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, January 6, 2013

710 Cartoon Appearing in the Pasadena Sun

January 6, 2013

Metro Public Art in Los Angeles: Art of the Purple Line


Lawsuit by Coalition of Diverse Groups Challenges NFL Rose Bowl Lease

For Immediate Release
Attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley

The mission of the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA) is to enhance and maintain the character and quality of all San Rafael neighborhoods through advocacy and an activated community. 
 San Rafael Neighborhoods Association

Pasadena.   On January 3rd, the Coalition for Preservation of the Arroyo,    a newly-formed public interest group, joined by the East Arroyo Neighborhood Preservation Committee, the Linda-Vista Annandale Association, and the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association, sued Pasadena in Los Angeles Superior Court on environmental grounds. The case number is BS141038.

The lawsuit contends that Pasadena violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in amending its Municipal Code to allow expanded use of the historic Rose Bowl Stadium by the NFL while construction of a permanent NFL stadium is pending in Los Angeles. The City failed to comply with local and state laws in approving the five-year use of the Rose Bowl for up to 13 NFL games.

The City acknowledges that significant environmental impacts to the sensitive habitat of the Arroyo Seco and its surrounding neighborhoods would attend the use of the Rose Bowl by the NFL, with substantial City-wide ripple effects. However, the environmental impact report (EIR) failed to consider the "whole of the action" when approving a Code amendment that forecasts commitment to an unstudied lease.

The EIR failed to identify and the City failed to adopt performance-based, enforceable mitigations for: football in the Central Arroyo weekend after weekend and some weekdays for at least six months a year; double the current Rose Bowl traffic, air pollution, noise, trash, and neighborhood parking impacts, including on rainy days, and ongoing degradation of both the Arroyo neighborhoods and the Central Arroyo itself; 75,000 NFL fans per game plus an unknown number of ticketless tailgaters and other NFL fans in the Central Arroyo and in the Arroyo neighborhoods; NFL tailgating outside the Rose Bowl; public safety demands including enforcement of impacts of alcohol abuse; and loss of community-based recreation in the Central Arroyo for half of each year, including golf, kids' soccer, swimming, and all recreational loop activities. 

The Court is asked to issue a peremptory writ in the public interest to enforce the many laws that protect the Arroyo Seco and the many laws and policies that protect the surrounding neighborhoods. Consideration of an amendment to the Municipal Code should await an actual NFL lease proposal, so that appropriate mitigation and alternatives can be considered as part of the project -- up front.

Jonas Peters, Ph.D., Coalition representative and Chair of the East Arroyo Neighborhood Preservation Committee states: "The East Arroyo is a racially and socioeconomically diverse community that benefits enormously from its proximity to the Central Arroyo, including many recreational resources that the Rose Bowl and Brookside Park areas collectively provide. The negative impacts of the NFL project on the quality of life of the East Arroyo neighborhoods, ranging from serious nuisances that include excessive traffic, noise, trash, and crime, to serious health consequences that may result from increased cumulative air pollution and severe limits to weekend recreational access within our prized Central Arroyo parkland, are simply too much to ignore. The mitigations offered in the EIR by the City against the negative impacts were insufficient and in many regards insulted our intelligence and our collective community interest. The Committee views the proposed NFL five-year plan as a disaster to our neighborhood quality of life."

Nina Chomsky, Coalition representative and President of the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, states:  "The poor quality and minimal EIR underscores the City's lack of commitment to protecting the Arroyo neighborhoods, including the Linda Vista-Annandale neighborhood, from the proposed NFL use of the Rose Bowl for five continuous years.  Similarly, the City has demonstrated no commitment to protect and preserve the Central Arroyo that is valued and used by thousands upon thousands of Pasadena residents for enjoyment of recreation and open space.  Destructive degradation of our neighborhoods and the Central Arroyo is insufficiently mitigated and not acceptable to cover Rose Bowlfiscal shortfalls, gaps, and overruns. The NFL EIR must identify and the City must adopt full and adequate protective mitigations FIRST."

Ron Paler, M.D., Coalition representative and President of the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association, states:  "The San Rafael Neighborhoods Association joins in this action due to its belief that the City of Pasadena prepared an inadequate and factually erroneous EIR that fails to adequately study impacts to the neighborhoods surrounding the Rose Bowl. For example, the EIR is flawed in the description of fire response times in West Pasadena that will be further impeded by up to 13 NFL major events at the Rose Bowl. This issue was neglected by the City. Additionally, the EIR fails to address the impact of major traffic congestion on major arterial streets such as Avenue 64 and West Colorado Boulevard. The Association seeks to protect the environment and people of Pasadena from significant and irreparable harm posed by this project."

