City and Valley officials called on the state to give L.A. its fair share of the nearly $20 billion in transportation bonds approved by voters in November. Local officials were stunned last week when a recommendation of how to spend the funds by the California Transportation Commission called for cutting more than $1 billion worth of L.A. freeway projects, including a car-pool lane that would cut down on congestion near the hectic 405-101 interchange in Sherman Oaks. With the commission voting on the final recommendations Feb. 28, officials are asking the public to contact the state commission and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is leading a delegation to Sacramento on Tuesday to lobby state officials. A press conference is scheduled today in which the mayor will outline his plans. Also scheduled to attend are U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, Assemblyman Mike Feuer and Valley Commerce & Industry Association CEO Brendan Huffman. In all, funding was pulled for four L.A. County projects, including a $950 million carpool lane on the 405 that would have ran from the Santa Monica (10) Freeway to the Ventura (101) Freeway. (A staff report said it might be eligible for additional funding next year.) Among the three that received approval, just one is in the Valley: a project to add carpool lanes on the Golden State (5) Freeway through the Burbank area linking the Ventura (134) Freeway with the Hollywood (170) Freeway.
Valley, City Officials Plead for Share of State Transportation Funds