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

Monday, June 8, 2015

Repairs begin as Bertha's new parts arrive from Japan


By Sarah Aitchison, June 5, 2015

Seattle Tunnel Partners crews began replacing tunnel-boring machine Bertha's broken seal system this week. 
Seattle Tunnel Partners began attaching a new and redesigned seal system to Bertha this week.

It’s the first step in repairing the massive tunnel-boring machine (nicknamed Bertha, after the Bertha Knight Landes, the first woman mayor of Seattle) so it can go back underground and resume digging.

Hitachi Zosen, the company that built the massive tunnel-boring machine, sent the inner part of the new seal system from Japan in October. Last week, the outer portion of the seal system arrived and installation began Friday.

 After Bertha was shut down in December 2013, crews discovered the seals that keep out dirt and grit had been damaged. Then, they had to dig a 120-foot-deep access pit to get the parts out to be replaced.

The new seal system should be easier to access in case things go wrong again.

STP is supposed to announce a new timeline and estimated completion date for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program sometime this month.

The $3.1 billion project is almost two years behind schedule. Because the machine shut down after traveling fewer than 1,500 feet into the nearly 2-mile-long tunnel, Hitachi Zosen is still on the hook for replacing the parts and making sure the machine can function properly.

State Route 710 North Public Hearing East Los Angeles

Coming Soon:
State Route 710 North Public Hearing
East Los Angeles
Learn the facts. Get involved. Be part of the solution.
Metro and Caltrans are evaluating transportation solutions to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility in your community.
We recently released the draft environmental document that looks at five possible solutions equally:
·         Bus Rapid Transit
·         Freeway Tunnel
·         Light Rail Transit
·         Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management
·         No Build
You are invited to provide your comment on the proposed alternatives at our upcoming public hearing in East Los Angeles:
Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10 am – 4 pm
D.W. Griffith Middle School
4765 E 4th St
Los Angeles, CA, 90022
10am – 4pm: Map Viewing
11am – 4pm: Public Hearing
Accessible via Metro Gold Line (Civic Center Station), Metro Local Line 258, Montebello Bus Line 40, and all El Sol Shuttle Lines)
Parking Instructions
Public parking can be accessed off of S. Mednik Av between 3rd and 4th St
Limited street parking is also available.
Can't make the meeting in person?
View the presentation online via live webcast on June 20 between at 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at ustream.tv/channel/sr-710-study .  
For more information, please visit metro.net/sr710study .
All Metro meetings are held in ADA accessible facilities. ADA accommodations and translations are available by calling 213.897.0357 or the California Relay Service at 711 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

California Legislative Update


By Melanie Curry, June 5, 2015


This week Sacramento saw long hearings in the Senate and Assembly, as both houses pushed to meet their deadline to pass bills. Any bill that doesn’t pass its house of origin by the end of this week is dead–for this year at least.

Herein, our highly selective look at this week’s activities in the California legislature.

Climate Change Legislation

The big news was the package of climate change bills that passed the Senate. Included was S.B. 350, the “Golden State Standards” that would set statewide goals to reduce fossil fuel consumption, increase renewable energy, and increase energy efficiency. The discussion on the floor was entertaining, if you like dramatic posturing. Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) decried the bill as a job killer that would create “coastal elite winners” and “poor inland losers,” condemning it as market manipulation. “This country is great because we haven’t picked winners and losers, we’ve let the market decide,” he railed–ignoring the bill’s language, which sets goals but doesn’t regulate specific market interventions. The bill’s author, Senate President ProTem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), responded with a passionate closing speech on current market inequities, citing a recent IMF report on subsidies to oil industries [PDF]. He called the mystery of why fuel prices rise on busy holidays “one of the great conundrums of the world,” comparable to the Bermuda Triangle and Roswell. In the end the bill passed on a party-line vote, and now goes to the Assembly.

The climate change “package” that passed the Senate included, among others:
  • S.B. 9 from Senator Jim Beall (D-Santa Clara) would remove operations funding from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program category of cap-and-trade funds and allow them to be used only for large capital projects. Beall claims that large projects would bring larger greenhouse gas reductions—and it would also make it easier to extend BART to his district.
  • S.B. 32 from Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) would extend the emissions limits of California’s Global Warming Solutions act to 2050.
  • S.B. 64 from Senator Carol Liu (D-La Canada/Flintridge) calls for the California Transportation Plan to be “action-oriented” and produce pragmatic recommendation for further greenhouse gas emission reductions in the transportation sector.
Other bills in the package call for developing climate adaptation plans, providing technical assistance to disadvantaged communities, creating a committee to ensure the growth of California clean energy jobs, and more. The package is summarized here.

