FRIENDS 4 EXPO TRANSIT NEWSLETTER
February 16, 2001 (updated 4/7/01)
FORWARD this newsletter to your friends, relatives and co-workers!!
WHO WE ARE: We are an all-volunteer group of citizens who
want to extend rapid transit to the Westside along the Exposition right-of-way.
HOW TO CONTACT US:
Phone: (310) 393-9025
OUR NEXT MEETING: Focus on strategy: How We Can Win
When: Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hamilton High School, 2955 So. Robertson Blvd., just
north of the 10 freeway. Please come!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
We need to show the MTA Board members the strong popular support for a
light rail line from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica. We are also
planning an event to increase public awareness.
1. Write a letter to the MTA Board expressing support for the Expo light
rail (send us a copy, please.) A sample letter is included
2. Get your company, neighborhood organization, school, church, temple
or mosque to write a letter of support. (Please send us a copy).
3. Invite us to make a presentation on Expo light rail to your group.
UPDATE on SUPPORT for EXPO:
The MTA's EIR/EIS Report (Environmental Impact Report/Envir.
Impact Statement) will be released to the public very soon. The
report will present recommendations on both the Wilshire corridor and
the Exposition corridor.
There will then be a 45-day PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. We are waiting
eagerly to see what the report recommends for the Expo corridor.
The MTA Board is scheduled to consider the Expo project on
26th June 28th. Board meetings begin at 9:30 a.m.
PLEASE MARK THIS DATE ON YOUR CALENDARS!
WE'VE RECENTLY MADE PRESENTATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING:
Community Advisory Committee of the Crenshaw CRA
Santa Monica Community College, President Piedad Robertson
L.A. Trade Tech, President Daniel Castro
Culver City Chamber of Commerce.
Westside Village Civic Association
Exposition Park Stakeholders
Culver City Rotary Club
PRESENTATIONS ARE PLANNED FOR THE FOLLOWING:
Project Area Committee of the Hoover CRA
North Area Neighborhood Development Council (of the 8th Empowerment Congress)
Cherrywood Block Club
Hoover Jefferson Neighborhood Stakeholders
Tract 7260 Association
South Robertson Neighborhoods Council
L.A. Association of Black Journalists
Tom Henry, Transp. Deputy to City Councilman Joel Wachs
SAMPLE LETTER OF SUPPORT:
Please support construction of a light rail line on the Exposition right-of-way.
As you are well aware, traffic in Los Angeles, especially on the 10 freeway,
is becoming increasingly congested. We can ease this problem by
building a light rail line from downtown to Santa Monica on land that
is already owned by the MTA.
This project would provide enormous benefits to our [employees / faculty,
students and staff / congregation/ members]. By connecting communities
along the Exposition corridor to the rest of the Los Angeles region's
emerging rail network, this light rail line would [ease our parking and
traffic problems/enable us to hire employees from all over the city/allow
many more students and faculty members easy access to our campus/increase
significantly our members' work, shopping, and cultural opportunities].
With local population expected to increase by the size of two Chicago's
in the next 20 years, we need light rail to attract people to public transit
-- a goal which bus ways cannot accomplish.
Popular and proven in an increasing number of American cities, light rail
is less polluting than buses and carries more passengers while operating
at lower costs. An Exposition rail line would connect Angelinos
of all ethnicities and classes, and open educational, recreational and
job opportunities especially to youth, the poor, and the elderly who depend
on mass transit.
The time to act is now. We heartily endorse this project, and urge you
to do all within your power to make a light rail line on Exposition a
Please use your own words wherever possible (choosing from the words in
brackets if, however, you copy our phrasing).
Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, Chair
Angeles, CA 90012-2952
The Exposition Blvd. right of way was used by the "Red Cars"
to carry passengers from USC all the way to Santa Monica until the early
1950s. It was used as a freight line until the early 1980's.
The MTA bought the right of way in 1990 to preserve it for future transit
* * * *
The Exposition right-of-way is owned by the MTA. It goes from downtown
Los Angeles past USC and Exposition Park, Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills, Culver
City, all the way to Santa Monica.
By developing rapid transit along this corridor, residents west of downtown
L.A. will be connected to the network of light rail and subway lines,
1. IN OPERATION (Long Beach, Norwalk-Torrance, Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood,
Universal Studios, North Hollywood),
2. UNDER CONSTRUCTION (Pasadena, opening in 2003),
3. IN THE PLANNING STAGE (East L.A.)
In February the MTA will release a report (EIS/EIR report) on three possible
projects on the Westside (Wilshire and Exposition corridors). There
will then be a 45-day public comment period.
The three projects are:
1. A dedicated BUSWAY down the center of Wilshire Blvd. (this would remove
a lane of traffic in each direction.).
2. A dedicated BUSWAY along the Exposition Blvd. right of way from downtown
to Santa Monica
3. A LIGHT RAIL LINE along the Exposition Blvd. right of way from downtown
to Santa Monica
The Expo route currently being studied leaves the Exposition right-of-way
at Venice, proceeding west to Sepulveda Blvd., then turning north on Sepulveda,
and rejoining the Exposition right-of-way just south of Pico Blvd.
In April, the MTA Board will decide which project(s) to advance to the
next stage. There are $500 million in federal and state funds earmarked
for improved mass transit which could be used for one or more of these
Without widespread popular support it is unlikely that the MTA Board will
vote to proceed with light rail on Exposition. That is why we formed
Friends 4 Expo to make sure that all the communities along the corridor
know what a wonderful opportunity they have to join an expanding network
of high quality transit.
Just a year ago the people on the Eastside won approval of a light rail
line from downtown L.A. through their area. Virtually every elected
official, city, county and state, came and spoke in support of LIGHT RAIL
for East L.A. Without that show of support the MTA Board would have
voted for a busway.
We can do likewise. We need to show our elected officials that there
is wide popular support for LIGHT RAIL ON EXPOSITION BLVD!
Over the last several months, we have met with the following elected officials
Tony Fitzgerald & Aaron Gross, office of L.A.City Councilwoman Ruth
Mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa
Laurie Newman, office of state Senator Sheila Kuehl
Victoria Minetta & Chris Bing, office of L.A. City Councilwoman Cindy
State Senator Kevin Murray & staff
David Roberts, office of L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas
Ron Mayberry, office of L.A. City Councilman Nate Holden
Tony Watson, office of L.A. City Councilwoman Rita Walters
Mayoral candidate Steve Soboroff
We will continue to meet with our elected officials and encourage them
to support this issue when it comes before the MTA Board.
STAY TUNED AND SEND US YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR OUTREACH.
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