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    Mayor & City Mgr. Send Joint Memo With New 710 Fwy Marching Orders: Reconsider Each Build Alternative To Minimize Potential Negative Consequences For Neighborhoods, Residential Areas & Open Space

    We post memo verbatim

    (May 3, 2003) -- In an unusual joint memorandum carrying the clout of LB's highest ranking citywide elected official and top city management, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill and Acting City Manager Gerald Miller have urged 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 Mayoral-Managerial memo, dated April 29 and sent to Christine Shippey, LB Dep. City Mgr. & Acting Dir. of Public Works, specifically requested that Ms. Shippey "relay this view to the members of the I-710 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) through Lon Maddox, our representative on the TAC." posts the memo verbatim in pdf form at: Mayor-Mgr. Memo re Reconsideration of 710 Fwy Alternatives.

    The memo states in pertinent part:

    Federal design standards are generally used by Caltrans to guide freeway design, but these standards can be, and often are, adjusted to adapt to local conditions and needs. Such rigid standards cannot be blindly applied in the I-710 Corridor without thought to impacts on communities and neighborhoods. Further, inflexible adherence to so-called "least cost" designs may in fact have unacceptable "costs" in terms of their impacts on our neighborhoods and our residents.

    It is our view that the so-called "build" alternatives must be carefully weighed and evaluated in light of our mobility, public health, safety, environmental, and community enhancement goals. In particular, any final alternative that is selected for the I-710 Corridor must be crafted to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, the taking of valuable housing stock, degradation of quality-of-life in our City and our neighborhoods, and the appearance of a lack of sensitivity to residents' concerns... [I]t has become clear that we need to consider significant modifications and possible conceptual design changes to the alternatives so as to eliminate those impacts [on the Corridor's built and natural environment] to the greatest extent possible..."

    As previously reported by, Councilwoman Reyes-Uranga issued a press release on May 1 indicating that a new 710 policy directive had in fact been communicated by city staff at the TAC meeting. Councilwoman Reyes-Uranga called staff's presentation "one small first step in the right direction, but it is troubling that it took an outraged community to wake this City up and realize the serious impacts to our residents."

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