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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Metrolink executive quits after report cites accounting problems

 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/metrolink-executive-resigns-amid-concerns-about-accounting-irregularities.html

February 11, 2013

 

A high-ranking  Metrolink executive resigned over the weekend following a scathing report that revealed accounting irregularities and raised questions about the regional railroad’s financial management.

Metrolink officials said Monday that Nancy Weiford, the commuter line’s chief financial officer and treasurer, stepped down after a special committee assigned to look into the railroad’s business practices revealed its findings at Friday’s board meeting. They declined to comment further on Weiford’s departure, saying that personnel matters are confidential.

Reached by The Times, Weiford declined to comment.

In a statement Monday, railroad officials said “Metrolink takes very seriously the recent findings of Metrolink’s Ad Hoc Finance Committee regarding the agency’s financial management. As one of the nation’s largest commuter rail systems, Metrolink has been, and continues to be, committed to sound financial practices.”  

The internal report found that Metrolink has inadequate cash on hand to meet its current and near-term expenses, certain funds were improperly co-mingled and record-keeping is so poor it is difficult to track the railroad’s cash flows.

Because of a lack of sound accounting practices, the report states, board members are unable to make informed decisions or accurately understand Metrolink's financial situation.

“There are very significant issues. The committee report shows deficiencies in the fundamental operating systems for our financial management,” said Mike Hennessey, vice chairman of the Metrolink board and a board member for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Rose Bowl management board to stay put, Pasadena city manager says

 http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-6260211--rose-bowl-management-board-to-stay-put-pasadena-city-manager-says,0,3536887.story

Joe Piasecki,  February 11, 2013

 

 A construction worker cut wood for an new indoor area at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

 

 A construction worker cut wood for an new indoor area at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

 An internal city review of the Rose Bowl’s management will not consider eliminating the nonprofit corporation that currently oversees the stadium, according to a statement issued by Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck.

Pasadena City Council members asked for a review of stadium governance in January after approving $30 million in new borrowing to cover spiraling costs of the over-budget Rose Bowl renovation project.

A city spokesman had said that as part of that review would include an analysis of whether to dissolve the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board in favor of City Hall directly managing the stadium.

But in a statement issued Sunday night, officials now say that dissolution of the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board is not on the table and that the review will focus on how to make the organization more efficient and effective.

“Although our staff is reviewing the governance structure of the [Rose Bowl Operating Co.] at the request of the RBOC board and the City Council, the review is focused on ensuring we maximize our capabilities in the future, and we are not considering the elimination of the RBOC,” Beck said in a statement.

He went on to note that the board “has played a diligent and responsible role in the management of this complex and essential stadium renovation.”

Originally estimated at $152 million, the price tag for the Rose Bowl renovation project approved in October 2010 has escalated to nearly $195 million. A third-party review commissioned by the Rose Bowl Operating Co. said deficiencies in the initial estimate of the project’s cost are to blame for overruns.

The independent analysis of the project estimate process — commissioned by the Rose Bowl Operating Co.— determined that construction documents were incomplete, forcing several change orders. It also found that carrying out construction work in several phases under contracts with multiple prime contractors, instead of one general contractor, exposed the project to financial risks.

In his statement, Beck said that Rose Bowl Operating Co., together with his office, “have provided essential leadership for the concept, the approach, the process, the financing, and the construction of the project. As the City Manager, and as a member of the RBOC board, I am proud to be personally involved in all aspects of the project."

Road Closures, Race Day Information For Pasadena Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon 

 http://pasadena-ca.patch.com/articles/road-closures-race-day-information-for-pasadena-rock-n-roll-half-marathon

By Hazel Lodevico-To'o, February 11, 2013

 

Pasadena city officials are reminding residents and motorists that numerous streets will be closed for Sunday’s Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

About 7,000 participants have registered for the half marathon and 5k run which will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1 pm. There will be a post-race festival and finish line concert.

Runners will begin and end the race at Rose Bowl Stadium.

All streets slated for closure will be closed no later than 6:30 a.m. on race day. Most roads should be reopened by 1 p.m. on Sunday.

On race day only, the public number to call with day-of-event questions about street closures, parking, towed vehicles is: (626) 577-3296.

Race information and course maps are online at http://cityofpasadena.net/specialevents/rock_n_roll/.

Primary Detour Routes
The main detour routes include Walnut Street to the north, Hill Avenue to the East, California Blvd. to the South and St. John, Pasadena Ave. and the 710 Extension to the West.

Parking Information for Residents and Businesses
There will be no parking along the course. The city will not observe overnight parking restrictions within a ¼-mile radius of the half marathon route from 1 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Race Day only.  During this time, parking permits will not be required to park on City streets within this area.

Vehicle Towing
Vehicles that are parked on the course during the restricted times will be towed to the Pasadena Central Library parking lot, 285 E. Walnut St. and will be available for pick-up for free only until 1 p.m. on the day of the half marathon.  Call (626) 577-3296 on race day only for towing information.

The following street closures were provided by the City of Pasadena.
Race Day Street Closures
The Race Course is divided into zones, including Blue, Gold and Red.
Blue Zone—6:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Arroyo Blvd. between Seco and California
California between Arroyo Blvd. and Orange Grove
Orange Grove between California and Colorado
Gold Zone—6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Colorado between Orange Grove and Arroyo Parkway
Green Street between Raymond and Wilson
Arroyo Parkway between Colorado and Cordova
Lake between Colorado and San Pasqual
Wilson between Green and San Pasqual
Red Zone—6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Colorado Street Bridge between Orange Grove and San Rafael
Northbound Linda Vista between San Rafael and Seco Street
Seco Street between Linda Vista and Rosemont
West Drive between Seco Street and Washington Blvd.
Salvia Canon between Linda Vista and West Drive
Washington between Parkview and Rosemont
Rosemont between Washington and Seco Street
 
Related Topics: Kaiser Permanente Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, Pasadena, and Road Closures
Are you planning to participate in or watch Sunday's half marathon? Tell us in the comments.

Roses or garbage? In Pasadena it all smells bad 

 http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/crime/ci_22567932/frank-girardot-roses-or-garbage-pasadena-it-all

Frank Girardot, February 11, 2013

 
I love how everything in Pasadena is so secret.

Want to know what's being said in City Hall right now?

You'll only find out if you are cc'd in the latest "Shhh don't talk about it" memo. Otherwise forget it.

Below is a typical example of how Pasadena government works against the interests of taxpayers. The truth is City Hall only cares about the interests of the politicians and bureaucrats.

