New video infomercials place San Gabriel Valley in middle of transportation funding battle – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The following article appeared in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on May 9, 2014. The video referenced in the article is embedded below. Other videos in the Destination Forward series on sustainable communities, congestion & air quality, and alternative transportation models are also embedded after the article.

Destination Forward: Gold Line Funding & Revenue

New video infomercials place San Gabriel Valley in middle of transportation funding battle – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Steve Scauzillo

May 9, 2014

IRWINDALE >> There’s a not-so-subtle message contained in a series of four videos launched Friday by state Sen. Ed Hernandez spotlighting urgent transportation needs in the region:

Don’t forget about the San Gabriel Valley.

“When I came to office, all the transportation dollars seemed to dry up east of the 605 Freeway. I made it my goal when I got in the Legislature to change that,” said Hernandez, D-West Covina, to about 75 city council members, transportation and air quality representatives at an unveiling of the four public service announcements at Charter Communications state headquarters on Irwindale Avenue.

Charter will air the videos in a 30-minute segment to all its California customers, said Del Heintz, director of government relations for the cable TV giant. The public service announcements will reach at least a quarter million households.

Also, Hernandez is making the videos available to San Gabriel Valley cities for broadcast on their websites and community access channels, he said. La Puente City Councilman Dan Holloway said he wants the videos to air in his city.

Each video in the “Destination Forward” series focuses on four different aspects of transportation: sustainable communities, congestion and smog, funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension and bike lanes and bus routes near light rail and Metrolink stations.

Hernandez says the visual presentation tells audiences it is important to fund local projects not just for the approximately 2 million people living in the San Gabriel Valley, but for the people of California and the economy of the United States.

The San Gabriel Valley moves goods from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles — either by truck or train — to 40 percent of the rest of the United States, said transportation and legislative expert Sharon Neely of the Southern California Association of Governments.

SCAG’s Regional Transportation Plan includes hundreds of projects for the six-county Southern California region. If they were all built, it would pump $66 billion into the economy between now and 2035 and add about 350,000 new jobs a year, SCAG officials said in the video.

A second message shows taxpayers where their dollars are being spent, the senator said.

Hernandez appears wearing a hard hat in a construction site in Arcadia, the future home of that city’s Metro Gold Line station. The 11.5-mile, $751 million project is more than halfway complete and will take the train from east Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border at Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University.

“The expansion of the Gold Line is quite possibly the most exciting transportation project in the history of the San Gabriel Valley,” Hernandez declared in the third video.

He also remarked that he’d like to see the line extended again, not only to Claremont as planned but currently without funding, but to Ontario International Airport. An 8-mile airport segment is not favored by the San Bernardino Associated Governments and a bill enabling the extension by the Gold Line authority recently was killed.

In order to build either extension, the Gold Line and or the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency needs funding. Both are discussing another transportation sales tax measure similar to the half-cent sales tax, Measure R, approved by voters in 2008.

Hernandez announced he wants to carry the bill that would place the measure on the November 2016 ballot and is talking to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti about the proposal.

“I want to make sure our area gets its fair share of funding because in the past we’ve gotten the short end of the stick,” Hernandez said.

Sustainable Communities

Congestion & Air Quality

Alternative Transportation Models

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