Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bus bursts into flames on 101 Fwy near Calabasas

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9187673

 A bus burst into flames on the southbound 101 Freeway between Calabasas and Woodland Hills Saturday, July 27, 2013.

 A bus burst into flames on the southbound 101 Freeway between Calabasas and Woodland Hills Saturday, July 27, 2013.

 

A bus burst into flames on the southbound 101 Freeway between Calabasas and Woodland Hills Saturday. 

According to CHP, everyone on board was able to get off before flames fully engulfed the bus.
Authorities say the bus was not involved in a traffic accident. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

DEVELOPING: We will add more details to this report as they become available.

Trash talk and the real dirt on a 'toxic tour' of Los Angeles

A 'toxic tour' past rail yards, smokestacks and refineries aims to show officials the consequences of their decisions in low-income, predominantly Latino communities in southeast L.A.


 http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-toxic-tour-20130728,0,6170662.story

By Tony Barboza, July 27, 3013


 Go o the website for more photos and a video.








You won't find any homes of the stars on this tour bus as it shuttles rubber-necking sightseers through Los Angeles.

You may not even see the Hollywood sign through the haze from the smokestacks, rail yards and refineries along this "toxic tour" through neighborhoods southeast of Los Angeles.

"To your left is a brownfield," guide Roberto Cabrales announces from the front of the bus to two dozen tourists aboard. "To your right, that's a former steel company. It's contaminated with heavy metals."

The half-day excursions by the advocacy group Communities for a Better Environment were begun in 1994 as a way to show a handful of government officials the consequences of their decisions in low-income and predominantly Latino communities.

Increased demand for the tour from universities, school groups and families now has the Huntington Park-based organization hosting hundreds of visitors on dozens of bus trips a year. Admission is free, but donations are sought to pay for the bus rental.

Lately, curious residents have also been climbing aboard.

Luis Reyes, a 19-year-old college student from Inglewood, brought his two younger brothers and sister, ages 15, 11 and 13. "I want them to understand the effects of how we live and where we live," he said.

Los Angeles is not alone in offering these kinds of excursions. Environment-themed reality tours exist across the country, including in the San Joaquin Valley.

The L.A. tour starts with the shuttered factories and weed-covered lots of Huntington Park and South Gate, once a manufacturing hub.

"Under your seats there is a gas mask," jokes Cabrales, a community organizer in plastic-rimmed glasses and a goatee who peppers his narrative with historical references, health statistics and jocular asides.

At Raul R. Perez Memorial Park, he shows off a playground that sits where a five-story pile of freeway rubble from the 1994 Northridge earthquake loomed for years, sending noxious dust into a neighborhood that named the mound La Montaña: The Mountain. It took years for it to be removed.

At another stop, sightseers step off the bus to watch trains rumble through the Alameda Corridor, a below-ground trench through which shipping containers from the nation's largest port complex in San Pedro and Long Beach head for a massive rail yard near the 710 and 60 freeways in Commerce.

Next they see the metal recyclers and scrap yards, where old cars and bed frames tower high above homes that for years have complained about the smell and noise.

As the bus crosses into Maywood, next to the almost exclusively industrial city of Vernon, Cabrales says, "Here you can see the residences and just how close they are to industry."

When the bus pulls up at a rendering plant in Vernon, riders give a collective gasp. They pinch their noses and cover their mouths as a view over the fence of Baker Commodities reveals a pile of dead dogs, a horse carcass and animal byproducts awaiting processing.

Next is the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, where a white plume spews into the air and Cabrales tells everyone to stay in the bus. State officials temporarily closed the plant in April after environmental regulators found its arsenic emissions posed a health risk to as many as 110,000 people in surrounding communities. A judge allowed the plant to reopen earlier this month.

The bus cruises down the 710 Freeway, where tens of thousands of trucks travel in and out of the port complex every day, putting adjacent communities at higher risk of asthma and cancer. The sightseers snap photos of the shipping containers and cranes as the driver heads toward Wilmington, an L.A. neighborhood surrounded by several oil refineries and the Port of Los Angeles.