Trucks Will Roll Down an E-Highway In California Test

Trolley-like system could let people breathe easier amid congestion


[In the "710 Tunnel, A War of Words" put together by Joe Cano, 


after a question asked (about 15:40 into the video), Doug Fielding, Metro's Executive Director, Highway Programs, bragged about Southern California being the only area in the country that is investigating zero-emission technology for  trucks. One of these technologies is the Siemens' eHighway Catenary Concept, which will be tested in California in the near or farther-away future. Mr. Fielding didn't answer the woman's question, but, instead, referred to the zero-emission studies. However, solving the truck pollution problem is far in the future, so he was skirting the question about truck pollution today and in the near future.

It will cost truck owners considerable money to change over the zero-emission vehicles. The studies Mr. Fielding was referring to deal mainly with the 710 Corridor. If the Siemens' eHighway is adopted as the way to go or if a simpler system of battery chargers along the freeways (see "Technologies, Challenges & Opportunities I-710 Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Vehicle Systems," http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/zero_emission/images/CALSTART_I-710_TCO_Report.pdf ), do you think that truck owners will convert to zero-emission vehicles if a system is in place only on the 710 Corridor? That would be hard to believe. 

Which brings up the point: To what extent is the 710 Tunnel to be part of either the Siemens' e-Highway or another zero-emission system to encourage truck owners to convert to zero-emission vehicles, a system that they can use from the ports on the 710 Corridor, to the 210 North, State Route 14, the High Desert Corridor, to the SR-18? Is this why the tunnel really will be built?]

 The above article:



Trucks during testing in Germany

 By Bob Sechler

September 24, 2012

 Los Angeles-area officials are betting that one route to cleaner air in the smog-choked region might be a so-called e-highway for commercial trucks.

 Within the next few years they plan to test a trolley-like system developed by Siemens AG SIE.XE +0.08% that relies on overhead electric wires to power specially equipped freight trucks down roadways. The technology is viewed as a way to reduce noxious vehicle emissions around the congested Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports, where cargo transport contributes to a good portion of the smog.

"We have the worst air pollution in the nation," says Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is responsible for controlling smog in portions of a four-county region and is coordinating the effort with support from both ports and various local governments. The technology could be "an integral and essential part to our clean-air plan," he says.

Siemens's system involves outfitting new or existing diesel-electric hybrid trucks with high-tech rooftop gizmos and software that enable them to attach automatically to overhead electric wires that will power the vehicles for the distance they are in place. Siemens has been testing the technology at a former airstrip in Germany and says drivers retain full control to speed up, slow down, steer, and detach from the wires and switch back to diesel power.

That flexibility, if it lives up to its billing, means the wires simply could be strung over certain lanes of existing roadways without having to be off-limits to cars or non-equipped trucks.

Potentially, "it could be integrated into existing infrastructure" relatively quickly, says Heather Tomley, assistant director of environmental planning at the Port of Long Beach.

Some truckers are dubious. "It requires, of course, pretty dramatic changes to the [truck] fleet," says Randy Mullett, vice president of government relations and public affairs for Michigan-based freight-hauler Con-way Inc., CNW +0.31% which has substantial operations in California. For trucking companies, "it's not as easy as just putting a wire up."

Mr. Mullett says he considers the technology worth exploring, but he has yet to see estimates on what it might cost to outfit a truck. He also notes that pure diesel-powered trucks won't able to use the system since they can't run on electric power.

Sven Hackmann, a representative for Siemens, says the German company views the pending Los Angeles-area test as something of a "living lab" that among other things will help determine commercial pricing.

Siemens Promotes eHighway Catenary Concept


 September 18, 2012



  Siemens’ eHighway concept

 Siemens, with the support of California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District and development partners including Daimer-Mercedes, is proposing a new type of heavy duty hybrid based on a very old concept — electricity from overhead catenary wires.

Siemens (HTUF 2012 Booth 109) calls the concept eHighway, and says it’s “a cost-effective alternative to the use of fossil fuels in freight transport on the road.”

 The idea is to outfit trucks with a hybrid drivetrain, likely a series drive, and power them with electricity from overhead lines along high-traffic highways in the population-dense areas adjacent to major ports. When the trucks reach the end of the overhead lines, they switch to fossil fuel to complete their delivery or transfer missions.

The concept is also known as Zetech, for Zero Emission Truck and Electric Catenary Highway. The Santa Monica-based Gladstein, Neandross & Associates consultancy recently completed a Zetech analysis for SCAQMD, and concluded, “Catenary-powered hybrid trucks with internal combustion engines can simultaneously address emissions and fuel economy issues while providing operational flexibility at a similar or lower cost of ownership as other zero-emission technologies.”

HTUF host Calstart has also evaluated the catenary concept, and found “no major technological barriers.”

Both Calstart and GNA focused on the I-710 corridor leading from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Calstart said it sees 2035 as the “horizon year” for implementation: “The commercialization process for a complex product like a Class 8 truck includes significant engineering and development work, including demonstration and validation of early prototypes, building a small number of pre-production vehicles, and constructing a business case for moving to full production over the course of several years,” Calstart says. “It is not advisable to jump directly to the desired outcome because competing technologies must be evaluated, tested, proven, and commercialized.”