"Highway and transportation issues are critical to California's economy and its citizens' everyday lives. I believe we must continue to build roads and highways that reduce congestion and increase driver safety. Yet it is equally important that we invest in transportation alternatives, which are increasingly necessary in our growing region." - Rep. Adam Schiff
Ensuring Adequate Transportation Funding
In November 2006, California voters passed Proposition 1B, permitting the state to sell $19.9 billion in bonds to fund state and local transportation projects to relieve congestion, improve movement of goods, improve air quality, and enhance safety and security of the transportation system. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) released a report in February with allocation recommendations for some of the Prop 1B funding that severely underrepresented Los Angeles County considering our large population and overwhelming traffic problems.
In response, Congressman Schiff and other Members of Congress sent a letter airing their concerns about the inequitable allocation to Governor Schwarzenegger. This letter ultimately resulted in increased transportation funding for Los Angeles County.
Congressman Schiff is a strong advocate for transit. In May 2007, he wrote to Governor Schwarzenegger opposing $600 million in additional cuts to 2007-2008 state transit funds. Congressman Schiff supports increased state and local funds and believes they are all an integral piece of this solution and are desperately needed to improve transportation in our community.
Expanding Metro Gold Line
Since serving in the California State legislature, Congressman Schiff has worked to promote and develop viable public transportation alternatives that will not only benefit riders, but also have a positive impact on our congestion and environmental problems. During his tenure in the California State Senate Rep. Schiff introduced legislation that created the Gold Line Construction Authority, which was built on time and under budget. The Gold Line conserves energy and reduces pollution - 1.5 million gallons of gasoline each year and an estimated 4 tons of carbon monoxide respectively. Congressman Schiff continues to work to expand the Metro Gold Line to Montclair and beyond.
Closing the 710 Freeway Gap
As the representative of communities both for and against completion of the 710 freeway, Congressman Schiff has endeavored to find transportation solutions that make sense for the entire district. Within the last couple years, a new option has emerged as a potentially viable solution to traffic congestion in this area. Tunneling technology has advanced to the point where it may be technologically feasible to use here, at a cost comparable to conventional construction technologies. Advancements in the design and technology of tunneling have made a proposed tunnel project a possible alternative for the 710 Freeway.
Through the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFE TEA-LU), Rep. Schiff requested funding for a study to evaluate a tunnel alternative to close the 710 Freeway gap in Southern California. This study would provide information about the technological and economic feasibility of such a tunnel and would consider all potential routes to close the gap. $2.4 million was included in the final version of the bill that was signed into law on August 10, 2005. The study, which has not yet been completed, must be conducted in a way that considers all potential tunneling routes and that does not assume pre-existing plans are the only or best alternatives. This study should help determine whether the elusive common ground after all these years may be underground.