Metro Agregara Servicio Este Sábado Debido a la Marcha de Mujeres

January 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro planea agregar servicio y seguridad en sus líneas ferroviarias el sábado para dar cabida a los cientos de miles de personas que se espera que asistan a la Marcha de Mujeres en el centro de Los Ángeles.

Metrolink también planea aumentar el servicio en sus líneas ferroviarias regionales.

La multitud en el evento del año superó con creces las expectativas de los organizadores, quienes finalmente estimaron que cerca de 750,000 personas asistieron a la marcha, aunque los oficiales de bomberos vincularon a la multitud en alrededor de 350,000.

Las multitudes condujeron a las abarrotadas plataformas del tren Metro y dejaron a algunos posibles pasajeros incapaces de meterse en trenes llenos del centro de la ciudad, a pesar de que el servicio se había ampliado para el evento.

Después del evento del año pasado, los funcionarios de Metro informaron que 592,000 pasajeros abordaron sus trenes ese día – 360,000 más un sábado típico.

Debido a que el año pasado, 592,000 pasajeros abordaron los trenes de Metro el día que ocurrió la Marcha de Mujeres en el centro de Los Ángeles, este sábado Metro planea agregar servicios y seguridad a sus líneas para dar cabida a los asistentes del evento este año. / Foto del Archivo de EGP

Funcionarios de Metro el miércoles instaron a las personas a llegar temprano y considerar comprar tarjetas TAP y cargarlas con tarifas adecuadas por adelantado para evitar lo que probablemente serán largas colas en los kioscos TAP el sábado.

Puede encontrar una lista de ubicaciones de donde se pueden comprar tarjetas TAP en

Metro planea reforzar el servicio en sus líneas ferroviarias de las 6 de la mañana a las 7 de la tarde el sábado. El servicio se incrementará en las líneas ferroviarias y en las líneas de autobuses Silver y Orange y en la línea 720 del Metro.

Algunos autobuses de Metro que normalmente viajan a través del centro de la ciudad podrían desviarse debido a las multitudes y el cierre de las calles, y se instó a los pasajeros a considerar la posibilidad de salir antes de llegar al centro de la ciudad.

Mientras tanto, Metrolink planea agregar 12 trenes a través del sur de California para acomodar a las multitudes. Se agregarán trenes en las líneas de San Bernardino y Antelope Valley. Metrolink también ofrecerá servicio en su línea del condado de Ventura entre Chatsworth y Los Ángeles. La línea del condado de Ventura generalmente no opera los fines de semana.

La marcha está programada para comenzar a las 9 de la mañana en la Plaza Pershing, terminando afuera del Ayuntamiento.

Ride Metro for Free Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve

December 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro will continue it’s long standing tradition of offering commuters free rides on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and will offer “enhanced” rail and bus service for commuters trying to get to the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, the transportation agency announced this week.

Riding a Metro rail line or bus can help commuters avoid the stress of fighting traffic, Metro said, encouraging people to take advantage of the free service.

Free rides will be available from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. on all Metro bus and rail lines on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The regular Sunday/Holiday schedule will be followed on Christmas Day. Bus lines that do not operate on Sundays will not run on Monday, Metro said.


On New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, Metro Bus will operate on a regular Sunday schedule. Metro Rail will run every 12 minutes on all lines with overnight, 24-hour service. Free fares will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. After 2 a.m., transit riders will need to TAP to ride. Metro Rail will run every 20 minutes from approximately 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. The regular Sunday/Holiday schedule will be in effect on New Year’s Day.

The Metro Gold Line will be the best way to get to the Pasadena events, as numerous Metro bus lines along the Rose Parade route will be detoured or split into two segments at Colorado Boulevard until streets are reopened, Metro said, adding that there are multiple stations that serve the parade route in Pasadena, including Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake and Allen.

Free bus shuttles from the Parsons parking lot to the Rose Bowl are easily accessible from Memorial Park Station, Metro said.

