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, March 6, 2015

Draft environmental document released for SR-710 North Study


By Steve Hymon, March 6, 2015

Caltrans and Metro today released the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (DEIR/S) for the SR-710 North Study. The entire study is online and can be found by clicking here.
710_map_2014-04The study looks at impacts due to the 4.5-mile gap in the 710 freeway between the El Sereno/Alhambra border and Pasadena while offering possible ways to improve mobility in areas both near and beyond the gap. The study area is shown at right. The SR-710 North Study is one of more than two dozen major transit and road projects that are receiving funding from the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase that was approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

There are five alternatives under study: the legally-required no build option, a freeway tunnel, light rail transit between East Los Angeles and Pasadena, bus rapid transit between East Los Angeles and Pasadena and operational improvements to existing roads, intersections and traffic signals.

The news release from Caltrans and Metro is below. I highly encourage everyone interested to look at the study and get involved in the process. Public comments can be submitted online and public hearings will be held in April — details are in the news release.

I know there is a lot of public interest in the project, with opinions running the gamut. Two quick points I want to make:

•The study team is not selecting a preferred alternative until the public review process is completed for the DEIR/S and public comments are analyzed and responses prepared. It will ultimately be up to Caltrans and the 13-member Metro Board of Directors to adopt a preferred alternative.

•The project is scheduled to receive $780 million in Measure R funds. That is not enough to build the freeway tunnel or light rail alternatives. If either of those is selected as the preferred alternative, the study team will prepare a financial plan that will consider additional possible funding sources.
As always, reader comments are welcome on The Source. Please be respectful of others and try to be concise so that more people read your comment! One comment per reader please.

Here is the news release:

Caltrans and Metro Release Draft Environmental Document on Proposal to Close SR-710 Gap
(March 6, 2015) The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today released a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on proposals regarding the 4.5 mile gap between the I-210 Freeway in Pasadena and the end of the I-710 freeway in East Los Angeles.

The five alternatives proposed in the Draft EIR/EIS are: 

No Build option that would leave conditions as they are

A traffic management system to upgrade and synchronize signals and improvements to local street intersections to more quickly move traffic that exits the dead end freeway

A rapid bus line featuring high frequency service with minimal stops and potentially a dedicated bus lane

Light rail to carry passengers between East Los Angeles and Pasadena

A freeway tunnel that would extend the SR-710

No decisions have been made on any proposed alternative in the Draft EIR/EIS.  A 120-day public comment period begins with the release of the document.  Two public hearings will be held for community input, the first will be on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Rosco C. Ingalls Auditorium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. There will be a 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. map viewing and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. public hearing.  The second will be on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at the Pasadena Convention Center:  A map viewing will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the public hearing will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A third public hearing will be scheduled with date, time and place to be determined. 

“We look forward to receiving valuable input from communities and the public on this critically important transportation issue that has affected not only this area, but the region, for decades,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen. “The feedback we receive is a vital part of the project development process and helps inform the selection of a preferred alternative.”

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearings and read the document at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis. Public comment can be made on the link provided.  The public comment period ends July 6, 2015.

The full document can be viewed at the Caltrans District Office at 100 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Copies are also available at public libraries listed here: http://www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/

An EIR is required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and an EIS fulfills requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The laws require government agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects. Information from public comments will be weighed before preparing the final environmental document. 

Altogether, approximately 26 detailed technical studies are included in the Draft EIR/EIS. 

Through the process of compiling the Draft EIR/EIS, Metro and Caltrans conducted 92 community meetings, participated in six city-sponsored community forums and held over 200 briefings with community stakeholders.