The same group now running amok at City Hall has more to lose apparently than you do.

What are they so scared about?

It has to do with ... the Rose Bowl and a whole line of twisted logic flowing from under that magnificent dome on North Garfield.

In a nutshell:

A: The city hired a consultant to assess the Rose Bowl renovation.

B: The city paid said consultant nearly $70,000 for the work.

C: The city received a report in secret and refused to release the report to the taxpaying public.
Sorry I didn't get this week's "Shhhh. Don't talk about it" memo. 
  So let's dig into the facts.  

A: These are the same taxpayers who were asked by Mayor Bill Bogaard to support a $152 million renovation of the stadium.

B: Turns out that renovation will cost upwards of $200 million when complete.

C: Someone knew that Bogaard's projection was a lowball designed to get maximum voter buy in.
That's a whole pile of stink right there. After all, we wouldn't want to tell the truth in Pasadena.

Yep. See in Pasadena - like Wonderland or Oz - everything is upside down or backwards. When someone says we're moving forward, it means we're stepping backward. When someone promises a probe, it more likely means there's probably a full-fledged cover-up underway.

In that environment, taxpayers can't be trusted with facts. That's how politicians and bureaucrats get around what appears to be the truth of the matter, which is this: City Hall can't be trusted with your money.

If they could be trusted they'd let taxpayers see the $70,000 report paid for with - drum roll - taxpayer money.

See what I mean? We're not in Kansas anymore, we are through the looking glass here.

If there's anything I've learned over the past three years as editor of the Pasadena Star-News, it's that official Pasadena doesn't like the anything unvarnished - especially the truth.

In Pasadena, veritas is like one of those metal skeletons that carry flowers down Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day. You can't see it. You don't know that it's been recycled over several years. And you'll never find out if the person driving it has blood-shot eyes from too much celebration at midnight.

Instead that skeleton is covered with pretty petals, some exotic seeds and giant leaves from rare rain forest plants so that it smells real good even if what's underneath isn't all that pretty.

Let me assure you the story behind the Rose Bowl renovation debacle is just the tip of the iceberg. 

All sorts of things happening on North Garfield Avenue involving this administration are taking place in secret and being hidden from the prying eyes of the taxpaying public.

Face it. They believe you can't handle the truth.

After all, sweet smelling roses are so much nicer to contemplate than steaming piles of organic garbage.

Wouldn't you say?

Once Route 91 makeover finished, toll lanes coming to I-15

 http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/08/route-makeover-toll-lanes/

By David Downey, February 8, 2013

 

When construction workers complete a dramatic $1.3 billion makeover of state Route 91 about five years from now, transportation officials hope to keep right on going, paving 15 miles of toll lanes along Interstate 15.

The Route 91 project is going to add four toll lanes through Corona, extending the existing 10 miles of express lanes in Orange County. And the Riverside County Transportation Commission has decided to follow that project up by building four toll lanes -- two in each direction -- on I-15.

Commissioners gave the $415 million follow-up project the green light last week at an annual desert retreat. The I-15 toll lanes would run from Cajalco Road on the south to state Route 60 on the north.

“We want to make sure we can keep the momentum up," said John Standiford, commission deputy executive director. "Hopefully they will start construction immediately once the 91 project is over."

Unclogging the major artery through Corona that connects Riverside County residents to Orange County jobs is critical, said Commissioner Rick Gibbs of Murrieta, but so is fixing I-15, “which on any given afternoon is as bad as the 91. This becomes sort of a logical progression of what’s being done on the 91.”

The regional transportation agency is preparing to launch construction of the makeover by year's end or early 2014. That massive undertaking, besides constructing toll lanes, entails adding two general-purpose lanes, replacing overpasses and building a sweeping connecting ramp that will drop northbound I-15 commuters into the new Route 91 express lanes.

Like express lanes in Orange and San Diego counties, the facility is being designed for both car pools and toll-paying solo commuters. Route 91 construction is scheduled to wrap up by the end of 2017.

Potentially coming right on its heels, work on the I-15 toll lanes could begin in 2018 and be completed in 2020, according to a report prepared for the commission.

With the completion of both projects, Southwest County commuters would be able to maneuver into an express lane at Cajalco Road on the southern outskirts of Corona and cruise it all the way to Route 55 in Anaheim.

The projects also would set the stage for people potentially one day driving from central San Diego to Ontario in an express lane.

Twenty miles of exclusive lanes already are in place in San Diego County, between state Routes 78 and 163. The San Diego Association of Governments' long-term plan calls for extending those lanes north to the San Diego-Riverside county line.

"We don’t want to get too far in front, think too far ahead," Standiford said. "But San Diego has a similar facility on the I-15 now."

As for the Riverside County I-15 project, its preliminary $415 million budget proposes financing lanes through $166 million in local Measure A sales-tax revenue, $124 million in toll revenue bonds, $1 million in interest income and a $124 million federal loan.

Commissioners decided to add only toll lanes. They rejected also adding two general-purpose lanes, as that would have driven the cost to $1.3 billion, requiring $717 million from the sales tax, the report states. And completion would have been pushed back to almost 2040.

A high-speed train would help Palmdale grow and benefit Las Vegas

 http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2013/feb/09/high-speed-train-would-grow-palmdale-and-las-vegas/

 By Richard N. Velotta, February 9, 2013

Image

 An artist’s rendering of a train on the XpressWest high-speed rail line, formerly DesertXpress. Developers say the train would carry passengers between Las Vegas and Los Angeles in 86 minutes.

The city of Palmdale, Calif., recently hosted a diversity summit where Las Vegas business owners brainstormed strategies to win contracts for building XpressWest, the proposed high-speed train to Southern California.

XpressWest initially was slated to run only between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., but agreements reached last year extended it 50 miles west to Palmdale. Palmdale is part of the California High-Speed Rail line and is a key connection point for carrying people between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Palmdale Mayor James Ledford recently sat down with VEGAS INC to talk about what XpressWest means both to his city and to Las Vegas:

What puts Palmdale on the map?

This is where the growth is coming. In the mid-'90s, we were the fourth-fastest growing region in America.

This is a perfect connection for the train systems because of the gradual elevation out of Los Angeles. It makes us a great portal for both the California High-Speed Rail System and XpressWest, and we’ll have a station for both of them.

The California High-Speed Rail system will connect with Northern California, right?

That’s correct, and that wasn’t by accident. We’ve been involved in high-speed rail ever since the very beginning, with the first California High-Speed Rail Commission. We were there and told them what our intention was, and we worked to make that happen.

