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Metro's Gold Line Comments 'Extremely Disappointing,' GLCA CEO Says

Habib Balian, CEO of the Gold Line Construction Authority, said he was disappointed with Metro CEO Art Leahy for saying that the money to fund the Gold Line to Claremont has all dried up.

From an email sent by Habib Balian, CEO of the Gold Line Construction Authority, responding to comments from Metro CEO Art Leahy :

Mr. Leahy has now made it very clear where Metro staff stands on completing the voter-mandated project to Claremont. This is extremely disappointing since the San Gabriel Valley legislators worked hard in 2008 to define the project to Claremont, and Metro staff helped sell Measure R to voters by specifying the project to Claremont in their materials. Attached is a copy of the sample ballot that went to voters ahead of the November 2008 vote. As you can see on page 19 (in the rebuttal signed by then-Metro CEO Roger Snoble), Metro asserted that Measure R would make “transportation improvements throughout Los Angeles County” and highlighted the “Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont” as such a project. As you recall, nearly 94,000 residents of foothill cities from Arcadia to Claremont supported Measure R.

On several occasions of late, Metro has misinterpreted our request to be included in the expenditure plan. The misconception voiced by Metro is that we are insisting on funding the remainder of the project exclusively using Measure R funds. Not true. We are simply requesting to be treated like every other under-funded Measure R project. We ask that they include the true total cost to complete the Foothill Extension to Claremont in the expenditure plan, and provide a strategy for funding project completion through a combination of federal, state and local funds…like every other project. Not special treatment, just funding commensurate with the dictates of the Measure R promises; not more, and certainly not less.

Insider June 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM
We need and deserve the completion of the Foothill Extension. It will help businesses, employees and students who travel to the many colleges and universities along the Foothill extension route. Why is the West Side and San Fernando Valley funded but the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys get left out? We all support and most of us work in Los Angeles County so the funds should be spread evenly. This extension will also help cut down the air pollution and our dependence on foreign oil and cars. Most Europeans do not to HAVE to have cars because their public transportation is so extensive. Delaying this is delaying our progess and costing us more money.
Daryl Hons June 29, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Hmm...let's look at the projects that Metro is committed to building. There's the Wilshire subway...check. There's the downtown "connector"...check. There's the recently completed first phase of the Expo Line..check. There's the second phase of the Expo Line (under construction)...check. There's the Crenshaw "connector"...check-check. It appears there is a pattern here and I don't think it reflects regionalism. When Mearsure R was put on the ballot it was sold as a mechanism to fund transportation projects that benefit the region. Now there is movement afoot to place on the ballot an extension of Measure R. I am not a political expert, but isn't it time that Gabrielenos band together and campaign against an extension that guarantees nothing for our area? Measure R was passed by the slimest of margins, a margin that San Gabriel voters likely made possible. Let's face it, the MTA board is stacked by people connected with Los Angeles interests, with Tony V. chairing. These folks come to the public, hat in hand, when it comes time to sell a tax for public transit, but when the ballot initiative is successful, they arrogantly pursue projects for the city of Los Angeles. While I agree that traffic in L.A. is awful, I also believe that there needs to be proportionality and fairness in spending, especially for the Gold Line, which has been in the planning stages for longer than it has taken to build the Expo line...a project that came in approximately 33% over budget I might add.
Insider June 29, 2012 at 06:58 PM
If anyone wants to write the Metro Board of Directors send your comments to: Metro, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90012-2952, attn: Customer Relations & Board of Directors. You can e-mail them at Metro.net, About Us, Help & Comments, Board of Directors, "Office of the Board Secretary". They need to know how we feel and that we are aware of what is going on. Make them accountable!
Pam June 29, 2012 at 09:06 PM
The San Gabriel valley has always been treated like the unwanted stepchild of Los Angeles County. The 210 Fwy. opened in 1976 and was wonderful- now- it is very, very overcrowded. Why the Goldline has not been able to expand east is beyond me.
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