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Rail Transit Joint Committee on MTA Staff Recommendations

Rail Transit Joint Committee on MTA Staff Recommendations

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Comments and recommendations for board action submitted by the Rail Transit Joint Committee of South Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils
Comments and recommendations for board action submitted by the Rail Transit Joint Committee of South Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils

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06/12/2011

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Page1of4
MEMO
TO:MetroBoardofDirectors&StaffFR:DamienGoodmon,RailTransitJointCommitteeofSouthLANeighborhoodCouncilsDATE:November18,2009RE:Crenshaw‐SouthBayLine&HarborSubdivisionStaffReportsandRecommendationsTheCrenshaw‐SouthBayLinemustbeviewedasthefirstphaseofathree‐phase
1
Hollywood‐to‐SouthBayprojectthatiscrucialtothelong‐termgrowthandmobilityoftheregion,andwillprovidetransferstoallfourexistingeast‐westraillines.Ifbuiltcorrectly,asatruerapidtransitlineoperatingat55‐64mphbetweenstationsliketheGreenLine,theCrenshaw‐SouthBayLinewouldbetheonlyrapidtransportationoptionalongthecorridor,whichlacksevenahighwayoption,andwouldbeexpectedtoattractover100Kridersperday.Accordingly,staffisrighttorecommendlightrailtransitfortheCrenshaw‐SouthBaycorridorandnotbusrapidtransit,whichwasactuallyworsethantheexistingrapidbusservice.Lightrailbetterservesthelong‐termtransitneed,improvessystemconnectivity,providesmoretraveltimesavingsforridersinahightransitdependencyarea,andhassubstantiallygreatershort‐termandlong‐termeconomicandenvironmentalbenefits.StaffisalsotobecommendedforrecommendingcontinuedevaluationandenvironmentalclearanceofadditionalgradeseparationoptionsandaLeimertParkVillagestation.ProceedinginthismannerwillallowtheCrenshaw‐SouthBayprojecttoseamlesslyincorporatesafety,economicdevelopment,environmentalandtraveltimeimprovementswithouthavingtoundergothecostanddelayofasupplementalEIR/EISprocess.However,
staff’sbelowgradecostestimatesaremultiplesgreaterthantheactualsubwayconstructioncostoftheEastsideExtension
.Amorerigorouscostrefinementandre‐evaluationoftheconstructionmarketwillallowoptionscurrentlyprojectedasoutsidethebaselinebudgettobeintegrated.TheBoardshouldmonitorthiscostrefinementprocessasmeticulouslyasthepublicexpects.Additionally,thestaffrecommendationfailstoevaluateothergrade‐separatedoptionscrucialtotheridershipandgrowthprospectsalongthecorridor,agencyandcommunityacceptanceoftheproject,andlong‐termsystemneeds.Therefore,wesubmitthefollowingrequestforBoardmodificationstothestaffrecommendationandothermattersforyourconsideration.
I.
 
OVERVIEWOFBOARDACTIONREQUIRED‐ModificationstoStaffRecommendation
WerequesttheMTAboardadoptthefollowingmodificationstothestaffrecommendation:A)
 
Addthefollowingdesignoptionsforcontinuedstudyandenvironmentalclearance:1.
 
ParkMesaHeightstunnel 
(connectingtheLeimertParkandHydeParktunnelsfrom48
th
to59
th
StreetBelowGradeSeparationwithabelowgradeSlausonAvestation)2.
 
HydeParktunnelextensiontoRedondo
(fromVictoriaAvepastRedondoBlvdwithanopen‐cutHydeParkStation)3.
 
ExtendedI‐405‐LaCienega‐Manchesterovercrossing
(beginning700feeteastofOakandconnectingwiththeManchesterovercrossing~1000feettothewest)4.
 
 ArborVitaegradeseparation
B)
 
AddtothebaseLRTdesign:CentinelaAveundercrossing.C)
 
Evaluatecost‐efficientconstructiontechniquesincluding,butnotlimitedtoopen‐cutstationsatLeimertParkVillage,SlausonandHydePark.D)
 
Studyalternativesitesforthemaintenancefacility,includingthenortheastcornerofImperial&Aviation.
 
1
TheothertwophasesaretheGreenLinesouthernextensionintotheSouthBay,whichisinthefunded/constrainedMetroLRTP,andanExpotoHollywoodRedLinenorthernextension.
 
Page2of4
II.
 
