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Old November 5th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #321
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With 64% reporting, measure R is at 66.91 % and according to the LA Times blog, westside precincts 42 and 47 have yet to be county, with heavy support sure to come! also not counted yet is a portion of the antelope valley and 3 districts in the SG.

1a is at 54.51!!! with 64 % reporting!
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Old November 5th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #322
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http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6592589.story

Sales tax hike for transit projects in L.A. County headed for victory
Bond issues for L.A. Unified and L.A. community colleges were leading in early returns.

By David Zahniser, Steve Hymon and Martha Groves
November 5, 2008

A half-cent sales tax hike known as Measure R appeared headed for victory in Los Angeles County Tuesday, as a massive voter turnout appeared to provide a major boost to the ambitious transportation plan.

The road and rail construction measure, which is crucial to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's effort to build a Subway to the Sea, was just over the two-thirds vote needed for passage with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.


Villaraigosa and an array of elected officials had been banking on high voter turnout to push the measure to victory. And the electorate delivered, with an estimated 82% of voters turning out -- more than in any previous election year since 1968, county election officials said.

The mayor voiced hope that by early today, the county's remaining ballots would push Measure R over the top.

"I've said from the beginning that this was going to be a tough fight," the mayor said. "Were it not for the recession, I believe there would be overwhelming support for this measure."

Measure R faced a great deal of competition, with nearly three dozen other cities, school boards and community college districts placing their own tax measures on the ballot. Los Angeles, Long Beach and El Monte each had three tax measures on the ballot. And some smaller cities, such as Pico Rivera and El Monte, were pursuing their own sales tax hikes.

Tax proposals that needed less than two-thirds of the votes cast had an easier time. Measure Q, a $7-billion facilities bond issue backed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, was heading to an easy victory. Measure J, a $3.5-billion bond measure to rebuild and replace campus facilities in the Los Angeles Community College District, had an even stronger showing, according to partial results. Those measures needed only 55% to pass.

According to early returns, voters were narrowly rejecting Proposition A, the Los Angeles city tax hike to pay for anti-gang measures, which needed two-thirds to win approval.

City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who had pushed for Proposition A, said the measure had struggled to overcome the effect of a crumbling economy.

"We were asking a lot of people on this ballot -- new schools, new community college buildings, high-speed rail," Hahn said. "I think voters had to pick and choose, because at this time, they couldn't afford to pay for everything."

Opponents of the proposed tax hikes had argued that local elected officials asked for too much in an economic downturn. Measure J was the college district's third bond in seven years. Measure Q was L.A. Unified's fifth in 11 years.

One taxpayer advocate said renters were the key to the strong showing of the two school bond measures, which increase taxes on property owners only.

"When they get into that polling place, they don't have to worry about whether they can afford to pay for that fifth bond from the school district," said Kris Vosburgh, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.

Measure R applies to any business or individual who spends money in the county.

Backers of the proposed transit tax said it would generate enough revenue to pay for 30 projects over 30 years. With Congress expected to approve a transportation bill to pay for road and mass transit projects, a victory for Measure R would make it easier to tap those funds, they said.

"This is the most important ballot measure in Los Angeles for the past 20 or 30 years," Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) said earlier this week.

Measure R identified up to $4.1 billion for a westward extension of the Metro system's Purple Line in Los Angeles. The existing subway was originally supposed to reach the Westside, but never made it there because of political opposition and a lack of funds.

The most vocal foes of Measure R were the politicians who represent outlying sections of the county, such as Long Beach, the east San Gabriel Valley and the high desert. They argued that too much of Measure R's proceeds would be spent on Los Angeles, particularly the subway.

If Measure R fails, some elected officials who opposed the tax increase have said that they would consider another tax measure at a future date.

Complicating this year's campaign was the downturn in the economy, which made it more difficult for politicians to raise money for their ballot measures. By September, even some political leaders were beginning to wonder aloud whether voters, terrified about their shrinking 401(k)s, would suddenly grow skittish about new taxes.

