Friday, May 27, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The 405 Summer Closure
MTA is warning motorists about a bridge demolition project that will shut down a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway for an entire weekend.
By now, most of you have probably heard about plans to shut down the 405 Freeway at the Sepulveda Pass for 53 hours in July. Here are the nuts and bolts, just to bring you up to speed.
- The 405 Freeway will be closed in both directions for 53 hours, on July 17th and 18th, starting late Friday night/early Saturday morning hours and ending just before rush hour on Monday morning.
- A 10-mile stretch of the 405 will be affected, from Interstate 10 to the 101.
- The closure will allow crews to demolish the south side of the Mulholland Bridge.
Approximately 500,000 cars travel through this area on an average July weekend - relatively light traffic when you consider other times of the year.
"It is manageable if the public cooperates," says Marc Littman, spokesman for LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority who emphasized the importance of advance notice on projects like this.
MTA plans to roll out an ad campaign this weekend leading up to the official media event on the topic on Monday, May 23rd. As we get closer to the summer demolition date, Littman will also ramp up outreach efforts with a basic message: Plan ahead.
"We're encouraging people to stay home if you can," says Littman. "If you have to drive, we'll post recommended alternative routes."
In an effort to help those people who must be on the road - especially emergency vehicles - a team of traffic management consultants is working to recommended alternative routes to prepare for the weekend. The team is made up of the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.
No doubt, this freeway work is unprecedented here in car-centric Los Angeles and it could have a far reaching impact on almost every aspect of our transportation system. Connecting freeways, surface streets, and vehicular traffic at Los Angeles International Airport could be affected.
In a couple of years, when the billion dollar project is complete, you'll be able to drive in a continuous carpool lane from the San Fernando Valley to Orange County. We'll also enjoy better access to a safer freeway.
And then we get to do this all over again next summer...
That's right, crews will repeat this process in 2012 when crews close the freeway to demolish the north side of Mulholland Bridge.
Keep up to date on the project:
Monday, April 18, 2011
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ON NEGOTIATING PRINCIPLES
Principle 1: The City's existing General Fund base will be fully protected.
Amendment: The City’s existing and future General Fund base will be fully protected.
Principle 2: There shall be no public money for the NFL Stadium.
Question: Does this mean that no public monies will be used for infrastructure improvements around the stadium and event center? I would like to be sure that is the case.
Amendment: There shall be no public money for the NFL Stadium or the downtown event center, and public money and will not be used to subsidize or incent the stadium and event center, or otherwise make infrastructure improvements that the City would not ordinarily make.
Principle 3: There must be substantial private funding to support any bonds issued to construct Pico Hall.
Question: What models for public-private partnerships are we looking at to determine whether the level of private funding is sufficient?
Question: This principle implies that, in addition to private funding to support the bonds, there should be some level of public funding to support the bonds. Why?
Principle 4: Any tax revenues used to support bonds issued to construct Pico Hall shall be from demonstrated net new tax revenues generated by the development and shall not come from existing General Fund revenues.
I do not agree that we should be supporting bonds at all with tax revenue, new or existing.
Principle 5: The amount of demonstrated net new tax revenues to the City used to support bonds issued to construct Pico Hall shall be no more than 50% of the net new General Fund tax revenues accruing to the City from the development.
Why should we sacrifice ANY net new tax revenues? What is the justification for that?
Principle 6: AEG shall fully guarantee, in a form satisfactory to the City, the debt service on the bonds used to construct the New Hall in the event that the revenues generated through numbers 3 and 5 above are insufficient to fully support the bonds.
Question: How can we be sure that the new AEG event center will not actually harm the business of the LACC? Might it not cannibalize the business and attract some events that might otherwise go to the LACC? How do we protect against those loses, quantify them, and get repaid for them?
Principle 7: The City shall retain fee ownership of the property on which the NFL stadium will be built. The property will be ground leased for a period not to exceed 55 years and the City shall receive fair compensation for the value of the ground lease.
Question: Who will determine the fair market value of the ground lease? Can someone give me an estimate of what the amount appears to be now?
Question: If the city retains ownership of the property, why shouldn’t we get a portion of the fees for naming rights for the stadium built on that property?
Amendment: Add an additional Principle, stating that “Due to the City’s ownership of the property on which the stadium is built, the City should receive a fair portion of the naming rights.”
Principle 8: AEG will work cooperatively with LACC and LA INC with regard to Convention Center bookings to mitigate, to the fullest extent possible, any disruption of service at the LACC. The New Hall will be substantially completed prior to the demolition of the West Hall. The West Hall shall not be taken out of service prior to the opening of the New Hall without the City's prior consent and such consent will be given only if scheduled events can be otherwise accommodated.
Question: What is meant by saying that the new hall shall be "substantially" completed before demolishing the West Hall?
Principle 9: AEG shall complete an Enviromental Impact Report (EIR) which shall fully analyze the impacts of the proposed development.
