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, March 6, 2015

Caltrans and Metro Release Draft Environmental Document on Proposal to Close SR-710 Gap

http://south.pasadenanow.com/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.

Busway option to close 710 freeway gap would cost five times early estimate

http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/03/06/50226/busway-option-to-close-710-freeway-gap-would-cost/

By Sharon McNary, March 6, 2015

  87376 full

 An I-5 exit sign with an I-710 pull-through sign, northbound.


A new study puts a price tag on five options to close the 710 freeway gap - from $105 million to re-design existing surface streets to as much as $5.5 billion for a five mile freeway tunnel.

A middle of the road option - adding an extensive network of buses, feeder lines and shelters, would cost $241 million, according to Caltrans - many times more than the $50 million estimated in a 2012 preliminary report.

Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales said the agency had no comment on why the cost estimates for bus service went up, nor why traffic management options went down in price by $15 million.

Measure R, the county's half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects, raised $780 million for closing the 710 Freeway gap, which is more than enough for improving traffic flow on current streets and adding bus service - but not nearly enough for a freeway tunnel or a new light rail line, which the report said would cost $2.5 billion.

The fifth option is to build nothing.

An estimated 110,000 vehicles currently make the trek between the two freeways on surface streets every day and the 1,200-page report looked at the environmental impacts of each of the options.

This is the latest step in the decades-long saga over how to close the 4.5-mile gap between the 21o and 710 freeways.

In 1933, state transportation officials envisioned a highway extending from Long Beach to Pasadena. And in 1959, the 710 Freeway was designed, but its construction stopped at Valley Blvd. in Alhambra. The cities of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond have been at odds over how to connect the freeways ever since.

Opposition to a surface freeway by South Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, Glendale and Los Angeles killed that option.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees transit and highways within Los Angeles County, has whittled 42 options down to the five which were studied in the report released Friday.

If chosen, the 5-mile freeway tunnel, bored underneath South Pasadena and Alhambra, would be California's longest traffic tunnel, twice as long as Boston's Big Dig tunnel.

Depending on its size and method of construction, it would cost $3 billion to $5.5 billion. Another source of money would have to be found to pay for the billions that exceed what was raised by Measure R, Gonzales said.

The agency will start receiving public comment on the report March 12. At least two meetings will be held:
  • Saturday, April 11 at East Los Angeles College, Roscoe Ingalls Auditorium, map viewing 10 to 11 a.m., public hearing 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  •  
  • Tuesday, April 14 at Pasadena Convention Center, map viewing 5 to 6 p.m., public hearing 6 to 9 p.m.
The public comment period closes July 6. Metro staff must research and respond to the comments and will recommend a preferred alternative to the Metro governing board.

The Board will then decide which action to pursue. That decision is not likely to be finalized until 2016, Gonzales said.

The report is available online, and in four languages at 22 city and county public libraries throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

City officials to study draft EIR for SR-710 north study (City of San Gabriel, CA)

http://article.wn.com/view/2015/03/06/City_officials_to_study_draft_EIR_for_SR710_north_study_City/

March 6, 2015

City officials to study draft EIR for SR-710 north study

City officials plan to review the draft environmental impact report for the SR-710 Study, released Friday by Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

The draft environmental document examines five possible alternatives for the project, which could impact the city of San Gabriel. The city will study the report and staff plans to present information on its contents to the City Council for review. The city also plans to host a community event on the issue to inform residents about the potential project options.

"We have been looking forward the release of the draft environmental impact report for the SR-710 North project," Public Works Director Daren Grilley said. "We are eager to see what information, analysis and recommendations are contained in the document."

Metro will accept public comments on the document for 120 days. Metro will also host public hearings at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11 at East Los Angeles College, Rosco Ingalls Auditorium, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, and at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E Green Street, Pasadena. Metro has planned a third public hearing but has not confirmed a date or location. Metro plans to release a final version of the EIR, with a preferred alternative, in 2016.