With unemployment rising and consumer confidence falling, those campaigns began to reshape their message to resonate in the new economic climate.

Los Angeles community college officials argued that Measure J would create new jobs in the field of environmentally friendly technologies. Villaraigosa appeared in mailers for Measure Q saying a school bond issue would revive the local economy. And Measure R backers said their sales tax hike would produce 210,000 jobs.

With campaign contributions tapering off, some local agencies dipped into taxpayer funds to promote their ballot measures.

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency spent $1.1 million on mailers, newspaper ads and radio commercials to inform voters of the half-cent transit tax.

L.A. Unified waged a $1-million taxpayer outreach campaign that included three sets of Measure Q mailers -- each sent to 450,000 likely voters -- and the distribution of Measure Q hats and T-shirts.

While taxes provided the most dominant theme on the local ballot, voters were also asked to weigh in on the hot-button issue of real estate development. In Beverly Hills, voters were passing Measure H, which would allow the Beverly Hilton to proceed with a $500-million expansion, according to early results.

The Hilton spent millions of dollars to woo voters, saying the project -- which would include a 12-story Waldorf-Astoria hotel and two luxury condo towers -- would generate revenue for the city and create traffic improvements at the busy corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

Opponents said the project was too big and accused the Hilton of trying to buy votes and using intimidation tactics.

Development was also an issue in Santa Monica, where a measure to put new limits on the construction of offices, hotels and stores was trailing, according to early returns.

Measure T would have capped new commercial development at 75,000 square feet a year, about half the current rate. The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, the group behind the measure, said schools, hospitals, low-income housing and other vital community projects would be exempt.

The measure inspired a lively debate about how the coastal community -- a major regional shopping destination -- should approach land use and development. Developers, architects, hotel owners and land use attorneys poured in more than $700,000 to fight the initiative.

Voters were throwing their support behind Measure SM, which would reaffirm the city's ability to tax cellphone use and text-messaging.

Meanwhile, a $295-million bond measure to fund facilities at Santa Monica College was narrowly ahead, according to early returns. Measure AA, which had endorsements from a broad coalition of city leaders, needed 55% to pass.

Zahniser, Hymon and Groves are Times staff writers.

Times staff writer Phil Willon contributed to this report.

david.zahniser @latimes.com

[email protected]

martha.groves @latimes.com
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Old November 5th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #323
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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&type=politics

High-speed rail proposal has narrow lead
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

11-05) 00:26 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- California voters appeared to be climbing on board a plan to start construction of the nation's first high-speed rail system.

With better than 40 percent of ballots counted, Proposition 1A was holding a narrow but steady lead.

The bond measure would approve the sale of nearly $10 billion in bonds as a down payment on an 800-mile high-speed rail network that would send electric trains zipping between Northern and Southern California at up to 220 mph.

Supporters, including transportation, environmental and business groups and the heavy-construction industry, said high-speed rail would offer a fast, greener and less-costly way to travel up and down the state.

Opponents - mainly taxpayers groups and the libertarian Reason Foundation - criticized the high-speed rail proposal as either poorly planned or a good idea that the state can't afford in trying economic times.

"I'm happy," said Quentin Kopp, chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority and chief spokesman for the Yes on 1A campaign. "I'm confident the federal government will not only match this $9.9 billion but double it."

Kopp also hailed Californians "for showing we are as intrepid and energetic as the argonauts of the 19th century and our forefathers during the Depression who built the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge."

Proposition 1A would start funding construction of a high-speed rail line between the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and Los Angeles Union Station. The trip would take about 21/2 hours, according to the High Speed Rail Authority, and would cost $55 one way. After departing San Francisco, the train would make stops on the Peninsula and in San Jose and Gilroy before heading over the Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley and points south.

The system would be the largest public works project in California history - bigger than the California Aqueduct - and would cost $32 billion for the main line between San Francisco and Los Angeles and another $10 billion to $12 billion to complete the network with extensions to San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside County. The state is banking on getting about a third of the construction budget from state taxpayers, a third from the federal government and a third from private investors.

The bulk of the bond revenues - $9 billion - would be spent on planning and building the system, and the remaining $950 million would be devoted to connecting rail service, such as BART, the Altamont Commuter Express and the Capitol Corridor.

Legislators originally placed the rail bond on the ballot in 2004, but postponed it twice at the request of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said the state couldn't incur further debt. Although he has warned that the state may face a $10 billion deficit in its month-old budget, the governor is supporting the rail bond as an important investment in the state's transportation system.

A Field Poll in July found that 56 percent of likely voters favored the measure, and 30 percent were opposed. But Proposition 1A backers saw support slip as the state budget crisis dragged on and the nation's economy slid into a steeper decline.

E-mail Michael Cabanatuan at [email protected].



(With 86.4% of the precincts reporting, the vote count stands at 52.3% in favor and 47.7% opposed. - GV)
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Old November 5th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #324
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It's now official! Measure R passes with 67.41% of the votes!
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Old November 5th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #325
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and heres a map of what will be added!!



and a partial list with the major projects
* Wilshire purple line extension to Westwood
* Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica;
* Gold Line Foothill Extension to Montclair;
* Gold Line extension from East Los Angeles to Whittier
* Transit line along the 405 Freeway
* Green Line extension to LAX and the South Bay;
* Transit line along Crenshaw Boulevard from LAX to the Expo Line
* Orange Line extensions in the San Fernando Valley;
* Metrolink improvements;
* New rail-based transit line from Union Station to Orange County via the Gateway area.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #326
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Great news for LA. A two-thirds majority is damn hard to get for anything.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #327
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Measure R Projects Won't Get Rolling Soon

New rail lines are likely several years away under plan.

By Steve Hymon
November 5, 2008

Don't expect new roads or rails to start appearing across Los Angeles County now that Measure R has passed; transportation officials say the first in a long list of projects is still several years from opening.

Early work is likely to include an extension of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica, an extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa and placement of a busway or light-rail line along Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, planners say. A fare hike set for next summer will also be postponed until 2010, with some special fares for seniors, the disabled and students delayed until 2013.

But approval of a half-cent sales tax delivered a more immediate victory to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who came into office more than three years ago pledging to finally start the city's so-called Subway to the Sea. Now, money to begin such a subterranean route -- probably along the Wilshire corridor -- is assured by the Measure R plan.

"The commuters of L.A. were fed up with traffic and gas prices, and they responded by making a historic investment that will change the face of transportation in the region forever," Villaraigosa said.

The mayor and other elected officials are expected to hold a news conference in Westwood later this morning to talk about Measure R, which narrowly passed the two-thirds threshold needed for approval.

This assumes, of course, that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn't send the money someplace else or the subway project runs into unforeseen problems. The MTA has the power to decide what gets built and when, although the odds of a subway change are slim as long as Villaraigosa remains a member of the MTA Board with three appointees on it.

The western extension of the Purple Line, begun under former Mayor Tom Bradley, had been tied in political knots for two decades. First, as the city's subway network began to take shape, underground methane gas in 1985 triggered an explosion in the Fairfax district, leading to a bill by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) to ban the use of federal money for tunneling on the Westside.

Then, construction setbacks and cost overruns led voters to approve a 1998 ballot measure by county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to prohibit using local sales taxes for tunneling.

In the decade since, however, opposition to the subway began to melt as more jobs migrated to the Westside and traffic there grew worse.

The half-cent sales-tax increase approved Tuesday is expected to raise as much as $40 billion for projects on the list. The biggest and costliest is the Purple Line extension west from its current terminus at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to Westwood.

Shortly after taking office, Villaraigosa commissioned a study on whether tunneling under Wilshire could be done without the risk of explosion. Experts agreed it could, and Waxman consented to lead an effort to repeal his earlier federal funding ban. Yaroslavsky, too, came out in favor of Measure R and the subway extension, saying that Measure R provides the funding source that has long been missing for the project.

The MTA board then agreed to launch its own study to determine if a subway should be built and what route it could take. Preliminary findings suggested that an extension would get at least 100,000 riders a day on a route that mostly follows Wilshire, swings south to Century City and then back north to Westwood.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who represents part of the Westside and who played a key role in getting the sales tax on the ballot, said the subway will have a profound effect on the area. He predicted it will help ease traffic by providing an easier way for thousands to reach work and that it would also change the politics of development, with projects being planned around mass transit.

"Once we get a leg or two built, it will create a sense of what's possible in Los Angeles," Feuer said.

A successful subway extension plan would be of vital importance to Villaraigosa, who is running for reelection next year and possibly campaigning for governor in 2010. Although the mayor has been able to increase the size of the Los Angeles Police Department, several of his other initiatives have stalled.

Still, it appears doubtful that Villaraigosa will be in Los Angeles long enough to see the project completed, and maybe not even started.

The MTA's spending plan for Measure R doesn't begin providing money to the subway until sometime between 2013 and 2015.

Supporters of Measure R early today were still a bit stunned that it had passed. They expected a close race with a good chance of victory but realized many other factors were in play.

"It was unprecedented to get two-thirds of the vote in this environment -- this is the worst economic environment since the Great Depression," said Yaroslavsky early today. "This measure withstood all of that pressure to fail, and the reason is that people are sick and tired of traffic. They were willing to pay for it, and they expect us to do something about it. Our job is to deliver on the promises."

Voters on Tuesday at one Pasadena polling place said they voted for Measure R for a mix of reasons: it was no picnic paying $4 a gallon to fill the SUV this summer, they wanted better bus and train service or just thought it was time to invest a few more dollars into transportation. Others weren't sure they voted for the measure, which was overshadowed by the high-profile presidential race.

Nicole Sandoval, 30, said Measure R was a no-brainer for her. She lives in Pasadena and commutes to school and work in Santa Monica, a drive that's tolerable as long as she's on the road at 6 a.m. But she grew up in San Francisco, where there's "tons of cars but you can rely on mass transit," she said, adding she would like to one day take a train from Pasadena to Santa Monica.

If Measure R does what's promised, such a connection -- Gold Line to Expo Line -- could happen.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #328
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Pols Take Their Victory Lap for Measure R

By Steve Hymon
November 5, 2008

Not the most flattering photo, I know, but that was the scene this morning at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue above the current terminus of the Purple Line subway. "Current" is the key word there. During the news conference about Measure R's passage, Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Roger Snoble said it may now be possible to extend the line to Fairfax Avenue within six or seven years and the line could get to Westwood in 20 years.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa heard that, and super-super-quickly stepped to the mike and promised to be "aggressive" about securing federal dollars to speed that up. (Villaraigosa is flanked in the above photo by County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, behind him to the left, and Assemblyman Mike Feuer,far right, both of whom played key roles in getting Measure R on the ballot.)

All this means that someone has a lot of work to do. Nonetheless, and as you might expect, the mood among the local pols at the news conference ranged between ebullience and unspeakable amounts of joy. Remember the spring of 2007 when Villaraigosa and Yaroslavsky were having a, shall we say, spirited discussion over MTA fare increases? Well, the two men lavished praise upon one another Wednesday morning, with the mayor suggesting that he and Yaroslavsky were now "joined at the hip."

With just two hours' sleep on election night, followed by a long drive to the Westside from the San Gabe Valley, the Road Sage couldn't even begin to tackle the merging of two such political organisms.

On a more serious note: Whether you voted for Measure R or not, the MTA expects to receive up to $40 billion in sales tax revenue over the 30 year life of the sales tax. That's about $40 billion more than the MTA otherwise would have had for new projects, the reason for the celebratory mood. Villaraigosa oversaw the campaign for Measure R, which captured 67.4% of the vote.

