At the September 18th meeting of Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee, Sergio Gonzalez, City Manager of the City
of South Pasadena asked why Metro is actively promoting and shopping the SR-710 North Project tunnel as a PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) despite the fact that the EIR/EIS has not been completed and no locally-preferred alternative has been chosen. The Chair of Metro’s Board of Directors, Diane DuBois, asked Metro’s CEO, Arthur Leahy, “Are we shopping it as a tunnel alternative?” CEO Leahy’s obfuscated response to the Chair’s question (see attached transcript) only served to reinforce the conclusion repeatedly expressed by the public and multiple elected officials, that Metro has already reached a decision about the locally-preferred alternative and route and that Metro is spending $40 million going through the motions of the EIR/EIS process because it is obligated to do so by CEQA and NEPA regulations. Documentation of these concerns, which began long before the EIR/EIS was begun, is abundant and verifiable. As early as October of 2007, in the context of comments on the Scope of Work for the State Route 710 Tunnel Support Studies, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino wrote to Caltrans District 7 Director, Doug Failing “…Anything short of that and any attempt to use the prior report as a foundation for this study will continue to bolster claims that this project is a runaway train in a quest to be Los Angeles’ version of Boston’s ‘Big Dig’ fiasco.” Again, in 2008, Mr. Portantino urged the Metro Board not to include the 710 extension project in the baseline or recommended plan of its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and states “…it certainly tampers with the credibility of the study in which Caltrans is currently engaged, by pre-supposing an outcome to the question of whether a tunnel option is, in fact, feasible and the right solution for this region.” In April of 2010, U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff addressed the Metro Board of Directors in a letter and stated, “Just as the tunnel (feasibility) study was conducted in a route neutral manner, so should this next-step analysis consider transportation alternatives in a project-neutral manner—neither presuming nor precluding any viable cost-effective solution.” He also stated, “I am concerned that arbitrarily choosing to do an environmental study primarily focusing on Zone 3 – for so long the preferred route of Metro and Caltrans – would color the outcome of the study and would lack credibility with the public.” The same month, Anthony Portantino addressed a letter to Members of the Board: “As I have been saying since the beginning of this process, given the historical context of the 710 North, particular attention must be paid to winning back the public’s trust for any potential solution. Any move toward narrowing the route for a potential project is certainly premature and only serves to confirm the fears of impacted communities: that the 710 Technical Study was structured merely to fulfill the terms of the restrictions placed on the study team by federal legislation and that Zone 3 was the only route that was being considered.” Bill Bogaard, Ara Najarian, Richard Schneider and Donald Voss (Mayors of Pasadena, Glendale, South Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge respectively) expressed their concerns in a letter published in the South Pasadena Review on June 30, 2010: “Metro missed its opportunity by not committing to a process of evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of all viable transportation options for relieving traffic congestion. Instead, Metro offered only a vague plan to launch a new round of studies on how traffic could be improved in the area. Our concern is that this may simply be a thinly masked effort to continue focus on only one option, the northward tunnel extension of the 710 freeway.” Congressman Adam Schiff wrote the Board on September 20, 2012 and stated “The environmental review process Metro is engaged in has been excessively focused on the tunnel option. I have expressed my concern over Metro’s apparent rush to judgment on a tunnel option many times, but without success. This has only confirmed what many in the community suspected, that Metro was once again starting with the conclusion it wished to reach and working backwards.” La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Stephen Del Guercio, in a letter to Congressman Schiff dated September 19, 2012, stated “Our City has participated in the various committees created by Metro to purportedly seek input from the affected communities. From my personal experiences, I can tell you categorically that this process has been a sham and is nothing more than a post hoc attempt to justify the ill-conceived tunnel project (the so-called F-7 alternative). My view, however, is not unique. As we have seen in recent days, the opposition to the current study and its pre-ordained tunnel conclusion has reached epic proportions.” Mayor Del Guercio expressed the same opinion in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, the City Councils of Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale, Los Angeles, La Cañada Flintridge, State Senator Carol Liu and Assemblymembers Anthony Portantino and Mike Gatto. On November 29, 2012, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino attempted to raise the attention of Acting Secretary of California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Brian P. Kelly. Portantino stated “Although there have been
