking a harder look, rather than rubber-stamping the earlier plans, as some had feared. "I'm glad they are at least slightly slowing down and recognizing that their previous approaches have raised some issues. It's too bad some of these issues were not raised sooner," said Linda Ivers, a longtime Long Beach resident who expressed concerns about potential health and environmental effects of an
expanded freeway.

One policy committee member said he will try to slow down the process even more.
Bell Gardens City Councilman Daniel Crespo, who voted against the Wednesday resolution, said the vote was premature and that he believes the ports and shippers are behind the drive for freeway expansion.
Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times
*********
LA Times - May 31, 2003
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Freeway Decongestion Re "A Toll-Lane Fix for 101 Freeway," Voices, May 24: Robert Poole's 27-mile elevated tollway proposal for the 101 Freeway overlooks some serious issues.

First, there is no space on the freeway for massive support columns like the Harbor Freeway's, because the 101's median was converted to an extra lane in each direction in the 1980s. So two of four elevated lanes would merely replace existing lanes.

Second, would enough drivers pay $1 to $2 per mile to cover the more than $200-million annual bond repayment ($2.8 billion at 6% for 30 years) plus operating costs? That's nearly 20,000 drivers paying a $30 toll every day. Would investors risk these bonds? Would taxpayers get stuck with a big loss guaranteeing them?

Finally, Tampa's promotional video calls its elevated toll lanes "a beautiful new landmark." Would Encino and Sherman Oaks neighbors feel the same?

There is one feasible alternative to 101 widening available for significant transportation improvement across the Valley: the MTA's Burbank-Chandler right of way.

Unfortunately, it is to become a limited-capacity busway, not the light-rail line that could make a difference to the 101.
Darrell Clarke
Santa Monica

*
I was a member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission from 1974 until 1982 and was the chairman one year. That commission was the forerunner of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

During my tenure, I traveled across the county obtaining support for the increase in the sales tax to support the construction of the subway. I urged that a monorail be constructed on the 110 Freeway instead of the almost useless busway. That busway and the park-and-ride facility in Gardena are used very little.

A monorail in the middle of the freeways would avoid the condemnation of property and the uprooting of property owners and would substantially reduce the number of cars on the freeways - not even to mention the saving of fuel and reduction of smog. Of course, it must be supported by feeder bus lines. Can you imagine the reduction in automobiles on the 91 Freeway from single-occupant drivers coming from such far-off places as Riverside County - and the same for the 101 Freeway?

I was opposed by Caltrans - its main interest is survival and building or expansion of more freeways. I urge you to support rail transportation and especially the monorail. Look at what is being done in a short time in Las Vegas. That monorail will be done in less than one year. Of course, it is on a smaller scale, but it does demonstrate the example.
Edmond J.
Russ Gardena
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I use the Long Beach Freeway daily. It already appears to be an established truth that traffic on this route is congested, so I will not complain. However, there seems to be an immediately available solution that I have yet to see in print: Ban truck traffic during peak flow periods.

A solution such as this would reduce traffic during rush hours; lead to quicker commutes during rush hour; encourage the ports to operate earlier and later in the day, though not necessarily 24 hours; allow the port to handle increased on-loading and off-loading and create some time for planners to arrive at a more palatable solution.

Such a pilot project would be environmentally friendly by saving on fuel and emissions for every vehicle involved, and this factor alone would make the situation a win-win proposition for everyone involved. Concurrently, we might wish to try this remedy on the other freeways in town.
John Speight
Long Beach
*
Re "Freeway Builders Run Into Wall of Politics and Protests," May 23: By not widening the Ventura and Long Beach freeways, we can instead spend those billions to provide a transit line to connect downtown Santa Monica plus Westwood Village/UCLA, Century City, Beverly Hills, the County Museum of Art and the Miracle Mile with the existing subway station at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue.
And on summer days we can then hop aboard the "Aqualine" to spend the day at the beach. Or in the evening we can all ride in the opposite direction to pass our free time in what will surely become the most vibrant cultural, retail, residential and employment center in Southern California - downtown Los Angeles.
John Crandell
Westwood
Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times