The group gets out of the bus on a dead-end street where rows of tidy houses sit just beyond the fence of the ConocoPhillips oil refinery. They see the white plumes and, above the sound of machinery, hear about the nighttime flaring that bathes the neighborhood in an eerie orange glow.

For lunch, the tourists stop to reflect at Wilmington Waterfront Park. The 29 acres of trees, lawns and hills opened in 2011 as a buffer zone between homes and the port. Still, signs warn visitors of methane gas intrusion from the soil below.

"It really hits close to home," said Karen Díaz, a Cal State Long Beach student who grew up in Downey. "Had I ever gone to Wilmington and seen the smokestacks? No. You see these things, but you drive past them."

Misreading L.A. County freeway data can take a toll: Editorial

http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_23745172/misreading-l-county-freeway-data-can-take-toll

July 27, 2013

People feel very strongly both ways about the rise of freeway toll lanes in Southern California -- or, actually, three ways. They love it, they hate it -- or they feel passionately that it's too soon to decide.

The passionate wait-and-see crowd, of which this editorial board is a charter member, was roused to howls of laughter if not outright protest a week ago when the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority released a set of early data on the use of the new ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways.
To its credit, Metro did emphasize that the data is "preliminary," and that more comprehensive, independent evaluations will come in the months ahead.

But that didn't stop Metro's house blogger from jumping to a few hasty conclusions about the effectiveness of the pay-as-you-go experiment. Rosy conclusions, if you hadn't guessed.

And that didn't stop some readers of the statistics from pointing to signs of "success," including a transportation consultant -- a former Metro executive -- whose quotes were featured by our reporter.

Such exuberance wouldn't be a problem if there weren't so many questions still to be answered, such broad implications for the region's way of life, and so much potential for the perception of success or failure in L.A. County to influence decisions in other counties like San Bernardino to plan toll lanes of  their own.

 
There are practical questions: Do motorists in L.A. County like the ExpressLanes? Are lots of drivers getting a good return (faster trips) for their money ($5.35 average tolls, $10 in morning rush hours, after an initial $40 for a transponder)? With many solo drivers moving to the toll lanes, is traffic speeding up for drivers in the free lanes?
 
And there are mega-questions: Are the ExpressLanes a luxury for the rich? How will the move away from traditional high-occupancy-vehicle lanes affect the incentive to carpool and thus the environment?

Answers to some of these questions will come eventually. Let's not rush to judgment.

An example of toll-lane advocates or opponents rushing to judgment is an analysis on the Metro website of statistics about who is using the ExpressLanes that opened in the past year on 11 miles of the 110 Freeway, from the Harbor Gateway Transit Center to Adams Boulevard, and 14 miles of the 10 Freeway, between the 605 Freeway and Union Station/Alameda Street.

The Metro report says 8.5 percent of ExpressLanes account holders come from households with incomes under $35,000, 19.9 percent from the $35,000 to $49,999 range, 35.6 percent from $50,000 to $74,999, 21.3 percent from $75,000 to $99,999, 12.2 percent from $100,000 to $149,999, and 2.4 percent from $150,000 and up.

On the blog The Source (Transportation News & Views), at Metro.net, writer Steve Hymon said the accounts are "evenly distributed" among income levels. Hymon concludes: "It's pretty much a bell curve and suggests the notion that the ExpressLanes are 'Lexus Lanes' -- i.e. only used by those with very high incomes -- is not correct."

Well. The trouble there is that even if ExpressLanes usage forms a bell curve, L.A. County incomes don't. The under-$35,000 income bracket is a lot bigger than the richer brackets; Metro's report is honest enough to include the relevant numbers. The proper conclusion might be that people in the lowest income range are six or seven times less likely to be using the toll lanes than better-off people.


Is that because poorer people can't afford to use the toll lanes? Or simply because poorer people are less likely to drive in the first place? More data -- and time -- might provide the answers.

Other stats, comparing the toll lanes to the old carpool lanes, give mixed signals at best. Average speed has risen by about 5 mph in the toll lanes, but not at all in other lanes, which would be disappointing. Workday use of the toll lanes is a little higher than it was for carpool lanes on the 110 and a little lower on the 10. A bit more than 40 percent of toll-lane users are solo drivers, a hint that many former HOV-lane users have switched to regular lanes.

