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, April 3, 2015

NEWS FROM the cvca » Sharon Weisman


Posted by Robin Goldworthy, April 2, 2015

Thanks to Jan SooHoo and Susan Bolan of the No 710 Action Group for providing the attendees at the March 26 Crescenta Valley Community Assn. meeting information on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the 710 Extension project. Susan is also a member of the CVCA Steering Committee. They shared their preliminary impressions of the study that was released on March 6. It is roughly 26,000 pages, including all the appendices and technical reports, so it will take many eyes to scrutinize it thoroughly.

The document can be viewed, in manageable sections, on the CalTrans website: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis/

The public has 120 days to submit comments before the July 6 deadline. Comments can go to Garrett Damrath, Chief Environmental Planner; Caltrans District 7, Division of Environmental Planning; 100 S. Main St., MS-16A; Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments can also be sent in electronically via the CalTrans website. The No 710 Action Committee website has information on composing and submitting your comments: http://www.no710.com/deir-info.html.

The complex document considers five alternatives: no build, Transportation system management/transportation demand management, bus rapid transit, light rail transit and a freeway tunnel. The TSM/TDM alternative consists of improvements with existing transportation facilities such as traffic signal upgrades, ramp metering and local street improvements. The bus rapid transit alternative is a high-speed, high-frequency bus service along a 12-mile route from East Los Angeles to Pasadena. The light rail transit alternative is a passenger rail line along a roughly 7.5-mile route including three miles of elevated segments and approximately 4.5 miles of bored tunnel segments.

The freeway tunnel alternative would be 6.3 miles long with approximately 4.2 miles of bored tunnel and .7 miles of cut and cover tunnel, from the current end of the 710 freeway in Alhambra to the 210/134 interchange in Pasadena. Both a single-bore and dual-bore configuration are included plus different operational variations such as toll or no toll, trucks allowed or not. The use of multiple tunnel boring machines, starting from both ends of the tunnel, is being considered. That could be a total of four of the custom-built multimillion dollar machines in the case of a dual-bore construction.
Expected environmental impacts from each of the alternatives are summarized in tables and the supporting material is in the technical studies.

What is missing is a cost-benefit analysis of the alternatives despite community members and elected officials calling for it during the preparation of the DEIR.

Please take the time to read the 44 page executive summary and, considering your areas of expertise, any other segments where you may be able to contribute constructive comments to make the review process more complete. Please share all these resources with friends and relatives who have knowledge and credentials in the areas expected to have impacts. These include traffic, noise and air pollution, and issues with the tunnel boring machines like the one currently being repaired  after breaking down resulting in massive cost overruns in Seattle.

The comments should focus on environmental impacts that are not adequately considered in the document. Opinions on the appropriateness of the project in general and the lack of other alternatives in the study should be articulated in letters to the editor and communicated to your elected officials.

The next CVCA meeting will be April 23 starting at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. We will know the results of the April 7 Glendale election by then and can discuss the ramifications of the results.

Should really a 710 Freeway tunnel enable trucks and will it be safe?

When the debate more than extending the 710 Freeway is six decades old, a new angle involving carrying out it by tunnel is grabbing most of the air time, even although four choices are becoming examined by Caltrans.For quite a few, just picturing the longest...


 April 2015

Should really a 710 Freeway tunnel enable trucks and will it be safe?

 When the debate more than extending the 710 Freeway is six decades old, a new angle involving carrying out it by tunnel is grabbing most of the air time, even although four choices are becoming examined by Caltrans.

For quite a few, just picturing the longest freeway tunnel in California can be a hard situation. Extending the freeway six.three miles from the terminus at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena, with at least 4.two miles of the freeway totally underground with no exits, is surely a new idea that politicians are trying to wrap their arms about.

During a spirited discussion at a forum Monday evening at Cal State Los Angeles concerning the 710, panelists from 4 Southland cities answered questions from a political scientist about whether a four-to-6 mile freeway tunnel under Alhambra, El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena would be protected, practical and price-effective.

“Tunnels have been about for hundreds of years in Europe,” answered Alhambra City Councilwoman Barbara Messina, who prefers the tunnel. “We went from downtown Paris to the Palace of Versailles in a tunnel. No problem.”

Those opposed to the extension left the audience of more than 200 people with scenarios of fire and death.

“I consider it is really dangerous to be in a tunnel. I would instruct my family members in no way to enter a 5-mile tunnel, specifically one being made use of for trucks. Imagine if you are in that. Imagine the smoke, the fumes, the fire,” said Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, who opposes the 710 extension.

“You can get killed crossing the street,” Messina shot back. “To say a tunnel is harmful is genuinely extremely, incredibly lame.”

Michael Cacciotti, the council member from South Pasadena, which has successfully fought the surface route extension of the 710 for decades, mentioned a tunnel is a risky, hugely expensive venture. A highway tunnel project in Boston, nicknamed the Large Dig, began out at $two.8 billion but finished at $15 billion, he said, though a tunnel freeway project in Seattle resulted in ground seepage and the tunneling machine receiving stuck underground for years.

