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City Council Votes to Fight Halt of Valley Busway

August 11, 2004|Caitlin Liu | Times Staff Writer

In a unanimous show of support for a half-built busway, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to seek ways to overturn a court ruling that has halted construction.

"Members of the public, we're losing every day ... that work is stopped," said Councilman Tom LaBonge, who sponsored the motion.

Last week, a state appellate panel ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to suspend construction on the 14-mile Orange Line while the agency conducted further analysis on whether a network of rapid buses would be a better alternative than a busway.

The $329.5-million, bus-only corridor was being built over a defunct railway between North Hollywood and Woodland Hills. Because the route cuts through numerous streets across the Valley, traffic remains snarled from shuttered construction sites that block intersections. MTA officials said a long delay could result in soaring costs and jeopardize state and federal funding.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) told the council he would introduce legislation today to exempt the busway from further environmental studies and ask the governor to sign it into law by the end of the month.

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