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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Transportation official says 710 tunnel will be hard to beat 

 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/breakingnews/ci_21998040/transportation-official-says-710-tunnel-will-be-hard

 By Lauren Gold
Updated:   11/14/2012 05:44:19 PM PST
 
  LOS ANGELES - A Southern California Association of Governments official said Wednesday the twin-bore tunnel is the only viable option to complete the 710 Freeway from I-10 to I-210.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently in the first phase of a three-year EIR for the 710 N. Gap Closure project, and has said it is equally studying five final options: "no build," traffic management solutions, bus, light rail and the tunnel.

But SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said at a 710 "Technical Advisory Committee" meeting Wednesday that Metro will be hard-pressed to find another option that will meet the air-quality standards of SCAG's 2012 Regional Transportation Plan.

The SCAG RTP, approved earlier this year, includes the 710 extension as a tunnel connecting I-10 and I-210.

"I will say that if Metro or Caltrans or together they decide on a different alternative with the same benefits, we'll talk, the plan can be updated, but I'm not expecting that to happen," Ikhrata said. "We did not arrive at this decision in the RTP just simply because we wanted to put the tunnel, we arrived after many, many studies and years of studies and years of debates. We've had enough debate about this project, I think the region needs to move forward."

Ann Wilson, senior management analyst for La Canada Flintridge, said she was concerned that none of Metro's other four options would bring the same congestion reduction as the freeway tunnel, meaning the tunnel option was essentially already chosen.



"I just want to step away from the freeway for a moment. Can we achieve substantial environmental benefits without the freeway?" Wilson said. "If not, then we might as well all go home."

Metro's Yoga Chandra said the study team was considering combinations of the bus, traffic management and light rail options that could compete with the freeway, but won't know for sure until the analysis is completed.

 "We don't know that yet, eight months from now we might be able to answer that question," Chandra said.

At the meeting, which was attended by the group of city officials asked to provide guidance throughout the study, Metro officials also discussed the ever-present issue of goods movement and how it plays into the freeway extension.

Consultant Steve Greene said a 710 tunnel would likely see local truck traffic, but would not become a popular route for trucks out of the ports.

"We are not saying trucks will never use this tunnel, but the point we're making is that that facility is not on the path that port trucks in particular are taking," Greene said.

Metro officials said they plan to release the report from the initial "Alternatives Analysis" phase of the EIR in December, and will have their next round of public meetings after the new year. The final EIR is set to be released in 2014.

For more information, visit www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/.


Pasadena and Rose Bowl move forward with NFL plans

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_21990452/pasadena-and-rose-bowl-move-forward-nfl-plans

By Brian Charles, SGVN
Updated:   11/14/2012 07:32:01 AM PST
 
 
 PASADENA - Residents opposed to temporary use of the Rose Bowl by the NFL expressed worries about traffic, booze and rowdy fans, according to a final Environmental Impact Report released by the city.
The City Council is expected to consider the report at its meeting on Nov. 19
In letters written in response to the EIR, critics critics questioned how the Rose Bowl Operating Co. and Pasadena could measure the impact of an NFL team given the differences between the respective fan bases of professional and college football teams.

On Tuesday, Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck defended the environmental report and said before a franchise finds its way to the Rose Bowl, the city and the team would have a long discussion about "fan behavior expectations."

Furthermore the city can easily set a tone for fan behavior much like officials in a sporting event, he said.

"It's no different than a soccer game when you have an aggressive referee that allows pushing during the game then you have problems," Beck said. "But if you create strict parameters from the get-go, people will behave within those parameters."

Pasadena residents have long resisted placing an NFL team in the Rose Bowl. In 2006, voters rejected permanently placing an NFL team in the city-owned stadium. But now the city and the RBOC find themselves in a financial morass. The stadium renovation project, begun in 2011, is facing a funding gap approaching $50 million. Financing and cost overruns are primarily responsible.




The NFL, which has hinted at a return to Los Angeles, either at Farmer's Field or the stadium proposed in Industry, would need to place a team in a temporary home until a permanent facility is complete.

According to the city's environmental report, an NFL team could generate between $5 million and $10 million of annual net revenues for the city.

The EIR consideration coincides with an RBOC proposal to allow twice as many large events (events which draw more than 20,000 spectators) annually at the Rose Bowl.

The RBOC planned to make a recommendation Tuesday night to allow 25 large events instead of the 12 allowed under the current city ordinance. The City Council will consider changing the ordinance Nov. 19. If approved, the ordinance would go into affect in 2013. However, Beck doesn't anticipate an NFL team would play in the Rose Bowl next year.

Currently, the city and the RBOC are not in negotiations with any team, officials said.
Some worried that the stadium officials were leading city officials down a slippery slope.
"I would have little confidence that the number of events is held sacrosanct, especially if the city gets
The Rose Bowl stadium has new turf and has been outfitted with BCS logos inside and outside of the stadium Tuesday January 5, 2009. (SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini)
 
into a financial bind again," District 7 City Councilman Terry Tornek said. But chief among the concerns for residents like Lee Zanteson, who lives a stone's throw from the stadium in the Linda Vista neighborhood, is traffic.

Zanteson called the EIR "inadequate" and said the Arroyo Seco was ill-equipped to absorb the crush of fans, media and the general circus that comes with every NFL home game.

