City, county work to improve mass transit

December 03, 2005|By By Mark R. Madler

Hopes include expanding bus network to alleviate traffic leading to and from Los Angeles International Airport.MEDIA DISTRICT WEST -- A meeting Wednesday morning between two City Council members and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich focused on ways that the city and county could work together to improve mass transit for area residents.

While supportive of expanding public transportation, Antonovich were skeptical of whether funding would be available, especially if the existing Metro Red Line is extended from Wilshire Boulevard to Santa Monica..

"At $300 million to $350 million per mile that eats up all the money, and you are going to play catch up," Antonovich told Mayor Jef Vander Borght and Vice Mayor Todd Campbell.


The seven-term county supervisor met with Vander Borght and Campbell at the Buena Vista Library to discuss issues in common between the city and county. Councilwoman Marsha Ramos and Councilman Dave Golonski were not present.

This year the city has made several moves to improve public transit.

The city expanded its transit services in February, September and October to provide connections between the North Hollywood Red Line station and the media district and Bob Hope Airport areas; and between downtown and the Metrolink station.

The city also joined Glendale and Pasadena in funding a preliminary study on improving transit services in the Ventura (134) Freeway corridor with possibly express bus lines or a light rail system linking Pasadena with North Hollywood.

"There is no fixed route yet and we don't even know the method of service," Vander Borght said. "But if we don't strengthen the corridor we are going to continue to struggle with providing alternatives,"

Burbank is important to the overall transit picture because of opportunities to expand public transit to the Bob Hope Airport, Antonovich said.

Yet, more public transportation was also needed to get people to airports in Palmdale and Ontario, Antonovich said.

"You can't continue to over-extend the San Diego, Century and Golden State freeways by forcing everyone to go to LAX," Antonovich said.

Campbell raised his concerns over railroad noise and safety issues, especially in the future if more goods are brought into the Los Angeles area by train. There are projects that are addressing elimination of grade crossings, such as the $950-million Alameda Corridor East project in the San Gabriel Valley, Antonovich said.

At the meeting's start, Vander Borght expressed thanks to Antonovich for the help given by the county fire department during the brush fires in the Verdugo Mountains at the end of September.

That assistance was an example of the proactive approach the county takes with municipal departments, Antonovich said.

"We're pleased to live in an area where police and fire work together and lessen the damage and impacts to victims of catastrophe," Antonovich said.


How do you think mass transit can be improved in the area? E-mail your responses to burbankleader; mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W. Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA 91203. Please spell your name and include your address and phone number for verification purposes only.

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