While free fares are in effect, fare gates will be unlatched and anyone who accidentally taps their TAP card will not be charged. Metro’s one-way fare is $1.75 with two hours of free transfers. Metro Day Pass fares are valid until 3 a.m. the following day.



Montebello Mayor Joins Metrolink Board

December 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Vivian Romero is “truly excited” to be the newest member of the Metrolink Board of Directors, after being appointed Dec. 8 by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Chairman Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as the alternate for L.A, county Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Metrolink is a Southern California regional commuter rail service governed by The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The transportation system included seven routes that run through 6 counties. It is the second largest commuter rail system in Southern California, (Metro is the largest), and third largest in the county, according Metrolink’s announcement of Romero’s appointment.

“I am pleased to welcome Mayor Romero on behalf of the Metrolink Board,” said Board Chair Andrew Kotyuk in the announcement. “She is dedicated to addressing the mobility needs of her constituents in Montebello and the San Gabriel Valley as well as the entire diverse Southern California region.”

Montebello Mayor Vivian Romero

Montebello Mayor Vivian Romero

Romero is the first LGBTQ elected official to serve as mayor of Montebello, a position appointed by a vote of the members of the City Council. She is the founder of a boutique entertainment group focusing on management, licensing, publishing and contract negotiation.

Attending her first official meeting last week, Romero thanked Solis for facilitating the appointment and “her confidence and faith” in her.

“Based on my experience as recent past President of the Independent Cities Association and the current Chair of Metro’s San Gabriel Valley Service Council, I am prepared to work collaboratively and contribute toward improving regional mobility in Southern California,” Romero said.

“I will also continue my work advocating for the critical investments required to meet our region’s infrastructure and transportation needs that indispensably keep our communities and its residents safely moving and thriving.”


Metro to Score Contractors’ Hiring of Women

December 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

New actions approved by the Metro Board of Directors will help improve the agency’s efforts to encourage contractors to hire more women to work on its construction projects, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

A motion approved by the Metro Board of Directors Dec. 1 calls for Metro to create and publish a score card system that reflects percentages of women hired by Metro contractors; develop an incentive program to encourage contractors to exceed an established national goal; and require contractors to demonstrate how they are promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment.

“Women are a driving force in L.A.’s growth and prosperity — supporting them in the workplace is good for business and good for our economy,” said Garcetti, also chair of the Metro board. “This new incentive program will create a more equitable, inclusive work environment and empower women to pursue careers in the construction industry.”

Metro has a project labor agreement to support national hiring goals for women on its construction projects, and an update on the PLA to the board demonstrated that the program is exceeding its goals but that the national goal on federally funded construction projects is not being met.

Former President Jimmy Carter signed an executive order in 1978, establishing a goal that 6.9 percent of hours worked on federally funded construction projects should be by women. Meeting the goal has been a challenge, as Metro said the current national average is below 3 percent, the California average is 2.1 percent and Metro currently is averaging 3.35 percent.

“Doing union construction, women make 93 percent of what men make, as opposed to the average 80 percent women make in other jobs,” County Supervisor and Metro Board member Sheila Kuehl. “This type of job not only builds our transportation system, it builds stable incomes and lives for the women who hold them.”

Lyft, Uber, Bus? There Could Soon be Third Ride Share Choice In Town

November 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro announced Monday that it is pursuing a partnership with Via, a ride sharing company, to offer discounted rides to and from three of its key stations in an effort to close the “first/last mile gap” for its customers.

This project will be supported in part by a $1.35 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox Program.metro_logo_25

Using a mobile app similar to Uber and Lyft, customers will be able to book a seat in a shared vehicle going to or from three major Metro stations.

Which stations are going to be used in the collaboration will be decided in the next few months, Metro said.

Via specializes in pooled transportation by matching customers all headed in the same direction. “We’re making our systems more inclusive — because access to public transportation is a right, not a privilege,” said Metro Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Everyone should be able to make a trip on Metro buses and trains, and these funds will help more riders get where they’re going quickly and conveniently.”