assurances made about the process, there continues to be serious legal, ethical and planning concerns about the current process shepherded by the MTA and the apparent predetermined outcome that most of us anticipate.” The “assurances about the process” referred to by Mr. Portantino have taken the form of steadfast assertions by Metro staff that no decision has been made about the preferred alternative, and that all alternatives are being studied equally. This has become their mantra. They repeat it at every public meeting. On August 17, 2012, Steve Hymon, editor of Metro’s newsletter, The Source, wrote “First, I want to be very clear about something and I’m going to put it in large, bold letters to emphasize my point: DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD FROM A FRIEND, NEIGHBOR, POLITICIAN, PERSON IN LINE AT THE COFFEE SHOP, ETC., NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY METRO OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO BUILD ANYTHING. INCLUDING A TUNNEL.” (http://thesource.metro.net/2012/08/17/understanding-why-the-710-gap-is-being-studied-and-what-is-being-considered/) On November 19, 2012, Metro’s Director of Highway Programs, Doug Failing, responded to a citizen who had expressed concern that the tunnel was a foregone conclusion. In his letter Mr. Failing listed the alternatives and stated “…At this time, we are just beginning the environmental process and no decision has been made on a preferred alternative.” SR-710 Project Manager Michelle Smith was quoted in the Pasadena Sun on May 26, 2012 as saying “No decision has been made. We can't re-emphasize it enough.” In May of 2013, the Pasadena Star-News quotes Metro Spokeswoman Helen OrtizGilstrap, attending an Alhambra press conference, as maintaining “…that all the options are being studied equally…” The plethora of evidence demonstrating a bias toward building the tunnel and contradicting the above assertions by Metro substantiates the worst fears of elected officials and the public – that the tunnel is being promoted as a certainty. Metro’s own 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) includes a map (p. 37, Figure R) that shows a tunnel extending the 710 Freeway to the 210 Freeway, and lists the project as a tunnel with a cost of $5.6 billion in Figure S on page 38. As early as May of 2008, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Hasan Ikhrata, made a presentation at the Second Annual Leonard Transportation Center Forum in which he stated that financial markets and global developers had expressed interest in the project which was defined as two tunnels. He also stated at a November, 2012 meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), "I will say that if Metro or Caltrans or together they decide on a different alternative with the same benefits, we'll talk, the plan can be updated, but I'm not expecting that to happen," Mr. Ikhrata has repeated this statement at multiple public meetings and at a November, 2012 Alhambra City Council meeting. In a Pasadena Star-News article dated December 4, 2012, Ikhrata went even further: “…Southern California Association of Governments Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata has said the tunnel is the only viable approach and SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan includes the freeway completion as a tunnel.” And then we have Metro CEO Arthur Leahy’s remarks at the Railvolution conference on October 15, 2012 (at 06:50 http://www.railvolution.org/pastconferences/2012/monday): "We are just now beginning to evaluate two major highway projects which we think could be toll roads, to be, could be, great PPP (Public Private Partnerships) projects. One would be a tunnel under Pasadena to connect two of our freeways.” Note that none of these sources or remarks address any alternative included in the EIR/EIS, which is still underway, other than the tunnel. Mr. Leahy’s remarks at Railvolution substantiate Metro’s plan to use a Public-Private Partnership to build the tunnel. In fact, Frank Quon, Executive Officer of Highway Programs, stated at the July, 2012 meeting of the Stakeholder Outreach Advisory Committee (SOAC) that the only way the tunnel could be built is via a PPP. When asked by a member of the committee what would happen in the event that no private partner is found, Mr. Quon responded that the project would be shelved until funds could be found from another source. This acknowledgement of the project’s dependence on the procurement of a PPP agreement explains its inclusion in Metro’s campaign to promote PPPs. Metro representatives have made multiple presentations promoting their PPPs in the past eighteen months. Each has included the SR-710 Tunnel – and only a tunnel – without any mention of the LRT alternative or any other alternative. Doug Failing, Executive Director of the Highway Program made a presentation to the CTF Transportation Forum in January of 2012 (see slides 2, 5, 6). He also gave a talk to the International Chinese Transportation Professional Association in October, 2012 and the tunnel is included on slides 6, 9 and 10 of the presentation to ICTPA. Michael Schneider, Managing Director of Metro subcontractor, InfraConsult, addressed the 15th Annual Transportation and Infrastructure Summit in Irving, Texas in August of 2012. The SR-710 tunnel can be found on slides 19, 24, and 25 of his presentation. One month later, Mr. Schneider made a similar presentation to the Construction Management Association of America and the tunnel is addressed on slides 22 and 25 of his materials.
