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WEST VALLEY TRANSIT HUB IN JEOPARDY STATE'S BUDGET WOES HAVE MTA SCALING BACK.



Byline: Lisa Mascaro Staff Writer

A visionary plan to build a ``Union Station'' at Warner Center to link rapid buses, busways Busways is a company that operates bus services in the western suburbs of Sydney, Central Coast and North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Blacktown services  and suburban transit services to suburbs west of 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.
 has hit a serious roadblock with the 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.
 facing funding cuts because of the state budget crisis.

The new leadership at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has turned the modest $4 million transit hub planned for Warner Center into an ambitious effort to attract motorists to ride buses to their jobs or lure mall shoppers onto the East-West Busway that will have its terminus Terminus (tûr`mĭnəs), in ancient Rome, both the boundary markers between properties and the name of the god who watched over boundaries.  in Warner Center.

The proposal already faced tough obstacles in trying to find prime Warner Center real estate and not adding more rush hour traffic to the business area, and now officials believe the state budget crunch will scuttle it indefinitely.

``I'd love to have a small Union Station in that part of the Valley,'' said David Armijo, the MTA's Valley general manager, who began shopping the idea around shortly after taking office this year. ``Right now we have a very basic plan that works. If we can take it to the next level, it's going to make it that much more attractive.''

But, he added, ``My concept of doing something more probably comes at a real bad time.''

Instead, the transit hub will proceed in phases as the MTA focuses on preserving the basics - namely, the Valley's East-West Busway, a $300 million line linking North Hollywood with Warner Center.

The city Department of Transportation plans to begin construction this summer on the hub on Owensmouth Avenue between Erwin and Oxnard streets.

For now, the MTA hopes to move forward on plans to build a 1,000-space parking structure nearby, possibly on nearby mall property.

An MTA spokesman said the agency board is slated in February to consider a $15 million proposal to build a parking structure, though funding has not been identified.

It's been a long-standing concern that there's no parking for the new busway, and Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  City Councilman Dennis Zine recently hosted the various groups at a meeting where he pressed the MTA to create parking for the scheduled opening of the busway in 2005.

A spokeswoman for Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade said officials met with those involved, and promised to try to accommodate the community's needs if traffic congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.

congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity.
 and other problems can be resolved.

Building a transit center has long been part of the development plans for Warner Center with expectations raised when former Councilwoman Laura Chick announced that a regional bus center would be built near Owensmouth and Oxnard.

``It will allow transit riders to take a shuttle from their door and transfer in Warner Center to convenient bus service that can take them throughout the region,'' she said at the time.

As the hub is now planned, buses will have dedicated curbside lanes along Owensmouth - between the Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade and the Blue Cross buildings - with regular stations for the commuter lines from Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. , Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown.  and Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, .

Arches would stretch over the north and south entrances to Owensmouth, and neon art would welcome riders.

But the MTA has been dreaming of further enhancements.

Armijo points to the cafe at the Metrolink station in Chatsworth, the child-care center at the Sylmar-San Fernando Metrolink station and the North Hollywood Metro Station's distinct sense of place as the kind of enhancements considered for the West Valley.

Plus, there would be standard travel amenities, such as ATMs and monitor screens with schedule information.

``You want to have it in the way that it's attractive, it's user friendly, that it has passenger amenities,'' Armijo said. ``It would be attractive enough and stand on its own. It would attract people to it, much like Union Station does.''

But the prospect of a spruced-up hub received mixed reviews among community leaders - who welcomed the idea of bringing better transportation amenities to the Valley but cautioned against overreaching Exploiting a situation through Fraud or Unconscionable conduct. .

``Let's see Let's See was a Canadian television series broadcast on CBC Television between September 6, 1952 to July 4, 1953. The segment, which had a running time of 15 minutes, was a puppet show with a character named Uncle Chichimus (voice of John Conway), which presented each  what happens with this (busway) line in the first place, see if it's used, rather than build a Taj Mahal Taj Mahal (täzh məhäl`, täj məhŭl`), mausoleum, Agra, Uttar Pradesh state, N India, on the Yamuna River. It is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the finest example of the late style of Indian ,'' Valley civic leader David Fleming
This article is about the English environmental writer David Fleming. For the Scottish politician and judge, see David Pinkerton Fleming, and for the Scottish historian, please see David Hay Fleming


David Fleming
 said.

``Though I like (MTA chief Roger Snoble's) thinking - which is put some money in the Valley - which is a new concept. I think you can plan for something bigger in the future.''

MTA chairman and Valley City Councilman Hal Bernson Hal Bernson served as Los Angeles City Councilman for the 12th district. He was chair of the Transportation Committee. Prior to being on the City Council, he served in the Navy.

Preceded by
Robert M.
 said, ``That may happen someday, but it's in the future - in the far future.''

Warner Center consultant Brad Rosenheim said an enhanced center would be possible, but has certain stumbling blocks - namely that it needs a plot of land and a pledge that it won't bring more rush-hour traffic.

Still, he said, if the MTA can come forward with a location and plan, it may be worth exploring.

``The primary concern that Warner Center would have is that it's an asset,'' he said.

As planned, the transit center is slated to start construction in the summer and be completed in late 2003 or early 2004, depending on whether work could finish before the holidays when it would have to be halted to accommodate mall shopping.

City transit officials said acquiring land is the biggest problem with an expanded hub.

``The land is so darn valuable there,'' said Department of Transportation Assistant General Manager James Okazaki, adding it took him years to acquire the land for the current site. ``I can't say they totally love the Transit Center.''

Armijo, who couldn't estimate the possible costs of the Valley's small Union Station, said he would continue pursuing the vision, hopeful there could be a way to make it happen.

``I'm trying to be pragmatic,'' Armijo said. ``My hope, if there's still a chance to do something, we can do something with it.''

CAPTION(S):

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Map:

Warner Center transit hub Warner Center is a transit center and a station on the Metro Orange Line. It is currently the western terminus of the Orange Line, but a proposed extension of the line northbound beside Canoga Avenue to the Amtrak/Metrolink station in Chatsworth would provide a second, forked  
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 22, 2002
Words:961
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