710 Fwy Action:
Key I-710 Oversight Policy Committee Directs Drafting Of "Hybrid" Plan Using Parts of Five Alternatives Based On "Guiding Principles"
Vice Mayor Colonna Gets "Guiding Principles" Amended To Include Substance Of LB's Council-Adopted Principles; We Post Adopted Text
Dissent: City of Commerce Announces It Favors "No Build" Alternative...And Compton Councilwoman Says Her Council Favored "No Build" In Study Session And May Vote This Way Soon
(May 29, 2003) -- After public opposition spurred an MTA board vote urging a hybrid 710 freeway alternative, and a LB City Council vote urged a decision be based on six "guiding principles," the I-710 Oversight Policy Committee (OPC) -- which will ultimately vote on what elements to pursue -- has voted 8-4 (with two abstentions and six absent) to create a hybrid plan using "appropriate parts" of five previously floated alternatives based on guiding principles.
The OPC's guiding principles that are supposed to govern selection of those elements were amended on motion of co-chair, LB Vice Mayor Frank Colonna), to include the substance of six guiding principles adopted on May 20 by the LB City Council.
The May 28 OPC meeting also revealed some official dissent: the City of Commerce OPC representative publicly announced that his city now formally supports the "No Build" alternative (projects already planned and committed, but no more).
And the city of Compton's OPC rep indicated her city's Council supported a "no build" alternative (action in a Council study session; Council vote on taking this position could follow.)
The LB City Council did not take a voted position on what specific 710 freeway Alternative to pursue, focusing instead on guiding principles that it urged be applied in a decision to be made by the 20-member I-710 OPC (comprised of reps from 13 member cities on the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, plus Carson, plus and reps from L.A. County, the Ports of LB and L.A., MTA, SCAG and Caltrans).
When the issue of what Alternative to pursue arose as an agendized item at the May 28 OPC meeting, Vice Mayor Colonna for the following agendized motion:
"...Directing the [I-710] Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to start with Alternative B and create a 'hybrid' alternative that combines appropriate elements from all 5 alternatives. These elements must be acceptable to each affected city with the purpose of minimizing "right of way" acquisitions and the objective of preserving existing housing stock, yet work together as an integrated strategy consistent with adopted guiding principles."
The vote was as follows:
Yes (8): Cities of Downey, Long Beach, Maywood, South Gate, Port of LB, Port of L.A., Caltrans, MTA
No (4): Bell Gardens, Commerce, Compton, Carson
Abstain (2): So Cal Ass'n of Gov'ts (SCAG), Huntington Park
Absent (6): Bell, Cudahy, Lynwood, Paramount, Vernon, County of LA
The OPC's vote directing preparation of a "hybrid" alternative sparked opposition from some audience members...particularly after it was revealed that the OPC might be pressed to vote on what 710 elements to pursue as soon as late June (ostensibly to meet a deadline for some type of federal funding).
Gateway Cities Council of Governments Executive Director, Richard Powers, indicated that despite an approaching June target for seeking some federal funds, that need not be a definitive deadline in the OPG's decisionmaking schedule.
The OPC also voted to create Citizens Advisory Committees, with instructions to solicit input from member cities on who should comprise the advisory bodies. [That process would seem to make it nearly impossible to meet any June decision deadline if there were one.]
The inclusion of LB's "guiding principles" had a circuitous genesis. As first reported by LBReport.com, when public opposition mounted, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill and Acting City Manager Gerald Miller issued an unusual joint memorandum on April 29 urging that each "build" alternative for 710 freeway expansion be "immediately reconsidered to minimize potential negative consequences related to neighborhoods, residential areas, and open space..."
The City Council then voted 9-0 on May 20 at the urging of 7th district Councilwoman Tonia Reyes-Uranga to adopt six guiding principles as official LB City Hall policy.
Vice Mayor Colonna had the task of getting the OPC (which he co-chairs) to vote to include LB's six guiding principles in four pre-written guiding principles that were set for an OPC vote. He succeeded, effectively finessing LB's verbiage into the OPC language.
As adopted, the OPC guiding principles that are supposed to govern preparation and selection of I-710 elements are:
- 1. Minimize right of way acquisitions with the objective being to preserve existing houses, businesses and open space.
- 2. Reduce Air Pollution. Identify and minimize both immediate and cumulative exposure to air toxics and pollution with aggressive advocacy and implementation of diesel emission reduction programs and use of alternative fuels, as well as in project planning and design.
- 3. Improve Safety by considering enhanced truck safety inspection facilities and reduced truck/car conflicts and improved roadway design.
- 4. Relieve Congestion and reduce intrusion of traffic into communities and neighborhoods by employing a comprehensive regional systems approach that includes adding needed capacity as well as deploying Transportation Systems Management and Transportation Demand management technologies and strategies (TSM/TDM) to make full use of freeway, roadway, rail and transit systems. [Previously identified Alameda Corridor but Colonna stated, "Inherent to 'rail and transit systems' the Alameda Corridor would be included in that but I think we have other working parts here..."]
- 5. Improve Public Participation in the development and consideration of alternatives and provide technical assistance to facilitate effective public participation.
The May 28th I-710 OPC meeting drew about 50 people to Paramount's Progress Park, including a sizable LB contingent. LB City Manager Jerry Miller was part of the OPC panel. Also representing high-level city management was newly named Manager of Public & Governmental Affairs Carl Kemp (not shown but spotted).
Making point (photo center) is 9th district Council office Community Liaison Dan Pressburg with NLB activist Dave San Jose. Also pictured, Press-Telegram reporter Tracy Manzer.
LB Planning Commissioner and long-time WLB activist Nick Sramek peruses the agenda. Also attending (not pictured), daughter Bridget Sramek, field rep for LB area Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal.
Also attending but not pictured were NLB activist Linda Ivers and WLB resident Alan Hose.
Related LBReport.com coverage:
Alameda Corridor CEO Hankla Testimony & Colloquy at LB City Council 710 Fwy Study Session, May 20, 2003
Major MTA Vote On 710 Fwy...With Alameda Corridor Fallout:
MTA Board (Incl. Sup. Knabe) Backs Sup. Molina's Motion Urging Removal Of Parts Alts. C, D & E That Would Take Home & Biz Parcels, Preference For Alt. B Arterial Improvements
Motion Amended To Include Forming Resident Advisory Committee
Adds Request For Report On Performance of Alameda Corridor