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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #1021
soup or man
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The streetcar is APPROVED!







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DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The effort to create a $125 million Downtown streetcar took a major step forward today, as local residents voted in favor of a plan to tax area property owners up to $85 million to fund the project.

According to results posted on the website of the City Clerk at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, 73% of the voters living within roughly three blocks of the route approved the plan through a special vote-by-mail election. The proposal required a two-thirds majority to pass.

All told, 1,508 people voted in favor of the project, and 557 rejected the idea.
While the vote allows landowners to be taxed up to $85 million, streetcar proponents say they plan on collecting $62.5 million over the next 30 years to help pay for half of the capital costs of the project, including engineering and construction. The overrun will cover the administrative cost of issuing the bonds as well as any unexpected construction cost increases, said Shiraz Tangri, the general counsel for Los Angeles Streetcar Inc.

The results are expected to become official after the election result is certified by the City Clerk, which is expected by Dec. 12.

"It's been a long road. We're not across the finish line yet but we certainly are as close as we've ever been," said Rick Coca, spokesman for 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, who has made the streetcar a centerpiece of his decade-long Bringing Back Broadway campaign.

The streetcar would run from L.A. Live to the Civic Center. A principal spine would be on Broadway.

According to figures provided by LASI officials, property owners — whether of a condominium, an entire building or a lot — could pay as much as 16 to 45 cents per square foot, with the highest rates for those right along the route.

The average condominium owner would pay about $60 per year, with the majority of residential units taxed less than $100 annually. Commercial building owners would pay far higher amounts.

Streetcar officials have said obtaining half of the funds for the project from the private sector is a crucial step before they can try to get $52 million from the federal government for the project ($10 million was already obtained through the now-defunct Community Redevelopment Agency). During the campaign for the mail-in ballot, streetcar officials had warned that the project would die if voters shot down the tax.

"This obviously tells the federal government that the city, the residents are certainly committed to support a streetcar," Coca said.

The streetcar campaign generated controversy by only allowing registered voters near the route to participate in the election. Property owners were not allowed to vote unless they also lived in the area.

Streetcar officials hope to open the project by 2016.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #1022
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Great news!
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Old December 5th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #1023
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With the LA Streetcar approved by voters, let those shovels and excavators begin... Hopefully, Metro will provide contingency plans to help ease future gridlock along the roads and intersections covered by future construction of the line. I just only wonder where the depot might be located to house the vehicles, and if any historic streetcars will be used too in tandem with the modern types.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:09 AM   #1024
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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
With the LA Streetcar approved by voters, let those shovels and excavators begin... Hopefully, Metro will provide contingency plans to help ease future gridlock along the roads and intersections covered by future construction of the line. I just only wonder where the depot might be located to house the vehicles, and if any historic streetcars will be used too in tandem with the modern types.
I'm also curious to know where the maintenance yard would be located.

They won't be using historic streetcars on the route, as they are not ADA compliant.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #1025
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Something that bugs me a lot is this obsession of using old streetcars (vehicles) on newly built systems. Gosh, we don't use quad-piston engine airplanes on new airports, why would we use crap old streetcars on new lines?
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Old December 5th, 2012, 10:06 PM   #1026
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Measure J final result: 66,11% very close, but not enough


They gave the final results of measure J, that had an acceptance of 66,11% or 1.893.340 votes.

http://thesource.metro.net/2012/12/0...ure-j-results/


In a related new:


State legislation proposed regarding transportation sales taxes

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Senator Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) Introduces Legislation To Establish A Lower Vote Threshold For Transportation Sales Taxes

Yesterday marked the first day of the 2013-2014 legislative session for the State of California and a number of bills were introduced.

Senator Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) introduced a proposed constitutional amendment, SCA 4, that would establish a lower vote threshold of 55 percent for propositions related to funding local transportation projects. Metro staff will bring this to the Board for consideration and further discussion during the January 2013 Board cycle.
http://thesource.metro.net/2012/12/0...n-sales-taxes/
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Old December 5th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #1027
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A fifty-five percent voter threshold to approve such projects may be similar to the close call made with Measure J last month. Why not make it a simple majority (50% +1) to make a proposition or measure pass? I mean, transportation infrastructure investment is becoming more important, if not crucial, to CA's future growth, especially in cities.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #1028
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Something that bugs me a lot is this obsession of using old streetcars (vehicles) on newly built systems. Gosh, we don't use quad-piston engine airplanes on new airports, why would we use crap old streetcars on new lines?
I actually agree with you on this one. Except on special occasions, to mark some historic event. In that case it can be fun and educational to have an old streetcar running.
On other days, old streetcars/trams/trains/etc. are for museum lines.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
A fifty-five percent voter threshold to approve such projects may be similar to the close call made with Measure J last month. Why not make it a simple majority (50% +1) to make a proposition or measure pass? I mean, transportation infrastructure investment is becoming more important, if not crucial, to CA's future growth, especially in cities.
Measure J got 66.16 percent of the vote..

