Purpose

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

710 alternatives raise concerns in local communities

By Lauren Gold, SGVN
twitter.com/laurenkgold

Cars getting on South710 freeway from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra Friday, October 7, 2011. A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Gil Cedilo, D-Los Angeles, was signed in to law this week, giving the South Pasadena City Council back it's authority to control a possible extension of the 710 Freeway. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Walt Mancini)
A few new lines drawn on the map have revived the West San Gabriel Valley's long dormant turmoil over a proposed 710 Freeway extension.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority has narrowed down a list of more than 40 alternative routes to a set of 12 it is currently studying as solutions to fill the 4.5 mile "gap" between Alhambra and Pasadena.
Though officials said the list will ultimately be narrowed down to just "two or three" routes that Metro will study more in-depth, a number of the possible alternatives have caused concern among residents.
Many of the newly concerned live in Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge or Los Angeles. Most own or rent homes somewhere in the path of one of the newly-drawn freeway lines.
Doug Failing, Metro's executive director of highway projects, said the wide array of possible routes is part of a legally required environmental study process.
He added that many of the routes, specifically those in the western portion of the study area, originated from public input.
Others, he said, came from elected officials, including requirements that were attached to earmarked federal dollars obtained by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, in 2005 for a study on the feasibility of a tunnel.
"Because of a lot of input, we may be looking broader than has ever been done in the past, but the process and the steps are exactly the same," Failing said. "Because we've been told by the project's

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opponents that if we don't look broadly they will challenge the project." Many say Metro's varied alternatives have caused nothing but trouble. And, there's a concern Metro's latest study is biased toward a certain option like a tunnel connecting the 10 and 210 Freeways.
Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck said the new routes have caused fear in areas that could be affected by the "new" route alternatives, like those through the San Rafael neighborhood.
"A number of these are unfortunate because they don't make sense and it puts the residents in a very difficult position ... that potentially could put them at risk when refinancing or trying to sell their property," Beck said.
Freeway advocate Nat Read of Pasadena said he was sympathetic to residents afraid their house may soon get bulldozed.
"If a line is drawn on the map and it comes through my house or my neighborhood ... I'm going to come out and protest," Read said. "I think that is the inevitable result of being forced to offer a number of arbitrary alternatives."
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, raised additional concerns that with residents in cities across Metro's "710 study area" opposing and supporting different routes, the proposals have caused a divide in the San Gabriel Valley community.
"I don't like pitting one neighborhood against another neighborhood," Portantino said.
And, Portantino added, he's not sure whether Metro is actually considering the new alternatives at all.
"I think the folks in downtown L.A. are going to try to put on a show to justify a predetermined conclusion," Portantino said. "Fundamentally, this is a flawed process."
Schiff said he believes Metro officials are primarily focused on building a tunnel that would disrupt neighborhoods.
"I have additional strong reservations about the direction Metro is taking," Schiff said. "In particular, I believe that the environmental review process Metro is currently engaged in has been excessively focused on the tunnel option without first considering the less costly and less intrusive alternatives."
For South Pasadena, the possible surface route connecting the 710 at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to its proposed terminus at the 210 Freeway in Pasadena and La Ca ada Flintridge has been an issue in the city since the extension was first proposed.
In the new study, South Pasadena Transportation Manager Dennis Woods criticized Metro for not looking closely enough at light rail, public transit, walking and biking routes through the corridor.
"I think unfortunately the creativity they executed in doing (the study) was still within limits," Woods said. "I think some of our council members think it should have been more outside the box, more futuristic."
Failing said Metro is "seriously considering" several options and is not biased toward a specific outcome, despite the public's misgivings.
"I am not going to prejudice this process," Failing said.
He said Metro's presentation at a Technical Advisory Committee meeting on Aug. 29 would likely indicate the "handful" of alternatives that are most likely to make the final list. Those could be presented the Metro board as early as September or October.
"There is not a final report until later but it starts to become really evident to people which ones are going to be falling off the table," Failing said.
Caltrans will make the final decision on which alternative is the best. The Metro board decides if it gets funding.
As the process moves forward, Failing said concerned residents should understand that their voices will be heard.
"Everyone gets concerned that the public agencies are making decisions in back rooms," Failing said. "Having worked for many government agencies I can say Metro has the most open process I've ever seen, and we are doing public outreach at all levels."
For more information about the 710 study, visit www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/.
lauren.gold@sgvn.com, 626-578-6300, ext. 4586

Pasadena Adjacent

Life Lived on the Edge of Pasadena

No on 710 Extension Goes to Pasadena Part Two

by Pasadena Adjacent 

(Go to 

http://pasadenaadjacent.com/2012/08/15/no-on-the-710-extension-pasadena-city-council-forum/ 

to click on these pages below. The article in dated on Google as 3 days ago).