There are more questions to answer before the ExpressLanes can be deemed successes or failures. The Metro executive who presented these statistics correctly warned leaders not to jump to conclusions. Let's hope both fans and critics receive that message loud and clear amid all the mixed data.




 
 

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti offers up 'Government 101'

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23741089/l-mayor-eric-garcetti-offers-up-government-101

By Rick Orlov, July 26, 2013


In his continued push to make City Hall more user-friendly, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday held a "Government 101" session for more than 100 community activists, with the goal of teaching them how to accomplish change.

"City Hall is both symbolic and real," Garcetti said at the opening session, held in the City Hall's forecourt, just down from his offices.

"We are trying to open City Hall to make it accessible to you. This week, we opened a new Mayor's Help Desk to provide real answers to the problems you have."

As part of his effort, Garcetti said he will be looking to change the building's security system so that those coming to City Hall no longer need to go through magnometers and having their purses or briefcases checked.

Moving closer to the constituents has been a goal of the mayor since his first day in office, when he allowed those attending his swearing-in to walk through City Hall. He also held an open-office day where people could just walk up and talk with him.

"I want you to feel welcome here," Garcetti said. "In a democracy, we will never agree on everything. As mayor, I can hold a news conference or fill some potholes. My staff is a couple of hundred people, but we are limited in what we can do.

"Even a city with 35,000 city workers, as powerful as that sounds, is not enough. But 4 million people marching in the same direction, now we are talking about real power. That's what we're doing here today."

Garcetti said he wanted those at the session to begin a conversation with one another to find areas of common ground. "We are not going to agree on everything or get everything we want, or even get everyone to agree all the time," he said. "That would be boring. But let's begin a conversation. The power we have to make change is infinite if can bring people together."

WPRA Opposes Freeway Tunnel Option in SR-710 Study in Letter to LA Metro Board (July 2013)

Posted on Facebook by John Picone, July 27, 2013

WPRA [West Pasadena Residents Association] is very concerned about continued consideration of a deeply flawed concept for supposedly improving transportation in metropolitan Los Angeles. In a letter to the LA Metro Board, WPRA describes three examples of issues that concern us about the proposed freeway tunnel option for extending SR-710: unclear goals, increasing local pollution at both ends of the tunnel, and inability to adequately filter exhausts. You can see our letter here. The letter concludes that the freeway tunnel option is by far the most expensive,challenging, risky and controversial option being considered. It must be taking an inordinate portion of the study funds to analyze and justify. It is time to cease using 20th Century solutions. WPRA urges Metro to withdraw the tunnel alternatives and to focus on modern 21st Century solutions: rail for cargo, and public transit and traffic management options for people.
 http://www.wpra.net/files/public/WPRA%20Letters/WPRA%20to%20Metro%20on%20Fwy%20Tunnel%202013-07-24.pdf
 

The First 710 Victim?


 
 Barbara Messina: The First 710 Victim?


Comments to the article

La Canada Flintridge Council sets aside $500,000 for possible 710 freeway fight



From the article: 

Alhambra Councilwoman Barbara Messina said she thinks recent actions by tunnel opponents were "sad and very unfortunate."

"They have just given me an absolute ulcer over this. The information they are giving people is just wrong and they choose to ignore the experts at Metro and the people that are doing these studies and I just think they are playing on people's emotional feelings and scaring them with the tunnel," Messina said. "The only thing I have to say is shame on them."


Peggy Drouet: Is Barbara Messina presenting her case for state disability payments for stress on the job?

Also, see "Shame on Whom": http://www.710studysanrafaelneighborhoodposts.com/

Comments: 