Metro said it will ensure that the rides are affordable for customers and will provide a payment solution for people who do not have a bank account.

The project is part of a two-region partnership between Los Angeles County, King County Metro and Sound Transit in Washington state where each region will be testing a new  partnership with a transportation network company.

“Our goal at Metro is to grow our service to provide more options and connections,” Metro CEO Phillip A Washington said. “We think this project has the potential to help us reach out to more people and, hopefully, make their lives easier.”

Metro said it is finalizing the agreement with Via with a goal of starting the project in summer 2018.

“Via’s shared ride technology is perfect for connecting more people to public transit. Metro is committed to offering innovative services to the public, and we are excited to help Metro solve the first and last mile challenge and help millions of new passengers take advantage of other public transportation options,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.

An Important Step Toward More Housing

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week, something really important happened at the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (CPC). The Commissioners took a big step towards increasing our ability to build more desperately needed housing along our new transit lines. After five years of planning, we are making real progress.

In June 2012, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, in partnership with Metro, launched the Transit Neighborhood Plans (TNPs) program to encourage livable communities and employment centers around the region’s expanding transit network. The Expo Line TNP is the first proposal to be developed and it was approved by the CPC last week.

The City Planning Department presented a proposal to regulate development within half a mile of the five stops from Culver City to the Bundy station. Recognizing that the plan needed to be bolder and provide more housing, the Commission restored zoning that had been downzoned, removed height bias and reduced parking minimums. Along a corridor that has already reached its 2030 goal of 64,000 daily boardings, we now have the opportunity to see the construction of badly needed housing that relies on transit and not automobiles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of 275,000 new housing units in the next two decades, two-thirds of which should be within one-quarter of a mile from a transit stop. This is part of what Angelenos envisioned when we overwhelmingly supported Measure M – transportation investments that also create hubs for housing and jobs, giving residents transit choices and walkable communities. The Expo Line TNP will now go to City Council and the Chamber will be there in support.

The Purple Line TNP, which will address planning for the communities around the La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega stations, is also in the planning stages. I urge you to be a part of these conversations. It is essential that we get these plans right because they will be the foundation of a city that provides homes, jobs and transportation for future generations.

And that’s The Business Perspective.


The Business Perspective is a weekly column by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Public Policy staff.

Art Students’ Transportation ‘Visions’ to be Honored at Measure M Gala

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A group of student artists whose work captures their vision for transportation in the future will be honored Saturday at a gala event marking the one year anniversary of the passage of Measure M, a transportation ballot initiative expected to lead to $120 billion in funding for transportation projects in Los Angeles County.

Three yet to be named students will also take home prize money.

The nonprofit AARP will recognize the students from Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights – which happens to be the same high school where AARP founder Ether Percy Andrus served as principal beginning in 1916 – during a special, black-tie Transportation Gala at Union Station.

“AARP’s vision for Measure M is one of a 21st-century public transportation system that links people of all ages to jobs and essential supports and services,” said AARP California State Director Nancy McPherson in a statement announcing the awards.

Students at Lincoln High School explore ideas on transportation as part of AARP art contest and Measure M anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of AARP)

Students at Lincoln High School explore ideas on transportation as part of AARP art contest and Measure M anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of AARP)

“In order for this vision to become a reality, it is essential to engage a new generation of creative thinkers and artists in envisioning and planning their own future.”

According to the announcement, the students worked with Boyle Heights–based contemporary artist Mike Saijo for five weeks to explore the themes of transportation and livability in Los Angeles.

With Saijo’s guidance, the students were encouraged to think about what types of transportation options that they believe will make communities of the future more livable for people of all ages and abilities — and then, for the competition part of the experience.,  capture  and relay  their thoughts through art created with materials provided to them.

Student art entries were judged by a panel of art professionals based on aesthetics, artistic creation, content, and concept. At the Transportation Gala, the top three winners will receive a check and recognition for their work.