Question: As worded, does this allow the developer to complete an EIR while also obtaining legislative protection from any litigation regarding the adequacy of the EIR, thereby making the EIR meaningless?
Amendment: AEG shall complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which shall fully analyze the impacts of the proposed development, and AEG shall not seek or receive legislation protection from litigation regarding the adequacy of the EIR.
Principle 10: AEG will implement a public benefits program.
I fully support this idea. In addition to concessions to organized labor, which I know is at the table, and local residents, who have a champion in Ms. Perry, I would also strongly suggest we press AEG to use sustainable design standards, maximize energy efficiency, and seek LEED certification.
Principle 11: AEG will provide assurances to the satisfaction of the City that teams that are contracted to play in the NFL stadium are committed to the stadium for a period sufficient to ensure that the City's investment in Pico Hall is protected.
Question: What are the ways through which the City can assure that teams are contracted with to play in the stadium "for a period of time sufficient to ensure that the City's investment in Pico Hall is protected?" Wouldn't that require a contract of enormous length?
Principle 12: The NFL stadium must include a roof and be designed in such a fashion as to provide viable additional event and exhibit space for the LACC, so that the total available event space at the LACC shall exceed 1 million square feet. AEG and the City will negotiate the terms though which the City shall have access to the stadium for event and exhibit space.
Question: Why are we focused on 1 million sq feet of exhibit space? While that is an improvement over what we have now, isn’t still a far cry from what we need to be truly competitive with other convention cities?
Question: Can someone name 2 or 3 events that might be willing to move from their current location to Los Angeles where space would be split between a traditional convention center and a football stadium?
Questions for AEG
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
A letter from Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
I am writing to give you a further update on the progress of the Roadmap to Housing program, which will help people living in their vehicles in CD11 get off the streets and into permanent housing.
Recently, outreach workers with People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) identified a family of seven living in a van in Westchester. Two weeks ago, PATH found that family transitional housing at the Upward Bound House, and soon they will be placed in permanent housing.
That is the kind of success we hope to emulate with the Roadmap to Housing program. Administered by PATH, the program's main goal is to find permanent housing for people living in their vehicles. Since transitional placement like Upward Bound is rare, the program will temporarily move selected program participants from our residential streets to assigned and supervised spaces in publicly owned parking lots.
Last month, the City Attorney released a draft ordinance (LAMC 85.11) that allows PATH to legally operate the program in designated spaces in public parking lots. A few weeks ago, after hearing much feedback that the proposal was overly broad, I amended the draft ordinance by eliminating the use of public streets, and specifying which lots could be used. I identified and listed the parking lots at my offices in Westchester and West LA, and capped the number of vehicles per lot at eight. Finally, I agreed to a sunset provision for this pilot program.
At this time, I am prepared to offer two more amendments to the proposed ordinance:
Tripling the minimum buffer zone between any parking spot and a residence from 50 feet to 150 feet.
Identifying a third lot for the program: The parking lot of the Penmar Golf Course in Venice.
Supporters of the program -- from Venice, Westchester and other communities -- have insisted that Venice, which has the largest population of people living in their vehicles, must have a lot participating in the program. The eastern end of the parking lot (at the golf course on Rose Avenue, not at the park and recreation center on Penmar Avenue) is a greater distance from residences than any other publicly owned lot in Venice. And the immediate neighborhood, which falls outside of the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission, has the ability to implement a range of parking restrictions, which will prevent RVs and campers from parking on nearby residential streets.
I have already secured 50 housing vouchers, which will expedite the transition for many program participants. Those enrolled in the program will be screened and monitored by PATH, and will be required to adhere to a strict code of conduct. PATH will provide private security and oversight of the lots, and program participants will be limited to CD11 residents and those who were living in a vehicle in the district prior to December 2010, and want to find permanent housing.
PATH will use the spaces if and when needed -- but will concentrate its program on outreach, case management and helping people find permanent housing. PATH may not need to use all of the spaces in the lots, and may not need to use the lots at all for periods of time. Only eight vehicles will be allowed to park in each lot, and the hours will be limited to 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Like any important matter of public policy, this ordinance is a work in progress and there are many more opportunities to be heard.
The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa endorsed the proposal last night, and the Venice Neighborhood Council and the West LA Neighborhood Council will each hold hearings on the issue. I will also hold a special meeting on the Transportation Committee, 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 in Room 1010 of City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
A copy of the draft ordinance, including my proposed latest amendments, is available here. A copy of the program guidelines from the PATH contract is here. You can also see a PowerPoint summary of the program here.
I look forward to your input as we continue to shape and refine this program.
Roadmap to Housing Contract
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Mar Vistan Stephen Boskin's Mixed Moments II Photography Exhibit at WLA through March 31
For more information about Stephen's photography visit http://stephenboskinphotography.com/