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Officials Still Planning Gold Line to Claremont, Despite MTA Stance

Construction Authority researching ways to fund portion from Azusa to Claremont.

While the MTA Chief's blunt assessment three weeks ago that funding for The Gold Extension's Phase 2B may have derailed its arrival to Glendora and all points beyond for many more years than expected, officials continue to chug along with plans for construction.

At the last San Gabriel Valley Council of Government's meeting, Metro Chief Art Leahy laid it all out to foothill city leaders.

"Some of you are going to think I am a monster for saying this: The Gold Line is funded to Azusa. Period. There is no more money for the Gold Line," Leahy said.

Area leaders knew for quite a while that Metro was never too keen on the idea to extend the Gold Line further east, even though the Measure R language passed by voters four years ago stated the line would extend from Pasadena to Claremont.

"We had a discussion with Metro, trying to come up with some agreement to get them to follow the law. They, for whatever reason, refuse to do so. They're a very Los Angeles-centric organization," said Doug Tessitor, Glendora councilman and chair of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Tessitor said there is no other project as ready as Phase 2B. The Environmental Impact Review for Phase 2B will be ready sometime this November. The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority already estimated that the Azusa to Claremont segment would require $765 million in funding and the proposed route has already been surveyed.

Glendora has some happening that was thought of as a major component to the city's Transit Oriented Development with the 53 townhome development across from the proposed Gold Line Station near Glendora and Ada avenues. This project is still happening sans the transit.

The owner of that project, City Ventures, LLC, is also considering developing the currently vacant northeast corner of Glendora and Route 66.

"They [Metro] just refuse to recognize the taxes that citizens pay deserve to be spent on its own citizens. That's our frustration. We ought to be getting what we pay for." Tessitor said.

Adding salt to the wounds, the MTA board voted in agreeing to ask voters to make permanent Measure R -- without any proposed funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B. Governor Brown would need to sign some legislation first if this is to be put on the November ballot.

If it goes on the ballot and is approved by voters, Measure R would continue 30 years beyond the original expiration date. Tessitor is confident Construction Authority members have a potential solution to their Gold Line woes that could satisfy all parties.

Construction Authority board member and Duarte mayor John Fasana introduced an amendment June 28 to the Measure R extension vote that would allow tax revenues collected for highway construction to fund projects in the valley -- including the Foothill Extension to Claremont.

It is also a possibility that officials could sue Metro in an effort to get the agency to comply with the law, Tessitor said.

"Neither I, nor anybody I know of that's involved with the Gold Line Construction Authority is going to throw up our hands in defeat," Tessitor said.

Dave Sanders July 09, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I fully support the Gold Line Construction Authority in their pursuit of funding for the project to Claremont. I am still hoping this project is completed by the time I retire. We can't let the MTA railroad us on this one (sorry, couldn't resist).
Mary Worthington July 09, 2012 at 08:10 AM
I'm so tired of the MTA trying to leave out the San Gabriel Valley while pushing more expensive and less welcome projects on the Westside. A grateful "thanks" to local politicians like Doug Tessitor and John Fasana who continue to fight for our communities.
Ralph Long July 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I agree Mary and Dave! Continuation of the Gold line to Glendora and further will raise the visibility and importance of Beautiful Glendora in the eyes of businesses. This will help attract new business and, in turn, increase city revenue. It will also allow for an easier commute into LA, which will help raise local property values. I agree, Dave.... I hope this gets done before I am to old to care.
Denise B. July 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I would love the Gold Line in Glendora. So much easier to get around LA on the subway than by car. You can drive to Pasadena and park and jump on, but I usually take the Metro Link to Union and then jump around the subways. The problem is the last Metro Link out of Union is fairly early and you can't utilize it if you are going to one of the shows at the Pantages or Kodak/Dolby because they might let out later than the last train back. I drove to the Kodak a couple weeks ago to take some interns to see the Cirque show. It took like 40 minutes to get down Highland from the 101 into the parking garage at Hollywood and Highland. Granted there was a show going on at the Hollywood Bowl too, but ugh it was such a painful endeavor. I find I avoid attending certain things to avoid traffic. I would love to board the Gold Line in Glendora. Please, please, please - make it happen!
EZDuzit July 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM
The sooner the better! I'm with you,Denise...if I could utilize public rapid transit for at least 80% of my transportation needs, I would. I find now that when I attend theatre downtown or in Hollywood I book a matinee so I can use the Gold line and subway system. I wish there was a line that could take me to the beach, to the airports, to theme parks and sports stadiums....it's possible, but not likely in my lifetime. The ease of public transport is so wonderful in places like NYC, Paris, London, etc. that I just feel that L.A. is a hundred years behind everyone else in this! But if the Gold Line can get to Glendora while I can still use it...I'm there!!!
Denise B. July 21, 2012 at 05:34 AM
It would be great if it went to the beach. I guess if it makes it to Azusa that would be a positive for us. I park in Covina for the Metro Link... The problem is it does not run all night or even past 11. It is not cheap either, but worth not dealing with the traffic.

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