MTA alleged incompetence leaves road warriors fuming

405 Freeway widening project highlights agency’s growing list of ineptitudes
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(PR NewsChannel) / May 6, 2013 / BEVERLY HILLS. Calif.  

405 Freeway constructionEven under the best of circumstances, Los Angeles’ 405 Freeway is infamous for its traffic jams. With over 300,000 cars using the freeway daily, it’s no surprise that LA has regained its crown as the worst traffic in the country, according to the Inrix data company’s annual congestion report.

What is surprising, however, is how the Metropolitan Transit Authority is handling the widening project on this vital stretch of road.

Over budget and plagued by delays, the 405 Freeway widening project has long been a headache for Los Angelenos and the MTA.

With a budget of $1 billion, the project is currently in the red $100 million with no definitive signs that it won’t increase. Furthermore, the MTA has pushed the estimated end date back another year past initial projections.

For their part, the MTA has laid the blame squarely at their contractors’ feet.

“This project has been horribly managed,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor and current MTA board member. “The performance of contractors has left a lot to be desired… They’ve shown a complete lack of sensitivity and empathy for the community in which they’re doing the work.”

While the MTA has been busy pointing fingers at the contractors, private citizens have stepped up and offered to help the project come to completion.

Elon Musk, co-founder of Pay Pal and Tesla Motors, has already contributed $50,000 in an effort to hurry the project along and is even open to the idea of paying the costs of adding additional workers to the project “as a contribution to the city and my own happiness.”

With the 405 debacle already weighing heavily on Angelenos’ heads, the MTA is also catching flack for its hesitance to add a stop in Leimert Park Village on the Crenshaw-to-LAX light-rail line.

Nearly two years after hundreds of residents and every South Los Angeles elected official joined together to call for the stop, the MTA is still dragging their feet on the decision due to monetary concerns.

Despite a $4.5 billion annual budget and an estimated $40 billion coming in the decades ahead thanks to the 2008 Measure R ballot initiative, the MTA still can’t seem to find a way to make vital projects like the Leimert Park Village stop and the 405 widening project efficiently come to fruition.

To add insult to injury, the MTA has recently been dogged with criticism in their handlings of the Metro Rail and Beverly Hills High School.

The MTA’s scientific basis for routing the line under the school has recently been debunked by the Beverly Hills School District’s research in conjunction with the California Geological Survey. Despite this authoritative evidence, not only has the MTA refused to acknowledge their mistake, but they’re determined to stick with a plan that will unnecessarily cost the city upwards of $200 million.

“I have a hard time validating the MTA. They have treated many other local governments and organizations with a disrespect unbecoming of a major agency,” said Noah Margo, vice president of the Board of Education.

With mistake after mistake piling up at the MTA’s feet, citizens across the city are getting fed up with the agency’s ineptitudes and incompetent handlings of integral city resources.

Glenn Selig
PR Firm: The Publicity Agency
(310) 598-3367

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SOURCE:  Beverly Hills Unified School District

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