RUNNING SINCE 2008

CPUC Rejects MTA’s Dorsey Crossing!

Posted by Fix Expo Team On February - 22 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

On Friday, the California Public Utilities Commission REJECTED MTA’s proposal to build the at-grade holding pen contraption at Farmdale Avenue right next to Dorsey High School.

From the Decision:

“[The MTA/Expo Line Construction Authority's] application for an at-grade rail crossing at Farmdale Avenue in the City of Los Angeles is denied.”

This is the biggest victory yet for the community, school district, parents, teachers and rail safety advocates, in our long fight for more grade separation on the Expo Line Phase 1, and against the unsafe, unequal, primarily street-level rail line in South LA.

We came together and fought back the MTA and particular Westside interest groups and politicians, who have treated our community like nothing but a go-between and failed to show any concern for our well-being, not even the safety of our children.

But now the question is, “WHAT’S NEXT? IF MTA CAN’T BUILD THE HOLDING PEN, THEN WHAT WILL THEY BUILD?”

At this stage we just know what WILL NOT be built at Farmdale (the at-grade proposal). What WILL be built at Farmdale is to be determined. Contrary to the LA Times article, the CPUC DID NOT and COULD NOT approve any of alternatives to the at-grade application:

  1. train undercrossing
  2. train overcrossing
  3. street closure with a pedestrian bridge

From the decision:

Though we deny the application for the proposed crossings at Farmdale, we cannot authorize the construction of any of the alternative design options.

The CPUC could only decide whether to approve or deny the street-level crossing, and they shot MTA down.

According to the decision, the CPUC must now facilitate MTA’s environmental review process, to see if MTA’s desired alternative, which just so happens to be the cheapest of the three options (closing Farmdale and building a pedestrian bridge) complies with environmental laws. Only after the EIR process is complete can another application be submitted to the CPUC for their approval or denial.

So we look forward to participating in that process and we will call on you to participate as well.

Popularity: 28% [?]

What Happened to the Foshay Bridge?

Posted by Fix Expo Team On February - 22 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The initial proposed decision denied MTA’s application at Dorsey and at Foshay, and required MTA to build a pedestrian bridge at Foshay that would have cost $5-8 million to construct. That proposed decision was written by Administrative Law Judge Kenneth Koss and the assigned CPUC Commisioner Timothy Simon, who both have been monitoring this case for the past 2 ½ years. It was they who attended the public hearings at Dorsey in November 2007 and at Foshay in July of 2008. It was they who presided over the week long evidentiary hearing that involved the testimony and cross-examination of over a dozen expert witnesses.

Proving once more that there is truly no low that MTA will not go to push their unsafe design, after the Koss/Simon proposed decision was made public, MTA/Expo spent taxpayer dollars hiring a former Enron lobbyist, Sandra McCubbin, to work to overturn it.

McCubbin and the Expo’s high-paid attorney initiated nearly two-dozen backroom/off-the-record meetings with the CPUC Commissioners and staff, and convinced Commissioner Rachel Chong, to author an Alternative Decision to Simon’s, that would remove the pedestrian bridge at Foshay that Simon originally found necessary at the end of the trial.

Then Westside politician Zev Yaroslavsky, who doesn’t represent any community within miles of Dorsey or Foshay pressured the Commission (pdf) to overturn Simon’s previously required pedestrian bridge at Foshay and adopt the Chong Alternative.

Zev Yaroslavsky has advocated for a $5-8 BILLION dollar subway under his community of Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Century City, yet he opposes a $5 million bridge at Foshay to protect the South LA students.

Unfortunately, the Zev Yaroslavsky/MTA/Enron-lobbyist pressure worked as the Chong Alternative was approved in a 4-1 decision, with Simon, the only African-American on the Commission, and the Commissioner most intimately familiar with the case being the dissenting vote.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Next Meeting: Mon Jan 11

Join us at our first community update and organizing meeting in the new decade as we discuss the on-going Farmdale controversy and Crenshaw subway effort.

Campaign for Stimulus & Measure R Funds to Grade Separate the South LA Portion of Expo

MTA now has more resources that by law has to be spent on rapid transit expansion. Now is our time to request these resources go toward FIXING EXPO!

Responding to MTA Spin & Deception

A comprehensive response to the spin, red herrings, and half-truths delivered by MTA/Expo, complete with agency memos, testimony, studies, pictures, videos and all.

Separate & Unequal: Expo Phase 1

Compare the design of the Expo Line Phase 1 west of La Cienega to that in majority-minority South LA and it’s clear that Expo Phase 1 is textbook environmental racism.

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