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  1. #751

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    L.A. County offers 'inland port' plan

    A hub in the Antelope Valley that would use rail lines could relieve freeway congestion as the ports continue to handle more cargo.

    By Rong-Gong Lin II, LA Times - July 12, 2007

    L.A. County officials on Wednesday unveiled plans for an "inland port" in the Antelope Valley — a would-be hub more than 70 miles north of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that is aimed at reducing heavy truck congestion throughout the region's freeways.

    The proposal comes as officials project a 400% increase in goods movement through the ports over the next 30 years, with transportation experts predicting that all those extra big rigs would further clog freeways.

    Much of the cargo now is shipped by trucks on Southland freeways to warehouses and distribution facilities in the Inland Empire before it is distributed across the nation.

    But L.A. County officials want a piece of that action and see the Antelope Valley, with large amounts of vacant land and potential rail access, as an ideal site.

    The idea would be to transport cargo from the ports to Palmdale and Lancaster by rail, reducing reliance on big rigs.

    "The inland port is a necessity if we're not going to choke in congestion in the Los Angeles Basin," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who convened Wednesday's meeting in downtown L.A. with officials representing transit agencies, the ports, railroads and businesses. "The congestion is here and it's only going to get worse. We need to act now to resolve the problem."

    But many challenges face planners.

    The fast-growing Antelope Valley suffers from what officials agree is a lack of transportation infrastructure. The existing rail lines are already near capacity, meaning new lines would have to be built to serve the inland port. Moreover, only one freeway — the clogged 14 Freeway — connects the valley to the L.A. Basin.

    The inland port idea gained attention in recent months after voters in 2006 passed a $19.9-billion statewide transportation bond measure, $3.2 billion of which was allocated for projects to improve the movement of goods through ports and on highways and rail. L.A. County officials are angling for a cut of the money.

    The interest also comes as officials have been promoting the development of Palmdale Regional Airport, which could serve as a facility to ship air freight, and as officials have been studying construction of a new freeway or toll road that would connect Lancaster and Palmdale west to the 5 Freeway and east to the 15 Freeway in San Bernardino County.

    Inland ports are not a new concept. With land near seaports costly and scarce, other ports around the country have looked inland to develop space for warehouse and distribution facilities and a hub to transport goods by truck, rail car or airplane.

    Hasan Ikhrata, director of planning and policy for the Southern California Assn. of Governments, said that developing an inland port would be critical to the region's future.

    "There is no land to expand the port facilities," Ikhrata said. "You need at least 500 acres for a decent inland port facility, and that kind of land is not available in the urban core."

    The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle one-third of all waterborne freight-container traffic in the U.S., and 50% to 70% of that cargo is headed for delivery outside of Southern California, according to the Southern California Assn. of Governments.

    How the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach deal with the projected rise in commerce traffic will play a key role in how Southern California deals with increased freeway congestion. Trucks now use 30% to 40% of freeway capacity.

    The region's major freeways, such as the 5,10, 60 and 710, are often congested with trucks, creating a hazard for motorists.

    "Goods movement is really a challenge to us, both because of the congestion it causes, and then the health issues: We have the worst air quality in the country," said Roger Snoble, chief executive of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    Planning for the inland port concept is still in early stages; officials haven't projected how much it would cost or who would pay to build it.

    One idea involves a public-private partnership similar to the authority that built the 20-mile Alameda Corridor, a $2.5-billion below-ground express rail line opened in 2002 that runs mostly in a trench from the ports to downtown L.A.

    Such a partnership could, for example, have railroad companies invest in upgrading or building new lines, and shipping companies building warehouses in the inland port.

    But it's clear that the inland port would require significant changes:

    • Roads. Local officials say they desperately need more funds to upgrade their roads, and have discussed ideas such as drilling a tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains to build a second route. "What we need out of Los Angeles is support — financial support," said Palmdale Mayor James C. Ledford Jr. "If you expect the high desert to accept the growth, you've got to give us more tools to accommodate the growth."

    • Rail lines: Railroad companies have struggled to compete with truckers for short-haul routes. Trains have the additional costs of loading and unloading cars, as well as paying a truck to haul cargo from the train depot to a final warehouse destination.

    • Logistics: Officials would need a plan to avoid backtracking. A significant amount of cargo coming in through the two ports stays in Southern California, and officials fear unnecessary congestion if cargo is transported to the inland port on trains, only to be redistributed to trucks that would need to ship it back to the Los Angeles area.

    An inland port could also increase pollution levels and congestion in the Antelope Valley, which the U.S. Census reaffirmed last month as one of the fastest-growing communities in the country.

    Lancaster Mayor Henry W. Hearns acknowledged those concerns, but added that growth in the Antelope Valley is inevitable, and the region stands to benefit from the inland port idea.