What makes Palmdale particularly advantageous is the West Los Angeles ridership. I think every train that has ever been proposed wants that as part of their finance plan.

What was your reaction when you first heard about XpressWest’s plan to link Victorville with Palmdale?

I thought it was a natural. And, again, it’s that West L.A. market they’re coming after.

We were already working on our High Desert Corridor, the first east-west freeway in the Antelope Valley which would have a right-of-way capability for this train. So the timing is good and the coordination with our other regional transportation is going to make this a really natural fit for us.

Is there excitement in Palmdale about having a train that could take people to Las Vegas in 2½ hours?

You have no idea what that means. But it goes both ways. Those folks can come into the Los Angeles Basin area in the same time. The goal for us is a single-seat ride from downtown Los Angeles' Union Station to Las Vegas.

So we are promoting our alignment and station design to make it intermodal and very accessible. You
combine that with our airport plans and other regional transportation focuses that we’ve developed in support of this project, and we’re well-positioned to be part of a new frontier for intermodal connectivity unlike anything else in the state or in America.

I’m sure our resort community is interested in how many people live in the Palmdale area.

Palmdale is about 155,000. But the general area is about half a million. We’re slated to move pretty quickly as growth continues.

In the L.A. basin, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for growth. Up here, there are. We’re a pro-growth region, and we want an airport and a high-speed train. We want the elements that will bring a greater quality of life to our residents.

Do you think there will come a time when Las Vegans will be able to take a high-speed train to San Francisco via Palmdale?

You’re right on the money there. San Francisco to Vegas is very attractive. Vegas to the L.A. basin, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the beaches.

It really does reinforce the elements in the greater Los Angeles area that are very attractive for visitors and tourism. The train is going to give us another opportunity to bring people and be hosts.

Expanding rail service from Coachella Valley to Los Angeles could make commuting easier

 http://www.mydesert.com/article/20130208/LIFESTYLES08/302080031/Expanding-rail-service-from-Coachella-Valley-Los-Angeles-could-make-commuting-easier?nclick_check=1

 

 

 Amtrak's Sunset Limited currently runs three days a week from Indio to Los Angeles, but many in the valley are hoping to increase that service to daily trips. With Interstate 10 getting more congested, an alternative commuting system would be a boon to the area, making the quiet Palm Springs station, pictured above, a lot busier.

 A weekend getaway to Palm Springs from Los Angeles could get a lot easier. No, there’s not a new highway planned or can’t-pass-up flight deals.

A two-hour and nearly effortless trip to the Coachella Valley could become a reality thanks to expanded intercity passenger rail service between Los Angeles and Indio. Local officials would like to see daily Amtrak rail service to the valley, a step up from the three-day-a-week service available now.

And some of those who are lobbying for the move come from the region’s tourism industry, who say Friday afternoon traffic congestion in the Los Angeles metro region is so grueling, a number of travelers are simply staying in on Friday.

“(Interstate) 10 is getting busier and busier and busier. And what we’re seeing is a drop off on Friday night arrival, because they are saying, ‘you know what, I’m just not going to move Friday afternoon or Friday evening. I’m going to wait ’til Saturday,’” said Tim Ellis, general manger for the Palm Mountain Resort and Spa in Palm Springs and vice chair for the Hospitality Industry and Business Council, a valley-wide consortium of tourism leaders. “And so filling the hotels on a Friday night is always a lot harder than filling them on a Saturday night. And to get those two weekend nights full is a very important thing from a hotel standpoint.”

Ideally, Ellis and others would like to see a daily train depart Union Station about 5:30 p.m. to pull into Palm Springs at about 7:30 p.m., terminating in Indio. And a morning train heading back into the city would leave Indio about 8 a.m.

Today’s Amtrak service is provided by the train known as the Sunset Limited, which runs three days a week. The westbound Sunset Limited comes through Palm Springs at about 2 a.m. and arrives at Union Station at 5:30 a.m. The eastbound train leaves Union Station about 10 p.m. and arrives in Palm Springs at about 12:30 a.m. Those are not ideal travel times.

 “I’ve taken the train quite a few times before, out to Palm Springs, but I can no longer do that because they changed the time that it goes now, and it’s now a really inconvenient time,” said Josh Murray, a writer and advertising consultant living in North Hollywood. “And also, you can’t get back on the train to get back unless you leave really early in the morning.”

“I think it’s a brilliant idea,” said Murray, 35, of the idea to expand rail service to the Palm Springs region.

Indeed, expanding rail service and better connecting the valley to Los Angeles has long been on the wish list of numerous groups, namely the Southwest Rail Passenger Association and the Riverside County Transportation Commission. A first step is getting the proposal into the California State Rail Plan. The latest draft of the state rail plan is to be released any day now, said Mark Dinger, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. And even though Robert Manning, president of the Southwest Rail Passenger Association, said the proposal for expanded service is part of the state rail plan draft, Dinger stopped just short of confirming this.

“We have contacted the state,” Manning said. “We have made our intentions very well known, just how important this service is to the community.

“We clearly demonstrated how important this is for the valley,” he added. “How important this is for tourism.”

Given the added momentum the movement seems to have and the growing population of the Coachella Valley — Riverside County is projected to be the second-most populous county in the state by 2060 — Manning said getting daily passenger rail service to the valley within the next five years, “is very realistic at this point. Very, very realistic.”

 Local officials would like to see the expanded service served by Amtrak, rather than Metrolink trains, which are Los Angeles commuter trains reaching as far as Riverside.

Amtrak officials said some state or local funding would be needed to launch such a project. “Amtrak would happily operate the train, but at the direction of Caltrans,” wrote Vernae Graham, an Amtrak spokeswoman, in an email.

“Not to take anything away from Metrolink, but Metrolink is a commuter train,” said Manning.

“They have rigid seats that are not large and comfortable. They don’t recline like the Amtrak seats do. Amtrak is geared for that longer commute.

“It’s really a comfortable way of traveling,” he added.

Plans to upgrade the Palm Springs stop and possibly locate a mid-valley stop near Bob Hope Drive and Interstate 10 in Rancho Mirage are already being discussed, said Manning. Palm Springs has allotted $100,000 in Measure J funds to improve the Amtrak stop in north Palm Springs, which also serves as a bus stop for Crucero buses, an imprint of Greyhound.

“What they’ve suggested to us, is they would like to build a separate building next to it, and actually have it manned with a ticket agent,” said David Ready, city manager for Palm Springs.

“They (Crucero) would build the building and operate it,” he added, but the city would assist on needed infrastructure upgrades.