 Joe Cano · Top Commenter · Cathedral High / College Prep

Messina is getting an ulcer because NO710 members overwhelmed the I Love Alhambra FB page to better inform the Alhambra residents about the misinformation she & Mayor Placido have been spreading about the tunnel. The Messina family were making statements with no facts to back up their claims of the benefits of building the tunnel. When NO710 members presented facts & figures, from Metro's own studies the Alhambra residents started to see for themselves the falsehoods. Many Alhambra residents started to copy & share the information NO710 provided on their Facebook pages. The Messina daughters fell silent & could no longer respond to factual & truthful commentary. All are welcomed to visit the 'I Love Alhambra' page & my words will be proven correct. The No710 information starts around July 13th. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/ILoveAlhambra.
******
 Joe Cano · Top Commenter · Cathedral High / College Prep
Metro Monterey Park meeting 7/25/2013. Compare to Messina's comments & judge for yourselves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOXVkY6Drlw
 ******
Dianne Patrizzi · · Top Commenter · Head Louse at House of Havisham
Dear Mrs. Messina, Join us. We are the new kids on the block. We come from Occidental College, and Caltech, and USC, UCLA, Cal State LA and universities all over the USA---even the world. We are leading a campaign to DIVEST from fossil fuels. We are leading campaigns to make cites better by uncovering and restoring rivers, making green spaces for people to gather and walk or ride bikes, hop on a tram/train/bis/rickshaw whatever. By taking out the 710 stubs at each side you will eliminate traffic dumping into Alhambra. You will lower the temperature a few degrees in the process. You will give the people of Monterey Park, Alhambra, and El Sereno a gift of sustainable community development and bring joy in quality of life... long awaited. Do this and you shall have a legacy to be proud of.
******
 Trish Gossett · None of your beeswax
Bravo La Canada for getting ready to bring it.
******
 Jane Demian · L.Ac, MTOM, MA, Dipl, Ac. at Acupuncturist/Herbalist
I applaud LaCanada/Flintridge's allocation of money to fight the 710 tunnel. Regardless of Barbara Messina's opinion that the tunnel is the ONLY option to relieve traffic congestion, 710 tunnel opponents are educating the public about the dangers of the tunnel, the enormous cost, the toll, the environmental degradation, and the increase of traffic congestion. Also 710 tunnel opponents are educating the public about alternatives to the tunnel that Barbara Messina and Metro are not considering seriously.
******
 Paula Shatsky · Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, CA
The comments above from Ms. Messina are almost too ridiculous to respond to. Maybe she is getting a ulcer from not being able to multiply. At the meeting in Monterey Park, she interrupted a speaker insisting 4.5x 2= 8! This was regarding the length of the two tunnels. Everything is personalized. The entire fight is all about her. A ridiculous person, let alone public official.
******
 Katrina Alexy · California State University, Los Angeles
The 710 was originally designed and proposed in another era. This tunnel proposition is just as antiquated. We are living in 2013, Ms. Messina. We need to seriously look at alternatives that will carry us into THIS century. I suggest looking at taking some Tums and listening to the overwhelming opposition to this tunnel.
******
 useebruinla (signed in using AOL)
As Metro celebrates the 10th year of the Gold Line, it's a testament that a LRT solution is the way to the future… http://thesource.metro.net/2013/07/26/officials-celebrate-first-decade-of-gold-line-service.

What's very "sad and unfortunate" is for a city (Alhambra) that is DECADES behind the crowd pushing for a solution that is clearly NOT going to work for the 21st century… A city that is CREATING traffic by bringing over 800 residential units online over the next few years (http://www.cityofalhambra.org/government/development_services/economic/CommercialDevelopment.html) trying to seek solutions just because now they've created MORE traffic and congestion within their city, and lying to their residents that the 710 is the solution to a problem they created on their own? UM NO! It's no wonder she has an ulcer! HAHA She doesn't know what she's talking about and now her dirty plans are exposed. I feel bad for her.
******
 melmiamich (signed in using yahoo)
Shame on Messina for blaming opponents of 710 for exercising their right and good judgment to bring in other facts that Metro hasn't. I'm GLAD they are vigilant and working tirelessly to open people's eyes. As an Alhambra resident, I'm ashamed to learn of this council person's ridiculous notion that somehow we are to rely on one organization's 'experts' and their 'people doing the studies'.
*******
 Susan Martin Bolan · Top Commenter · California State University, Northridge
Shame on the No 710 Action Committee for asking the tough questions and providing FACTS? No, shame on Barbara Messina for leading Alhambrans to their total destruction and for her manipulative behavior in trying to get Ara Najarian kicked off the Metro Board for having an opposing opinion. THAT'S SHAMEFUL. Close the trap.
*******