The Gala is the highlight of a month-long series of events featuring multi-modal activities and transportation options for people of all ages and abilities in Los Angeles County.






New Bike Hub Opened at Union Station

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A Metro bike hub opened Wednesday at Los Angeles Union Station, offering secure bike storage, rentals, repairs and classes in an effort to encourage more cyclists to use the transit system.

“This safe, secure bicycle parking center connects cyclists with one of our city’s most active transportation hubs and encourages more people to get where they’re going on two wheels,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, chair of the Metro board.

The $2.5 million, 3,000-square-foot facility next to the north breezeway of Union Station West near Alameda Street can accommodate safe and secure parking for nearly 200 bicycles under a controlled entry system and closed-circuit TV surveillance. It also offers same-day repairs, accessory sales, clinics and classes.

Metro has already opened bike hubs at the El Monte Transit Center and the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line Station, with additional hubs planned at the Culver City Expo Line Station, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Blue/Green Line Station, North Hollywood Orange Line Station and the Airport Metro Connector station.

“We now have a dedicated bike shop, parking area and common meeting place for our local bicycle community here at Union Station.” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said.

The secure bike parking area will be open 24 hours a day all year and operated by BikeHub, a Metro contractor that also operates the El Monte and Hollywood/Vine facilities.

Retail and bike services, including bike rentals, clinics, bike valet and tours, will be provided by the Bike Center on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking at the Union Station Metro Bike Hub access will be available for registered users for $5 weekly, $12 monthly or $60 yearly.

Changes to 1-710 Corridor Will Be Hardest on Low-Income Areas

October 26, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Monday was the last day to submit comments on the draft version of an environmental report for a project to improve traffic congestion and air pollution along a stretch of the 710 (Long Beach) Freeway that includes Bell Gardens, Commerce and East Los Angeles. At a public meeting last Wednesday with the transportation agencies overseeing the project, resident after resident angrily said they are tired of not being listened to and their East Los Angeles neighborhoods being forced to absorb the brunt of the region’s transportation problems.

About 300 people attended the meeting Oct. 18 at Humphreys Avenue Elementary School hosted by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The supervisor had arranged for the two lead agencies on the project, Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), to answer questions related to the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the I-710 Corridor Project that, among other things, includes the possible taking of some homes located along a stretch of the freeway in East Los Angeles.

Solis represents neighborhoods and cities in the project area and sits on Metro’s Board of Directors. She briefly circulated among the crowd before the start of the meeting, which she opened by saying her office, Caltrans and Metro are committed to working with the community, but then left before the public comment portion of the meeting.

The I-710 is a major good carrier. (Source: Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the I-710 Corridor Project )

The I-710 is a major good carrier. (Source: Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the I-710 Corridor Project )

Planning has been underway for years. The initial Draft EIR was circulated for public review in 2012. According to its Executive Summery, the Draft EIR currently under review was revised “Based on the feedback received during the 2012 public circulation period,” and changes in “key traffic conditions.” As a result, new building alternatives were added, according to the report.

Eastside residents have long feared Caltrans and Metro would take homes in their neighborhoods for the project and the alternatives added show it could happen.

If chosen, Options 3A and 3B under Alternatives 5 and 7 respectively, would hit residents on Sydney Drive in unincorporated East L.A. near the Commerce border the hardest. Dozens of homes could be slated for removal or the freeway widened to within a few feet of their front door step.

Also potentially impacted are residents in the Ayers neighborhood in Commerce, but last week the attention was on East Los Angeles, where the crowd had one message for transportation officials, “Leave East L.A. alone.”

Residents have been silent long enough, said Guadalupe Arellano, who has lived in East L.A. for 45 years.

“It’s time we speak up,” Arellano said. “These projects don’t benefit our community.”

According to the presentation by Metro spokesman Ernesto Chavez, the I-710 project will improve traffic safety, air quality and prepare for growth in the goods movement. It would also improve public health by reducing air pollutants from trucks through the I-710 Clean Emissions Trucks Program.