“This does not hinge on whether we get train service or not. These are just more improvements,” said Ready.


The draft rail plan will soon be released and begin the public review process, making it even more important for the tourism community to speak with one voice and lobby intensely for the importance of the expanded service to Indio, Ellis told the Hospitality Industry and Business Council during the January Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting.
Could You Give Up Your Car for Lent?
 http://streetsblog.net/2013/02/11/could-you-give-up-your-car-for-lent/

By Angie Schmitt, February 11, 2013

 

The season of Lent is coming up, and here’s an idea we like a lot.
The Catholic and Protestant Churches of Austria are urging parishioners to reduce car use in the Lenten season.

The Catholic and Protestant Churches of Austria are encouraging their followers to give up, or reduce, car usage for Lent. Mikael Colville-Andersen at Network blog Copenhagenize has the story:
Our friend Paul in Vienna sent us a link to an intiative by the Catholic and Protestant churches of Austria. Car Fasting – or Autofasten, in German. A brilliant initiative to encourage people to go on a car fast and seek alternatives.

Here’s what I lamely translated from their website:
 Car Fasting is …
- An initiative to encourage a change of independent mobility between Ash Wednesday (13 Feb) to Holy Saturday (30 March).
- Suggesting choosing available alternatives like rail, bus, bicycle, foot, car-pooling in order to discover something new and to experiment.
- Contributing to new experiences and to public health.
- An opportunity to shape a better future — together.
- An initiative of the environmental officers of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Austria.
The church offered a list of suggestions to its followers for how to comply with the fast, including walking children to school, forming a carpool and urging political leaders to improve public transport. Sounds like a pretty healthy initiative.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Greater City Providence demonstrates the wrong way to plow snow, namely by removing an obstacle for cars and placing it on the sidewalks. This Big City looks at Seattle’s streetcar renaissance. And Streets.mn shares a Valentine love note in honor of the pedestrian commute.
More Comments on SR-710 North Study: what's on the table and what's off the table-4


http://thesource.metro.net/2013/02/08/sr-710-north-study-whats-on-the-table-and-whats-off-the-table/


  1. The cost of the bored portion of the 1.8 mile Alaskan Way Tunnel is listed as $2.034 billion on the project website. This does not include the $290 million cost for removing the old Viaduct. That cost is included in the total of $3.144.4 billion. Second, the Alaskan Way Tunnel project has definite relevance to the 710 tunnel proposal — in fact, Infraconsult, a company hired by Metro to come up with an estimate, made arguments that the Alaskan Way tunnel was an appropriate model to derive the cost for the 710 tunnel, that their estimate of $4.09 billion was based on the cost per linear mile for the bored portion of the tunnel, and this estimating process and result was reported at a Metro Board meeting. Both tunnels are the same diameter, but the two, 4.5-mile 710 tunnels have a combined length 5 times that of the the single Alaskan Way tunnel (9 miles as opposed to 1.8 miles). The cost per linear mile for the Alaskan Way tunnel is $1.13 billion. Using this cost per linear mile, neither the Infraconsult estimate nor the $5.425 billion estimate stated in the recently-released Alternatives Analysis report make any sense at all. The $4.09 billion and $5.425 billion estimates pencil out to $0.455 billion and $0.603 billion per linear mile respectively, neither of which aligns with the $1.113 billion for Alaskan Way. Using the Alaskan Way cost per linear mile, the 710 tunnel estimate should be $10.17 billion, a factor of 2 greater than the $5.425 billion stated in the Alternatives Analysis report.
    The $1.09 billion mentioned by Mr. Hymon and also by Yoga Chandran at a recent Open House is just the contract award to Seattle Tunnel Partners, a joint venture of Dragados USA and Tudor Perini Corp. That contract does not cover the full cost of the bored tunnel itself. Washington has other sources for the balance of the $2.034 bored tunnel cost as well as the additional $1.111 billion necessary for the rest of the project.
    Things like this just contribute to the lack of credibility for Metro in the eyes of the taxpayers.
  2. Steve, I realize you are getting paid to do a job and you have to support your employer, but you really must study what Metro’s been putting out there for the last 10 years in writing, statements and studies. The 710 tunnels will, without a doubt, be a tolled facility. There is no other way to build it as stated by former CEO Snoble, former SCAG head Pisano and Metro’s own Failing.
    Metro has spent millions of dollars on PPP studies to support tolling as a funding concept. SR 710 North is a good candidate for tolling along with the High Desert Corridor, I 710 South. So, what you say the agency says and what they have actually said, which is documented, doesn’t compute. The agency is losing credibility daily because of their lack of honesty with the public.
    And, people that voted for Measure R were voting for transit mainly and some highway projects. Check out the asterisk by the SR 710 North on that list. That asterisk means that the A project will be determined at the end of an environmental process, not that there had to be A project. If voters in the San Gabriel Valley had a choice between extension of the Gold Line to Claremont (that’s not funded) and the SR 710 toll-tunnels, I’m confident that the the vote would be overwhelmingly for the extension of the Gold Line.
    Again, the public wants accountability from YOUR agency on how they spend OUR Measure R tax dollars. Unfortunately, it may be a long time coming.
  3. Hi Joanne;
    I’ll repeat what’s been said and I’m not repeating it just because it’s my job and I have to do it (I could just as easily not respond to comments–it’s my discretion whether to respond as the benevolent dictator of this blog). The agency has said it could be a tolled facility. There’s no secret or hidden agenda. It’s out there. But no decision has been made yet, no deal has yet been struck and to say it has would be wrong. Sorry.
    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source
More Comments on SR-710 North Study: what's on the table and what's off the table-3


http://thesource.metro.net/2013/02/08/sr-710-north-study-whats-on-the-table-and-whats-off-the-table/

