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Kodama to head Orangeline high-speed rail project

Posted: July 7, 2009 7:07 p.m.
Updated: July 8, 2009 5:05 p.m.
PARAMOUNT, Calif. -- Michael Kodama has been named the new Executive Director of the Orangeline Development Authority, according to Orangeline Chairman Bruce Barrows and Vice Chair and Santa Clarita City Councilmember Marsha McLean.

In his new role, Kodama will spearhead the creation of the Orangeline High Speed Rail system in Southern California.

The Orangeline High Speed Rail System is a high speed, environmentally friendly, grade separated transit system designed to link cities, foster sustainable land-use development, reduce traffic and alleviate air pollution.

The forward-thinking transit corridor project is a joint initiative composed of leaders from the cities of Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cudahy, Downey, Glendale, Huntington Park, Maywood, Palmdale, Paramount, Santa Clarita, South Gate and Vernon.

Kodama's 20 years urban and transportation planning experience on local and regional issues, gives him the ideal skill set to lead this multi-city collaborative project. Kodama's extensive planning background includes freeways, rail and bus transit projects, parking management and transportation demand management.

Kodama has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in Sociology and Economics and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in Urban Planning, with an emphasis in Social Policy Analysis and Transportation.

Kodama is president of his own transportation planning firm and is a professor teaching transportation planning at the University of Southern California.

"With Michael's extensive knowledge of Los Angeles and Orange County transportation issues, he is the perfect choice for this position," noted Barrows, also mayor of Cerritos.

"As many people who have worked with Michael know, he will have the agency and the public's best interest in mind when planning and executing a large scale project such as the Orangeline High Speed Rail Project,"

The proposed project uses existing right-of-way and extends from Orange County north to Santa Clarita and Palmdale.

"The Orangeline is a great opportunity for us to develop a high speed, environmentally friendly rail system that connects Los Angeles County from Palmdale and Santa Clarita to Cerritos and Downey and beyond," McLean said.


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