The damaging health impacts from the diesel trucks and cars traveling through the area have long been a concern, including among residents who are now protesting the plans that transportation officials say will improve air quality in the region.

Andy Padilla, a 55-year resident of East L.A., angrily spoke about the injustice his community continues to deal with from government agencies.

Sup. Hilda Solis speaks at East L.A. community meeting she hosted to give residents information about the I-710 Corridor Project Draft EIR. (photo courtesy of the Office of Sup. Hilda Solis)

Sup. Hilda Solis speaks at East L.A. community meeting she hosted to give residents information about the I-710 Corridor Project Draft EIR. (photo courtesy of the Office of Sup. Hilda Solis)

“It’s always the minority group that has to stand back,” Padilla said, noting that plans to expand the I-710 north through Pasadena and San Marino were scrapped because those more financially well-to-do communities didn’t want the disruption to their communities.

“We have a voice, that’s our financial backing.” Padilla said.

The sense of injustice is not without merit. It’s even acknowledged in the Draft EIR (S.5.3.3 – Environmental Justice Build Alternatives), which cites “disproportionately high impact and adverse impacts on minority and low-income populations in the Study Area,” even after taking into account the overall “beneficial effects” of the project “on the surrounding communities and I-710 corridor users when compared with current conditions.”

Funding to “alleviate project-related impacts to environmental justice communities” is recommended.

Stories of pets dying, children having asthma and families fighting for their homes, circulated the auditorium before and after the meeting and during public testimony.

Words of frustration, sorrow and tears of anger were expressed by residents, as some complained their supervisor and chief elected representative for the project had already left the room.

Los Angeles Unified School District teacher Juan Vasquez leads the grassroots Sydney Drive Neighborhood Group, which has been very vocal about its opposition to the taking of homes in their neighborhood. He has also been critical of what he sees as Solis’ failure to engage directly with residents who could be displaced. “Where is she,” he said angrily after the meeting.

“I’m glad we had this meeting, but she needs to be here,” Vazquez said. “Her staff can only do so much, she’s our voice. Her presence matters.”

At least half a dozen members of the supervisor’s staff were present during the meeting and actively engaged with the residents, responding to their inquiries and comments.

Solis said in an email that her office facilitated last week’s public meeting to ensure maximum participation by the community. She said they secured the meeting location, headphones for simultaneous translations, note-takers and a court reporter to make sure comments were taken down accurately. Solis, who has yet to publicly endorse any of the proposals, also requested that Caltrans extend by 30 days the public comment period which was scheduled to end in September.

For some in the community, however, those efforts aren’t good enough. The only thing they want to hear is that the supervisor will go to bat for them and stop to the project.

“We are saying we don’t agree with any proposed alternative,” Vazquez emphasized.

With so many communities impacted by the extreme traffic congestion and the unhealthful pollution it creates, not to mention the effect on the economy from the slowed-down movement of goods coming out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, taking a position to do nothing is not without its own set of critics.

At this point, however, according to Chavez the biggest obstacle to all of the proposals when it comes up for review in February 2018 is lack of funding.

According to the I-710 Draft EIR, Alternative 5C would cost $6.5 billion to build while Alternative 7 would cost $11 billion.

Metro and Caltrans will provide $1.2 billion towards funding, according to Chavez, leaving residents to question where the rest of the money will come from.

Work will be done in stages, explained Chavez, meaning they don’t have to have all the money upfront. His words did not sit well with residents like Sylvia Corona, who complained her neighborhood would probably get the short end of stick.

“The nicer areas get all the funding,” the 42-year resident of East L.A. warned her neighbors.

“Once they reach East L.A. they’ll run out of funds and we’ll be left to deal with the closure of roads, dust and more traffic.”

EGP Managing Editor Gloria Alvarez contributed to this story.


