- The Source
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 is now available for public review and comment. You may review the document, which was released on August 22, 2014, and provide comments by 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 21, which is the end of the 60 day comment period.
Click on the boxes at the top of this page to review the document, learn about the four public hearings scheduled for September 27, 29, 30 and October 1, see an interactive project map, provide written comments about the project, identify locations along the proposed corridors you can view the Draft EIS/EIR, and more.
In the spring of 2010, Metro began preparing the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Project Draft EIS/EIR. The study evaluates two build alternatives, both Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects, along with the required No Build and Transportation System Management (TSM) alternatives (which may include enhancements to existing services and/or additional bus services). One proposed route would travel along State Route 60 to Peck Rd in the City of South El Monte; the other proposed route would travel along Washington Bl to Lambert Rd in the City of Whittier.
The goal of the proposed study is to improve mobility in the corridor by connecting to communities farther east of Los Angeles to Metro's regional transit system. Communities in the project area include Commerce, Montebello, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, Rosemead, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, Whittier and unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County.
Eastside Transit Corridor, Metro, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, State Route 60, light rail, Montebello, Rosemead, transportation projects, transit corridors
Thursday August 21, 2014
The Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 is a study evaluating how to best connect with and extend the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension that now runs from Pasadena through Downtown Los Angeles to Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles. Two alignments are currently under consideration – an extension along State Route (SR) 60 to Peck Rd in the City of South El Monte or an extension along Washington Bl to Lambert Rd in the City of Whittier. Metro released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for public review on August 22, 2014. The project’s goals include improving mobility in the study area and planning for future growth in a sustainable manner. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is leading this study effort in conjunction with the Federal Transit Administration.
Metro currently operates Light Rail Transit (LRT) on the Metro Blue, Green, Gold and Expo Lines. LRT is electric-powered with trains that are designed to be integrated into the communities they serve. With two to three cars per train, each train can carry up to 184 people. Stations for LRT systems are typically about one mile apart, which provides sufficient space between stations to improve travel times while also allowing service to key destinations. LRT can operate on an elevated structure, below ground or run at street level. LRT is not the same technology used by Metrolink or Amtrak systems, which operate larger and faster diesel powered trains designed for longer commuting trips with more distance between stations.
Federal and state laws require an evaluation of project impacts and identification of mitigation measures. To be eligible to receive both federal and state funds, projects need to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Therefore, the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 project will complete a combined Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR). Metro released the Draft EIS/EIR for public review August 22, 2014. The public is encouraged to participate in the environmental process by reviewing the Draft EIS/EIR and providing comments during the formal comment period which will conclude on October 21, 2014 at 5pm. To review the DRAFT and provide comments, please click here.
The majority of the Eastside Phase 2 project funding will come from Measure R, the half cent sales tax passed by Los Angeles County voters in November 2008. However, Measure R funds alone are not sufficient for either of the build alternatives being studied; therefore, Metro is also seeking other funding sources, such as federal, state, and local dollars, to fully fund the project.
Most Metro rail projects in operation took over a decade to complete the project development process. By environmentally clearing the project now, Metro will be in a position to take advantage of any funding, federal or otherwise, that might become available. For example, Metro is aggressively seeking to leverage Measure R funds with the America Fast Forward Initiative. This initiative would accelerate funding for the second and third decade transit projects in Measure R, including this one, allowing them to be built sooner.
Throughout the course of the environmental study, alternatives have been studied and refined to minimize impacts and maximize their potential benefits. At the beginning of the Alternatives Analysis (AA), 47 build alternatives were identified and screened using federally approved evaluation criteria. In 2009, the Metro Board approved the Alternatives Analysis Study (AA) and the Addendum to the AA, authorizing two light rail alternatives to move forward into the environmental phase, including SR-60 LRT and Washington Bl LRT, in addition to the required No Build and Transportation Systems Management Alternatives (which may include enhancements to existing services and/or additional bus services).. These alternatives were selected for further study in the Draft EIS/EIR phase based on technical analysis and public input.
A number of factors are considered when selecting an LPA. Items such as cost and ridership are important, but so is community acceptance of the project, the ability of the project to support local land use objectives and stimulate economic development, its impact on the environment, and other considerations.
After the Draft EIS/EIR has been circulated for public comment, Metro staff will carefully review the potential impacts and benefits of each alternative, as well as the cost, funding and public input, to make a recommendation to the Metro Board of Directors, which is anticipated to take place in November 2014. Upon conclusion of the selection of the LPA, the Metro Board may select to initiate a Final EIR. Initiation of a Final EIS or the FTA’s participation is contingent upon having funding in place.
Public comment is now being accepted during the Draft EIS/EIR comment period in writing, via e-mail, US mail or comment cards, and at public hearings that will be held in communities within the project area. Click here to view the document, learn about the four public hearings scheduled for September 27, 29, 30 and October 1, see an interactive project map, provide written comments about the project, and more.
No, Measure R has earmarked $1.27 billion to the Eastside Phase 2 project. The current estimate to construct the SR 60 LRT alignment is $1.2 - $1.3 billion in 2010 dollars and $2.5 in 2035 dollars. The estimate for the Washington Bl LRT alignment is $1.4 - $1.7 billion in 2010 dollars and $2.8-$3.2 in 2035 dollars. Metro will continue to pursue additional funding as the project advances. In order to construct both alternatives, Metro’s Board would have to secure additional funding and authorize additional planning, design, and environmental analysis.
During the Alternatives Analysis (AA) phase of the study, Metro examined 47 alternatives, which included two alternatives that would connect northern cities with southeast cities within the study area. However, these two alternatives had slower travel times, lower ridership, and were not as cost-effective compared to the other alternatives that performed better. Therefore, those two alternatives were dropped from further consideration.
Proposed station locations for both SR-60 and Washington Bl alternatives have been identified, including:
- Garfield Av/Via Campo
- SR-60/The Shops at Montebello
- SR-60/Santa Anita Av
- SR-60/Peck Rd
Washington Bl LRT
- Garfield Av/Via Campo
- Garfield Av/Whittier Bl
- Washington Bl/Greenwood Av
- Washington Bl/Rosemead Bl
- Washington Bl/Norwalk Av
- Washington Bl/Lambert Rd
During the Draft EIS/EIR, Metro hosted Urban Design and Station Planning Workshops to gather community input regarding station areas. If the project is authorized to move forward to the Final EIS/EIR, there will be a renewed focus on station planning. Station area refinements may occur, if needed, based on city and community input as well as engineering and environmental considerations.
Metro considers a wide variety of variables to determine how a rail project is configured. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Available right of way
- Land use impacts
- Environmental impacts
- Traffic impacts
- Travel time
- Ridership projections
- Community and city input
What are the noise and vibration impacts of LRT?
The size and speed of the trains is designed with community integration in mind, including the use of special features like vibration dampening fasteners to secure the rail tracks, which helps minimize noise and vibration around communities.
All light rail transit in Los Angeles County is designed to meet federal and state safety standards. These include stringent seismic codes, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, pedestrian design guidelines, parking codes and a host of other safety considerations. Station area platforms will be well lit and have security cameras installed as well as Metro security personnel assigned to ride the system and patrol the station areas for additional safety. All parking and related station area amenities will also be well signed and lit for easy access. In general, LRT is used throughout the world and has proven to be a safe and reliable form of transportation for millions of riders and hundreds of communities.
Yes, some property will be necessary to build the Eastside Phase 2 project. All necessary property will be identified in the Draft EIS/EIR to be publicly circulated this summer (2014). When purchasing property, Metro will follow federal and state guidelines established to protect property owners and allow a fair and equitable process for everyone.
The project will be constructed when the project studies and engineering are completed and funding is available. This project is scheduled to receive the majority of local Measure R money starting in 2028 and per the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) should be in operation by 2035. Metro is exploring the potential of accelerating the project implementation schedule if funding can be made available earlier.
Metro’s goal is always to balance the needs of the region with the needs of the local jurisdictions and communities. This can sometimes be challenging, but through careful planning and extensive public participation, in most cases, community support can be achieved. Complete consensus is nearly impossible to achieve on any project, therefore, the project team is continually working toward consensus by engaging the community in meaningful conversation and incorporating public input through every stage of the project.
All comments received throughout the study are documented and presented to Metro staff and technical consultants for consideration. In addition, public comments received during the formal scoping period are presented in the Scoping Outreach Report, Appendix H of the Draft EIS/EIR document.
All public comments received during the Draft EIS/EIR formal public comment period will be reviewed, categorized into major themes, and shared with Metro’s Board of Directors. Analysis from the Draft EIS/EIR and public comment received will be used to draft the recommended LPA. Comments received during the public review of the Draft EIS/EIR are responded to in the Final EIS/EIR.
The best way to ensure you are notified of public meetings and are involved in the study process is to become part of the project database. If you have signed-in at a previous Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 meeting, then you are automatically included, however, if you would like to be added, then you can simply call the project helpline at 213.922.3012.
Over the course of the study, meeting notifications and other project materials are being sent to the project database to keep interested persons informed of the study developments. In addition, you can also learn more about the project’s build alternatives, stations and corridor cities by visiting the project’s interactive map at www.metro.net/eastsidephase2. Follow the project at facebook.com/metroeastsidehphase2 or @Eastsidephase2.
Each of the proposed alternatives was screened across federally approved criteria to determine its feasibility. Therefore, each of the remaining LRT alternatives is considered by Metro to be feasible. In the environmental phase, evaluation of impacts will be done to further consider the viability of each alternative, taking into consideration the cost, environmental impacts, community input, and other factors.
Thursday August 21, 2014
The SR-60 and Washington Bl proposed alternatives use the same light rail technology (LRT) as the Metro Blue, Green, Expo and Gold Lines, allowing a seamless extension to cities east of the existing terminus at Atlantic. A detailed description of the two alternatives under consideration is provided below.
This proposed alignment generally follows the southern edge of the SR-60 Freeway within the freeway right-of-way, on an elevated track crossing over freeway ramps, and terminates at Peck Rd in the City of South El Monte. Proposed station locations and for the SR-60 alignment are
- Garfield Av Station
- The Shops at Montebello station
- Santa Anita Av Station
- Peck Rd Station
SR-60 LRT, North Side Design Variation
The North side variation is under study to avoid potential impacts to the former OII landfill superfund site in Monterey Park. The variation transitions to the north side of the SR-60 freeway west of the Greenwood Av bridge and returns south just west of Paramount Bl.
Washington Bl LRT
This proposed alignment follows the SR-60 Freeway to Garfield Av, and then travels south to Washington Bl. From there, the alignment continues east along Washington Bl and terminates at Lambert Rd in the City of Whittier. This alternative includes both at-grade (street level) and elevated sections of track. Proposed station locations and for the Washington Bl alignment are:
- Garfield Av Station
- Whittier Bl Station
- Greenwood Av Station
- Rosemead Bl Station
- Norwalk Av Station
- Lambert Rd Station
Washington LRT, Design Variations
Two design variations are being considered for the Washington Bl LRT Alternative. The first aerial crossing would include a grade separation at Rosemead Bl, the second aerial crossing at San Gabriel River/I-605 would include a grade separation at Pioneer Bl.
Tuesday August 19, 2014
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