Echo Park Community Warns Metro: Hybrid Plan for Route 2 Terminus Untested, Illegal

Screen_shot_2009_11_11_at_9.28.05_AM.pngThe LADOT’s favored alternative. Of course, they’re willing to "compromise."

At 1:00 P.M. down at Metro Headquarters Board Room, the Metro Board Planning and Programming Committee will vote on a staff proposal to accept a "hybrid alternative" to the Route 2 Terminus project.  Last week, Streetsblog discussed the broken process that led to the "hybrid" where the community proposed a design that would have calmed traffic and added open space to the road but LADOT rejected that proposal because it didn’t do anything to add capacity to the road.  Basically, all three agencies had to agree on a design, and despite Metro’s approval of the local design, it had to "compromise" with the LADOT on what is now being called the "hybrid option."

There’s just one small problem.  The "hybrid option" has never been studied, yet Metro now seems determined to push this option as the "locally preferred alternative."  Not only was this option not included in any environmental documents, it doesn’t appear on Metro’s project website and doesn’t even appear on a documents on the alternatives that are being considered on the project website.

Unfortunately, Metro isn’t just violating its contract with the community to have an open and transparent process by pushing an alternative that hasn’t been studied; it’s also possibly violating state law concerning environmental review.  After all, if agencies can just add an alternative at the end of the environmental review without studying it and declaring it the "preferred alternative;" then what is the point of the review in the first place?

The local community, which had worked hard on its own alternative that increased open space and viewed the road as a public resource, not a sewer to flush cars through, isn’t going to give up without a fight.  The following excerpt is from a letter they sent to Metro staff and board members in advance of today’s meeting.

11_19_09_2.jpgToday’s vote provides an interesting challenge for the Metro Board.  What is more important to them?  Voting to preserve the public process, empower a community and follow environmental regulations; or bending over backwards to widen a street and funnel even more traffic into a community that doesn’t want it.

  • JRider

    Freeways are a precious commodity and the community alternative calls for removing the off-ramp overpass. Wait? What?

    LA won’t be getting any new freeways ever again, so does it make sense to start tearing out already-precious freeway segments?

    Whatever is done with this terminus, leave the overpass! Work the open space around that.

  • Damien what is the group doing all this footwork? Can you link to them for those interested in getting involved?

    I’m so glad to see you covering this nightmare of an off ramp, which separates me and everyone else biking in echo park, silver lake, east hollywood from everyone biking in the NE; it’s truly an example of how rotten and disconnected our transportation system is. Restructuring this off ramp will be a huge victory for improving the liveability of these same neighborhoods and will help all of us bicyclists/walkers/sitters/breathers/humans move forward with the rest of our game plan.

  • Easy enough: echoparkcac@att.net

  • MU

    LACBC (Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition) is doing organizing on this issue. I can’t find the page on their website, but you can contact Aurisha Smolarski at aurisha@la-bike.org for more info.

  • JRider, your comment makes no sense!

    Do you want to keep the off-ramps or would you rather see them taken out?

  • limit

    Madness. If anything a gap closure should also be done to connect the 2 with the 101 as previous designed.

  • A “gap closure”?! Wha?! A gap should be created to keep as much auto traffic as possible from further destroying the quality of life in this neighborhood.

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