Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Supervisor Janice Hahn, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and Councilmember Ara Najarian have proposed an amendment to the staff recommendation of Alternative 5C for the I-710 South Corridor, known as Motion 5.2. Alternative 5C with proposed Motion 5.2 refinements would result in cleaner air for the communities along the I-710 Corridor, improve safety for both car and truck drivers, and make major investments in bike and pedestrian paths.
Alternative 5C will result in I-710 corridor modernization that would improve safety in and out of America’s largest ports: the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. 40% of America’s goods come in and out of the twin ports. Approximately 85-90% of the Alternative 5C will be completed within the existing I-710 right of way. This alternative improves safety along the whole corridor and will create thousands of local jobs. Alternative 5C also includes numerous community benefits including bike pedestrian bridges over the LA River, a zero emissions truck program, new and enhanced transit service, and the ability to increase park space for neighboring communities.
Motion 5.2 proposes the following amendments:
- Fast tracks I-710 Early Action Program that will improve interchanges, freeway crossings, and on/off ramp bottlenecks. It also supports moving forward immediately with community benefits including bike lanes, neighborhood street improvements, and pedestrian improvements.
- Requires Metro Staff to return to the Board for approval of the remainder of the project elements after completing the Early Action Program, including any widening, and to re-evaluate and revalidate the environmental documents using the most current State and local evaluation measures at that time.
- Requires Metro staff to further minimize any potential displacements, if not outright eliminate, residential, business, and sensitive land use displacements that would result from this project.
- Fast tracks near-zero and zero-emission truck deployment and on/off dock rail freight improvements.
- Asks Metro to hold an industry forum and develop a strategy for demand management.
Motion 5.2’s prioritization will also advance Supervisor Solis’ Motion 22.1 “Community Benefits” package, which include:
- Project Labor Agreements associated with local money for Early Action Programs
- Near zero/zero-emission truck deployment
- Air quality improvements (including air scrubbers and monitors)
- Complete Streets improvements to local streets and arterials
- New and enhanced transit service
- New and enhanced active transportation network improvements
We agree that the existing and future conditions on and near the I-710 are unacceptable and that something needs to be done; however, the No Build alternative will not improve the quality of life for our residents and those who commute on and around the I-710. The No Build alternative fails to address the purpose and need of this Project, and inaction will result in more negative impacts in our communities. With the No Build alternative, none of the air quality, mobility, or safety benefits associated with the Project would be achieved, and none of I-710’s current design and operational deficiencies would be resolved.
Additionally, after 19 years and $58 million dollars spent to get us to this point, with communities along the corridor suffering from increasingly poor traffic congestion and air quality, a new EIR would only serve to set this Project back, preventing much needed improvements to our communities that desperately need them.
Motion 5.2 is the best way forward.
Statement from Supervisor Hilda Solis
“I want to thank all of our residents who have shared their comments about the future of the I-710 South Corridor. I understand there are many opinions about the proposed alternatives and that is why I have fought to ensure your voices have been heard.
Over the past 50 years, the growth of the communities along the corridor and the extensive increase in the number of trucks and cars have resulted in significant traffic delays and severe impacts on air quality-most notably throughout the vulnerable communities along the corridor.
In order to enhance safety of commuters and our residents, address traffic flow concerns, and improve the air quality in the communities along the corridor, I introduced Motion 5.2 because I believe Motion 5.2 places a strong emphasis on delivering incremental benefits over time, while minimizing impacts to local communities.
Our joint Motion 5.2 prioritizes the Early Action Program projects in Alternative 5C, ensuring our surrounding communities receive benefits from this $2.5 billion investment sooner rather than later. The I-710 Early Action Program will improve nine critical interchanges from East Los Angeles to the Port of Los Angeles and add soundwalls to reduce noise to the communities surrounding I-710, along with other comprehensive community improvements under my Motion 22.1. This motion also directs Metro to select and prioritize projects from Early Action Program that have minimum property right-of-way impacts. The implementation of these projects will take approximately 10 years and, prior to creating additional lanes on the I-710, Metro will be directed to re-assess the EIR and report to the Metro Board for further direction and prioritization.
I know that it has taken a long time to get to this point, and no one is naïve in thinking that we are close to the end. When Metro selects a locally preferred alternative on March 1st, the project will be required to undergo further analysis and refinement through the project design phase, which will produce additional information on specifics such as design details, timing, construction, and program administration and implementation. In the future, the EIR will need to be updated again, and there will be more opportunities for discussion and collaboration with communities along the corridor. Soliciting and welcoming public comment will continue to remain a high priority throughout this process.
I want to thank everyone who has participated in this EIR process and shaping it through their comments. We will continue to work hard to realize a vision of a new and modern I-710 Corridor that addresses these decades-long concerns. Thank you for your patience as we move forward.”
Statement from Mayor Robert Garcia
“As the gateway to America’s Ports, the 710 is in great need of modernization. Almost 90% of this project is upgrading the current footprint and right-of way of the existing freeway. I know any additional widening won’t eliminate congestion, but it will improve safety for motorists who struggle on the 710 with trucks coming in and out of the ports.
The amended motion will move us toward a zero emissions port to protect the health of our communities and will provide hundreds of millions of dollars for significant improvements to neighborhoods along the 710. They include the construction of the new Shoemaker Bridge, the expansion of Cesar Chavez Park, the creation of new bike and pedestrian pathways, safer on and off ramps coming in and out of Long Beach, improvements to roads and neighborhood streets along the 710, including major streets like PCH, Anaheim, Willow, Wardlow, Artesia, Del Amo, and many others.
The Long Beach City Council 710 Oversight Committee also unanimously endorsed motion 5C, and the Port of Long Beach supports the staff recommendation.
Most importantly, the amended motion will help clean the air and move us toward a zero emissions future.”