Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Transportation News from the Council Office

WEISS & COLLEAGUES HOST TRANSIT/SUBWAY SUMMIT NOVEMBER 19

On Monday, November 19, from 3 PM through 5 PM, Councilmember Jack Weiss, along with Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl, Herb Wesson, and Tom LaBonge, will host a Westside Transit/Subway Summit sponsored by the David Bohnett Foundation. KPCC host Kitty Felde will moderate this discussion with elected officials and experts of goals, policy objectives, and next steps to connect the Westside with the region’s light rail and subway systems. It will take place at the Peterson Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Blvd, at Fairfax (Parking is available onsite for $6). To RSVP or for more information call (310) 289-0353.

WEISS, MAYOR ANNOUNCE SEPULVEDA REVERSIBLE LANE PLAN

On October 18, Councilmembers Jack Weiss and Bill Rosendahl along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the unanimous passage of the Sepulveda Reversible Lane Project in a press conference at the Skirball Cultural Center. The $11.3 million project will switch the middle southbound lane to northbound during evening rush hour traffic to assist commuters heading home to the Valley.

"When you're leaving the city and going to the Valley during rush hour, it makes no sense to require drivers to go from two lanes to one lane," said Weiss.

The 18 month project set to begin in June of next year will install message boards in both directions and special lights within the tunnel to inform motorists when the lanes are open. The middle southbound lane will switch northbound from 4 PM to 7 PM Monday through Friday.

For more information on the project, please contact Weiss’ Field Deputy Matthew Schupbach at (818) 756-8083.

WEISS SUBMITS COMMENTS ON 405 SEPULVEDA PASS PROJECT

On October 1, Councilmember Jack Weiss submitted written comments to Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) raising questions and concerns about the Interstate 405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project. These comments followed a number of meetings in recent months involving Weiss, members of his staff, community members, Caltrans staff and members of the LADOT staff regarding various aspects of this project.

In response to issues raised by residents of the Westwood Hills and other communities along this freeway corridor Weiss appealed to Caltrans to ask for a federal government waiver for non-standard 11 foot lanes and non-standard shoulders along portions of this project. If such a waiver is granted it could minimize property takings and intrusion into the communities. It would also keep future options available for LADOT to improve Sepulveda Blvd.

Weiss also questioned the Caltrans recommendation to replace bridges at Mulholland and Skirball Center Drive. He has concerns about the potential impacts of closures during the replacement process upon commuters during the construction process. This could be disastrous for local residents and those who attend many nearby schools and other institutions.

Weiss appealed to Caltrans to minimize property takings for various portions of the project including new freeway on and off-ramps proposed in the Sherman Oaks area, and also proposed that a portion of the money saved from the avoidance of bridge replacement and from avoidance of property takings be used to make improvements to Sepulveda Blvd.

If you would like to receive a copy of this letter or have questions please contact Weiss’ Senior Field Deputy Jay Greenstein at (310) 289-0353 or by e-mail at jay.greenstein@lacity.org.

WEISS PRAISES COMPLETION OF 101-405 INTERCHANGE PROJECT

Councilmember Jack Weiss lauded the completion of the 101-405 Interchange Project on October 19, the day the interchange was officially opened for commuters. The northbound 405 transition to the 101 has been described as one of the worst bottlenecks in the country.

"Representing parts of the Valley and the Westside, I have been in the unique position of hearing frustrated Westside residents complain about the morning bottleneck on their way to work while Valley residents complain about the evening one going home," said Weiss. "I'm glad to see that commuters will finally get a much deserved traffic break at the interchange."

The $46 million project widened the northbound 405 from five to six lanes between Sepulveda and Ventura, reconfigured the Sepulveda 101 onramp, and added a northbound 405 onramp from Sepulveda.

COUNCIL PROPOSES CAR SHARING PILOT PROGRAM

In a creative effort to give City residents alternatives to car ownership, the City Council recently moved forward on a proposed one year car sharing pilot program. Participants in car sharing pay a subscription fee and share access to vehicles. Cars are reserved online or by phone, used, and then returned to the car's designated parking space. Several areas of the City are being considered for the pilot program, including North Westwood Village. The Department of Transportation and the City Attorney's office are working on the next step, which is communicating with car sharing companies to determine interest in participating in this historic program. Studies prove car sharing programs are a green way to help alleviate parking woes. For more information please contact Weiss’ Field Deputy Evan Gordon at (310) 289-0353.

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