Letter to the editor, Daily News, October 1, 1997
(Portions of my original letter omitted from publication are highlighted in underlined italics.)
I fail to understand why County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich continues to call his oft-proposed rail line down the center of the Ventura Freeway "the only viable rail alternative for the Valley" on the basis that the removal of a subway as an option somehow invalidates use of the Burbank-Chandler rail corridor as a route for a light rail line.
It has been reported numerous times that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as successor agency to the old Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, owns the Burbank-Chandler corridor. Why does Mr. Antonovich believe that corridor should be rejected in favor of the center of the Ventura Freeway?
A light rail system constructed on Burbank-Chandler would result in little disruption of vehicle traffic, since space needed for construction will be essentially limited to that strip.
On the other hand, construction of the Ventura Freeway project would create a far more obtrusive presence for motorists. I also find ludicrous his statement that his consortium would review its proposal itself and then resubmit it to the MTA. When was the last time anyone accepted a proposal, reviewed by the same parties that would benefit
from the proposal's acceptance, without skepticism? Does anyone believe the review will be anything but favorable to the project? Does Antonovich believe the vote will somehow turn out differently this time than any of the numerous other times he has tried to get MTA's stamp of approval?
In my opinion and that of many others, light rail belongs on Burbank-Chandler. I cannot understand why Antonovich does not propose a public-private partnership to develop that corridor. In public session at the MTA Board meeting on Thursday, I asked him why he continues to cite the 1990 referendum showing voters preferred a monorail down the Ventura Freeway over a subway on Burbank-Chandler, rather than proposing a new referendum which would compare the two corridors with the same light rail technology. His response was that he would welcome a new referendum; that he trusted the vote of the people, and my impression is that he is willing to propose such a referendum.
I'm waiting, "Monorail Mike" ...