Claremont Insider: Students Show Support for Gold Line

Friday, April 25, 2008

Students Show Support for Gold Line

Fred Ortega, a writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, reported on yesterday's Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting. (The Daily Bulletin carried Ortega's article.)

College students from showed up for the meeting in support of the Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to the Ontario Airport. About half the audience was there in support of the Gold Line, according to Ortega's article. In addition to the college students, there were a number of other area VIP's who support the extension, including La Verne Mayor Jon Blickenstaff. The article said:

"Improving the environment was the driving force behind Emily Romo's support for the Gold Line extension.

I feel the extension will help people maintain sustainable environment because as the San Gabriel Valley continues to increase in population, traffic and pollution will only get worse," said Romo, a 21-year-old English major at the University of La Verne who is also part of the school's Green Institute for Village Empowerment.

Officials estimate that once completed, the extension will eliminate 126 tons of carbon monoxide from the air and save about 1.5 million gallons of gasoline each year.

Joining the students Thursday were local elected officials and business leaders from throughout the region, including La Verne Mayor John Blickenstaff.

"These students are one more example of the broad base of support for this project," said Blickenstaff, who also chairs the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority board. "Education is a major factor with the many education institutions along the line, all in support of this project."

The meeting was important because the MTA board was considering the MTA's draft Long Range Tranportation Plan, which currently does not include funding for the Gold Line extension. Without the $80 million inclusion in the plan would bring, construction on the project would be delayed beyond the end of 2009.

Ortega's article indicated that yesterday's show of support for the extension at least caught the MTA board's attention:

The show of support for the Gold Line - nearly half of those in attendance at Thursday's meeting were there in favor of the project - was acknowledged by Metro board Chairwoman Pam O'Connor.

"I'd like to ask staff for a report on the Gold Line, its status and readiness, because of the support shown today," O'Connor said.

The article did not indicate if any Claremont officials showed up to speak. The City of Claremont is busy with its own transit project, the Downtown Trolley covering a six square block area, so Mayor Taylor and company may be understandably preoccupied with more important things than the Gold Line.

You can read more about the Gold Line Foothill Extension here.