  1. Steve, I suggest you check your source (no pun intended) on cost comparisons of 710 toll-tunnels. Metro EIR consultants as well as Metro’s Infraconsult have been using the Seattle tunnel estimated costs to determine possible costs for the last few years.
    Sylvia’s information is correct, because she did her homework months ago using the Alaskan Way website. Additionally, because of continued conflicts with the consultants reported numbers and the website, I recently talked to Washington DOT to confirm our information, which is correct.
    Since 2003, when former CEO Snoble stated a cost estimate of $1 BILLION (clearly inaccurate) for the dual toll-tunnels, the public and board members have been requesting an accurate cost estimate. None has been put forth.
    With wildly variable cost estimates ranging from Metro’s $1 BILLION to SCAG’s $11.8 BILLION, none are valid. Taxpayers of Los Angeles County deserve better stewardship of our Measure R money.
    To conclude, the Alternative Analysis Report cost estimate of $5.35 for the toll-tunnels is clearly off. The math just doesn’t add up.
  2. Steve, you totally missed the point of my comment. If Doug Failing (Metro Highway Exec) is shopping the tunnel option to Chinese investors (meeting Oct. 2012), then he has already determined that the tunnel is the best alternative EVEN BEFORE THE EIR HAS BEEN DONE. If the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is pushing for the tunnel option, then the EIR (which will be done by consultants paid by Metro) will state those outcomes which support Doug Failings, Metro’s and SGVCG’s previously-determined agenda to build the tunnel. This study has nothing to do with reducing traffic congestion. The point is this process is flawed and the residents of this region and surrounding areas are speaking out to point out those flaws.
  3. “Ara Najarian is still on the Metro Board of Directors.”
    He keeps the seat until he is replaced… That’s a technicality because of course it’s the same voting body who determines who takes that seat next. I have a hunch it won’t be Najarian.
  4. Hi Jane;
    No, I understood your comment. I don’t think the process is flawed, nor do I believe Metro staff is acting unseemly. Public-private partnerships are being studied for this and other projects. That’s not a secret.
    Every project that Metro studies has people and groups that are advocates of a particular alternative or mode. I don’t think that corrupts the process, nor do I think the process should be conducted in a room sealed from public sentiment. I think it’s great that you’re interested enough in the project to take the time to comment here, but I also think that if it’s okay for you to be against a particular alternative, it’s okay for someone else to be for it. That’s democracy, right?
    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source
  5. Kudos to Steve for wading into this hornet’s nest. You don’t have to post this comment if you feel it doesn’t fit the tone.
  6. Steve, my concern is not whether people are for or against this project. My concern is the REASON they are for or against this project. Information provided to the public by Metro has been highly misinformed and misleading. THAT is what concerns me. Metro is using taxpayer funds to “study” this so-called gap, and is providing information to the public that is contradictory and misleading. Public Private Partnerships must be included in the study because the allocated $780 million is being eaten up by consultants “studying” the so-called 710 gap. So outside investors are necessary, and investors need revenue in the form of tolling. To continually repeat the mantra that “no decision has been made regarding tolling” is untrue. Tolls will be necessary under the Public Private Partnership financial arrangements. Metro is not informing the public that tolls will be a necessary component of the proposed F7 tunnel.
  7. Hi Jane;
    With all due respect, I disagree. I think the Alternatives Analysis doesn’t pull punches — there are pros and cons for the various alternatives in the different charts. I think that’s pretty clear. In my view, there’s no “so-called” in front of the gap, missing section, hole or whatever you want to call it. It’s there, like it or not. Arguing about whether a gap exists, in my view, is about as useful as arguing about whether the sky is blue. It’s a diversionary tactic intended to shut down the conversation about traffic impacts from the 710 and what, if anything, could be done about it.
    I live in Pasadena. I frequent South Pas on my bike and in my car and via the Gold Line. I use the 710 by cutting through Alhambra. I personally do not have any idea what the best alternative is in the SR-710 study. I want to see the draft report when it’s ready to consider the benefits of the various alternatives, the impacts and the proposed mitigations. I also want to see it studied because county residents voted for it and I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason why the will of the people should be ignored.
    As for tolls, I disagree. The agency has told the public that there is not enough money to build some of the alternatives and that tolling is one way to possibly raise money for a tunnel — if that’s the project the agency decides on. A decision could also be made to not pursue a toll and try to find other funds, although we all know that is difficult in the current funding landscape.
    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source
  8. Hello Steve,
    Thank you for being forthcoming in answering these questions brought upon by those commenting on this post. You’re doing as best a job as you can, especially since much of the information requested (though cretainly not all of it) is now readily available in the Alternatives Analysis.
    As for those who don’t like the project simply because, then that is your problem, but at least there is time to send in questons. However, if you continue to rail on the same points despite concrete answers demonstrating the contrary (like what most commenting against the project show here), then that is to the ruin of your efforts. Other projects here and elsewhere have used similar counterpoints to no avail. If you oppose any of the proposed gap projects, then at least do it for informed reasons.
    One other thing: It should be noted that LA already has two deep-bore tunnels of our own: The entirety of the Red and Purple Lines, which cross or will cross several fault lines; and part of the Eastside Gold Line. And yes: State law defines Route 710 from Route 1 in Long Beach to Route 210 in Pasadena. Various overpass signs on the Pasadena stub confirm this intent.
 

Mayoral Forum and Debate Slated for Tuesday at Ramona Hall 

 Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry, Kevin James and Emanuel Pleitez are scheduled to attend the meeting.

 http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/articles/mayoral-forum-and-debate-slated-for-tuesday-at-ramona-hall

 (Ramona Hall Community Center, 4580 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90065)

Four Los Angeles Mayoral candidates will meet on Tuesday, February 12, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall Community Center for a forum and debate hosted by a coalition of Northeast Los Angeles community groups.

Council Member Eric Garcetti, former Assistant US Attorney Kevin James, Council Member Jan Perry, and businessman Emanuel Pleitez are confirmed to participate in the forum. An invitation was also extended to LA City Controller, Wendy Greuel, however she was unable to commit. The four confirmed mayoral candidates will be provided with a platform to share their vision and plans for Los Angeles with a focus on the issues that directly affect Northeast Los Angeles.

Patt Morrison, award winning journalist, author, and radio-television personality will moderate the forum. Morrison will ask questions gathered from the audience on the day of the event as well as pre-selected questions provided by the coalition.

We are not only pleased, but proud to bring the Northeast such an important event,” said Highland Park Neighborhood Council President Monica Alcaraz. “Although we represent different communities that make up the Northeast the final outcome of the elections will affect us all. Our organizations share a common goal of improving the communities that we represent and serve.  As such, we must make every effort to ensure that the voice of the Northeast, our communities and our stakeholders are heard.”

The coalition groups include the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, Highland Park Heritage Trust, Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, Montecito Heights Improvement Association, Mount Washington Association, and Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance.

