Funding Approved for Fourth District Paratransit Shuttle Service

Supervisor Don Knabe recently announced Board approval of $660,000 in funding for the continuation of paratransit shuttle service for eligible patrons in the unincorporated areas of the Fourth District for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

The program will include the following paratransit shuttle services: La Rambla, Marina del Rey, Rancho Los Amigos, Teen Mother, and the Whittier Islands.

I am pleased to be able to secure the funds for this service, said Supervisor Knabe. Many of our transit dependent residents utilize public transportation and these shuttle services are a vital component of their livelihood.

The County will provide funding through the Fourth District’s Proposition A Local Return Transit Program. The financing continues the successful shuttle service for eligible patrons of the unincorporated areas of the Fourth District, improving mobility for transit dependant patrons.

Funding Continues for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority Shuttle Service

The Board of Supervisors approved the disbursement of $408,200 to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority to continue public transit services for the Fiscal Year 2007-2008, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

The funds for the disbursement come from the Fourth Supervisorial District’s allocation of Proposition A Local Return Transit Program funds.

"This shuttle service on the Palos Verdes Peninsula has been very successful throughout the years, said Supervisor Knabe. The allocation of these funds will aid many students and seniors on the Peninsula who need an effective way of getting around."

The shuttle will continue to operate Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The fare is $2 per person, per one-way trip. A $560 annual pass, a $80 monthly pass and a $280 semester student pass are also available.

Knabe Expresses Disappointment in the Conclusion of LAX Runway Studies

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe today announced his disappointment in the conclusions reached by studies commissioned by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) that called for moving the northernmost runway at LAX at least 340 feet north into the communities of Westchester and Playa del Rey.

"While I expressed cautious optimism at the settlement agreement we reached with the City of Los Angeles over its previous expansion plans, the move to push the north runway 340 feet further north at the expense of the Westchester and Playa del Rey communities puts that agreement in jeopardy and puts us back at square one."

Supervisor Knabe noted that each report came to the same conclusion with little, if any, discussion of available alternatives.

"Without discussion of a range of alternatives, the sole purpose of these reports appears to be an attempt to justify the expansion of flight operations for larger aircraft to land on the north runways rather than addressing a current safety issue, especially since the reports show that over 80% of incursion hazards have occurred on the south runways. Moreover, the studies show that current runway safety controls on the northside sufficiently mitigate existing risks."

As a result, Supervisor Knabe called for further consideration of all alternatives and a review of the reports by incoming LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey.

"I continue to be strongly opposed to the movement of the north runways unless it can be shown to fix a proven safety hazard. Movement of the north runways by 340 feet would do irreparable harm to the communities of Westchester and Playa del Rey which I cannot support and which goes against the spirit of the settlement agreement. LAWA can and must find better alternatives that we all can live with."

More Information

LAX North Airfield Proposed Runway Configurations – Safety Risk Assessment
Analysis of LAX North Airfield Alternative
North Airfield Assessment
LAX Modernization – Tomorrow Is Now LAX North Airfield Special Peer Review

Los Angeles County to Fund New Street Lights in Downtown Long Beach

The County of Los Angeles will fund a major portion of a project designed to improve pedestrian safety through enhanced street lighting in parts of downtown Long Beach, Supervisor Don Knabe announced recently.

The street lighting replacement project will occur on both Broadway and 3rd Street between Pacific Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard. The existing City-owned high pressure sodium lights will be replaced with brighter metal halide lights. The total project cost is $41,000, of which $25,000 will be financed by the County’s Fourth Supervisorial District Public Ways/Public Utilities Fund.

These upgrades will be the second phase of upgrades to street lighting in the downtown area. Local business owners and the Downtown Long Beach Associated worked with the City of Long Beach to make similar upgrades to street lights along Pine Avenue in February 2007.

The goal of this project is to improve lighting and pedestrian safety along the east and west access routes to the nearby Blue Line stations, said Supervisor Knabe. It is a project the County is happy to be a part of.

Summer Beach Shuttle to Offer Expanded Service

The Beach Shuttle which serves Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and the Venice Beach Pier will soon offer expanded service to Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, Supervisor Don Knabe is pleased to announce.

