The Obama administration on Friday expressed some support for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's fast-tracking of regional light rail and transportation plans that could see his favored "subway to the sea" down Wilshire Boulevard running by the dawn of the next decade.
"I share your belief that the 30/10 model -- leveraging a comprehensive long-range transportation plan and a sustainable local funding stream -- has the potential to transform the way we invest in transportation projects across the nation," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer.
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That model would accelerate 30 years of light-rail building and other transportation projects funded by the county's Measure R half-cent sales tax to 10 years. The subway to the sea is already getting fast-tracked by Washington:
" ... The Federal Transit Authority at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to accelerate consideration of the Red Line Westside Extension - also known as 'Subway to the Sea' - by admitting the entire 9.3-mile project into its preliminary engineering process, and by conducting the environmental review of all segments of the project simultaneously instead of doing it in multiple phases," according to L.A. Metro.
Boxer called it "a great step forward."
Check out our piece from last year on the mayor's long-range vision for L.A. transportation and the folks who oppose it.