A little good news (in addition to the S.F. Giants demolishing the Texas Rangers in the first two games of the World Series) in the morning paper upon (finally) arriving home from the excellent Amtrak Unlimited Gathering IV:Wilshire route picked for subway
"The rail has been a priority for a succession of mayors dating to Tom Bradley. And planners have envisioned a subway in the Wilshire corridor since 1980, according to experts.
"But early plans for the Wilshire subway literally went up in flames with a 1985 methane explosion in the Fairfax district that led to concerns about tunneling through an oil-field zone with pockets of the explosive petroleum-related gas. Until several years ago, an underground subway was contrary to federal law because of a ban engineered by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles).
"Another hurdle was a voter-approved initiative that cut off such projects from a key funding source. That effort was led by Westside Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. But safety studies, entreaties from Villaraigosa and others, and worsening traffic prompted Waxman to agree to a repeal of his ban; and Yaroslavsky, also an MTA board member, voted for the extension Thursday."
"On another 10-0 vote, the MTA board approved a $1.37-billion regional connector that would run beneath downtown L.A. to unite existing light-rail lines. It would allow rail users to travel across the county without time-consuming transfers."
The absence of a connector has been a major obstacle in the path to a more rationalized light rail network, and will hopefully serve as a greater inducement to traffic-bound commuters to give the rail option another try.
Now about those TAP cards...