An online presentation titled “Los Angeles Metro and Public-Private Partnerships” has been posted since June of this year and is available for prospective private partners to review. Slides 35 and 38 specifically address the SR-710 tunnel. Observe that not a single presentation discusses any of the other alternatives included in the EIR/EIS, even though at the September 25, 2013 meeting of the Transit Coalition, Metro’s Director of Highway Programs Doug Failing told the audience that the Light Rail Transit (LRT) alternative, with a cost estimate of $2.4 Billion, cannot be built without a PPP either. None of the presentations discussed above include the SR-710 LRT alternative as a candidate for a PPP. Mr. Leahy stated at the September 18, 2013 Planning and Programming Committee meeting, “All we are doing is exploring options to array the facts as best we can.” If Metro is truly interested in exploring PPP options for potential projects, why do none of these presentations include the LRT alternative? It is also significant that none of the presentations even make mention of the possibility that the tunnel may not emerge as the preferred alternative. Each and every one of these presentations treats the SR-710 tunnel as a certainty, demonstrating that Metro already regards the SR-710 tunnel the preferred alternative. Finally, under contract PS4370-2316, InfraConsult LLC, in its report “Public-Private Partnership Delivery Options: Initial Six Measure R Projects” (Task 3C Interim Report July 8, 2010; http://www.no710.com/_critical-issueslinks/financial-reports-&-investor_presentations/20120418-p&p-Item15.pdf) outlines detailed cost analysis and business plan development for the SR-710 project exclusively as a tunnel. In addition, evidence that the tunnel is the favored alternative is further substantiated by the discussion of bringing the concessionaire (Private Partner) into the project early on through a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) while the environmental analysis is underway – prior to the selection of a locally-preferred alternative – so that the design period between the Record of Decision and the start of construction can be abbreviated. Metro’s actions have betrayed the trust of the public and many elected officials. The long history of flawed feasibility studies, poor public participation component, and lack of transparency has destroyed the taxpayers’ confidence in the outcome of the environmental study even before that study is completed. The controversy associated with this project will continue, and Metro can expect that a final decision to build a tunnel would trigger lawsuits causing significant delays, just as the original project did during the last century.
Transcription Metro Planning and Program Committee Meeting September 18, 2013 All members present Beginning at 33:08 of recording CHAIR: We do have two speakers on this so I will open the public input portion of the item. We have Sergio Gonzalez followed by Lee Dolley. Sergio Gonzalez: Good afternoon Madame Chair and Directors. My name is Sergio Gonzalez. I‘m the City Manager of the City of South Pasadena. We are really concerned about the process. For the past twelve months, the City has participated on the TAC and the SOAC and has repeatedly been presented with information about the alternatives, and in all cases, the freeway tunnel has been modeled without tolls. This would be acceptable and would most likely pass legal muster but it is going to be the local preferred alternative because Metro staff continues to shop this project worldwide. They are asking for authority to apply for Federal funds on a project that has not been determined yet. So if this does not concern you, it concerns us and it should concern you. Why are we allowing the funding plan for a project to move forward without a locallypreferred alternative being decided? It just doesn’t make any sense for us and it shouldn’t make any sense for you. Thank you very much for your time. CHAIR: Thank you. Next is Lee Dolley. Lee Dolley: Madame Chair and members of the Board, Lee Dolley representing the City of Alhambra and the 710 Coalition. If the clerk would be kind enough to take some documents from me, I would like to have them part of the record, it’s a letter to the Board. I think if you take a quick look at this document, it’s really kind of hard to do that. It says an awful lot of things, but you will find in the end, that the only project that is exempted from acceleration -- the only project -is the 710 North. That’s a project we are very interested in as the gentleman from South Pasadena is. In answer to his question, everything is under environmental review. Nobody is going to know what is going to happen until that environmental document is completed and a decision is made on it. We ask you to consider passing the letter on to the Board for their consideration as they move on it next week. Thank you very much. CHAIR: Thank you. That concludes the public input portion and the item is before the committee. Questions? Motions? We have a motion by Director Yaroslavsky. Is there a second? Diane DuBois: I’ll second it. CHAIR: Second by Chair DuBois. Diane DuBois: But I want to ask the CEO something. CHAIR: Sure. We have time for questions. Diane DuBois: I believe and I think it is your belief that we do not yet have an alternative for the SR-710. Are we shopping it as a (one word I cannot make out) tunnel alternative?
Art Leahy: We hope to have next spring sometime some work out available for public review and for some ongoing public discussions occurring and I would imagine after that time period there would be thorough public review, thorough public input and discussion at this Board and with Caltrans as to what option might be selected and when. Diane DuBois: You are not asking at this time for participation on construction of a tunnel? Art Leahy: No. We don’t have an alternative. We don’t have a preferred alternative right now. Ara Najarian: So you are denying that I guess. But at what level is that denial? Is that on an official level? Because I know for a fact that there have been Spanish firms that have been contacted that have looked at the tunnel and are discussing it and they are modeling it for tolling and all that. So, is that rogue behavior by our staff, or is that approved? Art Leahy: I’m not sure what conversations you are referring to. I’ve had conversations about a potential tunnel in Sepulveda Pass and we haven’t even started doing the work yet. All we are doing is exploring options to array the facts as best we can. That is the work which is underway right now. We are months away before we can begin to hone in on what might be a preferred option might be in that area. Ara Najarian: Any reference to a tunnel when we talk about the 710 North would be completely inappropriate at this time? Art Leahy: It’s one of the options. Ara Najarian: As well as five others. But any singular reference to a tunnel as the project for the 710 North would be inappropriate? Art Leahy: We don’t have a preferred option at this time. Ara Najarian: Thank you. CHAIR: So with the clarification, there is no preferred option for the 710 right now. So we have a motion by Director Yaroslavsky seconded by Chair DuBois. We will have a vote. All those in favor? Any opposed? CHAIR: The motion passes unanimously. Transcription ends at 38:16 of recording.