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GO ON THE INTERNET AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!!!
Log on to the web page below and see what is in store for you, if you live anywhere near the Ventura or Hollywood Freeway:
http://communityspeakup.com/101/

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If you would like to share your comments with others, please email:
          gsilver@sprintmail.com
*********
NO WIDENING, NO DOUBLE DECKING, NO ELEVATED TRAINS ON THE VENTURA/HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY!
CFR believes that before Caltrans considers building another freeway on top of the Ventura/Hollywood Freeway, it must place everything on the table. This means that ALL alternatives must be studied and carefully analyzed. The entire region-wide freeway/transportation issue must be studied as a whole. Caltrans needs to view the region as a "system", not a group of isolated parts. It is not fair to place the entire transportation burden on residents near the Ventura/Hollywood Freeway.
*********************************
The Coalition of Freeway Residents (CFR) was instrumental in stopping double-decking and widening of the Ventura freeway several years ago. We organized residents, business and elected officials, all in opposition to freeway expansion. We lobbied officials, launched several major direct mail campaigns against expansion. But these mailings cost a lot of money, and we need your help. Please complete the Application to join CFR at the end of this email. Each dollar collected goes toward stopping freeway expansion. Please do your part.

**********************
Call/fax/email these people immediately with your objections and concerns:

"Mayor James K. Hahn" jhahn@mayor.lacity.org, (213)978-0600, Fax (213)626-5431

"Senator Sheila Kuehl" <laurie.newman@sen.ca.gov>, (310)441-9084, Fax
(310)441-0724

"Assemblywoman Fran Pavley" Assemblymember.Pavley@assembly.ca.gov, (818) 596-4141 or (310) 395-3414, Fax: (818) 596-4150

"Assemblyman Paul Koretz" <jay.greenstein@asm.ca.gov>, (310)652-4242, Fax (310)289-4250
"Caltrans Proj. Super.-Linda Taira" <linda.taira@dot.ca.gov>, (213)897-0813

"Councilman Tom LaBonge" <tlabonge@council.lacity.org>, (213)485-3337 Fax (213)624-7810
"Councilman Jack Weiss" <weiss@council.lacity.org>, (818)756-8083, Fax
(818)788-9210

"Councilman Dennis Zine" <thenry@council.lacity.org>, (818)756-8848, Fax
(818)756-9179

"Councilwoman Wendy Greuel" <greuel@council.lacity.org>, (213)485-3391, Fax
(213)680-7895

"Felipe Fuentes - Dpty. Mayor" <ffuentes@mayor.lacity.org>, (818)756-8585 "Congressman Brad Sherman-Michael Tou" <michael.tou@mail.house.gov> (818)501-9200, Fax, (818)501-1554

"Congressman Howard Berman-Bob Blumenfield", <bob.blumenfield@mail.house.gov>
(818)891-0543, Fax (818)830-1990

"Congressman Henry Waxman-Lisa Pinto", <lisa.pinto@mail.house.gov> (323)651-1040, Fax (323)655-0502

"Congresswoman Diane Watson", <diane.watson@mail.house.gov> (323-965-1422,
Fax (323)965-1113
**********************************************
Coalition of Freeway Residents
Yes, I want to help! Enclosed is my check for __$25   __$50   __$100
__$500
Please make checks payable to Homeowners of Encino-CFR
Mail to: Homeowners of Encino, PO Box 260205, Encino, CA 91426
Name__________________________________Address_
City___________________________________State__Zip
Phone__________________________  Email _______
**********************************************

modfan
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Seems that....(my 2 cents)

