Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Measure R passes, LA to become a real city

The most important item that came up for vote in the recent election in LA County was Measure R, the sale tax increase to fund transportation projects. Well, congratulations Los Angeles... you have made a wise decision. Measure R will begin provide funding next year from sales tax receipts towards completion of Expo Line Phase 2, which will connect Culver City with Santa Monica. It will also accelerate the timeline for Purple Line subway extension under Wilshire Blvd to Westwood.

In San Gabriel Valley, where dimwit politicians had opposed Measure R, will now see the Gold Line extended all the way to Azusa.

Perhaps more importantly, now that Measure R has passed, it means the Metro and the County can now ask President Obama (oh yeah, that sounds great!) and congress for matching funds. Measure R was never going to fully fund all the projects (for example, R only pays for subway to Westwood, not Santa Monica); however, with money in hand, we can now ask the Feds to cough up the rest.

The picture below shows what LA looks like when all the mass transit projects in Measure R are completed, which is estimated to be around 2030.

This is just the beginning... With enough Federal funding, we can add a couple more projects that will make the system even better. In the picture below, you can see expanded bus way in SFV, more light rails in SGV, and extensions for Green Line (to South Bay) and Expo Line (to Westwood). These projects are not mentioned in Measure R but are in Metro's long term plan.

But for now, we can concentrate on the Wilshire subway extension, which is the centerpiece of LA's transportation future. Metro has tentatively proposed the following routing:

The yellow line is proposed Expo Line extension and the Blue line is proposed Wilshire (Purple) Line extension.

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