    "It's going to raise our economic status; it's going to bring jobs," Hearns said.

    Several officials, however, stressed the importance of further study before going forward with the plan.

    "It's very important to look at the transportation infrastructure and make sure the site will work," said Thad Brundrett, a land development expert who spoke at Wednesday's meeting. "You can't just go out and build the facility, and hope someone will show up."
    Last edited by CaliforniaAdventurer; 07-12-2007 at 08:47 AM.

  2. #752

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    Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Antelope Valley seems a bit forced for that. If there were a freeway connecting The 14 to The 15 and The 40, then Palm/Lan would be perfect.

    Extending The 40 all the way to The 5 would be a good idea, too.

    Barstow is a better spot, since it has The 40 and The 15 for northeast and east freight.
    Past Palm Springs on The 10 would be another good spot for southeast freight.
    And West Bakersfield (nearer The 5) would be a good spot for northbound freight. This route would travel through Palm/Lan anyway.
    Tunneling through the San Gabe's for this might be more convenient for anyone living near new ground-level rails. I would hope that this tunnel would use electric engines. Another 40-year planning/approving/constructing job.

    Lastly, do note that trucking is tons more flexible than rail. To go all SAT on you: Trucking freight is to driving a car to work, as using trains for freight is to using a commuter train to get to work.
    Last edited by sediment; 07-12-2007 at 09:12 AM.
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  3. #753

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Hopes of a quick end to O.C. bus strike are fading

    By Jonathan Abrams, LA Times - July 12, 2007



    The chances of quickly resolving Orange County's first bus driver strike in two decades are waning, as the two sides continue to haggle over how to distribute wage increases.

    Negotiations are scheduled to begin this morning as the walkout enters its sixth day.

    A major sticking point is that the union wants most of the raises to go to senior drivers. The Orange County Transportation Authority is pushing to distribute the money evenly.

    The agency, citing a need to attract drivers, wants to distribute the pay evenly to attract prospective employees. The union wants the raises spread among senior drivers to repay them for taking a smaller share in previous contracts.

    The strike has inconvenienced more than 225,000 Orange County residents, many of whom rely on the buses to get to work.

    The OCTA on Tuesday said it would restore service on two lines by hiring 15 additional drivers if the strike continued into next week.

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Smart growth? Wise up

    Though the concept hasn't delivered on its promise of getting us out of our cars, that doesn't mean it's a failure.

    LA Times Editorial
    July 11, 2007


    SMART GROWTH, we want so badly to believe in you. You were centrally planned by the greatest minds of our time, conceived in an atmosphere of collective purpose and self-criticism, built to the greenest specifications and fired by a bold vision: victory over the individual will and the creation of a new citizenry for a new century.

    If only you would work.

    A recent Times look at how four "smart-growth" or "transit-oriented" developments (TODs) have transformed local traffic patterns raised the dismaying possibility that they may be doing the opposite of what advocates promised. New Urbanist planners have long hoped that building high-density, mixed-use, multiple-unit developments on or near public transit lines would encourage Angelenos to leave their cars and start taking buses and trains. Instead, the properties that Times reporters studied have substantially increased vehicular traffic.

    Evidence for TODs' ability to reduce congestion has been failing to pile up for quite some time. According to Federal Highway Administration statistics, between 1990 and 2000, during which time the Metropolitan Transportation Authority introduced the Blue, Green and Red lines, the percentage of L.A. residents taking mass transit — bus and rail combined — increased from a paltry 4.5% to a measly 4.6%. Since then, statistics haven't been much more encouraging. The best evidence is that TODs may produce some marginal percentage increases in transit ridership — and these percentage increases are swamped by the large numbers of new residents and shoppers attracted by high-density, mixed-use developments.

    A growing region needs housing, and this alone may be justification for the billions of public and private dollars that are being spent on new multi-unit developments. But the magical thinking that has informed so much of this development — the belief that, in the words of one New Urbanist manifesto, "transit, pedestrian and bicycle systems should maximize access and mobility throughout the region while reducing dependence upon the automobile" — has failed, at least so far, to prove itself on the ground.

    Still, if the TODs that are radically transforming Hollywood, downtown and other neighborhoods have not compelled people to change their behavior, they do have the potential to attract the kind of residents who seek a traditional walking-around urban experience. Reducing the rate of congestion growth will require a vast array of policy solutions and options for residents, and smart growth may be part of that.

    We still want to believe.

  5. #755

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Antelope Valley seems a bit forced for that. If there were a freeway connecting The 14 to The 15 and The 40, then Palm/Lan would be perfect.

    Extending The 40 all the way to The 5 would be a good idea, too.