Bicycles, Hit-and-Run, Toll Lanes 

Most of the bills we’ve been tracking on bicycle issues [PDF] had already moved on and are in the committee process in their second house, with the exception of Carol Liu’s helmet bill. No longer a mandatory helmet use bill, it had become a call to study helmet use. But S.B. 192 got stuck in the Appropriations Committee, which means that it will go no further this year. The committee believed that the study would cost the state more than $150,000, so put it in the “suspense file,” where many bills die unless they can find a way to fund themselves or somehow convince legislators their costs are necessary. In this case, it’s possible the helmet study bill could be resurrected next year—but it’s not clear why a study would need to be required by law. Why not just fund it?

A.B. 8 from Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), which would create a “yellow alert” to help authorities find hit-and-run perpetrators, has sailed through the Assembly. Meanwhile, Assemblymember Eric Linder (R-Corona) pushed A.B. 534, which would have required a mandatory non-negotiable six-month license suspension in hit-and-run convictions, but it failed to pass its committee.

A.B. 194 from Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) would make it easier to convert carpool lanes to toll lanes, known as HOT (High-Occupancy Toll) lanes, passed the Assembly this week.

Development and Planning

A.B. 744 from Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) would prohibit local jurisdictions from imposing minimum parking requirements when a developer requests a lower parking ratio for low-income housing located near transit. This would allow the market to decide what parking is needed, and reduce the cost of low-income housing by reducing the amount of parking built. See earlier coverage here and here. This bill passed the Assembly and now awaits committee assignment in the Senate.

A.B. 779 from Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) is an attack on last session’s S.B. 743, which phases out use of the car-centric Level of Service (LOS) measure under CEQA. This bill tried several ways to undercut the proposed use of Vehicle Miles Traveled as a substitute for LOS, but has been reduced to a delay in those reforms–when they haven’t even been completely formulated yet (see our coverage here). Unfortunately, it passed the Assembly this week.

S.B. 461 from Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would give L.A. County jurisdiction over the part of State Highway 164, which is Rosemead Blvd, through the Whittier Narrows Recreational Area in the San Gabriel Valley. Bills like this are necessary for cities and counties to take charge of the design and management of highways that have been under the control of Caltrans. S.B. 461 would allow local cities to extend the protected bike lanes along Rosemead Blvd from Temple City south through Rosemead and South El Monte. The ultimate goal is a protected bikeway from the San Gabriel Mountains to the San Gabriel River multi-use path. The bill passed the Senate this week.

This Week In Livable Streets


By Joe Linton, June 8, 2015

Just when we were getting used to having open streets events every weekend. Now with bridge and street design projects at critical meetings, it is time to show up and let your city government know that you support livable streets citywide!
  • Tuesday – The city of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s sidewalk-deficient Glendale-Hyperion Bridge design goes to a vote of the full City Council. It’s item 7 on the agenda [PDF], meeting starts at 10 a.m. at L.A. City Hall.
  • Wednesday – Bike SGV encourages people who live, work or breathe in the San Gabriel Valley to attend Temple City’s meeting on its new design for Las Tunas Drive. Temple City has planned a road diet on Las Tunas, but is now considering scaling back some improvements. Please attend the meeting if you are in the area. Meeting is at 7 p.m. at 9701 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City. Details at Facebook event.
  • Saturday – Give your ideas at an information session for new pedestrian signage for Central Avenue. Meeting is 10 a.m. to 12 noon at 4301 S. Central Avenue. Details at Facebook event.
  • Engage LA Poster_1

    Saturday: explore Pedal L.A.’s digital media installation – this Sartuday June 13 at IMLab in Chinatown. Click for larger image.

    Saturday – Check out Pedal L.A.’s immersive interactive digital media installation all about how bicyclists make their way through Los Angeles. Read a preview at this earlier SBLA article. Pedal L.A. is one of six Engage L.A. interpretive installations showcased at this Saturday’s media showcase, taking place from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Interpretive Media Laboratory across from L.A. State Historic Park at 1637 Baker Street, Los Angeles CA 90012. See flier for details.
Did we miss anything? Is there something we need to know for future calendars? Email joe@streetsblog.org.