Letter from Victor Lindenheim, Executive Director, Golden State Gateway Coalition (Valencia):
You may have heard or read about Metro’s proposal to expedite construction of new Interstate 5 carpool lanes by offering optional access to driver-only vehicles willing to pay a toll to use those lanes to save time. Many of us think that it is a good idea, but want to know more. You will have two such opportunities this week. I urge to consider coming out to either of the two scheduled public meetings:
* 6 p.m., Tuesday, February 26, at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway
* 6 p.m., Thursday, February 28, at Rancho Pico Junior High School, 26520 Valencia Boulevard.
The benefits of the project are huge: a faster commute, expedited goods movement, economic development opportunities, and cleaner air, to name a few. And if we do it sooner, rather than later, the cost of the project is reduced and the availability of funding is assured.
In my view, the choice is this: we can have this much-needed additional roadway capacity ready-to-use by 2019 by supporting the tolling option or we can wait and build the project if and when funding becomes available, if ever. 2040 is the current estimated completion date for the alternate approach.
See the project information below and decide for yourself.
A Proposal to Improve Interstate 5 in the Santa Clarita Valley Now
New carpool lanes are planned, both northbound and southbound, to be added to Interstate 5 through the Santa Clarita Valley.
However, funding is not available to build the new lanes now. The new lanes could be built piecemeal, if and when funding becomes available. Estimated completion: 2040.
Metro is seeking community input on an alternative that could see the project started by 2015 and completed by 2019.
Vehicles with 3 or more occupants would ride for free.
Buses, vanpools and motorcycles would ride for free.
Vehicles with 2 or more occupants would ride for free…except during peak hours.
Single occupant vehicles would continue to ride in the general purpose lanes for free, but can choose to use the new carpool lanes and save time by paying a toll.
Measure R funds (county sales tax revenue) will cover 75% the cost of building the new lanes – – approximately $310 million. The tolls generated over the next 35 years are projected to cover an estimated $100 million funding shortfall to build the carpool lanes. Any excess revenues must, by law, be returned to the I-5 corridor. Any shortfall will be covered by Metro.
Metro is proposing to create a partnership with a private sector entity to complete design on the I-5 project, build it, operate it and maintain it for a 35 year period.
The I-5 project would be bundled with five other ready-to-build projects in Los Angeles County, including a project to resurface the existing lanes from the I-5/SR 14 Interchange to Parker Road in Castaic, and offered to qualified investor/builders.
In a bidding process of qualified investor/builders, a single entity would be selected to complete all six of the projects. Current estimated investment required is $700 million.
$500 million of the investment would pay for the two projects of direct benefit to the Santa Clarita Valley: building the I-5 carpool lanes and the roadway resurfacing of all existing I-5 lanes in the project area.
The I-5 capacity enhancement and roadway resurfacing projects could be completed, and available to motorists by 2019, rather than waiting until 2040.
You’re invited to attend the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library “Half-Price Huge Book Sale” event at the Valencia Library on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a chance to discover some great summer reads at a bargain price.
College of the Canyons is the only community college selected to participate in the Bringing Theory to Practice’s (BTtoP) Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE) initiative, a collaborative network of academic-community partnerships focused on civic-engagement and public-humanities work.
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Advisory for Wednesday, July 24, as high temperatures (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) have been forecast for the following areas:
- Santa Clarita Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- San Gabriel Valley
Veronica Alvarez, Ed.D., began her tenure last week as CalArts' new director of the Community Arts Partnership Program, or CAP, which offers free after-school and school-based arts programs for youth ages 4-18.
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation is offering a new jobs resource for SCV companies -- LiveWorkSCV.com, a comprehensive, highly visible job board that matches SCV career opportunities with SCV residents who want a job closer to home.
Tickets are on sale and sponsorships are still available for the nonprofit WiSH Foundation's fifth annual "Cocktails on the Roof" fundraiser for Hart District schools at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall on Friday, Sept. 6.
Amar A. Singh, a Los Angeles man, was arrested Friday on suspicion of child cruelty for allegedly kicking the 2-year-old son of his friends while attending a party at the couple's Canyon Country residence.
The city of Santa Clarita and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will co-host a pair of advanced Smart Gardening Workshops at two local Santa Clarita Library branches in August and September.