Hearings on Expo Phase II DEIR Begin Tomorrow

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The Exposition Construction Authority, the quasi independent agency charged with building the Expo Line, will hold three hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement tomorrow.  There will be two more hearings next week, and each provide an opportunity to make your voice heard on what kind of Expo Line you wish to see.

The largest issue to be resolved is what alignment Phase II should take although other issues, such as whether or not grade crossings are built at-grade or below-grade and the future of the Expo Bike path are also up for discussion.

The environmental documents favor the construction of the light rail extension down Exposition Boulevard, along the existing Right-of-Way, an alternative also favored by Friends 4 Expo Transit.  However, some activists in Santa Monica are pushing for the train to go down Colorado Avenue to avoid passing close to their public schools.

The grade-crossing issue has been around for nearly as long as Expo has been under debate.  A group of homeowners and activists in the Cheviot Hills Area are insisting that no rail be built that isn’t below ground because of safety and congestion concerns.

Last, but not least, the issue of whether or not the Expo Construction Authority will take the lead on building the bike lane that should connect the downtown to Santa Monica needs to be resolved.  The Expo Construction Authority seems to be backing away from a commitment to build it to avoid federal oversight.  However, bike advocates that have long-supported the bike trail urge the Authority Board, most of whom are elected officials to change the staff decision.

The calendar for the public hearings, and how to comment if you can’t make them, can be found after the jump.  You can find the Draft Environmental Impact Statement here.

Wednesday, February 18, 5:00 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Santa Monica High School
Cafeteria
601 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA
Parking available in the North Student lot on the north-east corner of the campus

Monday, February 23, 5:00 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
Gymnasium
3200 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
Parking available on campus.

Wednesday, February 28, 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Webster Middle School
“Daniel’s Den”
11330 West Graham Place
Los Angeles, CA
Parking available in local school lot and off Graham Place and along adjacent streets

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