The Beach Shuttle will begin operating Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays plus holidays from May 25 to September 3. This year, the Beach Shuttle will also offer a one-day service on September 30th to and from the Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice following the same summer route. The Beach Shuttle, which is free of charge and open to the public, is funded by a combination of funds from Supervisor Knabe and Playa Vista.

The clean-fuel shuttles will circulate hourly along the route on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, and Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. A special Beach Shuttle schedule will operate during the Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series to drop off and pick up passengers at Burton Chace Park; this will allow people attending the concerts to leave their cars at home. On Classical Thursdays, (July 12 and 26; August 9 and 23), the shuttles will operate from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.. On Pop Saturdays, (July 21; August 4 and 18; September 1), shuttle hours of operation will follow the regular Saturday schedule from 10:00 a.m. to midnight.

This free shuttle is a fantastic resource in the area, and I encourage the community to utilize it, said Supervisor Knabe. Now with its expanded service, it is even more accessible to the beach-going public.

The Beach Shuttles leave Playa Vista at 10:15 a.m. and continue with hourly pick-ups and drop-offs at all marked bus stops along the route including Admiralty Way and Fiji Way, Fisherman’s Village, Admiralty Way and Admiralty Park, Admiralty Way and Palawan Way, Via Marina and Panay Way, Washington Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, Washington Boulevard and Via Marina, Admiralty Way and Mindanao Way with the return to Playa Vista. Space is also available for bicycles on the Beach Shuttles so passengers can cruise along the bike path once they exit. Riders can beat the traffic this summer and enjoy the ride.

Statement by Supervisor Knabe on Proposed 2007-2008 Los Angels County Budget

While Los Angeles County continues to benefit from a healthy economy and a strong tax base, I am pleased that the Chief Administrative Officer’s proposed 2007-2008 budget focuses on limited new spending and keeps our budget from growing beyond our means.

This budget proposal shows that the focus of the County’s new spending is right where it should be, on programs and services that directly benefit local residents. Over three-fourths of the proposed new spending is going directly to increases in public safety and quality of life services, including over 100 new Sheriff’s deputies to serve our unincorporated communities.

I am still concerned about the Department Health Services, where the structural deficit is quickly reaching a day of reckoning. The health department is anticipating a shortfall of at least $80 million in this coming fiscal year, which must be addressed before we close the books on the year. The costs to maintain the department are massive and we need to eliminate these shortfalls before the County’s General Fund and available funding for other critical services are impacted.

Finally, I am very glad to see that my calls last year for the refurbishment of the Sybil Brand Institute for Women are being answered in this next budget year. The $245 million proposed for the refurbishment of Sybil Brand and the construction of new female barracks at Pitchess Detention Center is a critical step in ending the Early Release Program for the inmates in our jail system.

Funding Approved for Marina del Rey Dredging Project

With today’s approval by the Board of Supervisors of a $1.6 million contribution, the County of Los Angeles has secured all the necessary funding to begin a major dredging project in Marina del Rey. Navigation into the Marina through the harbor’s north entrance from the Pacific Ocean has become hazardous and extremely restricted over the last several years due to the buildup of sand on the ocean floor near the north jetty. This dredging project will return the north entrance to its design depth of 20 feet and will place the clean sand removed from the area offshore from Dockweiler Beach to aid in beach replenishment.

Dredging of areas in and around the north entrance will be supervised by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as this navigation area is designated as a federal channel. The County offered to the Corps its financial assistance in order to complete the project, which will cost a minimum of $2.4 million. Approximately $1.4 million of the funding is expected to come from the Corps through the Federal budget. The additional $1.6 million financial contribution, approved by the Board of Supervisors today, will cover the remaining financial need and any unforeseen project costs. Any portion of the County’s contribution that is unused at the end of the project will be returned to County coffers.

The clean sand removed from dredging the Marina del Rey north entrance will be transported to an area just offshore from Dockweiler Beach near Imperial Boulevard in water approximately 15 to 30 feet deep. Underwater ocean currents will progressively push this new sand onshore along Dockweiler Beach and other South Bay beaches, replenishing beach sand washed away during winter storms in recent years.

The dredging project is scheduled to begin in December 2006 and be complete by March 15, 2007, well in advance of the peak summer season in the Marina. Work is expected to take place 24-hours a day and six or seven days a week. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors will work with other agencies to ensure local residents, businesses and boaters are kept informed of the project’s progress and any potential impact on services. Additional buoys will be placed to help mariners avoid impacted areas in the Marina entrance.