Doors will open at 7:30 pm and admission is free. Seating is limited, and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
Call to Action - Pasadena City Council Meeting -- 
From Sylvia Plummer:
  Tonight the City of Pasadena will discuss strategies for the SR-710 north.
We need people to attend this meeting and speak. Arrive early.
Monday, February 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Pasadena City Hall
City Council Chambers, 2nd floor
100 N. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena

Pasadena Department of Transportation have been working with the staff of the surrounding Cities to ascertain their interest in a collective approach to the SR-710 north study. Pasadena will now discuss it openly at their meeting tonight. It is agenda Item #7 and the agenda is found at: 
 http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2013%20agendas/Feb_11_13/agenda.asp

More Comments on SR-710 North Study: what's on the table and what's off the table-2

http://thesource.metro.net/2013/02/08/sr-710-north-study-whats-on-the-table-and-whats-off-the-table/


I’d like to take a few minutes for an update on the SR-710 North Study, Metro’s effort to improve transportation in the area around the 710 freeway in the San Gabriel Valley. The video above is new from the project team and describes the project. Original state plans called for completing the 710 from Long [...]
Stop wasting taxpayers hard earned money by studying dual tunnels that are too expensive. You must think we are fools.
Seattle’s cost for construction of a 1.7 mile tunnel is $1.09 billion, which only includes the tunnel portion of the project . I think Metro multiplied $1.09 billion by 5 = $5.45 billion (5 x 1.7 miles = 8.5 miles). This does not add up close to the cost in my book. Did METRO include the cost for the following: The 710 dual tunnels will use 4 boring machines, have several vehicle crossovers connecting the two tunnels (can’t use the 4 boring machines for this process), scrubbers, bridge replacements in Pasadena (Union, Colorado & Green St.), bridge removal (Del Mar), permanent removal of the Del Mar and California off/on ramps, new bridge at Valley, train issues at Mission, both ends will need ramps and interchanges, costs for design and overhead. And consider that the tunnels will not get built for more than 10 years from now, inflation show be added.
The full Seattle tunnel budget, including design and overhead, is $2 billion (includes $1.09 billion contract for construction of tunnel). The entire Highway 99 corridor cost is $3.1 billion, counting ramps and interchanges at each end.
Something does not add up METRO.

Stop wasting taxpayers hard earned money by studying dual tunnels that are too expensive. You must think we are fools. Seattle’s cost for construction of a 1.7 mile tunnel is $1.09 billion, which only includes the tunnel portion of the project . I think Metro multiplied $1.09 billion by 5 = $5.45 billion (5 x [...]
Hi Sylvia;
Metro is studying the tunnel and other project alternatives because 67.9 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008 approved the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase and the list of projects it would help fund. I certainly don’t consider voters to be fools.
The project in Seattle is different than the tunnel alternative in the Alternatives Analysis — in Seattle they are tearing down a viaduct and replacing it with a tunnel, among other roadway project. The tunnel alternative here has yet to be completely studied, approved, designed or fully funded. More information on the Alaskan Way tunnel project here.
Metro’s estimate for alternative F7 (the tunnel alternative) is based on costs for the tunnel (including cross passages and fire life safety systems), roadways, structures and rights of way (ROW). The estimate is also based on utilizing four tunnel boring machines. At this point, it’s an “estimate,” as Metro has said.
Steve Hymon
Editor, The Source

From the SR 710 Study Team

http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ea2474f66f2da44ef75d014d3&id=b5fa210bb2&e=c15d109fcf


February 11. 2013

The State Route 710 Study Team thanks you for participating in our Open Houses

Español

普通话

THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING THE
ALL COMMUNITIES CONVENING OPEN HOUSES




Metro and Caltrans would like to thank all who attended the January 2013 SR 710 North Study All Communities Convening Open Houses held on January 23, 24, and 26 in the cities of Pasadena, San Marino, and at Cal State Los Angeles.  Your feedback and participation are invaluable to our Study effort and we thank you for your continued engagement with the SR 710 North Study.

In summary, three Open Houses were held to share the results of the Alternatives Analysis Report and to provide details about the five alternatives that will be carried into the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for in-depth environmental analysis. Members of the public were encouraged to visit six informational stations at their own pace and engage directly with members of the Study Team to have their questions answered. An informational video was shown in adjacent break-out rooms to provide an overview of the Study. The video is available online and can be viewed here. Information shared at each of the meetings was identical.

All Information Stations are summarized below. The full banners can be found on the metro website here: http://www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/sr710-past-meetings/

Station 1: Welcome
Provides an overview of the meeting format and room layout. Members of the public were encouraged to pick up informational materials provided: FAQs on General Study QuestionsQuestions about the EIR/EIS and CEQA/NEPA Processes,  Questions about the Alternative ConceptsQuestions about Goods Movement Parts 1-5, and Fact Sheets for each alternative.

Station 2: What is the State Route 710 Study?
Provides an overview of outreach activities, project history, and Study background.

Station 3: The Environmental Study Process and Timeline
Explains the environmental review process, opportunities for public participation, timeline, and the Study’s purpose and need. Provides information about why goods movements is not part of the SR 710 Study.

Station 4: Alternatives Evaluated in the Alternatives Analysis Report
Summarizes the alternatives analyzed in the Alternatives Analysis phase and provides an overview of the transportation system performance, and environmental considerations for each alternative.

Station 5: Five Alternatives to be Further Analyzed
Describes the five alternatives that will be advanced for in-depth study in the Environmental Document. Includes roll-out maps of LRT, BRT, and Freeway Alternatives for more detailed review.

Station 6: SR 710 Study E-Tool
Showcases the SR 710 interactive e-tool, an online opportunity to personalize stakeholder engagement with the Study. Watch the “How-to” video that provides instructions for navigating the platform. Please visit at www.sr710etool.com.

Please feel free to provide input on the Alternatives Analysis report, the All Communities Convening Open Houses, as well as upcoming environmental and technical studies/assessments, informational sessions, etc., throughout the duration of the SR 710 North Study. Stakeholder input will be forwarded to the Study team for review and consideration. Please contact us via email at sr710study@metro.net or, by mail to SR-710 Study, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
Comments to  SR-710 North Study: what's on the table and what's off the table-1

http://thesource.metro.net/2013/02/08/sr-710-north-study-whats-on-the-table-and-whats-off-the-table/



