Regional Connector final environmental document released

Executive Summary Part1 of 3

One week earlier than expected, Metro today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) for the Regional Connector project. A 30-day public review period begins next Friday, Jan. 20, and lasts for 30 days.

The document is available for viewing and download on the Regional Connector section of Metro.net. The first part of the Executive Summary is posted above. Parts two and three of the summary are posted after the jump.

The Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to vote on approving the document at their meeting on Feb. 23 on Metro headquarters adjacent to Union Station. The Board’s Planning Committee will also discuss the document at their Feb. 15 meeting.

The Regional Connector will connect the Blue Line, Expo Line and Gold Line in downtown Los Angeles so that light rail passengers can reach downtown destinations without having to transfer to the Red/Purple Line subway at the 7th/Metro Center station or Union Station. Studies for the project began in 2007.

Open houses for the public are scheduled for early February — Metro staff will be available to answer questions from the public about the document. The meetings are:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Colburn School of Music
200 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Japanese American National Museum
369 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

After the jump: Parts two and three of the Exec Summary of the FEIS/R and a FAQ from Metro staff on the document.

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California Geological Survey issues letter about L.A. Weekly story

The California Geological Survey has sent Metro the letter posted below about its position on earthquake fault zones in the Century City area.

The letter was prompted by an L.A. Weekly story published in December headlined “Westside Subway Extension feud: Did Metro rig a Century City fault study to move the Purple Line?” That story reported that the California Geological Survey had previously deemed the Santa Monica Fault to be inactive, which prompted the Weekly to run this correction:

 

The article “Westside Subway Extension Feud” (Dec. 23) incorrectly stated that trenching, a method of fault testing, had been conducted on the Santa Monica Fault in the late 1970s and found the fault to be inactive. In fact, the fault was evaluated using mapping and other data, not trenching. The data was insufficient to deem the fault active or inactive.

 

As of Friday, the correction was still not attached to the online version of the story, which also did not identify the engineer quoted as being a consultant to the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Here is the letter from the California Geological Survey that clarifies its position on the Santa Monica Fault, the West Beverly Hills Lineamint and Alquist-Priolo fault designations:

CGS Letter

State high-speed rail CEO to step down

Banner: High Speed Rail

The California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Roelof van Ark just told the agency’s Board of Directors that he will be stepping down from his job in two months to pursue more time with his family and other priorities.

The Board is meeting today at Metro headquarters in Los Angeles.

Van Ark was hired in June 2010.

In addition, two other key Authority staff members are leaving the agency — spokesperson Rachel Wall and deputy director Dan Leavitt.

Board Chairman Thomas J. Umberg also said that he intends to step down as the chair but will continue as a Board member.

Earlier in the meeting, the Board voted not to further study a route along the Grapevine for the bullet train. Instead a route through the Antelope Valley will be pursued — that’s the alignment backed by the Metro Board of Directors.

Five things I'm thinking about transportation, Jan. 11 edition

MEASURE R SEQUEL?: I think 2012 got a little more interesting with the news last week that Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill that could allow voters in L.A. County to decide to extend the half-cent Measure R sales tax past its June 30, 2039 expiration date.

The idea is to raise the money needed to accelerate Measure R projects.

Will it happen? I have no idea and I don’t think it’s my place to advocate one way or the other. If the state Legislature signs the bill, it would next be up to the Metro Board of Directors, who will discuss the issue with agency staff at their monthly meeting on Jan. 26.

Having watched Measure R unfold in 2008, my best guess is the Board will want more information about projected revenues from a Measure R extension, a funding plan (i.e. which projects will receive money) and the cost of borrowing against future revenues to build projects now.

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Gate locking tests today at 7th/Metro station

Metro has been testing locking the gates today at 7th/Metro station for the Blue Line, Red Line and Purple Line in downtown L.A. Testing is scheduled to continue until 4 p.m. and Metro personnel are on hand to help everyone get through the gates whether or not they have TAP cards.

This is part of the ongoing testing of locking the gates at Metro Rail stations. The gates were temporarily locked at several other stations this past fall.

Regional Connector final environmental study to be released Jan. 20

This just in: The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report for the Regional Connector project will be released on Jan. 20 for public review. It is expected that the Metro Board of Directors will consider approval of the document at their February meeting.

Here is the news release from Metro:

Regional Connector Final EIR Release Press Release

Four upcoming public meetings for High Desert Corridor project

High Desert Corridor banner

Here’s the news release from Metro:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are hosting four community update meetings for the High Desert Corridor (HDC) project.

The proposed 63-mile corridor under study to link Antelope Valley with Victor Valley is currently in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) preparation phase, which began in late 2010. The HDC project proposes construction of a new east-west freeway/expressway linking State Route SR-14 in Los Angeles County with SR-18 in San Bernardino County.

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Jarrett Walker book tour to make a stop at UCLA next Thursday, Jan. 19

Book cover of Human Transit (the book)

Human Transit (the book)

If you’ve read The Source for a while, you may recognize the name of transit planner Jarrett Walker and his professional blog Human Transit. We’ve linked to Walker liberally in order to steer readers to some of his insightful posts on the nuts and bolts of public transit.

And last year Walker was kind enough to share with The Source his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities for improving public transit in greater Los Angeles. The entire interview is available here.

Good news for Human Transit fans like us: Walker recently published a book — also titled Human Transit — that elaborates on and synthesizes a number of the key concepts explored in his blog. The book’s garrulous subtitle really says it all: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives.

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Construction notices for ExpressLanes project

Hope Street Work Notice 1-6-12

And another notice for Alameda Street after the jump…

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