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MTA to Issue IOU

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Traffic in LA is bad. The State of California is unable to provide money to help alleviate said traffic. What's a cash-strapped transit authority like the MTA to do?

Borrow the money, natch.

The MTA is looking to float up to $1.1 billion in bonds to finance transit improvements across LA county. The hope is that by accelerating plans already on the drawing board, the region can hold the line on congestion, and perhaps even make inroads into reducing traffic.

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Which sounds great to us. We hate traffic. And we can think of some projects we'd like to see the MTA get a jump on:

Extend the Red Line down Wilshire Boulevard:
Boy, this seems like such a no-brainer. However, in LA there's always a roadblock to transit projects. In this case, it's Rep. Henry Waxman, who passed a law that makes subway construction in the Wilshire Corridor illegal. He says it's because of unsafe methane pockets. It couldn't have anything to do with opposition to the subway amongst his Westside constituency.

Extend the Green Line to LAX and up the 405:
Anything that can make it easier to get to airport and ease traffic on the dreaded 405 has our vote. Running the Green Line into the Valley, where it could tie into the Orange Line Busway, would also give commuters there a much needed alternative to braving the 101/405 interchange.

A Gold Line Extension into Glendale and Burbank:
Hey, the Valley pays the same transit sales tax as the rest of us, and what do they have to show for it? Two subway stops and a half-built busway. Sure, some of the blame for this sorry state of affairs rests on the shoulders of Valley NIMBYs, but a lack of forceful leadership on this issue hasn't helped. It's time for the grown-ups to step in and get something done.

That's three traffic-busting projects right of the top of our heads. What would you build if you ran the MTA and had $1.1 billion to play with? Light rail? A monorail? More freeways? A Jetsons-style skyway system?

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What could really help reduce traffic in LA?