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

Friday, January 10, 2014

2, 5 freeway connector reopens 6 months after tanker fire


By Melissa MacBride, January 10, 2014

A major freeway connector near downtown Los Angeles has reopened six months after a tanker truck crashed into a column and caught fire. 

For six months, drivers followed freeway detour signs as the underpass connecting the northbound 2 Freeway to the northbound 5 Freeway underwent major repairs.

The 8,500 gallons of gasoline the truck was hauling caught fire in the Elysian Park area of Los Angeles on July 13. The intense heat from the fire caused extensive damage to the connector tunnel and the structural columns that support the 5 Freeway.

The flames reached the Los Angeles River and thick black smoke billowed out of storm drains.
"A lot of the pavement was badly damaged, basically cratered, so we took out about 2 1/2 feet of pavement, basically all of the pavement down to the dirt, and replaced it with brand new concrete," said Patrick Chandler of Caltrans.

 From July to November, Caltrans engineers studied the damage and then mapped out the redesign. The old, charred tunnel was built in the 1960s.

Drivers will notice the newly reconstructed, upgraded connector is lighter and brighter as 200 LED lights line the tunnel.

"These lights are self-adjusting throughout the day. They're brand new and cost efficient, saving $50,000 per year," said Carrie Bowen of Caltrans.

The new connector features anti-graffiti paint. It won't prevent spray paint from sticking to the walls, but it will make it easier for the crews to clean up.

"When I think of the I-5, I think of North America because from Mexico to Vancouver, British Colombia this is the motherload, and this connector was so important for that and the impact on neighborhood streets," said L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge

The cost of the repairs and the initial emergency response total more than $16 million. The state will be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Emergency Relief Program.

Did San Francisco's Google Bus Deal Just Set a Price for Curb Space?


By Eric Jaffe, January 10, 2014

 Did San Francisco's Google Bus Deal Just Set a Price for Curb Space?

San Francisco just announced a deal with the much-maligned private tech buses to charge them a fee for using city bus stops. Under the reported terms, the buses that shuttle commuters to and from Silicon Valley will pay the city about $100,000 a year — about a dollar a day per stop. The response so far has focused on whether or not this appeases the protestors, but that misses some of the larger picture: San Francisco just decided how much curb space is worth.

"They've established that there's an economic value to having dedicated curb space," says Columbia University planning scholar David King. "This is a huge issue if we're thinking about not just the shuttle buses but taxi services, ride-sharing services, and other things that could really take advantage of having space at the bus stops."

What San Francisco has (seemingly inadvertently) done is expand the discussion of street pricing beyond parking spots to the rest of the space at the curb. Since city dollars pay for city streets, giving out free space at the curb is a de facto taxpayer subsidy that creates traffic and encourages driving. That's exactly why some cities (including San Francisco) have embraced progressive policies that charge a market rate for street-parking spots in commercial districts.

But what would happen if the whole curb were priced? Transit vehicles should surely get an exemption to dwell there, but what about Chinatown buses, or delivery trucks, or Uber and Lyft and Sidecar drivers, or even official taxis? How long must a vehicle hog the curb to need a curb permit? Will cities that generate revenue from curb space be more inclined to eliminate existing paid parking spots in areas where the street might be used more efficiently for another purpose?

"We should either allocate space at the curb economically and let everyone choose how much to pay — though that includes the transit agency — or we should just enforce restrictions," King says. "But bus stops become an oasis, a place to stop."

This is a constructive conversation for cities. Some of the benefits are obvious; curb fees could help cover the cost of infrastructure maintenance and transit investment, and they shouldn't be too tough to enforce (surveillance cameras capable of detecting permit stickers and capturing license plate numbers would do the trick). We'd expect some harmful side effects (like companies passing along fees to customers) but surely this untapped revenue source deserves discussion.