Jan SooHoo · La Canada Flintridge, CaliforniaAnother volley across the bow of the No 710 Action Committee by Barbara Messina. Calling us rude for attending 710 Day is one thing, but accusing us of giving out wrong information and ignoring the “experts” just demonstrates how little she herself and her cohorts really understand about the details of the project, and how little has been done in the City of Alhambra to truly educate residents about the project. It is no wonder that when Hassan Ikhrata of SCAG and Metro’s own Doug Failing attended a special City Council meeting in Alhambra last November to talk about the tunnel, they claimed it could be built in 2-3 years if they didn’t have to “…do all this paperwork (EIR/EIS)” and no one on the City Council or among those attending even asked how that could be possible when the same Metro experts Messina claims we are ignoring are estimating that it would take 9 – 12 years to complete. No wonder that a recurring theme among the citizens of Alhambra that we spoke to on 710 Day was surprise that this project would be a toll road and not a freeway. No wonder that there was genuine surprise among those same people when they learned there were to be no exits between Alhambra and Pasadena. No wonder they were stunned to realize that the number of cars that would be removed from their streets by completion of the tunnel amounts to only 16% of the current number. The list goes on and on. Every fact presented to the attendees at 710 Day came directly from Metro publications and reports and those sources were cited on the information we distributed, and we encouraged people to check them out for themselves.

As far as “…playing on people’s emotional feelings and scaring them with the tunnel…” all I can say is that I would be very concerned about anyone who studies the details of this project carefully and isn’t worried or scared about its impact to the environment and the health and safety of everyone in the region.
*******
Tina G Miller · · Top Commenter · Artist at Self employed
The 710 "Opponents". WANT the facts. The project presented shows TWO tunnels. 4.5 miles long. 4.5 + 4.5 = 9 miles. No exits or entrances throughout, just the portals.

Barbara supports spending public money for these Metro community meetings but doesn't want the public to discuss the issues. If the Metro "experts" show slides without data and we ask for that data, why should we be criticized? It is our $780 million dollars that they are siphoning away.
*******
 Tina G Miller · · Top Commenter · Artist at Self employed
Please join us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/No710freewayextension/


Shame on Whom?

What Barbara Messina said:


Alhambra Councilwoman Barbara Messina said she thinks recent actions by tunnel opponents were "sad and very unfortunate."

"They have just given me an absolute ulcer over this. The information they are giving people is just wrong and they choose to ignore the experts at Metro and the people that are doing these studies and I just think they are playing on people's emotional feelings and scaring them with the tunnel," Messina said. "The only thing I have to say is shame on them."

Jan SooHoo's comment on the article above: 

Another volley across the bow of the No 710 Action Committee by Barbara Messina. Calling us rude for attending 710 Day is one thing, but accusing us of giving out wrong information and ignoring the “experts” just demonstrates how little she herself and her cohorts really understand about the details of the project, and how little has been done in the City of Alhambra to truly educate residents about the project. It is no wonder that when Hassan Ikhrata of SCAG and Metro’s own Doug Failing attended a special City Council meeting in Alhambra last November to talk about the tunnel, they claimed it could be built in 2-3 years if they didn’t have to “…do all this paperwork (EIR/EIS)” and no one on the City Council or among those attending even asked how that could be possible when the same Metro experts Messina claims we are ignoring are estimating that it would take 9 – 12 years to complete. No wonder that a recurring theme among the citizens of Alhambra that we spoke to on 710 Day was surprise that this project would be a toll road and not a freeway. No wonder that there was genuine surprise among those same people when they learned there were to be no exits between Alhambra and Pasadena. No wonder they were stunned to realize that the number of cars that would be removed from their streets by completion of the tunnel amounts to only 16% of the current number. The list goes on and on. Every fact presented to the attendees at 710 Day came directly from Metro publications and reports and those sources were cited on the information we distributed, and we encouraged people to check them out for themselves.

As far as “…playing on people’s emotional feelings and scaring them with the tunnel…” all I can say is that I would be very concerned about anyone who studies the details of this project carefully and isn’t worried or scared about its impact to the environment and the health and safety of everyone in the region.


