To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Time to Respond to 10,000 Page 710 Freeway Report

New deadline is Sept. 28 to point out any problems in the report. Meeting in Commerce tonight.
By EGP News Report
A proposed freeway project could impact residents and other stakeholders from Long Beach to East Los Angeles, but they initially were only given 60 days to read and respond to the 10,000 page report that one City of Commerce official characterized as “mind-boggling.” Now that deadline, originally set for Aug. 29, has been extended by a month.
Caltrans officials announced at a public hearing Tuesday night in Paramount that stakeholders now have until Sept. 28 to review the project’s 12-inch thick draft environmental impact report and point out any errors or problems in any of the proposed 710 Freeway Corridor project alternatives. Another meeting was held last night in Long Beach, and tonight, Aug. 9, there will be a meeting in the City of Commerce, at Rosewood Park (5600 Harbor St., Commerce), from 4-8pm.
A court reporter will be present to take down comments.
There are six route proposals, including one to leave the freeway the way it is. Many of the proposals could widen the eight-lane 710 Freeway to as many as 10 to 14 lanes. The project could displace homes, change how certain streets in neighborhoods are used, and the placement or configuration of on and off ramps.
The freeway project area studied stretches from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to East Los Angeles, and could affect nearby East Los Angeles, Bell Gardens, City of Commerce, Vernon, Bell, Cudahy, and Maywood.
Another 710 Freeway project in the north, from Alhambra to Pasadena is also being studied, but for that one, a draft environmental impact report has not yet been completed.
MPORTANT – No 710 – Attend Pasadena City Council meeting this Monday, August 13, 6:30 PM
Tomorrow night, August 13, 2012 the Pasadena City Council plans to vote on a staff recommendation to oppose three of the proposed 710 routes, including the H-2 and F-5 alternatives through the San Rafael neighborhood.
Here are some important details about this meeting:
1.      The meeting will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Conference Rooms 101-105on the lower level.
2.      The meeting will begin at 6:30, doors will open at 5:30pm.  If you wish to speak, comment cards will be available starting at 5:30pm.  When you fill out your comment card you should check the box saying whether you are speaking as an individual or on behalf of an organization (most likely you would be speaking as an individual), and you should note that you will be speaking about Special Item 1. You need not state whether you are for or against the resolution.  Please come before 5:30pm!
3.      This meeting is an opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard. Metro will make a presentation on the SR-710 Alternatives, then the public will have an opportunity to present its viewpoints.  Keep in mind that we are seeking the full Council’s support, so it is important to emphasize not only the devastating effects on our neighborhood from these proposals, but also the detrimental effects they would have on all of Pasadena. It is important that everyone be respectful.
4.     Parking validation will be available for those utilizing the Pasadena Convention Center Garage, which can be accessed from either Marengo or Euclid Ave.  (please bring your parking ticket with you to the meeting room).
I encourage everyone to attend tomorrow night’s meeting!


From Peggy Drouet: Yesterday, I had a long conversation with a very bright retired Los Angeles area trucker. He has been to my house before so he is familiar with our neighborhood. He is aghast as to what Metro/Caltrans has planned for our neighborhood. I showed him a map of Southern California and made the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles Ground Zero.

Some of the questions that he answered for me:

Question: Why is the 710 so congested? Why don't the truckers use the 710 at night when it is less congested?

Answer: Because the pick up/drop off parts of the piers are only open from about 7-8 a.m. to 4-4:30 p.m. The longshoremen set these hours. Those hours are only for Monday to Friday. There are no weekend hours. Trucks start lining up at the docks about 6 a.m. to get in line to pick up the containers. Trucks dropping off shipments have to be there before closing time as well. (It's a two-way back on forth route on the 710 during daylight and often heavy congested hours.)

The other half of why truckers generally only use daylight hours for the transportation of goods is because the receivers of these goods (think of all the big box stores in Los Angeles and even in Pasadena as an example) will  receive delivery only during the hours that they themselves set, which very seldom includes nighttime hours.

Question: How could this problem be solved?