South Pasadena Review
7/7/10 8:00 PM
Guest Commentary by Four Area Mayors
Metro is Missing a Huge Opportunity
By Ara Najarian, Donald Voss, Bill Bogaard and Richard Schneider The directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”) recently missed a golden opportunity to take a major step forward in the 50-year old controversy over how to relieve traffic congestion in the western San Gabriel Valley, particularly around the terminus of the 710 Freeway in Alhambra. The occasion was the receipt by the directors of a geotechnical study, recently completed by Caltrans, to evaluate the potential of addressing the problem by extending the 710 Freeway northward by way of one of five potential tunnel routes. Metro missed its opportunity by not committing to a process of evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of all viable transportation options for relieving traffic congestion. Instead, Metro offered only a vague plan to launch a new round of studies on how traffic could be improved in the area. Our concern is that this may simply be a thinly masked effort to continue focus on only one option, the northward tunnel extension of the 710 freeway. After the Federal Highway Administration in 2003 withdrew its support of an extension of the 710 Freeway at the surface, the idea of extending the freeway below the surface, in a deep tunnel, has been advocated. During this period, however, scant if any consideration has been given to modern alternatives to freeways. As Congressman Adam Schiff recently stated, “I believe the next logical step should be to consider a broad range of transportation options that might provide the same congestion-relief and improvement in the quality of life for residents of the region at a cost equal to or lower than the amount Metro estimates it would take to build one of the five tunnel alternatives.” As mayors of cities that are major stakeholders in the region, we believe Metro failed to consider three critical issues: first, what solution or solutions can improve regional traffic circulation and quality of life; second, what is the cost of the various alternatives, and which alternatives are the most cost beneficial; and third, what can be done to achieve what has been missing for over 50 years, a political consensus in support of the solution. The fact is that there are several options that could be effective in tackling the traffic congestion. Recent Metro efforts to promote mobility in Southern California have included an expansion of bus and rail transit services, and investment into signal synchronization and transportation demand programs to provide a more balanced, multi-modal system throughout Los Angeles County. According to a recent Metro report, the next step needs to recognize current transportation planning requirements, as well as new and emerging environmental challenges, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The last estimate of tunnel construction was $5.6 billion, which is considerably higher than was estimated when the tunnel was first proposed. The actual cost is likely to be much higher. With this significant investment of taxpayer funds, other substantial projects for traffic mitigation become fiscally competitive. We owe it to taxpayers and residents to study all viable options in a project-neutral manner, to understand their costs, and to conduct proper cost benefit analyses. Finally, as underscored by the long history of the 710 controversy, outreach and consensus building are now critical components in transportation planning. Many stakeholders feel that no alternative to freeway construction has been seriously entertained. The goal must be to achieve regional accord on the transportation solution that best reduces congestion while maintaining the quality of life in our neighborhoods. At its board meeting last month, Metro directors delayed consideration of motions that will shape the contours of the 710 study. At this month’s meeting, the directors, when considering the options, should seize the opportunity to conduct a projectneutral study of all viable transportation options to address traffic congestion. A detailed study that includes an analysis of costs and benefits, as well as identified sources of funding for each transportation option, must be available before a final environmental evaluation is conducted. The studies should also incorporate extensive community feedback – obtained through monthly outreach meetings throughout affected communities in the region and from stakeholder advisory committees – on all the options considered in the study. Achieving regional consensus will be possible only if all options are considered seriously, fairly and objectively – otherwise the stalemate will only continue. We pledge our support of a genuinely responsible process, and are ready to participate fully in any way that might be helpful. The authors are the Mayors of Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, and South Pasadena, respectively.