On March 6, a 26,625-web page Draft Environmental Influence Report/Environmental Impact Statement on the 710 concluded that constructing a six.3-mile freeway tunnel “would have the largest boost in freeway and arterial functionality” of any alternative, but carries the highest value tag. At a price of $three.1 billion to $5.65 billion, the tunnel would expense extra than a proposed light-rail line, estimated at $2.four billion. Some argue the real price will finish up closer to $ten billion.

Four years ago, Caltrans and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) started studying the environmental impacts of continuing the freeway underground instead of on the surface.
In addition to the tunnel, the EIR examined four other choices: site visitors management solutions, a devoted bus line, a light-rail train or no-develop.

Najarian, also on the Metro board, opposes the tunnel. “The best choice includes a light rail. I don’t think a tunnel will resolve our troubles,” he stated.

A “single bore” double-decker tunnel, which would consist of two northbound lanes on prime of two southbound lanes in a single tunnel, would have minor impacts to land, air, noise and aesthetics compared to the impacts from creating a 7.5-mile light-rail train from East Los Angeles through Alhambra and Pasadena.

The study leaves it up to Caltrans and Metro to choose what to develop. Also, if they pick the tunnel, the question remains whether it would take trucks and cars or prohibit truck traffic.

In a nuanced stand, Duarte City Councilman John Fasana, a single of the panelists and a Metro board member, mentioned trucks really should be prohibited from the tunnel. He would favor to divert truck traffic up the five Freeway or along the 60 Freeway east. He and other folks stated the 710 tunnel would not be appropriate for trucks, in component for the reason that they would have to travel up-grade going northbound.

Najarian agreed, but stated the trucking lobby and port shipping organizations will want access to the new portion of the freeway to move goods from south to north. “It is Metro’s intention that this be a truck-freight corridor,” he stated.

Due to the fact the tunnel is highly-priced, Metro and Caltrans will require to bring in private providers to develop it. That means the tunnel will be a toll road. Najarian stated estimates of the toll could be as high as $14 a single way, a fee shipping corporations can absorb into the expense of performing business enterprise.

“Truckers will be willing to pay it. Your typical soccer mom isn’t going to spend that,” he mentioned.
Messina said Caltrans and the Southern California Association of Governments have already heard from private road builders who would place up capital. Fasana mentioned a public-private partnership is significantly harder to do for rail lines.

He also stated tunnels currently exist beneath Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, but for subways not automobile visitors. So far, they haven’t been a difficulty.

“Where that gap is, the tunnel is the selection we must look at seriously,” Fasana stated. 𠇋ut we will will need to see no matter if the public-private partnerships materialize.”

Comments on the EIR/EIS are becoming accepted by Caltrans and Metro via July six. Send written comments to: Garrett Damrath, chief environmental planner, Division of Environmental Preparing, California Department of Transportation, District 7, one hundred S. Major St, MS-16A, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Submit comments on-line at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/docs/710study/draft_eir-eis/comments.php.

LA Metro Could Switch Rail Line Names From Colors to Letters


April 3, 2015


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The Los Angeles rail system is growing fast—in a decade, there will be a single train running from Santa Monica to East LA, plus so much more—but will riders even be able to navigate around it all? Metro's naming scheme is all over the place; some lines are color-coded (Blue, Red, Green), while others are named after their main thoroughfares (Expo, Crenshaw). The system worked well enough when there were fives line and the map looked like this, but with all the new construction, and much more potentially on the horizon, things are poised to get very confusing. A new proposal would nip that problem in the bud by giving each line its own designated letter.

Letters would be assigned to lines based on opening date; the Blue Line
would become the A Line, the Red Line the B Line, Purple the C Line, etc. H, I, and P would not be used, to avoid confusion with signs for hospitals, information, and parking. Colors would remain as secondary identifiers to help distinguish one line from another.

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The new scheme would make navigation much easier when two lines share the same track. When a connector to the airport finally opens, the Green Line will run two paths—one to the South Bay, one to connect to LAX—and under this plan, each path would become its own distinct line: the D Line south, and the L Line north.

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Inconsistent names are especially hard on tourists, who aren't well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of Metro. "Limited English Proficiency" riders are also at a disadvantage; it may not be obvious that the Blue Line is the one with the blue circle next to it. A renaming like this will give Metro the opportunity to tie up loose ends and the entire rail network will be sewn together with one solid identity as it moves into maturity.

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Metro is still working on a plan to actually make it happen—they wants to get this process started ASAP so that riders have time to adjust before the system grows too much (the Expo extension to Santa Monica is set to open early next year, for starters). You can see entire presentation on the matter here. —Ian Grant

· Letter Designations for Fixed Guideway Lines [Metro]
· 9 Ways Metro's New CEO Can Revolutionize Los Angeles Transit [Curbed LA]
· New Metro Rail Map is Very Real and Pretty Spectacular [Curbed LA]