L.A. Area Chamber

      TUESDAY | March 18, 2008




Coming up
at the Chamber

WED | March 19
Member Orientation

WED | March 19
New Member Reception
By Invitation Only

THU | March 20
Education & Workforce Development Committee Meeting

FRI | March 21
Accenture Pancakes & Politics Breakfast Speaker Series
Circle Level Members and Above

TUE | March 25
Private Roundtable with Colombia's Minister of Trade
H.E. Luis Guillermo Plata, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia

WED | March 26
International Trade & Investment Committee Meeting
Greg Treverton, RAND Corp.

WED | March 26
National & Local Education Reform Efforts Luncheon
more info

THU | March 27
Joint Transportation & Goods Movement and Land Use, Construction & Housing Committee Meeting

FRI | March 28
Small Business Council
Maximizing Your Business in a Tightening Economy

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


Nearly all of us endure traffic as an accepted part of our daily routines with seemingly no relief on the horizon. Fortunately, there is good news to report.  Billions of dollars in state bond funding will be spent on congestion relief projects in Southern California.

Two years ago, voters approved Proposition 1B to fund billions of dollars in much needed infrastructure improvements to our roads and highways. The money is finally being allocated by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to projects up and down the state. Today, Southern Californians should be very proud of the way in which our five-county region worked together on a unified list of funding priorities.

This past week the CTC published their list of proposed projects to receive money from the Trade Corridor Improvement Funds portion of Proposition 1B. Our region was allocated $1.75 billion to fund a variety of improvement projects including:

  • SR 47 Expressway and Schuyler Heim Bridge
  • Gerald Desmond Bridge, I-15 Devore Interchange
  • I-10 widening and interchange improvements from the L.A. County line to I-21
  • SR 91 improvements
  • Rail projects at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach
  • Grade separation projects throughout the five counties. 

Elected officials in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. used to remark that Southern California failed to get its appropriate share of transportation funding because local leaders were not working together on a unified agenda of transportation priorities. That outdated provincialism is behind us now. Our elected officials, transit agencies, business community and other stakeholders are working closer than ever to get our region moving again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Southern California must stay united in the coming months and years. Working together on our Proposition 1B allocations is a great warm-up for when our region fights for greater federal investment in 2009 when Congress reauthorizes SAFETEA-LU, the federal government’s multi-year transportation funding act.

Consensus efforts through partnerships like Mobility 21 and the Access Washington, D.C. advocacy trip are prime examples of how to work together to achieve our common goals.

There is a major role for the business community. We have to participate in these advocacy efforts, but also share the private sector’s best practices with elected officials and government agencies. The severe budget crunch and economic downturn present a golden opportunity to push for more innovative ways to finance congestion relief projects.

Expanding opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships, also known as 3P, is an important step in that direction. These are projects jointly financed and operated by private companies and the government. State Route 125 in San Diego, a toll road, is a great example of a new highway that would not have been built without this type of partnership.

Let’s keep working together to reduce congestion and get us all moving again. This is our fight to win or lose.

And that’s The Business Perspective. 

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.


by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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