CITY COUNCIL Stephen A. Del Guercio, Mayor Laura Olhasso, Mayor Pro Tem Michael T. Davitt David A. Spence Donald R. Voss
September 19, 2012 The Honorable Adam Schiff U.S. Representative, 29th District 2411 Rayburn HOB Washington D.C. 20515 Re: SR-710 Freeway Extension Project Dear Congressman Schiff: I am writing to share our City’s deep concerns regarding the objectivity and rationality of the EIR study process relating to the SR-710 extension project. We recognize that you have expressed similar concerns in the past and greatly appreciate your continuing interest and involvement. Our City has participated in the various committees created by Metro to purportedly seek input from the affected communities. From my personal experiences, I can tell you categorically that this process has been a sham and is nothing more than a post hoc attempt to justify the ill-conceived tunnel project (the so-called F-7 alternative). My view, however, is not unique. As we have seen in recent days, the opposition to the current study and its pre-ordained tunnel conclusion has reached epic proportions. With the ever-growing group of communities objecting to the F-7 tunnel, it should now be obvious to the Metro and Caltrans decision makers that this project should not proceed and that the precious taxpayer dollars that are being wasted on this charade should be applied to worthy transportation projects. Below are just a couple of examples of how the current Metro process defies rationality: To date, there is no substantiated statement of purpose of the study other than relief of traffic congestion in its most vague sense. At different times, we have been told conflicting stories of the need that the SR-710 extension project will address. At times, we have been told the need was to relieve through traffic using the regional freeway system. At the May 2012 Stakeholder Outreach Committee meeting, we were told that the need was to relieve congestion between the current 710 freeway terminus and the 210 freeway (i.e., the congestion in the “gap” area), and that Metro had already identified a number of alternative traffic solutions to include in the study. When committee members at the meeting inquired as to what was the source of the congestion in this area (e.g., local vehicle trips or through traffic, vehicles vs. trucks, etc.), Metro’s traffic consultants admitted that they had neither studied nor determined the source of the congestion. When asked how Metro could have already identified alternative traffic solutions when the source of the congestion was not known, neither Metro nor its traffic consultants at the meeting could provide an explanation. At other times, Metro has promoted the SR-710 tunnel option as an enhancement for goods movement from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. At that time, SCAG commissioned Iteris (a premier traffic consulting firm) to conduct the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study.” At the request of the Arroyo Verdugo Subregion (the SCAG subregion consisting of Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, South Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge), the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” was presented to the Arroyo Verdugo Subregion Steering Committee at the
The Honorable Adam Schiff September 19, 2012 Page 2
meeting of June 17, 2009. The “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” showed alarming increases in traffic (both car and truck) for our City. In fact, one of the conclusions in the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” was that the 210 Freeway would have to be widened by a lane on each side to accommodate the increased traffic. It also showed that the overall driving conditions would be made worse if the tunnel was built, along with the following:
If the Tunnel is completed, 75% of local surface streets (Pasadena, South Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge) would still be gridlocked. 1. Of the 80+ study segments that are currently operating over capacity (Level of Service (LOS) “F” – the lowest rating Caltrans can give and the point at which gridlock occurs, over 60 (75%) of these segments will remain over capacity after a tunnel is built. 2. Many believe that streets such as Fair Oaks Blvd., Fremont Avenue, Los Robles Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard would begin to improve once a tunnel was built. However, these streets will still operate over capacity with severe congestion. a. At least 12 arterial streets…will experience higher traffic volumes solely due to the tunnel. The tunnel would cause significant detrimental traffic and truck impacts on the I-210 Freeway through the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge and the community of La Crescenta. 1. If the tunnel is completed by 2030, the following is projected to occur: a. More than a 25% increase in daily traffic volumes on I-210; b. An additional 30,000 vehicles per day on I-210; c. An additional 2,500 trucks per day on I-210; d. 850 additional trucks in the PM peak hour on I-210; e. Truck percentage on I-210 will increase from 11% to over 20%; and f. Since portions of the I-210 will operate at Level of Service (LOS) “F,” traffic will be forced onto local streets. The tunnel connection would make overall driving conditions worse regionally. 1. The overall number of vehicle miles traveled would increase in the peak hour, bringing many environmental impacts; 2. The overall number of vehicle hours would increase (more delay, gas consumption and air pollution); 3. The system-wide, regional benefit would only be an increase in overall speed of .6 miles per hour; and 4. Motorists would be driving farther and spending more time on the road if the tunnel is built. The previous information is an analysis by the City of La Cañada Flintridge’s Traffic Engineer of the SCAG (So. Ca. Assn. of Gov’ts.) “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study (Preliminary Draft Final Report),”conducted by Iteris, Inc., a consulting firm.
