"Transportation issues are critical to California's economy and its citizens’ everyday lives. We must continue to improve roads and highways to reduce congestion and increase driver safety. It is equally important that we invest in transportation alternatives, such as light rail, which are increasingly necessary in our growing region, and will help reduce pollution long-term." – Congressman Adam Schiff
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Rep. Schiff is a strong supporter of efforts to ensure that the use of helicopters near residential areas do not reduce the quality of life for Los Angeles County residents. Helicopters that are used for a wide range of purposes – from news stations, to paparazzi and law enforcement – routinely fly at such low altitudes that they often cause extreme vibrations of homes and prevent neighborhood residents from being able to enjoy a simple conversation indoors.
As a lead cosponsor of the Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act (H.R. 2677), Schiff has sought to direct the FAA to set regulations for helicopter operations in Los Angeles County that include requirements for helicopter flight paths and altitudes to reduce noise pollution in residential areas. This commonsense piece of legislation would significantly improve the quality of life of residents that live under helicopter flight paths, while also providing a necessary exemption for emergency operations.
Schiff also participated in a roundtable hosted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee to examine helicopter flight operations in metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles County. The roundtable included representatives from the helicopter industry, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board and other Members of Congress in October 2011. During the roundtable and in subsequent hearings and meetings, Schiff has urged the FAA to set reasonable limits on helicopter flyovers of residential Los Angeles Neighborhoods.
Making our Railroads Safer
Train safety has been one of Schiff’s priorities for several years. Unfortunately, after the 2005 Glendale crash and the more recent Metrolink crash in Chatsworth, our community experiences the tragedy of train collisions all too often. The Railroad Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 included the Rail Collision Prevention Act, introduced by Schiff, which mandated the nationwide implantation of a positive train control system (PTC) by 2015, and authorized funds to help pay for the implantation. PTC systems help bring trains to automatic stops if engineers do not comply with signals, if a train has missed signals or are slow to stop. After the Railroad Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2095) was signed into law by the president on October 16, 2008, Schiff has continued to use his seat on the House Appropriations Committee to ensure strong funding for PTC implementation both locally and nationally.
Additionally, Schiff has been a strong supporter of the Alameda Corridor East Grade Separation project in the San Gabriel Valley, which is working to reduce the number of at-grade crossings between vehicle and pedestrian traffic and the trains that come from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that ship goods to the rest of the country. Through eliminating many at-grade crossing and making others safer, the project will make traveling in the San Gabriel Valley safer for pedestrians, drivers and trains, while also making our air cleaner and safer to breath.
Schiff has long supported a mandatory nighttime curfew for Bob Hope Airport so that Burbank residents can sleep peacefully. In November 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rejected the Bob Hope Airport Authority’s application for a curfew for nighttime between 10 pm and 7 am at Bob Hope Airport. In 2011, Schiff and other Southern California Members introduced the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act (H.R. 842) that would allow Bob Hope and Van Nuys Airports to implement nighttime curfews. Schiff offered the legislation as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act (H.R. 658). Though the amendment did not secure enough votes to pass, it did achieve a strong level of support. In a subsequent meeting with the FAA Administrator, the Administrator expressed a willingness to work with Schiff on this important issue.
He continues to work with the FAA, airports in our region and the affected communities to help achieve meaningful nighttime noise protection for the citizens of Burbank.