"The Tournament of Roses takes over the Arroyo in the first of December maybe earlier to set up for the Rose Bowl, and they take over the parking lots," Zanteson said. "Can you imagine having an NFL game with all those tents and people, where are you going to park everyone?"

The EIR released Friday does show several choke points where NFL game day traffic would snarl. The traffic study surveyed vehicle flow on Thursdays and Sundays, when the NFL typically holds games, and plugged in data from the 2011 UCLA-California game at the Rose Bowl and traffic information from other NFL venues to simulate game day conditions, according to Fred Dock, Pasadena's transportation department director.

The data "is a combination of their experience at the Rose Bowl and the experience at other NFL stadiums," Dock said. "They looked at traffic generation on the ground. They looked at a composite and a variety of travel modes" which included cars and mass transit as options for attending games.
The map is littered with red dots where traffic would come to a virtual standstill, according to the report.

And if the NFL comes to the Arroyo, alcohol sales at the Rose Bowl would follow.

"There's no dry version of an NFL stadium. That's a source of the big part of the criticism by those in the neighborhoods," Tornek said. "Pro football fans are not like the UCLA fans. Of course UCLA fans get juiced before the game, but pro football fans are drinking during the game."
Beck insists that Pasadena can negotiate the terms of alcohol sales if and when an NFL team comes to the city. But in the end, Pasadena won't allow a franchise or its fans to run roughshod over its prized stadium.
"We are not going to dirty up our name and our brand," Beck said.
brian.charles@sgvn.com

 
EIR on NFL at the Rose Bowl
Intersections that would see significant estimated traffic problems if the Rose Bowl hosted an NFL team. 
 
 
Orange Grove and California Blvd.
Weekday/Weekend, Post/Pre-Event Rated F: CONGESTED CONDITIONS. Backups from nearby locations or on cross street may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.

San Rafael Avenue and the 134 Freeway
Weekday Pre-Event rated F: CONGESTED CONDITIONS. Backups from nearby locations or on cross street may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.
 
 Weekday Post-Event rated A:
EXCELLENT. No vehicle waits longer than one red light and no approach phase is fully used.

Weekend Pre-Event rated B:
VERY GOOD. An occasional approach phase is fully utilized; many drivers begin to feel somewhat restricted within groups of vehicles.

Weekend post-event rated A:
EXCELLENT. No vehicle waits longer than one red light and no approach phase is fully used.
 
 
Orange Grove Blvd. and Holly Street near 134 Freeway
Whether it be pre event or post event, weekday or weekend, the conditions here are rated F: CONGESTED CONDITIONS. Backups from nearby locations or on cross street may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.
 
Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard
Weekday Pre-Event and Post-Event, Weekend Post-Event rated F: CONGESTED CONDITIONS. Backups from nearby locations or on cross street may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.

Weekend pre-event rated D:

FAIR. Delays may be substantial during portions of the rush hours, but enough lower volume periods occur to permit clearing of
developing lines, preventing excessive backups..
 
Orange Grove Blvd. and I-110
Weekday Pre-Event rated F: CONGESTED CONDITIONS. Backups from nearby locations or on cross street may restrict or prevent movement of vehicles out of the intersection approaches. Tremendous delays with continuously increasing queue lengths.

Weekend Post-Event rated A with mitigation if the NFL played a game on the weekend:

EXCELLENT. No vehicle waits longer than one red light and no approach phase is fully used.

Weekend Pre-Event C:
GOOD. Occasionally drivers may have to wait through more than one
red light; backups may develop behind turning vehicles.

Weekend Post-Event A:
EXCELLENT. No vehicle waits longer than one red light and no approach phase is fully used.
 








 
 

Meeting Announcement: Bike Plan and 710 meetings on Monday, Nov. 19

 http://www.alhambra123.org/tag/710-gap/

 By Dan Bednarski, on November 13th, 2012       

  The City of Alhambra has two meetings (that are of particular interest to me and perhaps to you) scheduled for next Monday, November 19.

5:30 p.m.: City staff will present a draft Bicycle Master Plan to the City Council during a study session meeting.  According to Chris Paulson, assistant to the city manager, the draft Bicycle Master Plan will be available on a bike plan specific web site – http://www.alhambrabikeplan.com/  – by the close of business tomorrow (Nov. 14). I’ll update this post at that time. Click to view the official meeting announcement (PDF).

7:00 p.m.: The City Council invites the community to attend an informational meeting to “find out more on the status of the 710 Gap Closure and to show [our] support for the completion of the 710 Freeway.” Click the image to the right to read the invitation.Text invitation to a meeting regarding the710 freeway
Both meetings happen in the Ruth Reese Hall at the Alhambra Civic Center Library.
101 South 1st Street
Alhambra, CA 91801

Tell everyone you know in Alhambra about the meetings including your friends, family, colleagues, and your child’s teacher and school principal. Encourage them to attend both, even if they don’t intend to speak up. Meeting attendance, particularly for the bike plan, will tell the City Council whether that topic is a priority for Alhambra residents. If you cannot attend, contact Chris Paulson (626-570-5067 | cpaulson@cityofalhambra.org)  and give him your feedback regarding the bike plan and/or whether you think the bike plan should be a priority for the city. Low turnout at the meeting, or otherwise little interest expressed by the community will indicate to the City Council that it should spend the city’s scarce resources on other things.