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

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy sends letter to CalTrans opposing Tunnel Alternative

From Sylvia Plummer, June 2, 2015

 The following Letter was approved by Unanioumos vote of the SMMC tonight: 


 STATE OF CALIFORNIA—THE NATURAL RESOURCES AGENCY      EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., Governor
 

SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS CONSERVANCY
RAMIREZ CANYON PARK
5750 RAMIREZ CANYON ROAD
MALIBU, CALIFORNIA 90265
PHONE (310) 589-3200
FAX (310) 589-3207
WWW.SMMC.CA.GOV
 

June 1, 2015
 

Garrett Damrath
Chief Environmental Planner
Division of Environmental Planning
Department of Transportation, District 7
100 S. Main St, MS-16A
Los Angeles, California 90012


State Route 710 North Study Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental
Impact Statement and Draft Section 4(f) De Minimis Findings Comments


Dear Mr. Damrath:


The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (Conservancy) offers the following comments
on the State Route 710 North Study Project Draft Environmental Impact
Report/Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Evaluation regarding the
Freeway Tunnel Alternative. The impacts of this massive earth-moving alternative will have
serious environmental and public impacts which cannot be mitigated. Therefore we ask
Caltrans to remove the Freeway Tunnel Alternative from further consideration.


To effectively and efficiently accommodate regional and local north-south travel demands
the project should prioritize moving people, rather than vehicles. The Freeway Tunnel
Alternative is inconsistent with City of Los Angeles’ ongoing efforts to emphasize transit
over private automobile. Via the Freeway Tunnel Alternative, truck traffic will incur a 4
percent grade and will be forced to lower their gears and speeds that will produce higher
PM and NOx levels. By utilizing tunnels, the project encourages automobile traffic increasing
green house gas emissions, PM, NOx and other high criteria pollutants.


Portals and ventilation stacks along the tunnels will cause exhaust output into the
community, including El Sereno and California State University Los Angeles areas.
Additional exhaust will come from traffic on roadways leading to and from tunnels. Slow
prevailing winds will lead to greatly reduce local air quality. Additionally, the Freeway
Tunnel Alternative does not guarantee a reduction in traffic congestion and north-south
travel times. It would simply shift existing traffic onto a newly created route without
measurable improvements to the network or positive impact on local traffic.

Other important priorities the 710 North Study should focus on are enhancing travel
options for underserved communities, improving safety, minimizing environmental impacts,
reducing surface street traffic, and providing transportation choices to the public. The DEIR
is therefore deficient for not analyzing an alternative that supports these elements in
unison. The Conservancy recommends a Multi-Modal Alternative be analyzed. The Multi-
Modal Alternative should incorporate the following essential features: light rail transit,
expanded bus service, local street network improvements, and bicycle transit.


Regional or high density population areas should be served and special attention be given
to ensuring connectivity to both the existing and the planned local and regional
transportation network to address the challenge of making public transportation convenient
and accessible.


Please direct any questions and all future correspondence to Paul Edelman of our staff at
the above address and by phone at (310) 589-3200 ext. 128.


Sincerely,


LINDA PARKS
Chairperson