    Barstow is a better spot, since it has The 40 and The 15 for northeast and east freight.
    Past Palm Springs on The 10 would be another good spot for southeast freight.
    And West Bakersfield (nearer The 5) would be a good spot for northbound freight. This route would travel through Palm/Lan anyway.
    Tunneling through the San Gabe's for this might be more convenient for anyone living near new ground-level rails. I would hope that this tunnel would use electric engines. Another 40-year planning/approving/constructing job.

    Lastly, do note that trucking is tons more flexible than rail. To go all SAT on you: Trucking freight is to driving a car to work, as using trains for freight is to using a commuter train to get to work.
    They don't want it to go to Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. The LA politicos want to build up the northern end of Los Angeles county to keep the tax dollars in the county.

  6. #756

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  7. #757

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Irvine to consider transit for Great Park area

    ... building such a system won't be an easy task. Beyond the needed Irvine City Council approval, the city will need to gain Orange County Transportation Authority and California Transportation Authority backing for the project – especially funding support.

    The city plans to use $121 million that was first allocated to the city in 1990 for a transportation system near John Wayne Airport. The money was rerouted to Centerline in 1999 – a light-rail line that would have stretched 11.4 miles across Irvine, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana; that was voted down at the ballot in 2003.

    To use the Centerline money, the city must obtain state approval to reallocate the funds while finding a matching $121 million and another $38 million to build the project. City officials plan to look to Measure M funds, state proposition 1B funding and federal money.

    Sarah Catz, director of UC Irvine's Center for Urban Infrastructure, is optimistic that Irvine can find the money, especially if the city applies for the Measure M renewal funds first.

    She said the guideway is an integral piece of the county's transit system because it would allow other cities to add connecting transit pieces to the Great Park system. She said mass transit is important because it is better for the environment than driving, reduces traffic congestion and allows an option other than using gasoline – if a system uses alternative fuels.

    Charles Lave, a UC Irvine professor emeritus of economics, disagrees. He said mass transit does not work and will not work in the Great Park.
    "People ride transit because they're poor, and people in this area are not poor. People ride transit because they want to avoid congestion, and there isn't congestion in this area," Lave said.

    He said that even if Irvine finds $280 million for the transit system, the $7 million in operating expenses is very difficult to find. Lave said that only 30 percent of average mass transit operations costs is covered by rider fees; the other 70 percent, he said, comes through taxes.

    "They'd be better off not spending any of this money on the guideway," Lave said, rather than "behave like teenagers and manage a way to spend it all."



    Ken Smith's design team sketched out this vision for a park streetcar system.

    FULL ARTICLE at http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1759162.php

    BY THE NUMBERS

    13 minutes – travel time between Spectrum and Great Park sports park using the system (same length by car is 21 minutes).
    3,500 feet – length of optional underpass for streetcars and buses under part of the Great Park.
    $280 million – total cost of system (operations will cost $7 million each year).
    53 trains stop at the Irvine station daily (2030 estimate is 112 trains).
    Source: Amtrak, Metrolink, city of Irvine



    TIMELINE

    November 1990 California voters approve a $1.99 billion bond measure for funding rail systems. Irvine is allocated $125 million for a transportation guideway.

    Early 1990s Irvine City Council puts the bond money into a monorail for the John Wayne Airport area.

    October 1999 Council reallocates the bond money to CenterLine – a light-rail line that would have stretched 11.4 miles across Irvine, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.

    June 2003 Irvine residents vote their approval of light rail but reject CenterLine.

    Today City Council votes on Great Park transit system.

    2009 Spectrum bus portion opens.

    June 2012 Great Park streetcar portion opens.

    SOURCES: Register reports, city of Irvine

  8. #758

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Check out a map of the LA Metro Rail system, including Expo Line and Gold line East L.A. extension here:

    http://www.mta.net/projects_programs...map_future.pdf

    More information about the Expo Line here:

    http://www.buildexpo.org/

    And more info on the Gold Line East L.A. extension here:

    http://www.mta.net/projects_programs....htm#TopOfPage


  9. #759

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    Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    They don't want it to go to Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. The LA politicos want to build up the northern end of Los Angeles county to keep the tax dollars in the county.
    Then they could build it on the far Northeast corner of LA County.
    That would be too logical and effective for reducing smog and easing traffic congestion. Perhaps the state could get involved.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Bus strike Day 7: Drivers lower salary demand

    Union negotiator says move was intended to jump-start talks with OCTA to help end bus strike.

    By DOUG IRVING
    THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

    SANTA ANA - Striking bus drivers offered a small but potentially significant concession to the Orange County Transportation Authority late Thursday in an attempt to end the labor dispute that has paralyzed the county's bus system.

    With the bus strike heading into its seventh day, the drivers union lowered its salary demands to more closely match what the OCTA has already offered. The union's chief negotiator, Patrick Kelly, said the gesture was an attempt to "jump-start the negotiations."

