Support Community Alternative 7 for the I-710 Freeway Project
The I-710 Corridor Project is the largest transportation project in the country -- from the Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Complex to the SR-60 Freeway. We need this project to also be one of the healthiest transportation projects in the country. We need all public health advocates to join efforts with environmental groups, environmental justice communities and social justice organizations to ensure that the preferred and selected Alternative at the end of the I-710 DEIR process is the Alternative developed by Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice (CEHAJ) -- Community Alternative 7.
Dr. Roberta Kato and Dr. Felix Nuñez, two of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles’ environmental health ambassadors have stood up for health and have rejected Caltrans claims that the proposed alternatives in the DEIR will improve public health. Take a look at Dr. Kato's letter published in the Long Beach Telegram and LA Streetsblog, "Freeway Expansion is a Pill for Poor Health " and Dr. Nuñez's letter published in EGP News, "Freeway Expansion is a Misguided Approach to Improve Air Quality." You can find more background information on the project below. Deadline to sign on is this Thursday, September 27th!
We need your support to make Alternative 7 a reality. Please sign your name onto the letter below, stating that you want Caltrans to select Community Alternative 7. You can also directly submit your comments on the Caltrans website: Caltrans’s Website: http://www.mbimedia.com/I-710/
I am concerned that the Alternatives presented in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the I-710 Corridor Project fall short of providing a long-term solution to the project area’s congestion, air quality impacts and travel demands.
Given the magnitude and national significance of the project, and the life-long impact that the 18 communities residing along the project will experience, the EIR should include a more comprehensive approach to the project’s design by analyzing other modes of reducing traffic congestion than the proposed two-lane expansion included in all the Alternatives with the exception of the No Build Alternative.
I would like Caltrans to analyze and design the project from a health, community and sustainability framework, not just a goods movement framework. Traditional frameworks of building and expanding freeways and roads to move people and goods through the region have gotten us where we are today: with a Southern California freeway system that serves as a parking lot instead of a “freeway.” Our region’s population is expected to grow in the next 20 years. Will the two additional proposed general purpose lanes in the I-710 Corridor Project, sufficiently meet the goals of the project by 2035? More people mean more cars on our freeways, unless we change the framework of our transportation and goods movement planning.
Caltrans should select Community Alternative 7, which:
1) Addresses the congestion of the project by taking into account a comprehensive public transportation system that serves the travel demands of the communities in the area. Just like the project intends to shift truck traffic from other freeways, public transportation can do the same for general travel demands. We can achieve emission reduction by simply having fewer cars on our roads.
2) Mandates for the project to include a committed zero-emission freight corridor that is paid for by the private and public sectors, and employer operated to facilitate the movement of trucks.
3) Integrates and protects our natural resources as it includes restoration of the natural river functions, including recreational trails, restored wetlands, continuous fish migration corridors, and native landscaping. Any I- 710 project must remove barriers to neighborhood access to the river via improved walk and bike trail networks.
4) Includes a pedestrian and bicycle element in the project for adequate and safe bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure for the residents in this corridor. These are low cost improvements that are vital to providing a full range of transportation options to residents and increase our energy independence while mitigating harmful emissions.
5) Includes community benefits such as double-pane windows, air filtration systems, landscaping of green spaces and other benefits.
This project will transform the region. Alternative 7 will make sure that the transformation of our communities is a benefit to everyone, not just our goods. Therefore I urge you to select Community Alternative 7. All other Alternatives fall short from addressing the region’s and community’s needs.