Caltrans and Metro add fifth public hearing on SR-710 North environmental document

Here is the news release from Caltrans and Metro:

(May 15, 2015) To promote further public participation, and in response to requests made by stakeholders representing the community of East Los Angeles, Caltrans has agreed to hold another public hearing for the State Route 710 North Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS).  

The fifth public hearing will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at David Wark Griffith Middle School located at 4765 East Fourth Street, East Los Angeles, Calif. 90022. The map viewing will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. followed by a formal public hearing from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This will conclude a series of five public hearings held to solicit public input on the Draft EIR/EIS before the close of the public comment period on July 6, 2015.  

Caltrans and Metro are under a mandate from two million Los Angeles County voters that passed Measure R in 2008 to study a 100 square mile region affected by congestion and pollution caused by incomplete transportation infrastructure between the end of the I-710 freeway in El Sereno and the I-210 Freeway in Pasadena.

The Draft EIR/EIS proposes five alternatives regarding a 4.5 mile gap separating the freeways.

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.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearings and read the document at  Public comment can be made on the link provided.  The full document can be viewed by appointment at the Caltrans District Office at 100 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and at the Metro library, 1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012. Copies are also available at public libraries listed here:

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, Caltrans and Metro conducted 92 community meetings, participated in six city-sponsored community forums and held over 200 briefings with community stakeholders.

6 replies

  1. “exits the dead end freeway” should read “exits the northern terminus of the freeway”. The former has a biased conotation, while the later is factual. The freeway does not end in a manner that requires a turn around, like a cul-de-sac, which is what a dead end is. I understand this may seem like a minor point, but the language used by Metro should be nuetral, unless Metro is openly supporting a particular option.

    One issue with the EIR study and the process this time is the either or concept that was taken. Rather the option for a truck only tunnel and stree improvements for cars should have been included.

    Los Angeles does not have a proper beltway around the heart of the city from the 5 in OC to the 5 leaving the Valley. 5->57->60->57->210->5 is ok for locals and time of day dependant. 5->405->5 is a no go. 5->605->210->5 has a big backward section that eats time. 5->710 (with tunnel)->210->5 would be the right path for many. It adds fewer miles and would be faster than most of the others. It would serve cars, tourist and locals alike. It would also provide those going east-west or west-east with the ability to shift away congestion.

  2. As I understand it, the 710 Truck Tunnel EIR “process” cost about $45 million, around the cost of a new elementary school. But when the EIR process is done, as a Metro official said to me, it will be tossed in a waste can regardless what is decided–a terrible waste of resources. Oh well it not Metro’s money, it is the public’s.

    • I don’t know what “tossed in a waste can” means and I would dispute that. If a project is pursued (the Metro Board can choose the no-build option although there are four other project alternatives), then the DEIR and FEIR stand as the environmental documents for whatever is built. That’s no different than other projects in which the environmental documents remain as the official record for the planning process. Obviously, the expense of the planning process is a matter of public policy, but I do think the documents produced are most often put to good use.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • By definition, only one option will be selected as the locally preferred alternative. The EIR takes the design of the light rail, bus rapid transit, single freeway tunnel, dual freeway tunnel, and TSM/TDM to the same level – not construction quality but pretty detailed, as the plans and geotechnical reports in the EIR can attest. It is a lot of work and the ones for the alternates which are not selected will essentially go into the waste bucket.

  3. This is a good thing. I agree with the folks down in East LA that this is a social justice issue because the proposed light rail would require them to live with a train platform while wealthy areas get a subway. Seems like it’s understated in the report. I’m personally still shocked the tracks don’t connect to existing or planned lines and think it’s a poor policy choice not to build flexibility into the system.

    Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on the cost-benefit analysis.

    • I don’t get the issue with this, a train is a train whether it be light rail or heavy rail.