  1. I do not have much confidence in your source of information, because there are some things that are factually incorrect.
    Number one, the stub of fwy in Pasadena is not a stub of the 710, but part of 210, therefor not a gap in the fwy. (Check the court document in the 70′s pertaining to this section of fwy.)
    Second, the cost estimate for the tunnel alternative 7 of $5.425 billion is incomplete. That cost is only for the bored segment and does not include the portal entrances and bridge replacement, scrubbers, etc. Another $1 billion, at least must be added.
    There are many more, but the report at 1,560 pages takes a while to digest so back to you later. Hopefully you have more accurate information in your next post.
  2. Hi Joanne;
    I’m not familiar with that court document, but I have seen the stub occasionally labeled as the 210 on maps. That’s also completely beside the point. The fact is there is a gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and and a stub of the freeway built in Pasadena that was intended to connect to the 710. You can see it on maps, you can go see it in person and you can drive north from Long Beach on the 710, exit by necessity at Valley Boulevard and then drive north on mostly residential streets until you reach a stub of freeway that ends between Del Mar and California. Whether that gap should be filled is a matter that has provoked a lot of different opinions over the decades. I don’t think it’s an easy issue by any means and as a Pasadena resident, I respect the different views on it.
    But I don’t think there’s any denying there’s a gap in the freeway. The stub of freeway south of the 134/210 interchange in Pasadena.
    [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ll=34.144718,-118.154762&spn=0.012573,0.033002&t=k&z=16&msa=0&msid=217330688871199327376.0004d54276d59ef599277&w=425&h=350%5D
    And here’s a broader view, showing the 710 ending in Alhambra at the bottom of the screen and the stub of freeway built south of the 210/134 interchange in Pasadena:
    [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ll=34.103277,-118.13633&spn=0.100635,0.264015&t=k&z=13&msa=0&msid=217330688871199327376.0004d54286286f0957425&w=425&h=350%5D
    I couldn’t get the maps to show in the comments page; please click on the links to see the maps.
    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source
  3. Steve, I’ve posted about this before, but your insistence on calling it a gap is also not particularly helpful. There’s also a gap/stub between the SR-2 and the 101, which was supposed to be built and extended to the 405, or the stub of the 90, which was supposed to go to the 110. Stubs don’t equal gaps, and if you’re going to talk about planned freeways that were never built, there’s a ton of those. Why are we not studying those instead?
    One really does have to wonder about Metro’s credibility in all this, insisting that truck traffic won’t be taking a new freeway to reach the 210… why not built all the other planned freeways then? Why this focus on the 710 corridor, both north and south segments? Hmm.
  4. There are signs along the Fwy from California Bl. to the underpass of the 134/210 exchange that denotes that segment of the FWY is the 710.
  5. At 0.29 minutes into the video, you show a photo of the Fair Oaks Pharmacy and you indicate that people don’t stop at the stores along the way because traffic is so congested. Who wrote the lines for this video? Someone, obviously, who doesn’t know the South Pasadena shopping area along Fair Oaks Blvd. Very easy to stop at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy at any time of the day–turn right or left at Mission, depending on what direction you are coming from on Fair Oaks, and there is plenty of free parking on the side streets. Drivers also easily stop at any time of the day at OSH, Vons, Bristol Farms, Baskin Robbins, etc., etc. And because it is a major shopping street, that is, with many drivers on the way to the stores on that street, it will always be heavily traveled, which, by the way, is good for the businesses there as they are attracting customers.
  6. Additionally, re: my comment above, it is really a disservice to the Fair Oaks Pharmacy that you are indicating in the video that people can’t easily stop there to shop.
  7. Thanks, Steve. I can appreciate you trying to engage the opposition to 710 expansion/extension/tunneling/rerouting. Who do we talk to about removing those “stubs” as you call them and returning that land to open space? If you live in Pasadena and walk around that area I’m sure you can envision, like I do, a nice open place to gather and relax. The light is beautiful and the trees plentiful. What a healing it could be.
    I’d like to see Metro come up with a State of the Art way to feed the 710 into the Huntington or Valley and deemphasis the whole project. At this point, there is little faith in the Highways Division. Measure R funds being used to pay lobbyists and not used for transportation. Measure R was never put to the voters as sales tax increase for the 710 Project exclusively anyway.
    To just say, trust me it will be the “latest, safest technology designed” and then to bring these lame 1960s type ideas is not convincing enough. I still roll my eyes when I hear advertising that emulates the old Smuckers jelly campaign… With a name like Metro, it has to be good— doesn’t cut it for the kind of jam you’ve put us in.
  8. To say that no decision has been made is laughable. Barbara Messina (Mayor of Alhambra) and John Fasana (Metro Board) Michael Antonovich (Metro Board) and others in San Gabriel Valley politics are falling all over themselves pushing the tunnel option through. Doug Failing is shopping the tunnel option to China. The price tag for the tunnel is a low ball figure (as Joanne points out) and no one is mentioning the hefty tolls that will be charged with the Public Private Partnership arrangements.
  9. Joanne/Steve,
    According to Section 622 of the California Streets and Highway Code (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=shc&group=00001-01000&file=300-635) and according to Caltrans (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/logpdf/logd07.pdf) the stub section of freeway that leaves the 134/210 interchange on the south side is part of State Highway 710. The portion between Valley Blvd and California Blvd is a gap.