It's not even clear that San Francisco has explored the full potential of its curb value. California state law prevents the city from charging tech buses more than the new fee program costs to implement, which suggests Google is being undercharged. And the tech buses aren't allowed to use the most heavily trafficked (read: highest value) stops. San Francisco might have been trying to end one fiery debate with this deal, but in doing so it may have sparked another.

Webinar: National conversation on Ports

From Sam Burgess via Sylvia Plummer, January 9, 2014

This is an important conversation about ports--and by extension their impact on our specific issue of the South I-710 expansion & the North SR-710 extension.  If you are interested in participating in this Webinar you must make a reservation.  See details below:

Subject: You're invited to National Conversation on Ports with Port Stakeholders Jan 14


Dear Moving Forward Network,

We invite you to participate in this upcoming online meeting hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency which features many of our Network members:
  • Andrea Hricko, University of Southern California
  • Angelo Logan, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
  • Amy Goldsmith, New Jersey Environmental Federation, Clean Water Action & Clean Water Fund/Coalition for Healthy Ports
  • Herbert Frasier-Rahim, Low Country Alliance for Model Communities
  • Juan Parras,  Director, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
  • Penny Newman, Coalition for Community Action for Environmental Justice
In addition, there will be speakers from other coalitions as well as the EPA.  The webinar will include discussion and a Q&A session, so we invite you to join in!  Below is the EPA message with information and the link to register.  

You are invited to the following event:
National Conversation on Ports with Port Stakeholders

The United States Environmental Protection Agency cordially invites you to participate in our “National Conversation on Ports with Port StakeholdersTuesday, January 14, 2014 from 12:30 to 2:30PM EST (9:30 AM Pacific time / 11:30 AM Central time). This event is the second of three virtual meetings facilitated by the U.S. EPA to bring together key port stakeholders to explore options to improve the environmental profile of ports while protecting community health and supporting economic growth.  The theme of this webinar is “Goods Movement and Ports: Community Impacts and Collaborative Solutions.”  Moving Forward Network and the Brooklyn-Curtis Bay Coalition will provide examples of engagement between port facilities and nearby communities.  Andrea Hricko, of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, will describe community health impacts and present current research findings. U.S. EPA convened this National Conversation on Ports to hear directly from the organizations and stakeholders with the greatest interest in ports about the challenges, concerns, and opportunities within the ports sector.  The insights and lessons gleaned from these meetings will help EPA develop a comprehensive and valuable agenda for a National Ports Stakeholder Summit, scheduled for April 8, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. 

To secure your spot in this meeting, we invite you to register today at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/351694914.  Space on the webinar is limited; therefore, we ask that you register for the webinar as soon as possible.  We look forward to your participation and engagement in this, and future, conversations about how ports contribute to our shared commitment to continuous environmental, public health, and economic improvements.  To learn more about the U.S. EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality's ports initiative, visit http://theimpactproject.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f41501552d6da9059838ba431&id=275438e8ce&e=4290bb93ee. Have questions about National Conversation on Ports with Port Stakeholders? Contact U.S. Environmental Protection Agency    

Call to Action - Pasadena City Council Meeting

From Sylvia Plummer, January 9, 2014

We need people to attend the Pasadena City Council Meeting to speak in favor/support of the City appropriating $50,000 to the 5-City Alliance.  We also need people to come and support those that will speak.  

Monday, January 13, 2014   at  6:30 pm

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

What is Happening?  Pasadena Department of Transportation has been working with the staff of the surrounding Cities on a collective approach to the SR-710 north study.  The Pasadena Finance Committee will now ask the City Council to appropriate $50,000 to the 5-City Alliance to provide resources regarding issues related to the SR-710 North Study.  It is agenda Item #15,  the agenda can be found at:  

From the agenda:


Finance Committee 

Recommendation: Appropriate $50,000 from Unappropriated Fund Balance of the General Fund to Budget Account No. 101-141000 (City Manager’s Office) which represents the City’s pro-rata share for participating with the Cities of Glendale, La Cañada-Flintridge, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena, to provide resources and information regarding issues related to the SR-710 North Study.
Staff Report: