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

Friday, September 12, 2014

How Google’s Autonomous Car Passed the First U.S. State Self-Driving Test

The Nevada driving test documents show that Google had some control over the test conditions

By Mark Harris, September 1, 2014




Photo: Google



Regulations governing Google’s experimental self-driving cars will come into effect on California’s roads starting 16 September. They have driven more than 1 million kilometers since the company started secretly developing them in 2009, but they have been tested only once by a government body on open roads—by Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) officials in May 2012.

IEEE Spectrum has now obtained the driving log of this test, and e-mails referring to it, under Freedom of Information legislation. Some of this information is not new. For example, Nevada officials shared that the Google’s autonomous Toyota Prius passed the test almost immediately. What has not been revealed until now, however, is that Google chose the test route and set limits on the road and weather conditions that the vehicle could encounter, and that its engineers had to take control of the car twice during the drive.


The world’s first self-driving test took place on 1 May 2012 in Las Vegas. Google had previously mapped the area and selected a route for the test, which the DMV agreed to. Chris Urmson, now head of Google’s self-driving car project, was in the driver’s seat in case anything went wrong. Next to him sat engineer Anthony Levandowski. In the backseats were Nevada’s examiners. One was Bruce Breslow, a sportscaster and politician who was then head of the DMV. The other, Nancy Wojcik, is in charge of testing and licensing for the state.


The Nevada DMV designed the test to assess the self-driving car’s performance in common situations. The examiners would grade Google’s car in every scenario, determining whether it operated fully autonomously, needed some assistance from Urmson, or completely handed control over to Urmson. The final check box would show which situations the car had faced. Here, Breslow recorded the Prius negotiating four-way stop signs around Las Vegas’s iconic Strip and its convention center.


In smooth, everyday traffic, the Prius worked perfectly. Breslow noted that the car detected and stopped for pedestrians and merged smoothly onto a freeway up to the local speed limit. At crosswalks, he called it “extra cautious—designed for safety.”


The measured pace of Google’s autonomous Prius may have started to annoy Breslow. “Perhaps overly cautious approaching some lights,” he wrote. The other column shows that Google’s car was not tested on roundabouts. There were similar checks for railroad crossings, unpaved roads, school zones, and shopping centers. In communication with the Nevada DMV before the test, Google said its policy was to prohibit autonomous operation at railroad crossings that lack signals and for human drivers to take over. It also noted: “[Roundabouts are] particularly challenging, where many drivers don’t know the proper rules in the first place.” In an e-mail to colleagues at the DMV, Breslow wrote, “We can’t fail an applicant for not being able to navigate a traffic circle if they say that there [sic] vehicle can’t yet do it.”


What would the Prius do when confronted by something unexpected? That happened several times during the 22-km test drive. At one point, a bicycle weaved in front of the car. The car backed off before passing the cyclist safely. The Prius also correctly anticipated a pedestrian running across the street. Construction work, however, proved trickier. When faced with a partially blocked-off road, the car switched between autonomous and manual modes and then braked to a halt, requiring Urmson, the safety driver, to take control. Wojcik also recorded that the car needed driver assistance with some turns, although she did not note the circumstances.


Before the test, Google had written: “It will be hard to anticipate if the proposed demonstration will encounter several important environmental conditions: rain, snow/ice, fog, and heavy crosswinds. Additionally, the vehicles currently do not operate in snow, ice, or dense fog.” Luckily, Google’s driving software proved better than its weather forecasting. Temperatures in Las Vegas in May average a scorching 31 °C (88 °F), with almost zero chance of rain or fog. Google provided Nevada with written assurances that its vehicles had coped well with rain in California and that they could also operate safely at roundabouts and other road features that did not figure in the Nevada test.

Following the Las Vegas test, the Prius was put through its paces again in the state capital, Carson City. A DMV committee then met and approved the country’s first self-driving vehicle testing license. On 4 May 2012, the Prius was issued special gold-on-red autonomous license plates, number AU-001. However, Google seems to have done little with its historic license plate. Most of the company’s testing has since been focused on California, and when its Nevada license expired in May 2013, Google failed to renew it for at least eight months.

Poll Shows Strong Support for 710 Tunnel!

http://www.710coalition.com/poll_shows_strong_support_for_710_tunnel

Posted by Janice Ochoa, September 10, 2014

We just completed a research poll, and not surprisingly it shows strong support for completing the 710 Noth Freeway. The poll consisted of a public survey that included registered voters throughout Los Angeles and 12 affected areas around the 710. Alhambra City Council-member, Barbara Messina said, “It was gratifying to have confirmed that an overwhelming number of residents in the communities, directly affected by the project, are among the strongest supporters for closing the 710 gap.”

According to the poll, “traffic congestion on local streets is an important issue to 76% of those surveyed.” While there was strong support for the 710 gap closure to begin with, “affected areas support rose to better than 3-to-1” when people learned more about the project. 

It's time to put the solution to our traffic problems into action and build th710 tunnel! To show your support for completing the 710 North Freeway gap closure click here. To read more about the poll click here!


Facebook Comments:

 What a bunch of bull! It's hard to believe that there is 66% support from South Pas respondents when there are no exits through the tunnel and SP residents wouldn't benefit from it...

 An extremely amateurish job. I have seen better statistics in high school projects!

 What statistics, there aren't any. This little piece has no content.

 Another manipulation. Push poll of the highest order. If the interviewees had the basic info that there would be tolls to use the tunnels, the cost is $5-10 billion and the traffic on surface streets would increase from those diverting to not use tunnels the majority would be against it.

 Percentages tell nothing unless they are backed up with Stats like the number polled in each city and standard deviations, confidence limits, etc. A good survey with nothing to hide would also report the polling questions. This is bush league at best.

 Would like to see actual poll questions, breakdown of "randomized" registered voters, and breakdown of vote by community (they show breakdown of 2008 measure R only).

 Oh, forgot a fact! It would take about 10 years to build according to a study done in 2006.
 Don't believe it!

 This is where we need to appeal to the cities alliance to do an independent survey and or review. This is a typical PR playbook and as we got tougher, Metro has had to spend more for a better PR firm. An annoying irony in that in fighting to save money, we are making Metro spend more tax money to fight us!

 Not surprisingly?

 What a sham. However,I will say that this story is so see- through that we could only wish Caltrans/METRO had been this transparent.

Via Email


I don't consider this an article when it's on the 710 coalition website.  It's garbage.  
"The 710 coalition paid for the survey and also developed the questions to get the results they wanted."






Study: Los Angeles' bad roads cost drivers $2,500 per year

http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/study-604726-roads-vehicle.html

By Matthew Fleming, September 11, 2014

It’s no secret that L.A.’s roads are bad – overcrowded and kept in a constant state of disrepair that’s dangerous to both vehicle and driver.

But a study released Thursday actually quantifies just how much Angelenos should hate the roads.

The average Los Angeles driver wastes $2,500 per year in costs associated with the lousy roads, the study estimates. That number accounts for higher vehicle operating costs, accidents and congestion-related delays.

But it’s not just Angelenos who have angered the road gods. The study estimates that California motorists waste $44 billion annually in total.

“A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one-third of major roads and highways in California having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist (sic) in the form of additional vehicle operating costs,” the study says.

The higher operating costs are caused by “accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional vehicle repair costs, increased fuel consumption and increased tire wear,” according to the study, which was conducted by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based private nonprofit focused on surface transportation issues.

Of the about $2,500 that Angelenos burn each year –$2,458 to be exact – TRIP estimates that Angelenos lose $1,300 annually in wasted fuel and lost opportunities. Ouch. And on top of that, the average Los Angeles driver loses 61 hours annually to congestion – which is longer than the entire “Breaking Bad” TV series.

The study also suggests that fixing the roads would reduce traffic fatalities, noting that one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes in California are related to roadway features. It says 14,878 people were killed in traffic crashes in California from 2008 to 2012, averaging 2,976 per year.

“The severity of traffic crashes could be reduced through roadway improvements, where appropriate, such as adding turn lanes, removing or shielding obstacles, adding or improving medians, widening and paving shoulders, improving intersection layout, and providing better road markings and upgrading or installing traffic signals,” notes the study.

The solution comes down to funding. The problem is that it would require an act of Congress.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source.”

US DOT Awards 72 TIGER Grants, But the Program Remains in Jeopardy

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/09/12/us-dot-awards-72-tiger-grants-but-the-program-remains-in-jeopardy/

By Tanya Snyder, September 12, 2014

 See website for a map.

 This afternoon, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will announce the latest round of TIGER grants awarding $600 million among 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia. You can see all TIGER grants to date or just the latest round — TIGER VI — in this map from Transportation for America.

Here are a few things to know about the state of the program:

Demand for these grants still far outstrips supply. U.S. DOT received 797 eligible applications this time, up from 585 in 2013, requesting 15 times the $600 million available for the program. TIGER fills a significant void in the federal transportation program — it’s one of the only ways cities, metro regions, and transit agencies can apply directly for federal funds, bypassing state DOTs. Plus, the emphasis on non-automotive modes and the availability of small grants make it a good fit for transit improvements and bike and pedestrian projects, which can’t access other federal pots of money so easily.

27 percent of the total funding is going to transit projects. That includes

  • $25 million for the construction of Richmond’s 7.6-mile Broad Street Bus Rapid Transit, which U.S DOT says “will connect transit-dependent residents to jobs and retail centers as well as spur mixed use and transit-oriented development in a city with the highest poverty rate in Virginia.”
  • $15 million for an Omaha BRT line along a corridor where 16 percent of households have no access to a vehicle.
  • $13 million and $12 million for streetcars in Providence and Detroit, respectively.
Meanwhile, planning projects got 5 percent of the funds, and five bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects received $56 million — 9 percent of the total funding — including $25 million for street safety projects in New York, one of the two largest individual grants. The other $25 million grant is for replacing the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge a rail bridge between Maine and New Hampshire.

Road projects got a sizable chunk too — $221 million or 38 percent of the available funding. The biggest — $20 million — went to rebuilding a mile of Florida’s Tamiami Trail (U.S. Highway 41/State Road 90, connecting Tampa to Miami) to bridge over the water and wildlife habitat of the Everglades. It presently runs through it, disrupting the water flow. Many of the road projects are multi-modal and include active transportation or complete streets components.

TIGER’s future is uncertain. No appropriations bill has become law yet for fiscal year 2015 (which starts in about two weeks), but the House Republicans’ proposal for the transportation budget included just $100 million for TIGER (an 83 percent cut). Even worse, they inserted language stating that TIGER grants must “address critical transportation needs” and no “non-essential purposes, such as street-scaping, or bike and pedestrian paths.” Also ineligible would be transit projects that would be eligible for New Starts or other FTA grants, carpool projects, ADA compliance for sidewalks, highway and transit safety improvements, planning, congestion mitigation, intelligent transportation systems, anything related to congestion pricing (including electric toll collection and travel demand management), or recreational trails.

Though that particular bill doesn’t seem likely to become law, that is what Republicans will be trying to get in future transportation negotiations. Clearly, they want to strangle TIGER.

California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/09/12/california-legislation-watch-weekly-update-17/

By Melanie Curry, September 12, 2014


 Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.34.24 PM


Here is Streetsblog’s weekly highlight of California legislation and activities related to sustainable transportation.

With the legislature in recess, Sacramento waits for Governor Brown to decide on hundreds of bills passed by lawmakers before they left town. His deadline is the end of this month, and he has begun signing small groups of bills.

A Win for Bikes on Buses: The governor signed A.B. 2707, from Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), allowing 40-foot buses (not longer) to carry mounted bike racks that can carry three bikes. L.A. Metro, the bill’s sponsor, will be able to add half again as much bike-carrying capacity to more than half of its fleet, including new buses on order, and the new regulation applies to transit agencies throughout the state. See Streetsblog’s coverage here.

Climate Change Conversation: State leaders held a symposium in Sacramento this week to pat themselves on the back for state efforts on climate change. Both former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the gathering, which also featured talks by climate change researchers and business leaders who are finding ways to thrive under California’s regulations.

The overall themes were: California leads the world; California needs to do more, and soon; the economy will not wither and die if we try to fix climate change; and individuals still do not understand the impact of their individual choices. See Ethan Elkind’s recap of the symposium here

Bicycling was mentioned twice in the course of the morning. It’s hard to say whether that’s progress: a life-long bicycle activist I spoke to afterwards told me there’s a sense that bikes will never be able to replace long driving commutes and therefore a focus on bikes seems too small and too slow in the face of the enormity of the climate change challenge. But Jim Brown of Sacramento Bicycle Advocates had a different reaction: he was inspired, he said, to focus on what individuals can do now, and on helping them overcome obstacles to doing it.

I think my colleague Joe Linton has it right: put a map on your fridge, draw a two-mile (or one-mile) circle around your home, and commit to walking or biking every trip you make within that circle. You won’t convince me that enough people taking that one individual action won’t make a big difference.

High-Speed Rail Foes Prolong Litigation: The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and other opponents of California’s high-speed rail program announced they will take their case against the project to the California Supreme Court. They are appealing the recent Court of Appeals reversal of a lower court’s ruling against the sale of bonds to build the train.

Guest Editorial: Urban Change in L.A. – Too Little, Too Slow

http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/09/12/guest-editorial-urban-change-in-l-a-too-little-too-slow/

By Gerhard Mayer, September 12, 2014


 Should L.A.'s future look more like the 110 Freeway...
 Should L.A.’s future look more like the 110 Freeway…

There are many suggestions how to ‘fix’ L.A., but we still fail to connect the financial troubles of our city with its physical shape. Our sprawling urban landscape has a structural land use imbalance that is a major cause for our financial problems; unchanged, L.A.’s urban form undermines our recovery and jeopardizes our future prosperity.

Still, L.A. is improving, and many folks are celebrating our accomplishments. But what is happening is too small, and too cautious for a world class city. We are not changing nearly fast enough to keep up with our many challenges. On the contrary, compared to other cities, we are falling further and further behind.

What we need is a bold urban design strategy paired with an aggressive renewal of much of the city built after WWII. We need to recognize wasteful sprawl as the source of our current problems. We need to invent a new city that lives up to the aspirations and dreams of Angelinos; and then transition into that new city as fast as we can.

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission reports in A Time For Truth [PDF] that we are “a city that is barely treading water while so many other cities are boldly charging forward.” Without action, the commission warned, Los Angeles risks “becoming a city in decline.” The recent 10-million-gallon water eruption in Westwood was just the latest indicator of our state of disrepair. All the while, L.A. does not even have the funds to repair all our potholes.

A root cause for this dire situation is how much land we waste for cars. Standing in a parking lot, or on an arterial boulevard in L.A., you will notice that very little around you generates tax revenue. On the contrary, parking lots, roads, medians, etc… all require scarce resources for maintenance and repairs. Now imagine doing the same in Boston, or in San Francisco…. all around you would see businesses and residences, paying taxes – taxes that can be used to keep a much smaller infrastructure in ship shape!

L.A.’s land use imbalance is acute. In a “normal” city, only approx. one-fifth of the city’s land is dedicated to transportation. Four-fifths of that city is used for buildings that generate revenue – or for open space. Not in LA; here, as much as 60 percent of our land – three-fifths – is used to accommodate our automobiles. Only two-fifths of LA has buildings that generates revenue to maintain, renew and expand our public services.

The car based city cannot not work sustainably, least of all financially. We must simply stop limping along with the city we have, and start building the city we need. In a nutshell, we must reduce land used for streets and parking lots, and instead build more buildings – or create recreational open space (landscaped traffic islands do not count.) And we must get much bolder and innovative in doing so.

or like CicLAvia?
…or like CicLAvia?

All we have right now is some good, but timid, first steps:
  • We rightfully celebrate our CicLAvias, and the fact that we are planning to build 1,684 new bikeway miles. But let’s aim much higher. For instance, let’s look at Copenhagen. Around 60 percent of all Copenhageners commute by bike on a daily basis, much on new bike-dedicated infrastructure, often in inclement weather. We here have the best weather in the world, and a pretty flat city. Why do we not aim to be the bike capital of the world?
 
  • It’s also great that we are finally embracing parklets. But – a little patch of grass in the space of a metered parking space does not make an open space strategy for a city like L.A. We need new public open space – let’s find the land on our roads! We already have ambitiously planned to cap some freeways with parks: Park 101, Hollywood Central Park, Glendale Area 134. What is still utopia for us already exists in NY since the 1950s, in Seattle since 1976, in Phoenix since 1990, in Boston since 2008, and in Dallas since last year. And many cities remove freeways all together and replace them with public open spaces. In Portland, since 1974; along San Francisco’s waterfront, since 1991; in Seoul, since 2003; in Madrid, since 2011. When will we start right here?
 
  • Finally, we now have partial funding to restore the L.A. River. But why only fix 11 miles of a 51-mile river that runs 32 miles through the city of L.A.? Let’s address the whole river, through the whole city, at once!
And where will we get the money for this?

The answer lies in the private sector. We need to define a new framework for urban development that puts us on a path of economic and ecological sustainability, and then find a way to unleash the private sector to build it for us. There are examples ‘how to’ from all over the world. Until recently, we had our own, very capable method, right here – tax increment based redevelopment! It can be dusted off, refreshed and redeployed to build us the city we need.

Let’s start our new L.A. along the transit corridors. They accomplish something quite marvelous in our mostly car-only city; they revise the status of the automobile from ‘required to live in LA’ to ‘optional’! That is a game changer that allows a complete paradigm shift, and allows a new different neighborhood around each transit stop. If we did this boldly enough, the world would notice us reinventing ourselves, once again.

And, best of all, the more we will rebuild L.A. this new way, the more money we will generate to actually maintain it, afterwards; as well as find more and more personal money in our pockets to enjoy a qualitatively improved and improving city.

So What Exactly Is a 'Road Diet'?

A closer look at what's been called "one of the transportation safety field's greatest success stories."

By Eric Jaffe, September 12, 2014



Image

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced an 18-month campaign to improve road safety across the country. One of the things DOT plans to do is create a guide to "road diets" that it will distribute to communities and local governments. DOT says that road diets can reduce traffic crashes by an average of 29 percent, and that in some smaller towns the design approach can cut crashes nearly in half.

But what exactly is a road diet? A good place to start is the apparent source of DOT's safety figures: a 2013 white paper on road diets prepared for the Federal Highway Administration by Libby Thomas of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. While road diets have been around for decades, writes Thomas, it's only in the past 10 years or so that experts have understood just how beneficial they can be:
Road diets can be seen as one of the transportation safety field's greatest success stories.
The concept of road diets emerged as a response to a common practice of expanding two-lane urban arterials into four lanes once vehicular traffic hit a certain point—roughly 6,000 cars a day by some estimates. The original thinking held that wider roads meant better traffic flows, especially at rush-hour, but new lanes also attracted new traffic, and outside the peak periods you'd end up with lots of wasted road space. An analysis of road widening in the small city of Fort Madison, Iowa, showed an increase in traffic volumes, but also delay, speed, and crash and injury rates:
Welch (1999), TRB Circular E-C019
Realizing these unintended outcomes, some localities implemented a type of road diet: reconfiguring the four lanes (two in each direction) into three (one each way plus a shared turn lane in the middle). The change dramatically reduced the number of "conflict points" on the road—places where a crash might occur. Whereas there might be six mid-block conflict points in a common four-lane arterial, between cars turning and merging, there were only two after the road diet:

Iowa Department of Transportation (2001)
Likewise, at an intersection, eight potential conflict points became four after a road diet:
Iowa Department of Transportation (2001)
The result was a much safer road. In small urban areas (say, populations around 17,000, with traffic volumes up to 12,000 cars a day), post-road diet crashes dropped about 47 percent. In larger metros (with populations around 269,000 and up to 24,000 daily cars), the crash reduction was roughly 19 percent. The combined estimate from all the best studies predicted that accidents would decline 29 percent, on average, after a four-to-three-lane road diet—DOT's reported figure.

These benefits alone would be enough to merit more road diets, but there were plenty of others. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic tends to soar at these sites, as the recaptured road space gives way to bike lanes or street parking that provides a sidewalk buffer from moving traffic or crossing islands, and as vehicle speeds decline (especially for high-end speeders going more than 5 miles per hour over the limit). Traffic volumes, meanwhile, typically stay even in such a corridor: some drivers diverted to other parts of the street network, while the rest quickly soak up any vacated space.

Best of all, these kinds of changes don't cost much. When timed with regular road maintenance and re-paving, road diet policies require little more than the paint needed to re-stripe lanes. They're about as cheap and cost-effective as infrastructure improvements get, which has led some to wonder why the technique isn't used more widely; here's planner Charles Marohn writing earlier this year at Strong Towns:
Why, when our leadership has expressed so clearly the enormous financial gap we have in funding a "world class" transportation system, are road diets not an obsession of transportation departments everywhere?
One source of the hesitation (aside from general car reliance) may be that the evidence suggests caution when implementing road diets on corridors that carry more than 20,000 cars a day. For sure, some major urban roads can't slim down overnight without creating huge traffic problems. But road diets have also worked in New York City of all places: a 2013 study found significant crash reductions across treated sites.

And improvements can be made even when lanes aren't removed. The NYC DOT recently reported that traffic flows remained strong while safety increased when traffic lanes were narrowed to accommodate bike lanes. That approach might need its own name—call it a lane diet, maybe—but the outcome seems to be the same.

Metro awarded $22 million in two federal TIGER grants to improve station access

http://thesource.metro.net/2014/09/12/metro-awarded-two-federal-tiger-grants-to-improve-station-access/

By Steve Hymon, September 12, 2014












Two projects to improve access to Metro Rail stations were awarded “TIGER grant” funding this week from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

•The Eastside Access Improvement Project will receive $11.8 million to help create a network of sidewalks and bike lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the Regional Connector 1st/Central Station in Little Tokyo.

Proposed improvements include an enhanced network of crosswalks, sidewalks and bike lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists, improved pedestrian lighting, planting and street furniture along nearby streets. The above renderings show some of the possible improvements.

The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile underground light rail line that will connect the Gold Line to the Blue and Expo Lines in downtown Los Angeles and is forecast to open in 2020. The Connector will allow Eastside Gold Line riders to take the train directly into the heart of downtown without first having to travel to Union Station and transfer to the subway.

•Metro also was awarded $10.25 million to fund a series of improvements for the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station that serves the Blue Line, Green Line, six Metro bus lines and other muni bus providers. The station sits under the 105 freeway, meaning it can be noisy, cavernous and dimly lit — all impacting the “passenger experience,” as Metro’s grant application noted.

Among the improvements to be funded by the grant money: increasing station capacity by lengthening the Blue Line platform and, according to Metro, “enhancing connections between rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian facilities to create safer access to the station from the surrounding community.”

Metro continues to pursue a larger project that could include a new bus center, sheriff substation and pedestrian plaza. More funding will be needed for those improvements.

Please click here to see the news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation and here’s a nice USDOT map showing TIGER grants awarded around the country. Metro officials said they especially appreciated the support of Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein in securing the grants — the two largest awarded to agencies in the state of California.

Metro CEO Art Leahy letter to stakeholders on SR 710 North study

http://thesource.metro.net/2014/09/12/metro-ceo-art-leahy-letter-to-stakeholders-on-sr-710-north-study/

By Steve Hymon, September 12, 2014

The letter from Metro Art Leahy was sent to stakeholders on Friday morning:
Dear Stakeholder,

As we approach the fall season, I wanted to provide you with an update on the release of the draft environmental impact document for the State Route 710 North Study.

Using Measure R funds, Caltrans and Metro are studying mobility and traffic congestion relief in the area between east/northeast Los Angeles and the western San Gabriel Valley.
Five alternatives are being equally evaluated: bus rapid transit, freeway tunnel, light rail transit, no build, and local street and intersection improvements.

Altogether, approximately 26 detailed technical studies are included in the draft environmental document that will be released in February 2015. The studies analyze traffic, noise, air quality, cost-benefit, health risk assessments, and other variables.

To provide the public with correct information on the Study, Metro has posted two new documents, Frequently Asked Questions and Fact vs. Fiction on the Metro website.

Caltrans and Metro are fully committed to an open and transparent process. To date, Metro has conducted 92 community meetings, participated in six city-sponsored community forums, and held over 200 briefings with community stakeholders — and we are not done.

In the next several months, Metro will continue to go out into neighborhoods and communities to talk to residents and businesses about the need to address traffic congestion in the area and about the alternatives being considered.

You can help us spread the word and raise awareness by talking to your neighbors, co-workers and fellow students, and by discussing the Study at your club and association meetings. These conversations will help increase public participation in the process and ensure that more people have a voice in this regional issue.

Thank you for your continued partnership in our effort to address traffic congestion. For continuous updates go to metro.net/sr710study, facebook.com/sr710study, or follow us on Twitter @sr710study.

Sincerely,

Arthur T. Leahy
Chief Executive Officer