Anyways, it should be 50/50 for all votes. why should one vote count more than another?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #1030
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Quote:
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Measure J got 66.16 percent of the vote..

Anyways, it should be 50/50 for all votes. why should one vote count more than another?
I say that because we would want to avoid a tie and recount the votes, if you know what I mean... Especially when the number of register voters who voted come with an even number. It can be a very difficult and tedious process if a vote comes so close within a particular margin of error (e.g. 3% or less) that people could start asking what happened to their votes.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:07 PM   #1031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan View Post
Measure J got 66.16 percent of the vote..

Anyways, it should be 50/50 for all votes. why should one vote count more than another?
It makes some sense to require supermajority to approve tax hikes, otherwise you could easily have the a coalition of the lower quartile income brackets, students and other captive users of transit to tax the hell out of the rest of society to provide heavily subsidized transit, for instance.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #1032
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lol right suburbanist. make rich people's votes count more to ensure them evading taxes.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 12:16 AM   #1033
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What bothers me about this this streetcar project is that its a one directional loop. I can't imagine how that could be used effectively by people other than an urban toy. (The northern party with both tracks being only a block apart, seems ok but the southern loop looks dysfunctional) Are they at least building it in a way that it can be upgraded to a real two way streetcar track and possibly extend to neighbouring areas?

EDIT: Actually there is one thing which the proposed streetcar would be doing fine and that is giving tourists a pleasant option to see downtown.
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Last edited by Slartibartfas; December 7th, 2012 at 12:22 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #1034
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lol right suburbanist. make rich people's votes count more to ensure them evading taxes.
the supermajority is for total number of workers, and for ballot budget proposals only. Their votes count the same. It just avoids narrow majorities from taxing narrow minorities.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #1035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
What bothers me about this this streetcar project is that its a one directional loop. I can't imagine how that could be used effectively by people other than an urban toy. (The northern party with both tracks being only a block apart, seems ok but the southern loop looks dysfunctional) Are they at least building it in a way that it can be upgraded to a real two way streetcar track and possibly extend to neighbouring areas?

EDIT: Actually there is one thing which the proposed streetcar would be doing fine and that is giving tourists a pleasant option to see downtown.
Good assesment.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #1036
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lol right suburbanist. make rich people's votes count more to ensure them evading taxes.
Suburbanist is a troll, man.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #1037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
What bothers me about this this streetcar project is that its a one directional loop. I can't imagine how that could be used effectively by people other than an urban toy. (The northern party with both tracks being only a block apart, seems ok but the southern loop looks dysfunctional) Are they at least building it in a way that it can be upgraded to a real two way streetcar track and possibly extend to neighbouring areas?

EDIT: Actually there is one thing which the proposed streetcar would be doing fine and that is giving tourists a pleasant option to see downtown.
Keep in mind about the Regional Connector which will add 3 new subway stations downtown (as well as turning 4 rail lines into 2).
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:24 AM   #1038
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
What bothers me about this this streetcar project is that its a one directional loop. I can't imagine how that could be used effectively by people other than an urban toy. (The northern party with both tracks being only a block apart, seems ok but the southern loop looks dysfunctional) Are they at least building it in a way that it can be upgraded to a real two way streetcar track and possibly extend to neighbouring areas?
The southern end of the loop runs on one-way streets, probably necessitates the larger size. As for the northern end, even though both streets are two-way, I think they were trying to avoid having to eat up half of a street with the ROW. It would also require another one-way loop to turn around if a looping facility wasn't carved out somewhere.

If the streetcar does take off, perhaps it'll lay the groundwork for further growth. Unless they plan on making parts of the entire loop double-track perhpas they should build a connecting track on 7th between Hill and Broadway so that you can loop with either the northern or southern segments.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #1039
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Question: will the streetcar line be connected to the Blue Line in some way? If that's the case, it could mean that the light rail vehicles for the new line can share the same maintenance facilities with the Blue Line yards.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #1040
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Question: will the streetcar line be connected to the Blue Line in some way? If that's the case, it could mean that the light rail vehicles for the new line can share the same maintenance facilities with the Blue Line yards.
No, the streetcar would not tie in with the Blue/Expo Lines; since they shortened the route a few months back, they don't even cross tracks at grade.
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