CRENSHAWBLVDPORTION‐Staff’sCostEstimatesforBelowGradeCostsareWildlyOfftheMark
StaffhasyettoexplainwhytheircostestimatesforbelowgradealignmentsandstationsaremultiplesgreaterthantherecentlycompletedEastsideExtensionLRTtunnelingportion.Staffestimatesthattherawconstructioncost(notincludingprofessionalservicesandcontingency)foranadditionalLeimertParkVillagestationis$96MandmovingtheExpositionstationfromat‐gradetobelowgradewouldcostanadditional$90M.Comparatively,theEastsideExtensiontunnelingcontractindicatesthattheSotoandMariachiPlazastationwere~$29Mand~$35Mrespectively.Infact,therawconstructioncostforalloftheEastsideExtensionstations,whichincluded2undergroundstationsand6at‐gradestations,was~$97M(Table5‐1onPg.5‐2EastsideExtensionEIR/S).
Staff’sveryhighcostassumptionsaccenttheimportanceofincludingadditionalgrade‐separationoptionsandclearingthemwithintheEIR/S.
Thoughitisnotdelineated,itisreasonabletoassumeasimilarlywildlyhighcostestimateisprojectedforthebelowgradeMartinLutherKingJr.Blvdstation,whichisintheproject’sbaseline.Thiscostisnotsolelyreflectedinrawconstructioncost,butalsoprofessionalservices(typically25‐35%ontopoftherawconstructioncost)andcontingency(another10%ontopofsumofcostofrawconstructionandprofessionalservices).Therefore,thiserrorcouldliterallyindicateanapproximately“$100milliondifference”intheprojectedbaseLRTcostandactualbaseLRTcosts.
IfMetroisabletobuildtheundergroundCrenshawLinestationsatacostsimilartotheEastsideExtensionsubwaystationsplusinflation,theactualcostoftheLeimertParkVillage,KingBlvdandExpositionstationswouldequalthecoststaffcurrentlybudgetssolelyfortheKingBlvdstation,whichintheprojectbaseline.
Furthermore,throughthevalueengineeringprocessstaffmayidentifymorecost‐efficientmethodstoconstructthebelowgradesectionandprojectasawhole,includingbutnotlimitedto:
 
EconomiesofscaleforaboredtunnelalongCrenshawBlvdfromExpositiontotheHarborSubdivision.
 
Open‐cutstationswherepossible(specificallytheSlausonandHydePark/FairviewHeightsstations).Forthesereasonsandothers,inadditiontotheoptionsrecommendedbystaffforcontinuedstudyandenvironmentalclearance,theEIR/ScannotproceedwithoutevaluatingthefollowingdesignonCrenshawBlvd,:
 
ParkMesaHeightstunnelbetween48
th
and59
th
StreetwithabelowgradestationatSlauson.Asreflectedinthestaffreport,asubstantialportionofthecommunityrequestedthisoptionbeincludedintheproject.Othersignificantfactorsnotmentionedandyettobeevaluatedbystaffinclude:
 
CaliforniaPublicUtilitiesCommissionstaff’sspecificrecommendationsforgradeseparationatSlausonAveand57
th
St,
2
andevaluationofgradeseparationatallcurrentlyproposedat‐gradecrossings.
3
 
TheCityofLosAngelespositionthattheentireCrenshawBlvdportionofthelinebeunderground.
 
TheCrenshawCorridorSpecificPlanprohibitiononoverheadutilitylines.
4
 
TrafficimpactsonSlausonAveatintersectionsparalleltoCrenshaw,andat54
th
Street.
 
Theenvironmentaljusticeimplicationsofbuildingthetrainat‐gradeinalessaffluentpartofCrenshawBlvd,butallundergroundnorthoftheI‐10freewaytoWilshire(orHollywood).Additionally,thestaffreportandDEIR/Sdrasticallyunderstatestheeconomicharmtothemanysmallminority‐ownedbusinessesandeconomicdevelopmenteffortsalongCrenshawBlvdfromthelossofover200parkingspacesandthetraveltimelossesandsafetyhazardsofat‐gradecrossingsinthissection,whichabutsViewParkPrepHighSchoolandisjustoneblockawayfromCrenshawHighSchool.Theproposedstreet‐runningalignment(at40mphwithnogates)hasproventobetheregion’smostaccident‐prone.
 
2
CPUCRCESLetter:“Duetothelargenumberofstudentpedestrianactivityaroundschools,particularlywithbothMiddle&HighSchoolsadjacenttotheproposedLRTatthislocation,werecommendLACMTAgrade‐separatetheintersectionsof57
th
StandSlausonAve.”
3
CPUCRCESLetter:“WeencourageLACMTAtoevaluategradeseparationofanyproposedat‐gradecrossings.”
4
Section13:“Totheextentphysicallyfeasible,allnewutilitylinesthatdirectlyserviceaProjectshallbeinstalledunderground.”
 
Page3of4
III.
 
