BERMAN RAISES DOUBTS ABOUT VALLEY RAIL LINE.Byline: Eric Wahlgren Daily News Staff Writer
A consensus is finally forming around a single plan for an east-west rail line in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. , but a key politician, Rep (programming) REP - A directive used in IBM object code card decks (and later PTF Tapes) to REPlace fragments of already assembled or compiled object code prior to link edit. . Howard L. Berman, D-Mission Hills, is raising new questions that could stand in the way.
With the threat of losing federal planning money to the east side, Berman has stated he prefers a north-south rail line instead of east-west - an alternative that if pursued, could delay indefinitely in·def·i·nite
Not definite, especially:
a. Unclear; vague.
b. Lacking precise limits: an indefinite leave of absence.
c. the Valley's chance of getting any return on its transportation tax dollars.
Members of Valley Rapid Transit rapid transit, transportation system designed to allow passenger travel within or throughout an urban area, usually employing surface, elevated, or underground railway systems or some combination of these. Now, a newly formed coalition, said Berman has not yet backed the Metropolitan Transit Authority's plan to extend rail service from North Hollywood to the San Diego Freeway The San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405, and the part of Interstate 5 south of the El Toro Y) is one of the principal north-south highways in Southern California, and the major beltway of I-5 running through Southern California. and possibly to Warner Center in Woodland Hills.
Representatives of the coalition, which include a state politician, an MTA (1) (Message Transfer Agent or Mail Transfer Agent) The store and forward part of a messaging system. See messaging system.
(2) See M Technology Association.
1. (messaging) MTA - Message Transfer Agent. board member and Valley community leaders, said that if Berman were to push for a north-south line The North-South Line may refer to several different railway lines:
``We would certainly hope that Congressman Berman will eventually support the position of our group, the MTA and most everyone else,'' said Larry Gray, a coalition member and co-chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce's transportation committee.
``I understand his concern for ultimately getting a line into the north Valley,'' Gray added. ``But that is not part of the plan that is being developed today by the MTA. That would require basically going back to square one and starting over again and would delay transit for a long period of time.''
Berman said he has no plans to push for an alternate, north-south line, but added he believes such a route was not sufficiently studied.
Nevertheless, he said he would back an east-west line if it did not destroy any residential neighborhoods in his district.
``I am not against any east-west line,'' Berman said. ``I do not think enough attention was paid to a line that would sort of go diagonally toward the northeast Valley, because it is clear to me that it would serve a larger number of people who are transit-dependent.''
Berman said he was basing his stance on a desire to best serve his constituents, and not to solidify so·lid·i·fy
v. so·lid·i·fied, so·lid·i·fy·ing, so·lid·i·fies
1. To make solid, compact, or hard.
2. To make strong or united.
v.intr. his support in the next election.
A north-south line would service parts of Berman's district that are home to a growing number of Latinos who have become an increasingly potent force in both local and national elections.
``It is not about holding on to my seat,'' Berman said of his stance.
Congressman Xavier Becerra Xavier Becerra (born January 26 1958), an American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1993, representing California's 31st congressional district (map), which is based in Los Angeles. , D-Los Angeles, chairman of the congressional Latino caucus caucus: see convention. , said the seat held by Berman, a popular, veteran representative first elected in 1982, does not appear to be vulnerable.
``I know that there are a growing number of Latinos who are interested in running for office, including those who are already in elected positions,'' Becerra said. ``I would not be surprised that there would be pressure on the seat that Howard has. But I have not heard that anyone is interested in running against Howard.''
Berman said he has not called for any further studies at this time and that he believes the coalition's primary focus should be not on the rail line's alignment, but on finding funding, as federal money may not be available for seven to 10 years.
But coalition member Nate Brogin disagrees with Berman, saying the east-west line would create better access to more destinations than a north-south route by bringing the train service to Warner Center or perhaps even Valley Circle Boulevard in West Hills.
Brogin, vice chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, said the east-west route would also provide more opportunities for buses that feed into the rail line than the alternate route An official alternate route is a bannered highway that provides an alternate alignment for a highway. Originally, the term for these routes was "optional"; but in 1959, the designation became alternate. .
Moreover, the MTA already has spent nearly $160 million to purchase the right-of-way for the so-called Burbank-Chandler route, other coalition members added.
``I think it is a better alignment,'' Brogin said.
Brogin and other coalition members said they believe a north-south line could be built eventually, once an east-west line is already in place.
In addition to the route's alignment, coalition members also have agreed that the rail line must minimize impact to residences and be built using cost-saving measures that still place a premium on safety.
The MTA has been plagued by millions of dollars in cost overruns Noun 1. cost overrun - excess of cost over budget; "the cost overrun necessitated an additional allocation of funds in the budget"
cost - the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor as well as fatal accidents during the construction of other lines across the city.