Wednesday Round-Up: 710 Widening Task Force, 110 Flyover Scoping, Speed Limits, and More
Metro 710 Freeway widening task force, Metro/Caltrans 110 Freeway flyover, Speed Limits, Slow Streets, and new bikeway on Airport Boulevard
Streetsblog L.A. will be off tomorrow for Veteran’s Day and publishing lightly on Friday. Below is a round-up of a few recent news bites that didn’t quite rise to the level of a full story.
Metro’s 710 Freeway Widening Task Force
Last Monday, Metro hosted the second meeting of its new 710 Freeway widening task force. SBLA readers may recall that after the Environmental Protection Agency nixed the lower 710 widening plans that Caltrans and Metro pushed for for decades, the project was suspended by the Metro board. Metro’s new task force is supposed to deliver a 710 corridor “multi-modal investment strategy” recommendation to the Metro board, expected in April 2022. In addition to the Metro Highway Program staff, the 710 widening task force process includes a lot of involvement from Metro’s Office of Equity and Race, but this has brought complaints from pro-highway forces.
The first two 710 task force meetings have been really basic. Discussions focused on things like how the task force will define “community” and “consensus.” This is perhaps important and needed work, but it’s slow going. After two meetings, it feels like the pro-highway folks are still pushing highway widening (can we just do early action widening projects that don’t take a lot property?) and the community groups are still pushing community health (can we just agree to comply with the federal clean air law?), with precious little common ground.
Metro has posted some of the meeting materials online, though the actual presentations – and even a listing of who is on the task force – have not yet been shared publicly. See also SBLA’s Twitter thread recapping much of Monday’s meeting.
Metro and Caltrans Reviving 110 Freeway Flyover Project
This past week, Caltrans and Metro hosted two scoping meetings on a project that would add yet another ramp off of the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles – this one near USC. When agencies were pushing this freeway expansion back in 2016, it met plenty of opposition, including from the L.A. Conservancy.
There were not a lot of new details shared at this week’s scoping meetings.
In addition to what sure looks like the same old unpopular flyover plan, Metro and Caltrans presented another vague project alternative that would create some sort of HOV lane on some surface streets around L.A. Trade Tech College.
Streetsblog didn’t make it to either of the meetings, but see this SBLA Twitter thread for what folks that did attend were saying.
City Council Approves Livability Motions
Yesterday, the full L.A. City Council approved Councilmember Mike Bonin’s motions directing city staff to lower speed limits, and make slow streets permanent. More details at earlier SBLA coverage of committee approvals.
Recent Protected Bike Lanes on Airport Boulevard
The Westside became a little more bikeable with recent protected bike lanes on Airport Boulevard. Credit Councilmember Bonin (who announced the project completion back in early September) and the L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) for the half-mile long lanes extending from Manchester Boulevard to Arbor Vitae Street/Westchester Parkway. The bikeway spans the edge of where largely-residential Westchester gives way to the predominantly-industrial car-choked LAX vicinity.
The new lanes connect with the recently-installed protected lanes on Manchester – and will be useful for some cyclists to reach the future Metro Airport Connector, which will feature a bike hub.