Postby modfan » Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:59 am

It was just a few short years ago that the 101 was widened thru the valley, it will be horribly expensive and unpopular to expand it even more to get more traffic on it and more congestion. Thankfully it looks like Ahmanson Ranch didn't pan out as sprawl (There is a God!).
But this busway along the old railroad right of way it's not going to do very much-it looks like it woulda been a good opportunity to expand the light rail system underground on this route (but of course the neighborhood would be too whiny to let that happen-with no help from the MTA when it built the tunnel in Hollywood-I can see why). But now they will be stuck with a busway with smoky busses going on it-making frequent stops since it is not grade separated-doesn't seem like it will be any faster-it was just a cheap political fix to show the folks that something was being done-pretty much a waste of tax payers money. I would advocate strict planning for the areas westward-WV village, 1000 Oaks Ventura county etc. that minimizes traffic increases to the east (putting employment shopping residential grouped together)-it's all been advocated before-nothing new here-Ventura County has been more responsible in that respect. But just building more lanes and double decking it's NOT going to resolve the problem. Maybe prohibiting 3 and 4 car garages, drive thru businesses and big automalls might-who knows but some leadership and outside the box thinking seems to be needed here.

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freddiefreelance
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Postby freddiefreelance » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:30 am

I've been seeing more & more about Bus Rapid Transit (mentioned in several of the posts above, & in several of the letters in the post just above) as an alternative to expanding freeways, at-grade light rail, busways, etc. The problem that I see with BRT is also one of it's strengths: that BRT is amorphous in it's definition. Although BRT is still an at-grade transportation system (shares the road with cars, trucks, trolleys & other light rail, etc), it's supposed to gain special advantages in it's design, like special BRT only lanes (which would require the road widening or addition of busways that they're supposed to avoid), signal changers (the BRT driver hits a button that turns the light red in all directions, except for the BRT), priority signals (the BRT driver hits another button & the light stays green in his direction until he can get through the light), and "queue jumping" (where BRTs are allowed to drive through portions of the road that're otherwise forbidden to other traffic, like those white-striped triangular areas painted on the roadway to mark a separation between traffic turning right & traffic going straight and painted median strips, to allow them to pass other traffic in congested areas).

A strength of BRT is that you don't need to build a monorail guideway or trolley/light rail tracks, the BRT can share the road with other traffic. The weekness of this is that you then share the road with all the other traffic, and at-grade rapid transit is infamous for having accidents that stop all the rest of the traffic on the street & on the at-grade RT as well (Houston is a prime example of this: they have had more than 80 accidents involving their Light Rail & autos just this year alone).

A strength is that you can speed up the BRTs passage through traffic using signal changers, priority signals and queue jumping. a weakness is that signal changers & priority signals can impede the flow of cross traffic while speeding the BRT, and signal changers stop all other in all directions traffic until the BRT has passed. A weakness in queue jumping is that people will see the BRT jumping to the front of a line of traffic & think "Hey! I can do that, too!" And end up clogging the space that the BRT is supposed to use themselves.

BRT sounds like a useful tool in the RT toolbox, but it can't be the end-all-be-all answer-to-our-prayers that many people hang on it. It's quieter than Trolleys & LRT & it's more flexible than tracked options, but it's going to have all the problems of an at-grade transportation system & lose many of it's strengths if it has to go off it's route onto streets where the signals don't accept it's signal changers & priority signals.

OK, so I'm partial to Monorail; but I'm partial to Monorail in it's proper place. Many of the routes that cities speak of putting BRT on could be better served by Monorail. Monorails can be put along side of or down the center of freeways without adding extra lanes. Monorails can by put down the center parkways of major surface srtreets like Huntington Drive in LA or Mira Mesa Blvd in San Diego without shading the plantings growing on the parkway. But I wouldn't necessarily use a monorail for long stretches between cities where high-speed heavy rail or maglev trains would work better, and I wouldn't expect it to take the place of busses as flexable feeder transportation bringing people from outlying areas & park-n-ride lots to a central corridor's grade-separated RT options.

[/rant]
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S.


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