Answer: By having rail lines from the docks directly to warehouses in various areas of Los Angeles County, thereby totally bypassing the 710, and relieving truck traffic also from the 10, 605, 91, and the 5.  Also, by the use of smaller trucks picking up the items directly from the warehouses for delivery. [Transporting containers only by rail from the docks has been mentioned many times as a solution, including a rail line directly from the docks to the High Desert Corridor. But have we considered rail lines to warehouses in the LA area for shipments to those areas?]

Question: What is it like at the docks to pick up or drop off shipments?

Answer: The trucker comes with a shipment number which he or she presents to the dock workers. Besides from having to get in the long line at the piers, trucks also have to maneuver around all the unkept-up trucks that have broken down in the line and around blown tires, etc.

Question: Why are there so many truck accidents on the 710?

Answer: Truckers are either paid by the hour or by delivery [I didn't ask him if any are paid by a set salary]. The truckers being paid by delivery are rushing (speeding) so that they can make as many deliveries as they can per day. They are a danger to other trucks and also to cars on the road.

Question: Would you drive a truck through a 710, 4.5-mile length tunnel?

Answer: No way. There is too great a chance of accidents, resulting in explosions [know that some trucks carry explosive materials] and fires. Too easy to be caught in a long tunnel without an escape.

Any trucker knows how to get from the northern end of the 710 to the 210 via all the routes that trucks are allowed on through Pasadena, such as Rosemead Blvd. They don't take or need just one route to make the transition, and except for the truckers who are paid for delivery, the don't need to shave a small amount of time from their route.

My comment: If you can think of any more questions to ask this very informative trucker, e-mail me and I will ask him.

From the Pasadena Sun:

All lanes lead to the courthouse

Many people want to know where the study of the so-called 710 gap will end and are furiously studying the alternatives that Metro has put forth, including the new and screwy idea of making Avenue 64 a highway.

It appears fairly likely that by whatever route, all lanes will lead to the courthouse, as nearly any alternative will generate legal opposition.

No sooner had the Avenue 64 route been floated than the Pasadena City Attorney's Office issued an opinion saying the city could oppose the routes, despite a 2001 municipal law that essentially requires the city to stay quiet on the proposed extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway.

Meanwhile, it has long been clear that the scenario that would do most to alter traffic in the San Gabriel Valley — an extension of the 710 to the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena — will draw legal opposition.

Perhaps the only proposals that won't end in court are the most modest transit and surface-street improvements, but they also seem the least likely to meaningfully improve traffic conditions.

The Avenue 64 idea only makes sense as part of a series of changes. It might ease conditions on the Golden State Freeway by offering an alternative to drivers heading from the Los Angeles basin to the San Fernando Valley and points north, but would do nothing to address the most severe congestion in the area or connect truck traffic coming from the Port of L.A. to distribution hubs.

If anything, the Avenue 64 highway through west Pasadena feels like a paper alternative, designed to make the on-going environmental review by Metro and Caltrans as comprehensive as possible. If it survives the environmental review process, the next stop will surely be superior court.


No on the 710 Extension – N.I.M.B.Y. or my Neighbors

by Pasadena Adjacent


Within a week, the editor lost a 30 year battle with a renegade molar, was rear ended in San Diego and discovered her neighborhood has made the alternative list (twice) for the 710 Extension
(1) the H-2 [the Avenue 64/Colorado six lane highway]; (2) the F-5 [the San Rafael area 10 lane freeway]; and (3) the H-6 [the six lane highway that would run adjacent to Pasadena Avenue in the South Orange Grove neighborhood]
Metro Board of Directors and Staff
“As a citizen of Garvanza/Highland Park, I’m not only against the inclusion of my neighborhood in the nefarious 710 extension, but ALL 710 extensions. I believe, after listening to todays radio broadcast, the interview in the Pasadena Weekly, the Ramona Community gathering last Monday, and the questionable way this has been fast tracked….we can only conclude that our community has been recruited into a game of ill will “Corpo Speak.” A cleverly played hand in order to turn one community against the other, one race against another, rich against poor; and what ever else you can throw against the wall to divide and conquer us. My hope, through action, is to see a united front for all those communities you have placed in your cross hairs. No on the 710 Extension”