Cambios en el Corredor I-710 Serán Más Difíciles en Áreas de Bajos Recursos

October 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El lunes fue el último día para enviar comentarios sobre la versión borrador de un informe ambiental para un proyecto para mejorar la congestión del tráfico y la contaminación del aire a lo largo de un tramo de la autopista 710 (Long Beach) que incluye a Bell Gardens, Commerce y el este Los Ángeles. En una reunión publica el miércoles pasado con las agencias de transporte supervisando el proyecto, residentes tras residentes dijeron enojados que están cansados de no ser escuchados y que sus vecindarios del este de Los Ángeles se vean obligados a absorber la peor parte de los problemas de transporte de la región.

Alrededor de 300 personas asistieron a la reunión el 18 de octubre en la escuela primaria de Humphreys Avenue auspiciada por la supervisora del condado de Los Ángeles, Hilda Solís. La supervisora había coordinado las dos agencias principales del proyecto, Caltrans y la Autoridad de Transporte Metropolitano del Condado de Los Ángeles (Metro), para responder preguntas relacionadas con el Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report  for the I-710 Corridor Project (Reporte de Impacto Ambiental Recirculado del Proyecto del Corredor I-710) que, entre otras cosas, incluye la posible toma de algunas casas ubicadas a lo largo de un tramo de la autopista en el este de Los Ángeles.

Solís representa vecindarios y ciudades en el área del proyecto y forma parte de la junta directiva del Metro. Ella circuló brevemente entre la multitud antes del comienzo de la reunión, que ella abrió diciendo que su oficina, Caltrans y Metro están comprometidos a trabajar con la comunidad, pero luego se fue antes de la parte de comentarios públicos de la reunión.

La planificación ha estado en marcha durante años. El Borrador del EIR inicial se circuló para revisión publica en 2012. Según su Resumen Ejecutivo, el Borrador del EIR actualmente en revisión fue revisado “basado en los comentarios recibidos durante el periodo de circulación publica de 2012” y cambios en “condiciones clave del tráfico”. Como resultado, se agregaron nuevas alternativas de construcción, según el informe.

Los residentes del lado este temían desde hace mucho tiempo que Caltrans y Metro se llevaran casas en sus vecindarios para el proyecto y las alternativas añadidas muestran que podría suceder.

Si se eligen, las Alternativas 5 y 7 golpearán más duramente a las residentes en Sydney Drive, en el este no incorporado de Los Ángeles, cerca de la frontera con Commerce. Decenas de casas podrían ser removidas o la autopista seria extendida hasta su puerta principal.

También pueden verse afectados los residentes del vecindario Ayers en Commerce, pero la semana pasada la atención se centró en el este de Los Ángeles, donde la multitud tenía un mensaje para los funcionarios de transporte: “Dejen al este de Los Ángeles en paz”.

Los residentes han estado en silencio el tiempo suficiente, dijo Guadalupe Arellano, quien ha vivido en el este de Los Ángeles por 45 años.

“Es hora de que hablemos”, dijo Arellano. “Estos proyectos no benefician a nuestra comunidad”.

De acuerdo con la presentación del vocero de Metro, Ernesto Chávez, el proyecto I-710 mejorará la seguridad del tráfico, la calidad del aire y se preparará para el crecimiento en el movimiento de bienes. También mejoraría la salud publica al reducir los contaminantes del aire de los camiones a través del programa de camiones de emisiones limpias de la autopista 710.

Los dañinos impactos a la salud de los camiones diésel y los automóviles que circulan por el área han sido una preocupación desde hace mucho tiempo, incluso entre los residentes que ahora protestan por los planes que los funcionarios de transporte dicen que mejoraran la calidad del aire en la región.

Andy Padilla, un residente de 55 años del este de Los Ángeles, habló enojado sobre la injusticia que su comunidad sigue tratando con agencias gubernamentales.

“Siempre es el grupo minoritario el que tiene que retroceder”, dijo Padilla y señalo que los planes para expandir la autopista 710 hacia el norte a través de Pasadena y San Marino se eliminaron porque las comunidades más acomodadas financieramente no quieran la interrupción de sus comunidades.