HARBORSUBDIVISIONPORTION‐Staff’sFailuretoPlanorEvaluateInterlining/IntegrationwiththeHarborSubdivisionLineShacklestheAbilityofMetrotoLeveragetheCrenshaw‐SouthBayLineInvestmentwithLAXExpansionandHighSpeedRailInitiatives
WhiletheHarborSubdivisionstudyprocesshasadvancedparalleltheCrenshaw‐SouthBayLineprocess,theCrenshaw‐SouthBayLineDEIR/SfailstoevaluatethecumulativeeffectsonthesharedportionofthealignmentbetweentheCrenshawBlvd/HarborSubdivisionintersectionandCenturyBlvd/Aviation.Infact,theCrenshaw‐SouthBayLinestudyhasneverevaluatedorproposeddesignoptionstoaddresstheoperationallimitationsandadversetraffic,safetyandotherenvironmentalimpactsofafutureHarborSubdivisionlineinterlinedwiththeCrenshaw‐SouthBayLine.
SuchalinewouldatleastdoublethenumberoftrainsinthesharedportionfromCrenshawtotheGreenLine.
Thistypeofpiece‐meal/left‐handpaynoattentiontotheright‐handplanninghascostMetroandtheregioninthepast.ThefailuretoplanandbuildsufficientcapacityontheExpoLineforaCrenshawLinespurtoLAXhascontributedtothelowerthanexpectedshort‐termridershipnumbersoftheCrenshaw‐SouthBayLine.Metroshouldn’trepeatthemistakeoffailingtoplanandbuildnecessarycapacityespeciallywhenafeasiblesolutionissocloseandthepotentialforsubstantialoutsideinvestmentforasecondinterlinedprojectisatstake.ThoughtheHarborSubdivisionstaffreportidentifieshightransitdependency,highridershipandstrongcost‐effectivenessrankingsfora10.3‐mileHarborSubdivisionlinefromtheBlueLineSlausonstationtoLAX,nofundingexistforthe5.2‐mileportionoftheprojectbetweentheBlueLineandCrenshawBlvd.PerhapsbetterthananyotherconceptualprojectonMetro’sradar,aBlueLine‐to‐LAXHarborSubdivisionLinehastherealpotentialofbeingfundedbyoutsidesources.NewYorkCity’sAirTrainprovidesanappropriatemodel.
The$1.9billion8.1‐mileNewYorkCityJFKairportAirTrain,whichconnectstheNewYorkCitysubwayandLongIslandRailroadtotheJFKairportterminals,wasfundedprimarilythroughaPassengerFacilityCharge(a$3feeonalloutboundflightsoutofNYCairports).
5
IfLosAngelesWorldAirports/FederalAviationAdministrationfundsthefinal5.2‐milesegmentoftheHarborSubdivisionfromCrenshawBlvdtotheBlueLine,andtheentireguidewayisbuiltinacompatiblemodeandalignment(withMetrolikelyfundingtheconstructionoflocalstationsandpossiblypass‐throughtracksatthestations)
6
,LAWA,Metro,theregion,andahighlytransitdependentareawouldreceivesubstantialbenefits.LAWAwouldbeabletoreducetheadverseairqualityimpactsandproduceacommunitybenefitofLAXexpansion,whileconnectingLAXtothemostheavilyriddenlightraillineinthecountryatafractionoftheactualcost.MTA,theregionandtheHarborSubdivisioncommunitieswouldhavealocallightraillineaddedtothesystematlittletonoadditionalcapitalcosts.
ThepotentialforpartneringwithanotheragencytobuildalightraillineatlimitedcosttoMetroissignificantandcannotcontinuetobeoverlooked.ThefirststeptoplacingMetro/theregioninapositiontoleveragetheresourcesisensuringthattheHarborSubdivisionportionoftheCrenshaw‐SouthBayprojecthasthecapacitytooperatemultiplelines.Thealignmentrecommendedbystaffdoesnot.At‐gradecrossingsofintersectionscurrentlystudiedat24perhour(5minheadways)wouldnotbepermissibleifstudiedat48perhour.
Thesolutiontothisproblemis,inaccordancewiththeCPUC’sstaffrequest,studyinggradeseparationofthehandfulofcurrentlyproposedat‐gradecrossingsontheHarborSubdivision.Simplystudyingextensionsoftheexistinggradeseparatedoptionswouldaccomplishthisobjective.AccordinglywerequestinclusionintheDEIR/Softhefollowingoptions:
 
HydeParktunnelextensiontoRedondo:ByextendingtheHydeParktunnelfromVictoria/HarborSubdivisionpossiblyviatrenchorcut‐and‐coverpastRedondo,theintersectionsofBrynhurst,WestBlvd
 
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PortAuthorityofNewYork‐NewJerseyPressRelease:http://www.panynj.gov/press‐room/press‐item.cfm?headLine_id=561
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TheLRTPidentifiesfundingforaGreenLineairportextensionfundsthatcouldbeusedforthispurpose.

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