Smoking Gun?
Discovered document downloaded (among others) to the No on 710 Face Book Page. Removed from Caltrans records in 1973, a year after Sam Yorty left office. A revised amendment, whose previous 1955 incarnation, would have had the freeway extension stopping in El Sereno at Collis ave at Kendall ave. Curious: In the early 70′s the editor recalls Collis ave containing small ranchettes zoned for horses. Questionable recall of a thirteen year old? Elephant Hill behind Kendall escaped development, and is now park land. When was Collis ave developed as it is now? What’s the editor’s point?
UPDATE: The Editor believes the above document was the smoke and the gun can be found in Measure Assembly Bill 1716 passed under Jerry Brown 9/09/75. It was in reaction to a plan to build a “westerly” 710 freeway through the Monterey Hills and then up the Arroyo. Further defined as “no portion of the arroyo can be encroached upon – large or small” Thus H2 F2 and F5 were NEVER legal options as they break Calif law. Tunnels do “encroach” on parkland. Unfortunately, F7 and H6 do not cross the Arroyo parklands outlined in that law. *See maps below (select and enlarge)

.
The Pasadena City Council attempts to pin down Metro/Caltrans on their lack of transparency (deceit and vagueness). Afterwards, multiple speakers, the majority from Highland Park, address Pasadena City Council with their concerns. What YOU can do is detailed at the end of the video
And why we fight the good fight to keep our homes out of the way of corporate interests, for those of you who are new to the rodeo, lets not forget the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees (and the animals that depend on them) in our epic 25 year battle to keep Pasadena from developing Hahamongna
Also sent to me by Carla Riggs:

Arroyo Seco Parklands Preservation Law of 1975

On September 19, 1975, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1716, the Arroyo Seco Parklands Preservation Law of 1975. The law is codified in sections 8650 through 8655 of the California Public Resources Code. Public Resources Code section 8655 provides:
 This division shall be known and may be cited as the Arroyo Seco Parklands Preservation Law of 1975.
 "Arroyo Seco" means that streambed, ranging from 200 to 2,000 feet in width, from the Los Angeles River in the City of Los Angeles to Devil's Gate Dam in the City of Pasadena.
"Parklands" means the acreage designated as parklands by the Cities of Los Angeles, South Pasadena, and Pasadena prior to January 1, 1975, and includes wilderness areas, historic sites, established bridle trails, municipal golf courses, hiking trails, lawn bowling greens, tennis courts, children's playgrounds, picnic areas, baseball diamonds, lighted areas for basketball, soccer, and football, a band shell, community buildings, an outdoor gym, casting pool, and an archery range.
"Construction already underway" means all projects of the California Highway Commission for which agreements exist as of May 1, 1974.
With the exception of the construction already underway and the three acres for the Pasadena Freeway ramps, no portion of the parklands in, and adjacent to, the Arroyo Seco shall be taken or encroached upon for any state highway purpose.
 Does this mean that Alternative plans H2, F2 and F5 are not legal options and Metro should have known this?  What's your interpretation?

Sent to me by Carla Riggs:

Beverly Hills district sues to block subway tunnel under school (from L.A. Now, L. A. Times blogs)

Signs opposing a subway tunnel planned under Beverly Hills High School are posted at school district offices. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo
Leaders of the Beverly Hills Unified School District made good on their word Wednesday and sued county transportation officials over the route of the $5.6-billion Westside subway extension.

Filed in Superior Court, the suit alleges that the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority violated the California Environmental Quality Act when choosing the final route for the subway line, which includes a portion that would run underneath Beverly Hills High School.
City and school officials say tunneling under the school and through an old oil field could spark a deadly methane gas explosion. They say the work could disrupt or damage the school and ruin future development possibilities underneath the campus.
Metro officials maintain that tunneling underneath the high school is safe.
The school district's complaint alleges Metro's CEQA "process failed due to a rush-to-judgment by the Metro Board designed to hurry the decision through without awaiting full and complete information needed by the decision makers and the public to make informed environmental choices."
Throughout the spring, both Beverly Hills and county transportation officials speculated that a lawsuit was imminent as vociferous objections, heated rhetoric, competing science, public relations campaigns and legal threats increased.

"This has been a biased and flawed process from the beginning, " Brian Goldberg, president of the Beverly Hills school district's board, said in a news release. "Metro decided long ago that it wanted to put the Century City station at Constellation and it has refused to review or consider any other options." The subway project will add nine miles of rail service west from the existing station at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to the Veterans Administration hospital near the UCLA
Metro's 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan

Carla Riggs brought this to my attention. You can view it at  http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/images/2009_lrtp_techdoc.pdf. I haven't read all 114 pages of it, but take note on page 18, fourth paragraph, of Metro's estimate of future truck traffic. This plan should be of interest of anyone who lives in Los Angeles County.

Also from Carla Riggs: I heard these helicopters and wondered what was happening. The helicopters were hovering over an hour.
The 2009 metro studies "Long Range Plan" states on page 18 that the number of trucks using the 710 freeway is growing faster than the cars using the freeway. From 38,000 @ day now, the number of trucks will increase to 90,000 @ day by the year 2035.



SR 710 Environmental Study, Alternatives Analysis (Revised for Clarity on 8/9/12)

Posted by Peggy Drouet: I believe this is a new set of slides.

http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/route_710/images/sr_710_tac_6_presentation_71112_rev.pdf

or simply go to 

ow.ly/d2ZMr