“Tenemos una voz, ese es nuestro respaldo financiero”, dijo Padilla.

El sentido de injusticia no carece de mérito. Incluso se reconoce en el Borrador del EIR (S.5.3.3 – Alternativas de Construcción de Justicia Ambiental), que cita “un impacto desproporcionadamente alto e impactos adversos en las poblaciones minoritarias y de bajos ingresos en el área de estudio”, incluso después de tener en cuenta los “efectos beneficiosos” generales del proyecto “en las comunidades circundantes y los usuarios del corredor I-710 en comparación con las condiciones actuales”.

Se recomienda el financiamiento para “aliviar los impactos relacionados con el proyecto a las comunidades de justicia ambiental”.

Historias de mascotas muriendo, niños con asma y familias que luchan por sus hogares, circularon el auditorio antes y después de la reunión y durante el testimonio público.

Los residentes expresaron palabras de frustración, tristeza y lágrimas de ira, ya que algunos se quejaron de que su supervisor y el principal representante electo del proyecto ya había abandonado la sala.

El maestro del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles, Juan Vásquez, lidera el grupo de base Sydney Drive Neighborhood Group (Grupo de Vecinos de Sydney Drive), que ha sido muy elocuente sobre su oposición a la toma de viviendas en su vecindario. También ha criticado lo que él ve como el fracaso de Solís en involucrarse directamente con los residentes que podrían ser desplazados. “¿Donde esta ella?”, dijo enojado después de la reunión.

“Me alegra que hayamos tenido esta reunión, pero ella necesita estar aquí”, dijo Vázquez. “Su personal solo puede hacer tanto, ella es nuestra voz. Su presencia importa”.

Al menos media docena de miembros del personal de la supervisora estuvieron presentes durante la reunión y participaron activamente con los residentes, respondiendo a sus preguntas y comentarios.

Solís dijo en un correo electrónico que su oficina facilito la reunión pública de la semana pasada para garantizar la máxima participación de la comunidad.

Ella dijo que aseguraron la ubicación de la reunión, audífonos para traducciones simultaneas, tomadores de notas y un reportero judicial para asegurarse de que los comentarios se tomen con precisión.

Solís, quien todavía tiene que respaldar públicamente cualquiera de las propuestas, también solicitó a Caltrans extender por 30 días el periodo de comentarios públicos que estaba programado para finalizar en septiembre.

Para algunos en la comunidad, sin embargo, esos esfuerzos no son lo suficientemente buenos. Lo único que quieren escuchar es que el supervisor irá por ellos y se detendrá en el proyecto.

“Estamos diciendo que no estamos de acuerdo con ninguna alternativa propuesta”, enfatizó Vázquez.

Con tantas comunidades afectadas por la congestión extrema del tráfico y la contaminación insalubre que crea, por no mencionar el efecto en la economía del movimiento de mercancías que sale de los puertos de Los Ángeles y Long Beach, tomando una posición para hacer nada no es sin su propio conjunto de críticas.

En este punto, sin embargo, de acuerdo con Chávez, el mayor obstáculo para todas las propuestas cuando se presente a revisión en febrero del 2018 es la falta de fondos.

Según el EIR del Borrador de la Autopista 710, la Alternativa 5C costaría $6.5 billones para construir mientras que la Alternativa 7 costaría $11 billones.

Según Chávez, Metro y Caltrans proporcionaran $1.2 mil millones para financiamiento, dejando a los residentes cuestionar de donde vendrá el resto del dinero.

El trabajo se realizará por etapas, explicó Chávez, lo que significa que no tienen que tener todo el dinero por adelantado.

“Las áreas más agradables obtienen todos los fondos”, advirtió a sus vecinos el residente de 42 años del este de Los Ángeles.

“Una vez que lleguen al este de Los Ángeles se quedarán sin fondos y nos quedaremos con el cierre de carreteras, polvo y más tráfico”.

Gloria Álvarez, gerente editorial de EGP, contribuyo a esta historia.

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