Remarkably, Metro has now told us that there will be no meaningful increase in truck traffic associated with the SR-710 tunnel project. When asked at the May 2012 Stakeholder Outreach Committee meeting about truck traffic and why no goods movement alternatives (e.g. freight to rail) to the SR-710 tunnel were being studied, Metro responded that since only 3% of the current truck traffic proceeds to the terminus of the SR-710 freeway, truck traffic is neither a factor nor a concern – a strange response in view of Metro’s admission at the meeting that it had not yet studied the source of the traffic congestion. What was perhaps even more strange was Metro’s response to my question at that meeting asking how Metro could take that view in light of the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” which predicted significant increases in truck traffic. Metro’s response to me was that Metro did not have to consider the
1327 Foothill Boulevard • La Cañada Flintridge • California 91011-2137 • (818) 790-8880 • FAX: (818) 790-7536
The Honorable Adam Schiff September 19, 2012 Page 3
findings of that study because if was never “finalized” (or words to that effect). As one of the public officials who witnessed the presentation on the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” and who had our City’s traffic engineer review it for accuracy and completeness, I can assure you that the only reason the “SR-710 Missing Link Truck Study” was not “finalized” (if that is indeed the case) is because of its alarming conclusions. Having assumed away any detrimental increase in truck and vehicular traffic, Metro likely will give little or no consideration to the public health impacts of the SR-710 tunnel project or consideration to alternative projects. From the beginning of the study, there has been a dearth of emphasis on developing reliable estimates of the cost of any of the potential alternatives. As you have observed, this is particularly true of the tunnel alternative. Cost guesstimates of the tunnel fluctuate wildly from time to time in multi-billion dollar amounts, while Metro simply avoids the question by deferring the determination of project cost. Absence of reliable cost estimates makes the alternative comparison process impossible. Absence of reliable cost estimates makes credible cost/benefit analyses impossible. Even if reliable cost estimates were available, there seems to be no way to use them in credible cost/benefit analysis, because information describing and validating the methodology of cost/benefit analysis has not been made available. With the overwhelming negative response to the SR-710 tunnel project and its obvious lack of merit, it appears that now is the time to put an end to the senseless waste of taxpayer dollars “studying” it. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to explore how the taxpayers’ dollars can be saved and put to better use. We will be contacting your staff to ascertain your availability for such a meeting. Thank you very much for your help in this matter. We look forward to continuing to work with you, and I thank you for the productive and effective working relationship our City has enjoy with you and your staff over the years. Sincerely,
Stephen A Del Guercio Mayor cc: Honorable City Council Members, City of La Cañada Flintridge Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor Honorable Carol Liu, Senator Honorable Anthony J. Portantino, Assembly Member Honorable Mike Gatto, Assembly Member Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of Glendale Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of Los Angeles Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of Pasadena Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of South Pasadena Mr. Joseph Tavaglione, Chair, California Transportation Commission
1327 Foothill Boulevard • La Cañada Flintridge • California 91011-2137 • (818) 790-8880 • FAX: (818) 790-7536
CITY COUNCIL Stephen A. Del Guercio, Mayor Laura Olhasso, Mayor Pro Tem Michael T. Davitt David A. Spence Donald R. Voss
September 24, 2012 The Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor City of Los Angeles 200 North Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 Re: SR-710 North Extension Project Dear Mayor Villaraigosa: It has been some time since we last communicated but I trust that you will recall that our shared experiences in regional transportation projects date back to the Redline project when you were on the LACTC Board and my law firm (Demetriou, Del Guercio, Springer & Francis) was performing the legal work for the acquisition of the Redline station sites. I salute you for your vision back then as well as your current vision for the accelerated improvement of our region’s public transportation systems. I am, however, writing to you today about a very different project – the so-called SR-710 tunnel extension project (which is now currently being referred to as the F-7 alternative). My city has participated in the various studies conducted by Metro and CalTrans, including the environmental process that is currently underway. From these studies it has become glaringly obvious that the tunnel project will cost undisclosed billions of dollars and will not result in any meaningful improvement in traffic congestion or quality of life. In fact, it has already been clearly demonstrated that the tunnel project will have serious adverse traffic and health impacts on many of the region’s cities and communities, including both your city and my city. Simply stated, the tunnel project has too few benefits, too many detriments, and costs far too much. From my personal experience in participating in the current environmental process representing my city, I can tell you categorically that this process has been a sham and is nothing more than a post hoc attempt to justify the ill-conceived tunnel project. As Congressmember Adam Schiff stated in his recent September 20, 2012 letter to the Metro Board: “The environmental review process Metro is engaged in has been excessively focused on the tunnel option….This has only confirmed what many in the community suspected, that Metro was once again starting with the conclusion it wished to reach and is working backwards.” Congressmember Schiff’s letter to the Metro Board goes on to point out that it is now beyond dispute that the project will cost too much, the adverse environmental impacts will be too great, and the benefits, if any, will be too small. The overwhelming message from the region’s elected
Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa September 24, 2012 Page 2 representatives and their constituents is that the time has come to put an end to this misguided effort. I respectfully request that you employ your leadership on the Metro Board to stop the waste of taxpayer dollars being spent by Metro to further “study” the tunnel option and to redirect our precious funds to the implementation of worthy alternative transportation projects. We believe, along with Congressmember Schiff and the other cities that are opposed to the tunnel option, that there are promising alternatives that are both cost-effective and environmentally sound that can and should be explored. Your consideration of this very important issue is greatly appreciated. Sincerely,
Stephen A Del Guercio Mayor cc: Los Angeles County Metro Board of Directors Honorable City Council Members, City of La Cañada Flintridge Honorable Adam Schiff, Congressmember Honorable Carol Liu, Senator Honorable Anthony J. Portantino, Assembly Member Honorable Mike Gatto, Assembly Member Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of Glendale Honorable City Council Members, City of Los Angeles Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of Pasadena Honorable Mayor and City Council Members, City of South Pasadena
1327 Foothill Boulevard • La Cañada Flintridge • California 91011-2137 • (818) 790-8880 • FAX: (818) 790-7536
Nov 25 12 05:34p
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
One Gateway Plaza
los Angeles, CA 90012-2952
November 19, 2012
DearMs._ Thank you for your recent letter addressed to lJ'lyattention regarding the State Route 710 Study currently underway. Your inlerest in this important regional transportation issue is appreciated and I welcome this opportunity to provide you with Metro's perspective on this matter. Your primary concern is in regards to statements that may have been attributed 10 me, presented in an articJe that ran in the publication uEverything Long Beach", asserting that the State Route 710 freeway tunnel option is being planned as a goods movement corridor for trucks. Please be advised that. while this may be the interpretation of the author of the article, that statement should not be attributed to me as the State Route 710 is not a goods movement corridor. The objective of the State Route 710 Study is to examine a range of alternative concepts in order to find solutions to traffic congestion in the West San Gabriel Valley area and to promote a more efficient operation of our regional freeway system. The voters of Los Angeles County passed Measure R in November 2008 by a two-thirds majority to approve a halfwcent sales tax increase to fund transportation improvement projects in our county. Measure R specifically allocates $780 million to the State Route 710 corridor. In June 2010. the Metro Board of Directors authorized staff to pursue a robust public Dutreach effort in pursuit of multi-modalsdlutions to congestion in the State Route 710 Corridor, Jeading to the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report I Environmental Impact Statement (DEIRIOEIS). Five aliernatives wilf be carried forward for more detailed analysis in the DEISfDEIR. These alternatives are:
2. Transportation System Management f Transportation Demand Management 3. Bus Rapid Transit with refinements 4. Light Rail Transit with refinements 5. Freeway Tunnel with refinements
Nov 25 12 05:34p
None of these alternatives are being developed as a goods movement alternative. At this time, we are just beginning the env;ronmental process and no decision has been made on a preferred alternative. Sincerely,
DougJas R Failing, P.E.
Executrve Director, Highway Program
All Metro Board Members Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, SCAG
I want a mobile future.
2009 Long Range Transportation Plan
Highways – Recommended Plan 1,2
Existing Highways Funded Freeway Improvements and Gap Closures Funded Carpool and Mixed-Flow Lanes Funded Carpool Lanes Southbound only Northbound only Existing Carpool Lanes Southbound only Funded Freeway Interchanges Funded Carpool Connectors
405 170 5
North LA County
High Desert Corridor
SR-14: Carpool Lanes
Los Angeles County
I-5: Carpool Lanes
I-5 North Capacity Enhancements
SR-138: Capacity Enhancements
I-405: NB Carpool Lane
SR-710 North Extension (tunnel) (Alignments Under Study)
I-10: Carpool Lanes
See Figure S for projects not mapped. Some projects funded by this Plan have opened; please refer to Figure S for the current status of projects.
I-405: SB Carpool Lane
SR-71: Fwy Upgrade
I-405: Carpool Lanes
60 710 57
SR-60: Carpool Lanes
SR-90: Fwy Extension
I-710 South and/or Early Action Projects
I-5: Mixed Flow & Carpool Lanes
I-710 Fwy Improvement
LONG BEACH CATALINA
Not to scale
programs that range from freeway service patrols that remove disabled cars from freeways, to high-tech signal timing and real-time traveler information that help motorists plan their travel more intelligently. This 2009 Plan also supports continued development of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies that monitor real-time tra;c ?ow and congestion points on freeways, and inform the traveling public about congestion locations and alternate routes through changeable message signs, special radio frequencies, radio tra;c reports, websites, and handheld devices.
of providing FSP-type assistance for larger tractor-trailer sized vehicles. Services like the Big Rig Service Patrol on the I-710 and SR-91 Freeways can e;ciently address congestion caused by increasing freight/goods movement in heavily traveled truck freeway corridors.
In 1988, the Los Angeles County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) was formed to provide motorist services and manage the call box system within Los Angeles County. The Kenneth Hahn Call Box system currently includes 2,750 call boxes throughout the County that receive approximately 3,000 calls per month from motorists. Call box usage has been decreasing as cell phone use increases. More and more motorists are using their cell phones to call 911 to report an emergency along the freeway or to call for assistance. As a result, the call box system was restructured from the primary means of requesting roadside assistance to a secondary safety-net system for motorists. In addition, the entire call box system was upgraded from an analog to a digital-based wireless system.