    Left unresolved, however, was the question of whether future pay raises will be distributed based on seniority. That has been the biggest hitch in the negotiations, with the union demanding bigger raises for veteran drivers and the OCTA pushing to spread the money evenly among all drivers.
    The two sides negotiated until late Thursday and then took a recess until this morning.

    The union had been seeking about $500,000 more in driver raises, above the OCTA's offer of $18 million over three years. Kelly would not say how much lower the union went Thursday evening, but said it brought the two sides "a little bit" closer.

    The strike has left about 220,000 daily bus riders looking for alternative ways to get around. OCTA officials have warned that the strike could drag into next week or longer.

    Two Hispanic advocacy groups, Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana and the Mexican American Political Association, led a rally Thursday outside OCTA headquarters in support of the bus drivers.

    The Teamsters Union representing the bus drivers scheduled a "solidarity rally" for Monday morning.

    Negotiators from both sides of the Orange County bus strike returned to the table this morning, still stuck fast on the question of how to divvy up millions of dollars in proposed driver pay raises.

    The Orange County Transportation Authority has warned riders that the strike, already in its sixth day, could drag into next week or longer.
    The two sides are close on the total amount of raises the bus drivers should receive – $18 million, more or less, over three years. But they continue to square off over whether the bulk of those raises should go toward veteran drivers at the expense of less-senior drivers.
    Talks broke down Wednesday afternoon, with both sides pointing fingers and neither side budging from its position. They were scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. today.

    Both the OCTA and the union have agreed that entry-level drivers should be making $14.27 an hour. The OCTA proposal spreads the rest of the raises evenly among all experience levels. The union wants small increases for mid-level drivers and a big raise for the most veteran drivers, pushing their hourly rate to $22.42 in the contract's first year.

  11. #761

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    Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Smart growth? Wise up

    Though the concept hasn't delivered on its promise of getting us out of our cars, that doesn't mean it's a failure.

    LA Times Editorial
    July 11, 2007
    ....
    One problem with this area is that more people keep coming to reside here. Sure, that means more people taking mass transit, but for every one additional person taking mass transit there are two additional people (or more) using their cars.
    Reducing the number of people would resolve a lot of the traffic problems, but it would also create a few other problems.
    I'd like to see the route for an extended Expo Line to LAX.

    I figure Culver Blvd all the way to Vista Del Mar, then cut up the vacant area to Westchester Parkway, then East on Westchester to Parking Lot C, where some king of PeopleMover would be created to transport to the various Terminals.
    Last edited by sediment; 07-13-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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  12. #762

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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Then they could build it on the far Northeast corner of LA County.
    That would be too logical and effective for reducing smog and easing traffic congestion. Perhaps the state could get involved.

    Palmdale/Lancaster is one of those rare places in Southern California where the residents don't mind the construction of new freeways, new developments (commercial and residential) and don't want to block change.

    Turning the place into an airport / aerospace / air force base / inland port / Big Rig Truck center will probably be seen as a major + for the community, as they want it to get built up so their property values will rise.

    Anywhere else in the lower basin: LA-V-OC-R-SB counties, this would be a disaster.

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    Smile Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    ...I'd like to see the route for an extended Expo Line to LAX.
    I'd like to see that too.

    I **THINK** the line was proposed to run from Exposition Blvd and Crenshaw down to Florence, over to Aviation Blvd., down to Century and over to LAX.

    Personally, I would rather see this line built than the Culver City-Santa Monica portion (Phase II) of the Expo line.

    Especially if the Subway to the Sea is going to Santa Monica.

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    Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Palmdale/Lancaster is one of those rare places in Southern California where the residents don't mind the construction of new freeways, new developments (commercial and residential) and don't want to block change.

    Turning the place into an airport / aerospace / air force base / inland port / Big Rig Truck center will probably be seen as a major + for the community, as they want it to get built up so their property values will rise.

    Anywhere else in the lower basin: LA-V-OC-R-SB counties, this would be a disaster.
    Oh, I agree. It makes great sense IF the project is combined with extending The 40 to The 5. Or, at least having some freeway being built from Palmdale to Barstow. Two-lane roads through all those enlarged ditches/flood channels will not do.
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    Post Re: Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Oh, I agree. It makes great sense IF the project is combined with extending The 40 to The 5. Or, at least having some freeway being built from Palmdale to Barstow. Two-lane roads through all those enlarged ditches/flood channels will not do.
    Yeah the highway that runs through there now is called "Blood Alley". I'm pretty sure they're trying to get a second parallel pair of lanes so it can become a divided four-lane roadway.
    Last edited by CaliforniaAdventurer; 07-15-2007 at 09:02 AM.

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