Monday, March 9, 2009

ACTION ALERT! Expo Line Bike Path In Danger!


As you may be aware, the MTA is building a new rail line along the old Exposition rail right of way, to connect first Downtown L.A. to Culver City, and then finally to Santa Monica in phase II. One of the promised features of this light rail line would be that it would have an adjacent bike path much like the bus rapid transit (BRT) Orange Line in the Valley. This would create a dedicated bikeway stretching all the way from the Coast to Downtown, and will make the "last mile" problem a little easier for those mixing bike and public transit. There is a problem though. The environmental review for Phase II is missing the bikeway portion. The Expo Construction Authority wants the cities to pay for the rest of the study, which may not happen, or may delay the bikeway. If construction were allowed to start without the bikeway included it may at worst never happen, and if it does, it will cost significantly more than if it were done simultaneously with rail construction.

This is unacceptable, and time is unfortunately running out to do something about it. The LACBC has sent out the action alert below with details about who you should contact about this issue and examples of points to bring up. I know we all get crazy busy sometimes, my self doubly included, but when you get a chance I urge you to follow up on this. Especially coming out of the LA Bike Summit, it is clear that if we are going to get things done in this city we need to become the squeaky wheel. So lets get squeaking!




Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

EXPO LIGHT RAIL ACTION ALERT!
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
BACKGROUND:

A new light rail line, called the Expo Line, will eventually extend from downtown to Santa Monica. The project is divided into two phases. Phase I is under construction and will end at Robertson & Venice in Culver City. Phase II will extend the line from there to Santa Monica. Phase II is still in planning phase and a draft environmental impact report was released last week.

One of items that have been promised for the Expo Line is a bikeway adjacent to the train line. This would create a continuous bikeway from Santa Monica to downtown if it were built!

Recently, the Expo Construction Authority (Expo) decided NOT to include the bikeway in the environmental review for Expo Phase 2, to avoid the burden of doing a federal environmental impact statement. Thus, there is no central authority coordinating engineering and construction of the bikeway.

Now, there are serious uncertainties about how, when or if an Expo Bikeway will ever be built!
As cyclists, we need to demand that the bike path be built simultaneously with the rail line!

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TAKE ACTION NOW!

1) Comment on DEIR! Comments are due March 13th!


2) E-mail key decisionmakers! See contact info below

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KEY POINTS TO MAKE:
· The bikeway must be built simultaneously with the Expo Line. If it is not included in the environmental review, we need a commitment and a plan from Expo on engineering and construction will happen.
· If the Expo Bikeway is not built at the same time as the rail line, costs will increase dramatically and construction difficulties will arise if Expo does not provide space for the bike path.
· The goal of the Expo Line is to reduce auto use. The bikeway is a critical component for achieving this. It can deliver transit users to stations without car trips and provides a much-needed crosstown commuter bikeway.
· Expo will be starting preliminary engineering soon. The bikeway must be included in this.
· The Expo Bikeway is a wonderful opportunity to expand our network of safe bike routes for a growing community of cyclists.

Send comments via e-mail to ALL people below:

Jan Perry
Jan.Perry@lacity.org
Expo Board Chair and LA City Council Member, 9th District


Herb Wesson,Jr.
councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
Expo Board Vice-Chair and LA City Council Member, 10th District


Pam O'Connor
pam.oconnor@smgov.net
Expo and Metro Board Member, Santa Monica City Council Member

Zev Yaroslavsky
zev@bos.lacounty.gov
Expo and Metro Board Member, LA County Supervisor, Third District

Scott Malsin
scott.malsin@culvercity.org
Expo Board Member, Mayor, Culver City

Bernard Parks
councilmember.parks@lacity.org
Expo Board Member, LA City Council Member, 8th district

Mark Ridley-Thomas
seconddistrict@bos.lacounty.gov
Expo Board Member, L.A. County Supervisor, Second District

1 comment:

Vlggrngrl said...

It isn't just Phase 2 that is in danger -- the path along Phase 1 is not what was promised. Don't forget when making comments to complain about Phase 1.