To put that achievement in perspective, the last half-cent sales tax increase for transportation in 1990 in L.A. County barely passed with 50.4% of the vote, back when the threshold was a simple majority. Villaraigosa told me later that he had a Plan B if Measure R failed -- going back to voters at a future date -- but that the high turnout for the presidential election basically made the 2008 election an all-or-nothing proposition because it was the best way to secure the needed two-thirds approval.

"That's why we had to win," he said.

A few other highlights from the news conference:

-- Snoble indicated that the Expo Line and Gold Line extensions are likely to be the first two rail projects to break ground with Measure R dollars. The Gold Line, he said, could begin as early as 2010. I know there are readers out there who don't believe that and I'm not saying you should. But that's what public officials are saying on the record. So, hit the print button.

-- Snoble also said that he thinks that new tunneling technology should make it easier to tunnel under Wilshire Boulevard without causing as many street disruptions as there were during construction of the existing subway. He indicated that some property will have to be acquired near Wilshire and Western to get tunneling machines into the ground.

I'm working on a story for tomorrow's editions of The Times looking at the votes on both Measure R and Prop 1A, indicating voters in California were in the mood on Tuesday to invest big-time in mass transit.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Very happy to hear the news about Measure R. I wonder if they can also get private funding to get things started.

m thinks (maybe just half-joking here) that if that is the train that they are planning to use, they could get sponsorship from Disney...through the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Cheers, m
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Old November 6th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #330
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Quote:
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Very happy to hear the news about Measure R. I wonder if they can also get private funding to get things started.

m thinks (maybe just half-joking here) that if that is the train that they are planning to use, they could get sponsorship from Disney...through the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Cheers, m
Thats a rendering for the HSL not the LA Metro.

and the mighty ducks are just the ducks now...disney sold them a few years ago
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Old November 17th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #331
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Thanks to JCurch, http://www.sfcityscape.com/index.htm, here is what the LA Metro (Subway, Light Rail, Busways) will look like by 2035 with the passage of Measure R, if not sooner, depending on Federal and State match funding. This map is missing a line from the valley to pretty much LAX, paralleling the 405, which will likely be HRT and a Santa Ana Line.

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Old November 17th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #332
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Which lines will be subway, which will be LRT and which will be bus?
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Old November 17th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #333
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Which lines will be subway, which will be LRT and which will be bus?
The map legend should explain that. The Red and Purple lines are subway, hollow Orange is BRT, while all the other thick colours are LRT. The thin gold and silver lines are heavy rail.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #334
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The map legend should explain that. The Red and Purple lines are subway, hollow Orange is BRT, while all the other thick colours are LRT. The thin gold and silver lines are heavy rail.
I think its the Red and Purple lines are what is considered "Heavy Rail" on this board (higher capacity, fully grade separated, intra-city rail transit). The gold and silver lines I think would be more accurately described as "commuter rail" (Diesel locomotives running on rails that are sometimes shared with frieght traffic). Correct?
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Old November 17th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #335
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So most of the system's extension will be light rail?
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Old November 18th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #336
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I dunno if you guys have seen this page but it has pictures from each line

http://world.nycsubway.org/us/losangeles/

The existing Red Line, and the future Purple line are/will be traditional underground subways with third-rail.

The present Blue, Green, Gold(Yellow), and future Aqua and Maroon lines are light rail. All have/will have some surface segments except for the Green Line which is entirely elevated.

The darker gold lines are potential High-Speed Rail.

The light blue lines are all Metrolink or Amtrak, diesel commuter trains.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #337
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How about this plan?


From here: http://www.getlamoving.com/
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Old November 18th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #338
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I really like this proposal How about expanding it to, for example, San Bernardino County?
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Old November 18th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #339
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That above plan is by an individual. However, most of the projects that have been identified or that will be built with Measure R are pretty much a variation of lines that are on that map. Most of that map will be reality in Los Angeles in the near future, plus high speed rail!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #340
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i cant beliece american cities are so much underdeveloped in terms of public transportation!
imagine how many subway stations u can build with the money you spend in iraq in the 5 years
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