    1. The only option is No Build. The financial projections are horribly incorrect, the timeline is horribly incorrect, the whole idea is horribly incorrect. If something as simple as the Rose Bowl remodel can go incredibly off budget, why would anyone think that Metro can even begin to project the cost of a tunnel which would accomplish nothing. It goes through aquifers, it goes through 5 known earthquake faults (what about the faults that haven’t been charted), it should not be built or considered!
    2. Very good summary. Thank you for the information. I think the concerned residents in southwest Pasadena will need to pay close attention to the EIR.
    3. I watched the attached video and agree that there is a lot of surface street traffic in the Freement Ave. corridor. But no where in the video was the discussion of increased truck traffic coming from the port that will be a reality in the coming years or how this traffic will be handled on the 210 Freeway that is packed morning and night with traffic. As long as Metro ignores references to the elephant in the corner (i.e., port truck traffic), it compromises its credibility and leaves the public feeling that we are being hoodwinked.
    4. My question is how is a segment of underground freeway that might cost $15 to drive on going to help local traffic? I’m guessing not a lot. If anything people will take to the streets to avoid this segment of tunnel causing even more traffic on local streets. Not to mention that the tunnel in Japan that his tunnel is modeled on collapsed recently killing many people.
    5. This tunnel alternative benefits NONE OF THE RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES that are situated paralell to its 5- mile course, yet these are the very folks, and they alone, who must bear the brunt (MANY “BRUNTS”) of all of the negative impacts associated with this costly project. Moreover, Metro/Caltrans have demonstrated time and again that neither can be trusted to tell the whole truth or give definitive numbers (e.g. COST!) or act as competent overseers of this Big Dig as shown by the audit of their performance as “landlords” of the Pasadena Ave. section conducted last August. They and Caltrans have either denied or evaded the clear evidence (from their own publications) that this tunnel is primarily intended for the “movement of goods” (via TRUCKS AND TOLLS) from the ports of LA & Long Beach. Moreover, one of the “Ps” in the PPP “partnership” contemplates ownership by China or some other national investor who will collect the tolls to recoup their investment – something Metro has said very little (nothing!) about. Enough smoke and mirrors! We’re already in the hole for millions of $ and it’s time to stop digging before millions/billlions more are spent in pursuit of this really hairbrained notion.
    6. I have been watching the process of the Metro decision to expand the 710 freeway and understand awl routes must be considered. What is disappointing is that the comment that they should not have included the Avenue 64 route because it is not popular, yet no one has yet admitted tha one of the biggest reasons for this expansion is due to the expansion of the LA Harbour, or that it is also because of the expansion of the Panama Canal. It is also doesn’t address the fact that the monies for this 710 project are being borrowed from projected revenues, and that doesn’t even include the cost of up- keep on these roads. I think of this every time I drive the beat up lanes of the 210 freeway and wonder how we keep borrowing but can’t keep up with the repairs. The risk Metro runs is tax fatigue. CA just keeps adding to the tax burden of its citizens without a clear path and without any transparency. At some point Metro needs to treat the people they are addressing like intelligent adults, rather than like simple minded children. The attitude is so patronizing and less than honest.
    7. Why does Metro hide the obvious truth that the main beneficiaries of a 710 extension are Long Beach freight carriers? You lose credibility when you avoid this issue.
    8. What’s off the table is, apparently, any opposition to the SR-710 project from Ara Najarian.
      That’s been taken care of by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who first removed Najarian from the Metrolink Board after 6 years of service, and replaced him with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas who Antonovich’s staff claim “share his vision for regional rail.” There is no Metrolink service in Ridley-Thomas’ supervisorial district, so it makes perfect sense that he should be on the board.
      And now more recently the LA County City Selection Committee refused to confirm Najarian’s nomination to the Metro Board in spite of the fact that he was supported by the North County cities. Vocal proponents of the SR-710 project are on record saying they withheld their support because Najarian’s opposition to the project is “not right.”
      Exploiting political leverage is nothing new for Antonovich; he also launched a campaign to remove Erwin Chemerinsky, a prominent constitutional scholar, from the faculty at UCI because of differences in political views. Chermerinsky was later reinstated and is founding dean and distinguished professor of law at UCI. Nice try, Antonovich.
      And that is why Metro has no credibility, because political operatives at all levels are working feverishly to remove people they dislike rather than work with them.
    9. Get Real. This has nothing to do with “improv[ing] traffic in the western San Gabriel Valley and beyond.” It’s all about truck traffic from the harbor connecting from the 710 directly to the 210 and then the Grapevine while bypassing downtown LA.
      Thanks, Metro, for waking up west Pasadena and Highland Park – we’re all No Build advocates now.
    10. Hi Yu-Han;
      With all due respect, we disagree.
      The Alternatives Analysis also says that the issue of whether trucks will be permitted to use a tunnel should be further evaluated. Please see page 25 of the Executive Summary.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    1. Hi Jane;
      There are 13 members on the Metro Board of Directors and a majority is needed to decide most matters. It’s hard to predict the make-up of the Board — guessing the future is always tricky business — by the time the SR-710 Study comes up for a vote in the two to three years that it’s estimated it will take to complete the final EIR/S.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    2. Hi Ann;
      Please see page 25 of the AA’s Executive Summary: it says the issue of restrictions on the use of trucks should be further evaluated (it also says tolls should be evaluated as potential financing option). I think it’s too big an issue to ignore and will be studied.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    3. Hi Jessica;
      At this point, there is only the possibility that there will be tolls as a way to raise money to build a tunnel project — if, and it’s a big ‘if’ — the Metro Board decides to go ahead with a tunnel following completion of the environmental studies. There is no agreement in place with any private firm to build a project and the $15 toll you cite isn’t grounded in reality. Also, a tunnel hasn’t been designed yet, therefore it’s not based on any particular existing tunnel. The tunnel collapse west of Tokyo in December was certainly tragic, but there are many hundreds of highway and train tunnels throughout the world, including one under the English Channel, tunnels under both the Hudson and East rivers in NYC, many tunnels through the Alps and tunnels in our national parks (Yosemite and Zion).
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    4. Hi Kathleen;
      No decision has been made about a possible public-private partnership. If such a deal is pursued, I think the terms of an agreement with any possible financer(s) will hopefully be heavily scrutinized. Also, while I certainly agree that the ports of L.A. and L.B. have seen a big jump in freight traffic in recent years, I don’t think that is the only thing driving the SR-710 Study – while some communities don’t see north-south traffic in the western SGV as a problem, others do. I do think the lack of the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena results in a lot of extra traffic on surface streets. What, if anything, should be done about it is obviously a disputed matter.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    5. Hi David;
      I think it’s certainly fair to study and question the impacts of truck traffic. But I think it’s also fair to say that many cars — not trucks — are using surface streets to travel between Pasadena and Alhambra when otherwise they might use a freeway.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    6. Hi David;
      I disagree. As I’ve replied to other posters, I think there are traffic impacts in the western SGV because of traffic traveling between the 710 exit in Alhambra and Pasadena and the 134 and 210. The best fix and its impacts? I don’t know. But I think it deserves to be studied — in fact, 67.9 percent of the voters approved the package of projects that includes this study.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source
    7. Hi folks;
      This is a cut-and-paste from one of the fact sheets for the SR-710 project about truck traffic. I thought it may provide useful context for readers going through the many comments about why the project isn’t targeted directly at truck traffic from the Port. Also, keep in mind there is a concurrent study on the south 710 that is looking to widen the freeway and possibly create a truck corridor to handle port traffic. From the SR-710 study team:
      Multiple studies have shown that the primary destinations of trucks on I-710 from the Ports are the rail
      yards south of I-5 and the distribution centers and warehouses to the east of the study area via SR 60
      and I-10. Other studies have shown that the majority of the land most suited to future warehouse
      development (large, open, and flat) is also located in the Inland Empire. Additionally, while the Ports
      are a large generator of trucks, less than 10 percent of the trucks in LA County are from the Port, and
      less than 10 percent of the overall traffic is from trucks. Based on these data, less than 1 percent of LA
      County traffic is Port trucks, and that estimate is even lower in the Study Area. The project need is
      focused on regional and local street congestion, and goods movement alternatives addressing that
      small component of the transportation system do not address that need.
      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source