4 EXPO TRANSIT NEWSLETTER - April 2003
* Where EXPO is Now -- the good, the bad, and what you can do
It's been an eventful few months since our last Friends4Expo Transit newsletter -- locally, statewide, and nationally. More than ever we are committed to the Exposition corridor light rail line and bikeway, for a more livable, connected, and less car-dependent Los Angeles. And WELCOME, those of you new to Friends 4 Expo Transit!
* WHERE EXPO IS NOW -- the good, the bad, and what you can do
THE GOOD: Preliminary Engineering and project design studies are underway. Alternatives along Flower and/or Figueroa instead of the DEIS route along Washington and Hill are being considered, because there isn't capacity for more trains on Washington. In addition, according to Project Manager Anthony Loui, in the coming weeks the MTA will be setting up Working Groups for neighborhood participation in station planning; publishing new Metro maps which will include the Pasadena Gold Line (see below for more on the Gold Line); and rolling out an interactive webpage devoted exclusively to Expo.
THE BAD: The state's budget crisis is deeper than anyone's expectations, and may last beyond 2003. The federal budget is in flux due to deficit and war. Expo is -- as are many worthwhile projects -- entitled to state and federal funds for construction. These are difficult times, and realistically, it may turn out that we will have to accept some delays in Expo's completion. However, there is one place we cannot compromise: it is critical that funding be retained to continue Expo's Preliminary Engineering this year (see following), and Expo receive construction funding in the federal transportation funding reauthorization later this year.
WHAT YOU CAN DO -- URGENT ACTION: Support the MTA's request to Congress for FY 2004 funding -- $11 million for Exposition's Preliminary Engineering and $70 million for the Eastside Gold Line to begin construction. E-mail or fax (see their websites) -- in the next week or so -- the following members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies, asking for their support for these two critical light rail projects.
- Ernest J. Istook, Jr., Oklahoma (Chair) email@example.com
* F4ET GENERAL MEETING with ROGER SNOBLE -- May 6, 7:00 pm
Join us, and encourage your friends and neighbors to attend, the next Friends 4 Expo Transit General Meeting at Hamilton High School. 7:00 p.m. on May 6. We are honored to have Roger Snoble, CEO of the MTA, join us again for an update on Exposition and the MTA.
* PASADENA GOLD LINE -- almost open!
The Pasadena Gold Line has much in common with our Expo line, in its length, route, and setting. Like Expo, it utilizes an old railroad right-of-way, is mostly at-grade, and is creatively planned to enhance the neighborhoods it serves. The Gold Line's success will be another rail milestone for Los Angeles, and will give added energy to the upcoming Expo and Eastside lines as people all over L.A. become even more enthusiastic about light rail in our city. There is a possibility that F4ET will be given a special Gold Line "preview tour" before the grand opening; if so, you can count on hearing about it first on this list! Meanwhile, we encourage you to visit the Gold Line website for the latest news: www.la-pasblueline.org.
* F4ET BIKEWAY SUBCOMMITTEE FORMED
Expo is, technically, a "Rail-With-Trail" -- a rail line and
bikeway sharing the same route. RWTs are among the most exciting transit
innovations happening today, exploding in popularity in both rural and
urban areas throughout the world. Over 60 RWTs are currently operating
in the United States, with another 40 in the planning stages. With a spectacular
path from the heart of downtown L.A. to the beach in Santa Monica, Expo
has the potential to be one of the most important RWTs in the country.
To receive a
* ORANGE COUNTY CENTERLINE OPEN HOUSES -- April 21, 23; May 5
For those of you also interested in Orange County's CenterLine light rail project, come to OCTA's open houses in Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana (see www.octa.net and www.railadvocates.org for more):
Wednesday, April 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
To learn more about the Expo Line, visit our website: www.friends4expo.org. If you'd like to be placed on our email list (or to be removed), email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (our e-mail server may return messages about undeliverable to a host named solo, but they really do get to us). Anyone who would like to attend a steering committee meeting, to become involved in planning events, meeting elected officials, or other volunteer opportunities, please contact us.
Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.