To view a copy of the report, visit

http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis. A hard copy of the report will also be available for review at the San Gabriel Library and San Gabriel City Hall. Please see the attached release from Metro for more information.

ity officials to study draft EIR for SR-710 north study

City officials plan to review the draft environmental impact report for the SR-710 Study, released Friday by Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
The draft environmental document examines five possible alternatives for the project, which could impact the city of San Gabriel. The city will study the report and staff plans to present information on its contents to the City Council for review. The city also plans to host a community event on the issue to inform residents about the potential project options.
"We have been looking forward the release of the draft environmental impact report for the SR-710 North project," Public Works Director Daren Grilley said. "We are eager to see what information, analysis and recommendations are contained in the document."
Metro will accept public comments on the document for 120 days. Metro will also host public hearings at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11 at East Los Angeles College, Rosco Ingalls Auditorium, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, and at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E Green Street, Pasadena. Metro has planned a third public hearing but has not confirmed a date or location. Metro plans to release a final version of the EIR, with a preferred alternative, in 2016.
To view a copy of the report, visit
http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis. A hard copy of the report will also be available for review at the San Gabriel Library and San Gabriel City Hall. Please see the attached release from Metro for more information.
- See more at: http://www.noodls.com/view/6E54925993121A124736A2D30A3ECD3ABD6CB598?4558xxx1425680082#sthash.xbPcH8Vl.dpuf

What’s New in the House Amtrak Bill?

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/03/05/whats-new-in-the-house-amtrak-bill/

By Angie Schmitt, March 5, 2015

 Advocates for bikes aboard trains consider this bill a victory. Image via Adventure Cycling Association
Advocates for bikes aboard trains consider this bill a victory.

In what’s being called a “rare burst of bipartisanship,” the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill yesterday reauthorizing Amtrak funding for four years at its current levels.

Despite a last-minute, Koch brothers-backed push to eliminate funding for the railroad completely, the House advanced its bill to provide Amtrak with $1.7 billion annually for four years. It’s not the funding boost rail advocates were hoping for, but it’s not a setback either, keeping funding fairly steady.

The bill also contains a few interesting amendments that seek to make the nation’s intercity rail carrier more efficient and passenger-friendly.

The Northeast Corridor Can Reinvest Its Profits

The Northeast Corridor, running between Boston and Washington, is Amtrak’s most profitable service, generating a combined operating surplus of $205 million in 2011, according to the Brookings Institution. More than 35 percent of all Amtrak trips are on these tracks. But those operating profits have been sunk back into Amtrak’s money-losing routes — mainly long-distance ones serving inland cities.

The new bill will allow profits from the Northeast Corridor to be reinvested in its infrastructure, which is infamously decrepit.


Pressure for Roll-On Bike Service

Advocates were excited about this one, but it’s not quite as exciting as some have suggested. An amendment offered by Congressman Dan Lipinski will force the Amtrak Office of the Inspector General to study and consider passengers using “non-motorized” transportation. Bike advocates around the country pushed for this because they hope it will pressure the agency to allow standard roll-on bike service, so travelers can easily bring bikes with them. Most routes currently require passengers to disassemble bikes and transport them in a special box.

A growing number of routes, under political pressure, have begun offering roll-on service. Amtrak announced last year that it was adding new baggage cars on its long-distance routes equipped for transporting assembled bikes, but most routes still do not offer the service.

Full-Cost Food Service

Score one for fiscal conservatism. House Republicans made hay a few years ago when an audit revealed that Amtrak had lost more than $800 million on its food service in the span of a decade. An amendment from Republican Congressman Paul Gozar of Arizona will require the agency to include the price of labor in its food sales. That means coffee and those fancy sit-down dinners should be getting more expensive. And the GOP will have to find a new punching bag.

SR-710 Draft EIR/EIS has been released.

From Sylvia Plummer, March 6, 2015

1.  Number of Pages = 26,625

2.  Public Hearings - Mark Your Calendars and plan to attend
Sunday, April 11 - 10 am to 4 pm
Map Viewing   10 am to 11 am
Public Hearing  11 am to 4 pm
East Los Angeles College, Rosco Ingalls Auditorium
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA 91754

Tuesday,  April 14 - 5 pm - 9pm
 
Map Viewing  5 pm - 6 pm
Public Hearing  6 pm - 9 pm
Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101

 
Third meeting to be determined
 

3.  Comment Period  = 120 Days
    Public comments are due prior to July 6, 2015
    NO710.com will have information on how to comment within a few days

4.  Link to SR-710 Draft EIR/EIS





Environmental Documents

SR710 - Draft EIR-EIS


Technical Studies



Report: Closing the 710 Freeway gap would take years and cost billions

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-710-freeway-report-20150306-story.html

Draft environmental document released for SR-710 North Study

http://thesource.metro.net/2015/03/06/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.