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, January 30, 2013

Comments to

Letters to the Editor: No PR types at the Metro meeting


 (posted earlier today)

Mr. Quon seems to be unfamiliar with the rights afforded to folks under the free speech provisions of our Constituition. His assertion that someone expressing their views is somehow "threatening" is simply nonsense. Such an expression simply threatened the staged dog and pony show that Metro had set up.


 I would like to respond to Metro's Frank Quon's assertion that there were no Metro PR types at the Pasadena meeting. The public outreach is being handled by a public relations firm whose employees were present at the meeting. Certainly technical personnel were present to provide information, however, some of the information was not accurate, and in some cases was illogical. Specifically, two Metro representatives stated that the traffic on the 210 freeway would DIMINISH after the tunnel is built, even though the tunnel is supposed to be diverting traffic from the 5, 605, 10 and 710. That makes no sense at all. Another instance a Metro rep asserted that most people would be willing to pay the toll as evidenced by how well Orange County toll roads are doing. That is a factually inaccurate statement. The toll roads have seen a sharp decline in revenue, leading auditors to study the problem and come up with solutions, such as money from the Federal government. So Frank Quon, please don't try to tell us something opposite from what we know to be true.


 Mr. Quon, the transparency of Metro is in question. There has been no outreach worth speaking about. We, the community, informed each other of this disaster waiting to happen. Metro did not have any effective opinion-gathering outreach meetings with stakeholders. Your "open houses" are one-sided -- Metro's side. Information Metro is attempting to shove down our proverbial throats does not jive with the facts we have gathered from deep within Metro's own website, Federal Government studies, along with doctors and scientists from CalTech, USC, UCLA, and other well-respected institutions. All of this to the tune of millions of dollars and in the end, billions of dollars, to fund the tunnel and a toll of $5.00 to $15.00 per trip (that's each way, folks). (Since others will be reading this, there are about 21 work days in a month. Do the math folks.) You did not expect this backlash. Now you have to justify your tollway tunnel, but you can't. Do you really expect us to sit back like good little circus monkeys for their master, Metro? You show us boards that remind us of our own kindergarten classrooms. That must be what you think of us; children who don't know much. This is the problem: One-sided "meetings" with Metro expecting us to sit quietly equals the communities affected standing up and demanding to be heard. It's not like we have not tried other avenues, but we have been stonewalled by Metro's employees and consultants. Mr. Quon, we will be heard one way or another; therefore, two-sided meetings with Metro taking us seriously, not just going through the motions, is imperative. Metro is used to building freeways through communities, through no fault of their own, have been misinformed and feel disenfranchised and helpless to fight "city hall." Mmmmm, can you say, "Chavez Ravine?" You did not expect us to align ourselves from poor to wealthy to anywhere in between. No more, Metro. Enough is enough. You want to be a hero to the people of our region or a hero to Spain or China? Meet with us and listen to us. We have good ideas (along with the good idea from the south 710 folks, their own Alternative No. 6 that you have ignored. I am challenging Metro to hold two-way meetings by the end of Spring 2013 so we may be heard and taken seriously.


Mr. Quon, you seem to keep presenting to the stakeholders, us, only your conclusions without backing them up with the studies or data as to how you reached those conclusions. We don't know the names or the qualifications of the people you have collecting data and conducting those studies or the names and qualifications of the people approving the conclusions of those studies. We don't know what possibly very important data has not been considered before you came to your conclusions. We seem to have the right to know only your end results and not the specifics of how you arrived at them. Without your being transparent, we will have to assume that you and Metro do not care about our health regarding the pollution the tunnel will cause, the resulting traffic jams after the tunnel is built, how safe the tunnel will be during a major earthquake, etc., etc., etc. Metro seems to be saying, over and over again, just trust us, but the way you are going about it, the effect you are having is for us not to trust you.