The Information That Was Given Out by No710 at Alhambra's 710 Day:





















The Gold Line, LA's Most Lovable Light Rail, Turns 10 Toda

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/07/the_gold_line_las_most_lovable_light_rail_turns_10_today.php

By Neal Broverman, July 26, 2013

 

 

2013_07_goldline.jpg

 

Exactly a decade ago, the Gold Line light rail opened for business from Union Station to Sierra Madre Villa in east Pasadena. The Source notes that when the 13.7-mile line first began operations it only attracted about 14,000 riders per workday--now it has more than 44,000 weekday boardings on average. Though that number includes boardings on the 2009 eastside extension of the Gold Line into Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, and East LA, it's still 70 percent of commuters riding the original segment. Over the course of a decade, the Gold Line carried 81 million people and took 11,335 cars off the road, eliminating 112,263 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The Gold Line is also known as the most picturesque ride on Metro, cruising past the Los Angeles State Historic Park, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the bungalows of Highland Park (the freeway section in Pasadena makes up for its aesthetic deficiencies with speed). The train has also shaved seven minutes off its run time from DTLA to East Pasadena, now taking only 29 minutes to traverse the whole northern route. Currently, the line is being extended 11.5 miles east to Azusa, with plans to stretch the eastern segment into either South El Monte or Whittier. When the Regional Connector line opens in DTLA, the Pasadena Gold Line will become part of the Blue Line, while the eastern section may keep the Gold moniker or become part of the Expo Line.


· Metro Gold Line Celebrates 10 Years of Progress [The Source]

Why has the SR-710 been identified as the most important freeway project?

From Sylvia Plummer:

Caltrans website state that the SR-710 has been identified as the most important closure project in the southern California freeway system

Metro Board member John Fasana tells us why the SR-710 project is so important at the 7/25/13 Metro Board Meeting when he said:

"You have not heard today from the public of why you would want to connect some of these stems of our highway system to relieve some of the pressure off some of the other highways such as the 101 and such as the 5 that flows thru critical junctures downtown, we need to relieve pressure off the South 710 (traffic)."

His statement is said at about the 30 minute mark on the video of the Metro Board meeting.  

Is the plan to divert the trucks off the 5 to the 710 tunnel?

Link to video of Metro Board Meeting 7/25/13:

CalTran's website Identifies 710 North as possible P3

From Sylvia Plummer:

From Caltran's website under Public Private Partnerships (P3):

Currently, I-710 (SR-710) stops just north of I-10. Closing the gap to connect I-710 to I-210
has been identified as the most important gap closure project in the Southern California freeway system. This important project will improve traffic and air quality in the Southern California area. In addition, this gap closure will also alleviate traffic on several local roads and freeways. The construction of this project is estimated to create between 81,000 and 173,000 jobs.


As of June 2013 SR-710 is a Level 1 project for California’s Emerging Pipeline of Transportation Public-Private Partnership Projects

Level One Project:  Appears to have multiple indicators of P3 suitability.  One of more agencies actively screening for P3 suitability.  Known private sector interest in P3 delivery.

SR-710 Tunnel on list of potential projects for P3

From Sylvia Plummer:

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (P3): In a relationship

Caltrans and the SR-710 project are discussed in this article:


The I-710 (SR-710), I-710 Freight and High Desert Corridor, also in the Los Angeles metro area, are three other P3 projects gaining momentum. The I-710 (SR-710) project closes the gap to connect I-710 and I-210, and has been identified as the most important closure project in the southern California freeway system. The I-710 Freight project proposes to add two dedicated truck lanes in each direction as well as one mixed-flow lane in each direction between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and S.R. 60 near downtown L.A. Several interchanges along the corridor also will be improved.

“With the 710 Freight Corridor, it’s the primary access out of the Port of Long Beach, so it is very dense with trucks,” said Ajise. “Easily those ports handle 40% of the container load coming into the U.S. The idea of building an 18-mile freight corridor is really aimed at reducing congestion.”

The High Desert Corridor will be a new 50-mile east/west expressway and possible truck toll facility between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The facility will carry up to eight lanes of traffic between S.R. 14 in L.A. County and I-15 in San Bernardino County. According to Ajise, all three projects have been approved by the Los Angeles Metro Board, and both I-710 (& SR-710)  jobs are currently on the tail end of environmental permitting.

