Los Angeles Needs the Monorail
Los Angeles County voters last Nov. passed Measure M, overwhelmingly with 71 percent voter support, providing for $120 billion for local transportation needs over the next generation. Planning, efforts and developments are underway in L.A. expanding bike lanes and rail-service, which is great, but our city and citizens require much more to navigate around our ever-expanding grid-locked metropolis. Our quality of life depends on it. We need more.
My suggestion is to add Measure M1 (a) to the ballot box – code name “Operation Speedtrac” ‘Speedtrac’ could raise another $30 billion or more earmarked solely for Monorail construction. Today, traveling the 405 freeway in L.A. to and from the valley during lengthy rush hours is a complete nightmare. It won’t get better anytime soon. I don’t see the carpool lanes recently installed being the answer or long-term solution. Certainly, I’m not alone in my thinking. L.A.’s Mayor Garcetti recently mentioned the need for a Monorail along the 405. Strongly reiterating the need for its development is the non-profit group in L.A., American Monorail, Inc. which provides as its mission statement, “The American Monorail Project seeks to recast the analysis, planning, performance criteria and leadership of American mass transportation development, beyond the marginal performance of government-subsidized passenger rail systems, toward a public-private joint venture model of self-sufficient, cost-effective, sustainable transportation services that enhance every urban environment and economy they are built to serve.” As its name implies, the organization are strong proponents of building and connecting our vast city with high-quality Monorail service.
In 20 years, before I’m an octogenarian, I’d like to be able to travel the 405 corridor via Monorail service and leave the car or the envisioned driverless car at home. Stops could be readily made where bridges currently exist along the 405 – like Century, Sepulveda, Palms, National and Wilshire boulevards. Commuters could simply walk from homes and apartments to the various Monorail stops. Hundreds of thousands already live along the 405 corridor – one of the most densely populated areas in L.A. Millions of people would use the 405 Monorail. The rail would ease auto congestion, curb air pollution and advance commute times considerably. How great would it be to sit safely inside a Monorail, reading your newspaper and traveling at 60 mph during rush hours? Undoubtedly, stress would be relieved and Westside L.A. and valley life-expectancy probably increased. Why wait another 30 years to take Monorail action?
‘Operation Speedtrac’ could, as The American Monorail Project suggests, be a combination of public and private corporate funding. Companies are always looking for good public relations. I can think of none better than monetary participation from the likes of Siemens, GE, Mitsubishi and others.
Costs and profits could be shared between the city and forward thinking corporations. Once the 405 project is completed and kinks worked out, other Monorails could be added to the L.A. area basin not conflicting with expanding rail lines. How about a fast Monorail line along I-5 from downtown L.A. deep into Orange County?
Today, increased mass transportation in various forms is certainly needed to make L.A. a better more likeable and livable metropolis. Let’s place Measure M 1(a) on the ballot soon, raise another $30 billion or more earmarked for Monorail construction, and adopt Operation Speedtrac. Our loyal taxpaying citizens deserve it.