This dredging project is going to lead to a number of important benefits for our community, said Supervisor Knabe. It will ensure that emergency response vessels from the Coast Guard, Lifeguards, and Fire and Sheriff’s Departments that are based in the Marina can safely navigate out of the channel to respond to emergencies and rescues along the Pacific Coastline. Also important is the improvement in public safety for navigating in and out of the channel for the 5,000 privately-owned vessels in the Marina. Finally, Dockweiler and our other South Bay beaches will benefit from a much-needed infusion of new sand thanks to the replenishment project.

Traffic Signal Synchronization Projects Planned for Streets in Six Local Cities

Supervisor Don Knabe announced plans today for a new Traffic Signal Synchronization Project throughout the Fourth District in the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, La Mirada, Long Beach and Whittier.

The project will synchronize 35 traffic signals on Artesia Boulevard between Alameda Street and Valley View Avenue; and 36 traffic signals located on Whittier Boulevard between Paramount Boulevard and Valley Home Avenue.

This project is part of the County’s ongoing program to enhance traffic flow and safety for drivers and pedestrians. Prior projects have shown travel times through these synchronized routes are reduced by as much as 24 percent during peak travel hours and as much as 29 percent during other periods of the day.

The project costs are estimated to be between $2.2 million and $2.6 million. The County Department of Public Works will call for bids on March 13, 2007 on a contract to perform the work.

The project is expected to take 150 working days, starting in September 2007 and ending in March 2008. Once work begins, all project streets may be reduced by one traffic lane, and a left-turn lane where existing, during daylight working hours. Local access will be maintained at all times.

New Series of Property Tax Assessment Seminars Set

The County of Los Angeles is sponsoring a series of free seminars during April, May and June to assist property owners who feel their taxes should be lowered due to a decline in the value of their property.

The 90 – minute seminars will be offered six times at six locations: Cerritos, Culver City, El Monte, Glendale, Lancaster and Van Nuys. Additional meetings will be scheduled throughout the County on a year-round basis.

With the improvement in the real estate market, some homeowners who recently have received a Notice of Assessed Value Change have questions regarding their appeal rights.

The meetings are intended to help taxpayers better understand the assessment appeals process, which many find confusing. The seminars will be of value to homeowners who are interested in learning about the assessment appeals process and to those who have already filed an appeal. The seminars will cover taxpayers appeal rights and when to file an application for reduction in assessment. The seminars will also cover how to prepare for a hearing, what qualifies as admissible evidence, what will happen at the hearing and what to expect after the hearing.

The dates, times and locations of the sessions are:

Cerritos – Cerritos Park East Community Center, 13234 E. 166th St., Newport Room C, Monday, June 18 – 10 a.m. Free parking.

Culver City – Public Library, 4975 Overland Ave., Monday, May 21 – 10 a.m. Free parking at site and at the Assessor’s Office, 4909 Overland Ave.

El Monte – Jack Crippen Senior Center, Crafts Room, 3120 N. Tyler Ave., Thursday, May 17 – 10 a.m. Free parking.

Glendale – Public Library, 222 E. Harvard St., Wednesday, April 11 – 10 a.m. The library will validate three hours parking at the corner of Maryland and Harvard.

Lancaster – Public Library, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Thursday, April 12 – 10 a.m. Free parking.

Van Nuys – Bernardi Senior Center, 6514 Sylmar Ave., Wednesday, June 27 – 2 p.m. Free parking, entrance on Hamlin Street.

Persons with disabilities who believe they need reasonable accommodation or help in order to attend a seminar may call (213) 974-1431. Hearing-impaired persons with TDD equipment may leave a typewritten message by calling (213) 974-1707 (TDD).

Two New Traffic Stops Coming to Rowland Heights

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved two traffic regulation orders today that are designed to improve traffic safety in areas of Rowland Heights. The approval establishes one-way stop controls for northbound traffic on Abeto Avenue at Fidalgo Street and eastbound traffic on Fidalgo Street and Gallio Avenue.

The goal of installing new traffic controls at these intersections is to improve traffic safety, enhance traffic flow, and better serve adjacent properties. As required by the California Vehicle Code, the Board of Supervisors had to officially adopt these regulations before the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Department can begin enforcing them.