To read the entire article go to:


Peggy Drouet contacted the editor, Bill Wilson:


Peggy Drouet: My email to Bill Wilson:

 
Dear Mr. Wilson,

Re: Your February 8, 2013, article entitled "PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: In a relationship," http://www.roadsbridges.com/public-private-partnerships-relationship

In the article you stated, "The I-710 project closes the gap to connect I-710 and I-210, and has been identified as the most important closure project in the southern California freeway system." Could you give me your reasons for this statement and/or references for more information?

Additionally, is there a reason why in your article you called it the "I-710" project rather than the "SR-710 project" as LA Metro has been calling it?

One more question in regard to the P3 of the "I-710/SR-710" project: If the 710 tunnel is chosen by Metro in 2015 as the best option in their SR-710 study, but Caltrans does not extend its P3 authority past 2017, who would then have the authority and financial responsibility for the tunnel?

Thank you very much for your attention to this,

Peggy Drouet

Brian Wilson's reply:

Hello, Peggy--

The article was written by Caltrans. Pretty good authority on I-710.

Bill Wilson
Editorial Director
Roads & Bridges, Transportation Management & Engineering, Storm Water Solutions
3030 W. Salt Creek Lane, Suite 201
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-5025
847.391.1029
C-630.336.1148
11-Time Robert F. Boger Winner for Editorial Excellence

La Canada Flintridge Council sets aside $500,000 for possible 710 freeway fight

 Money could be used for further study

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23742049/la-canada-flintridge-council-sets-aside-500-000

By Lauren Gold, July 26, 2013

(From Sylvia Plummer: Pasadena Star news interviews Alhambra's Barbara Messina.  At bottom of article be sure to read what Messina had to say.  You may want to comment.)



 The proposed 710 Freeway tunnel extension would start here where the freeway ends at Valley Boulevard pictured April 4, 2008.


LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE - The City Council set aside $500,000 of the city's general fund reserve this week in a preemptive effort to fight construction of a possible tunnel connecting the 710 Freeway to the 210 Freeway.

Councilman Donald Voss said he requested the issue be brought up to the council because the city needs to prepare in case the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority selects an option for the 710 freeway extension that could cause harm to the city.

"We want to make sure all the alternatives are equally and fairly considered. The (non-tunnel alternatives) are not fanciful, they are not alternatives just to check a box, they are real, genuine alternatives that in my view are 21st century," Voss said. "There have been things that have happened in the study that would suggest perhaps they are not getting the same level of scrutiny."

Metro is about halfway through a three-year environmental study of five possible options to fill the "gap" between Alhambra and Pasadena; "No build," traffic management solutions, bus rapid transit, light rail and a tunnel. The draft environmental report is scheduled for release in 2014, with a final decision to be made in 2015.

La Canada Flintridge City Manager Mark Alexander said the money could be used for a number of different things, from litigation to commissioning further environmental work if the city doubts the results of Metro's study.

 
 "The council is very concerned about the potential impacts of a tunnel project or an alternative project that may increase traffic and congestion along the 210 freeway if the 710 is connected," Alexander said. "Because of the concerns of those impacts the council felt it important that we have monies available should the need arise to further study what those impacts are and to protect the interest of the city if it comes to that."

The city has $13.4 million in its general fund reserve and an $11.2 million operating budget.
Though the final decision on the freeway, fought about in the San Gabriel Valley for decades, isn't due for two more years, the issue has been heating up in the past few weeks. The council's vote comes the week after a rally against the tunnel before a Metro information session Saturday and a "710 Day" street festival in Alhambra supporting the "gap closure."

Alhambra Councilwoman Barbara Messina said she thinks recent actions by tunnel opponents were "sad and very unfortunate." 

"They have just given me an absolute ulcer over this. The information they are giving people is just wrong and they choose to ignore the experts at Metro and the people that are doing these studies and I just think they are playing on people's emotional feelings and scaring them with the tunnel," Messina said. "The only thing I have to say is shame on them."

For more information on the 710 study, visit metro.net/sr710study.