Public Development


What Next For The Subway To The Sea?

The Second District Court of Appeal has upheld the environmental impact report for the extension of Los Angeles’s Purple Line, removing another hurdle for construction of the “Subway to the Sea” through Beverly Hills. Now we'll see whether the Beverly Hills city and school district will appeal to the California Supreme Court.

The subway extension has been consistently opposed by both the City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District, primarily because it would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning to locate a station at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, in the middle of the Century City business district, which is located immediately west of Beverly Hills High School, rather than further north along Santa Monica Boulevard.

In ruling against the city and the school district, the appellate court emphasized the need to give great deference to the lead agency in reviewing decisions about whether to recirculate an EIR.

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Anaheim Reinvents the Train Station

The $188 million Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), which broke ground earlier this month, is the most recent example of a fast-growing list of public facilities with big ambitions: the local transit hub that connects local and regional transit rail lines with bus service, taxies, bicycle locks and sometimes business services for travelers.  The anticipation of high-speed rail also adds some drama to the Anaheim transit center. 

Riverside County Approves New Freeway, But Abandons Half

Although freeways have helped shape the development of California, very few new freeways have been built since the 1980s. The focus has instead been on widening existing freeways, and adding carpool and transit lanes. But in Riverside County, where construction and development are major economic drivers, county officials are trying to add a new east-west freeway.

Can Suburban Downtowns Co-Exist With High-Speed Rail?

These days, the California High-Speed Rail Authority might as well be called the Political Traction Company. After winning voter approval of a $9.9 billion bond in November, the authority seemed to become a favorite of the Obama administration, which is eager to fund high-speed rail construction. In addition, some Central Valley communities – such as Fresno and Bakersfield, where stations are set to be built – are eager to see the project advance. Nevertheless, cities along the Peninsula of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are asking questions about the project.

Hopes For Airport Regionalization Grounded In Palmdale

When United Airlines canceled its service between the airport in Palmdale and San Francisco International, it provide a significant setback to Southern California's long, frustrating effort to spread an immense amount of air traffic more evenly across the region. Palmdale may yet thrive as a commercial airport, but experts predict it could take decades.

Fees Fund Courthouse Construction Program

Although gigantic state budget deficits are threatening to stall thousands of public works projects in California, one major effort appears to remain on track: Courthouse construction. The $5 billion program for replacing, rehabilitating or expanding 41 courthouses has its own funding source in the form of civil filing fees and criminal penalties.

No More Car Chases On The Streets Of SF?

To many Californians, the lively, pedestrian-oriented streets and plazas of San Francisco are what make the city so enjoyable. But away from these celebrated areas, San Francisco has many of the same problems with its streets as other aging urban areas. There are countless blocks of treeless roads that are more useful for shuttling speeding cars to freeways, than for providing safe corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The city has set out to improve those streets that don’t match up to the city’s reputation with an ambitious “Better Streets Plan."

Voluntary Effort Sets High Goals for Bay Area's El Camino Real

When Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network CEO Russell Hancock talks about transforming El Camino Real into the Northern California version of the Avenues des Champs Elysees, one begins to wonder what color the sky is in his world.

No More Nasty Ol' Portables - Schools Adopt New Standards

State bond money and local tax dollars are flowing into new school construction at record rates, and school officials are learning that a “green” campus is both better for students and teachers and is less expensive to operate.

LAO Raises Questions About Resources Land Acquisitions

The State of California needs a better system for determining how much it pays for resource conservation lands, the Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded in a lengthy report issued in October. Although the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) does not say directly that the state has overpaid when it bought forests, wetlands, beaches, habitat and open space, the implication is easy to draw.