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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Metro Board to Consider Motion on 710 North Project Alternative

By Steve Hymon, May 17, 2017

A motion that would support one of the five alternatives for the 710 North project -- to improve local roads -- as the project's 'locally preferred alternative' was approved on a 3 to 2 vote Wednesday by the Metro Board of Director's Ad Hoc Congestion, Highways and Roads Committee.
The alternative's official name is "Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management" (TSM/TDM) and includes traffic signal upgrades and synchronization, local street and intersection improvements, improved connections to existing bus service and the promotion of rideshare in the area around the gap in the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena. These are the kind of projects that Metro staff have said could provide immediate travel benefits.
The motion is posted above. Something worth highlighting: the motion calls for spending $105 million on the TSM/TDM alternative and using the remaining project funds -- potentially hundreds of millions of dollars -- for new mobility projects in the San Gabriel Valley area. Please see the motion for details.
In committee, the 'yes' votes were from Board Members John Fasana, Kathryn Barger and Ara Najarian and the 'no' votes were from Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker and Janice Hahn. The full Board will consider the item at their meeting next Thursday (May 25) at 9 a.m. The public can listen and watch Board meetings online.
The project's final environmental study is due to be released by the end of this year. The five project alternatives studied include a freeway tunnel, light rail, bus rapid transit, TSM/TDM improvements and the no-build option. Here is is the project homepage, which includes much more background about the project.

Joe Cano Video: Metro Board of Directors, May 17, 2017

Metro Board of Directors Ad-Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee, May 17, 2017


Metro Board could dash plans for a 710 freeway tunnel next week 5 comments Board Chair John Fasana wants smaller street improvements instead

Board Chair John Fasana wants smaller street improvements instead

By Eljiah Chilan, May 18, 2017


In a blow to advocates of a 710 freeway tunnel, a Metro committee yesterday approved a motion calling on the agency’s Board of Directors to support an alternative to the project that would facilitate street improvements and better connections to public transit in the area, rather than building the multi-billion tunnel.

The Metro Board’s Ad Hoc Congestion, Highways and Roads Committee approved the motion, introduced by Board Chair John Fasana, in a contentious 3-2 vote, as The Source reports. It will be considered by the full Board at its next meeting on Thursday, May 25.

The question of how to compensate for a never-built extension of the 710 freeway has been debated for years. In 2013, a Metro study presented five options for closing the gap between the freeway’s current terminus just above the 10 freeway to the 210 in Pasadena.

Only one of those plans—the tunnel—would create a new path for drivers. The others, which include a light rail system and a rapid bus line, are focused on expanding options for commuters in the area.
Fasana’s motion favors the so-called “Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management” alternative, which focuses on smaller-scale improvements that could help relieve congestion in the area. Those include more frequent bus service, widening certain streets, and better traffic signal synchronization.

Fasana notes in the motion that the agency lacks the money needed to construct the tunnel (costs are projected to be over $3 billion), while light rail and rapid bus options “may not produce the expected traffic impact mitigation.”

When LA County voters approved Measure R in 2008, $780 million was set aside for the 710 project. Fasana’s motion calls for $105 million of those funds to be dedicated to the TSM/TDM plan, while the remaining money would be used for “mobility improvement projects” in the San Gabriel Valley.
This isn’t the only threat to the tunnel’s possible construction. In February, Assemblymember Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, announced a bill that would effectively prohibit building the costly project.