Some national Jewish organizations joined a coalition of religious groups calling on the Washington Metro system to donate profits from an anti-Islam ad to charity.
On Monday, L.A. Metro’s long-awaited Westside Subway Extension reached an important milestone with the release of the project’s final environmental impact statement and report. According to a recent article in The Source — “What Makes This Westside Subway Proposal Different From All the Others?” — the idea of a subway to the Westside dates back to 1961, when “a predecessor agency to the present-day Metro.
John Mirisch’s critique of L.A.’s current transit plans (“Just What Is Jewish Mass Transit?” Feb. 25) is contradictory and uninformed. On the one hand, he faults Metro’s failure to provide sufficient park-and-ride lots for the Westside subway extension. On the other hand, he decries “big brother’s stick of eminent domain.” Mirisch can’t have it both ways: If you want more parking you may have to encroach on somebody’s property, which of course is perfectly permissible under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment if the taking is compensated. As a city councilman, he should be aware of the takings clause, a long tradition in American constitutional law and urban planning. Mirisch seems to be looking for any excuse to put the brakes on transportation reform in a region that badly needs it.
With all of the recent focus on Los Angeles Metro’s expansion plans and the 30/10 Initiative, it seems timely to consider what Metro’s ambitious plans mean for L.A.’s Jewish community. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Metro is moving forward with several important projects that will bring rail lines closer, if not all the way, to the synagogue door. Metro is working hard to win Congressional approval for the 30/10 Initiative, so named because it would accelerate financing for transit construction, allowing the agency to build 30 years of public transportation projects within a decade.