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the skunks of los feliz
2.24.2005
 
Why did County Supervisor Michael Antonovich vote to kill a proposed extension of the Red Line down Wilshire to Santa Monica?

Let's study the clues and try to discern the ends to his Machiavellian means:

1) First, he votes against the extremely preliminary step of studying the Red Line extension, denouncing subways as benefitting "a handful of vested interests".

2) Next, under the guise of getting tough with the MTA, he demands an up or down vote on the Gold Line's San Gabriel Valley extension. He does this with the knowledge that the MTA will never place the SGV project at the top of it's priorities list.

3) His unreasonable demands kill the Gold Line extension for another generation, as other MTA projects are approved and pipelined in it's stead.

One can only assume that Mr. Antonovich, a seasoned politician, knows what he's about. Granted, he may just be another crazy right-winger, but I don't think so. He's simply a big-guvmint hatin' Republican who wants to kill two big-ticket transit projects with one stone.

Which raises the question: What's a transit obstructionist doing on the MTA board in the first place?
 
Comments:
He's about representing his district's perceived political wishes. I would be very surprised if it were otherwise. You may or may not know that OCTA just killed the proposed Centerline project, mainly because of a lack of political willpower.

If oil gets to $80/bbl and gas to $5/gallon -- and I think that could be this year, very easily -- these trends will of a sudden get reversed. (As it is, the OCTA buses running near my house are fully packed just about all day.)

Incidentally: wanna get scared?
 
I did hear about the Centerline being killed (for now). I don't know much about whether it would have truly helped OC traffic, or just been a boondoggle, but it seems like as Orange County matures, they'll have to do something.

That's interesting that the bus system is heavily used. I always wondered whether anyone used transit down there. Not because of a lack of demand, but because of limited service (not unlike the suburbs of Atlanta, where my family lives).

It's like a chicken and egg thing: people won't ride a substandard transit system, and governments are loathe to spend money on expanding underused systems.

High gas prices will certainly change the equation, as you've noted.
 
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