Metro Freeway Service Patrol
This 2009 Plan also focuses on reducing delay caused by tra;c incidents (disabled vehicles and accidents) which are responsible for as much as 43 percent of the travel delay on our freeways. The Metro Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) program, jointly managed by Metro, the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans, operates a ?eet of tow trucks that patrol over 450 miles of Los Angeles County freeways to provide assistance, free of charge, to stranded motorists. Currently, Metro operates 41 tow-truck beats and assists on average, 25,600 motorists per month. By removing disabled vehicles from the freeway, FSP tow trucks help reduce tra;c delays and the probability of further accidents and congestion caused by impatient drivers and onlookers stuck in tra;c. Metro will work with Caltrans and other partners to expand the beneﬁts
Other Motorist Services
SAFE will continue to develop and enhance its #399
motorist-aid service. This service allows motorists to use their wireless phones to request non-emergency, roadside assistance by dialing #399. Services include
escalated to year of expenditure
$ in millions
open year 2
open open 2007-2020 2027 2029 2014 2025 2039
Freeway Improvements and Gap Closures Extend SR-90 Freeway to halfway between Culver Bl & Mindanao Way I-710 Freeway Improvements: Paciﬁc Coast Hwy to Downtown Long Beach SR-138 Widening (remaining 7 segments) SR-71 Freeway: I-10 to Mission Bl SR-71 Freeway: Mission Bl to Rio Rancho Rd I-5 North Capacity Enhancements 3,(R) Phase I – from SR-14 to Pico Cyn Phase II – from Pico Cyn to Parker Rd Phase III – from Parker Rd to Kern County
SR-138 Capacity Enhancements (additional segments) 3,(R) SR-710 North Extension (tunnel) – Preliminary estimate
20 7 217.1 115 330 5,271*
to be reﬁned in future analysis/studies 3,(R) I-710 South and/or Early Action Projects 3,(R) I-710 Early Action Projects I-710 South High Desert Corridor (environmental) 3,(R) High Desert Corridor (construction) Carpool Lanes I-5 Carpool Lanes: SR-14 to SR-118 SR-14 Carpool Lanes: Pearblossom Hwy to Avenue P-8 I-405 Carpool Lanes: I-105 to SR-90 I-405 NB Carpool Lane: Greenleaf St to Burbank Bl I-405 SB Carpool/Auxiliary Lane: Waterford St to I-10 SR-60 Carpool Lanes: I-605 to Brea Canyon Rd I-405 Carpool Lanes: SR-90 to I-10 I-5 Carpool Lanes: SR-118 to SR-170 I-5 Carpool Lanes: SR-170 to SR-134 (includes SR-170 direct connector) (R) I-10 Carpool Lanes: I-605 to Puente Av I-405 NB Carpool Lanes: I-10 to US -101 I-10 Carpool Lanes: Puente Av to Citrus Av I-10 Carpool Lanes: Citrus Av to SR-57 I-5 Carpool & Mixed-Flow Lanes: I-605 to Orange County Line (R) SR-14 Carpool Lanes: Avenue P-8 to Avenue L Freeway Interchanges US-101 Freeway & Ramp Realignment to Center St I-5/SR-126 Interchange Reconstruction (Phases I and II) I-5/Carmenita Rd Interchange Improvement (R) SR-57/SR-60 Mixed-Flow Interchange I-405, I-110, I-105 and SR-91 Ramp and Interchange Improvements in South Bay 3,4,6,(R) I-605 Corridor “Hot Spot” Interchanges in Gateway Cities 3,6,(R) Carpool Connectors SR-57/SR-60: Carpool Lane Direct Connector I-405/US -101: Connector Gap Closure near Greenleaf St I-5/SR-14: Carpool Lane Direct Connector (R) I-5/I-405: Carpool Lane Partial Connector Other Freeway Improvements Countywide Soundwalls (Metro regional list and Monterey Park/SR-60) 3,5,6,(R) Highway Operational Improvements in Arroyo Verdugo Subregion 3,4,6,(R) Highway Operational Improvements in Las Virgenes/Malibu Subregion 3,4,6,(R) Freeway Rehabilitation Caltrans-administered SHOPP Highway Operations Freeway Service Patrol
687 6,264 33 3,031 $ 134 40.8 50 6.4 50 153.3 169.5 250.9 699.7 168.6 1,034 182.8 170 1,240.5 120 40.9 72.2 379.7 475 1,512 3,200 70.5 45.7 161.1 330 2,400 260 253 6,302 1,026 303
2022 2025 2014 2020 open open open open open 2010 2010 2012 2012 2012 2013 2015 2015 2017 2027 open 2010 2015 2029 2014+ 2015-2025 open open 2013 2029 2005-2039 2014+ 2014+ 2005-2040 2005-2040 2005-2040
Why Toll Roads in the SCAG Region?
Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director Southern California Association of Governments
Second Annual Leonard Transportation Center Forum May 2, 2008
SR-710 Gap Closure
Congestion and traffic flows can produce strong revenue stream Complex project that can be managed through a PPP model Financial markets and Global Developers have expressed interest
Preliminary studies show the foundation for a successful toll facility *
*Assumed two 46-ft inner diameter tunnels could provide two levels of lanes in each direction; cost of $4.6 billion (nominal); would require private equity investment; assumed average user would pay $5.64 and average trucker would pay $15.23