Public Scoping Meetings Conclude — The Journey Continues

Public scoping meetings for the Azusa to Montclair segment took place over the past two weeks — with many community members coming out to offer comments. Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian provided the following summary and look-ahead:

Last week, the Construction Authority and Federal Transit Administration completed our series of scoping meetings for the Foothill Extension Azusa to Montclair project. Hundreds of people have participated in the scoping process so far, and I am happy to report that comments have been virtually unanimous in support of the project and completing it to the Ontario Airport as soon as possible!  Even when stakeholders have provided important feedback on issues they want addressed in the environmental review, nearly all begin with a supportive statement about the need for the project.

Attendance at our meetings has been extraordinary – about 50-60 attendees per meeting. Most of the attendees have been interested residents and business owners; however, we also have had a great turn-out of city staff and elected and appointed officials. Below are two photos from the Claremont and San Dimas meetings.

The project’s continued success is closely linked to the working relationship between the Authority and our corridor cities. I was very pleased to have staff and officials at each meeting to provide feedback as well as hear their citizens’ comments and issues of concern, and I appreciate the positive feedback we received on how the meetings were run and the clarity of information presented. We owe a debt of gratitude to our partners at the Federal Transit Administration for their suggestions and support in making these meetings  productive and informative.

We also appreciate that our Congressional Representatives continue to place completion of the line as high personal priorities. That was highlighted this morning in the Los Angeles Times article discussing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s trip to Washington DC and his discussions with officials about the 30-10 Plan and our County’s request for additional federal funds to complete the Measure R projects (including the Foothill Extension Azusa to Montclair). At the end of the article, Representative David Dreier is quoted as saying that he will “continue to work with him [Villaraigosa] to make sure we meet our transportation needs in Southern California.”  He then is quoted saying “I want to get the Gold Line done.” Read the entire article by clicking on this link. Congressman Dreier has played a key role in supporting the project over the last decade, and we appreciate his continued efforts on its behalf.

For now, the Authority will continue to ready the project for funding both at the state and federal level. We anticipate the environmental clearance process will be completed per CEQA late this year, and per NEPA early next.

The Journey Continues,

Habib F. Balian

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