Monday, April 22, 2024

Supervisor Hahn calls for no residential demolitions in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project

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Yesterday L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Boardmember Janice Hahn voiced her unambiguous opposition to home demolitions for Metro’s lower 710 Freeway expansion project.

Hahn’s letter to Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins states:

As the Long Beach to East Los Angeles Corridor Mobility Investment Plan moves forward, Metro needs to commit itself to zero residential property takes. …[Metro] should have as one its top priorities ensuring that our projects do not result in kicking people out of their homes. – Supervisor Janice Hahn

Sharing the letter on Twitter, Hahn stated that when the 710 plan comes to the Metro board, “I expect that we will have an ironclad commitment that no one will be forced to move.”

For decades Metro and Caltrans pushed for massive expansion of the lower 710 Freeway. Dozens of expanded freeway lane-miles would have meant demolitions impacting hundreds of homes, apartment buildings, and businesses in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

In 2022, facing community resistance to a project that failed to comply with federal Clean Air lawMetro and Caltrans canceled their $6+ billion widening. Metro pledged not to widen the freeway, but instead to work with the community to craft a multimodal investment plan for the corridor.

In January, Metro shared its draft 710 corridor plan, which included about four miles of 710 Freeway widening, and a dozen “interchange improvements” which is generally a Metro euphemism for widening freeways, ramps and/or nearby roads. For this freeway expansion, Metro wouldn’t rule out demolitions.

The Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice (CEHAJ) has long pushed Metro and Caltrans for no displacements – by focusing any freeway work within the existing right-of-way. 

Recently Metro has moved toward minimizing the displacement common in freeway projects. In 2020, Metro planned hundreds of displacements for 605/5 Freeway widening, then last year Metro announced the project would have no residential displacements. Metro also recently rescoped 91 Freeway widening to avoid demolishing several homes and one business in the city of Artesia.

Metro is currently taking public comments on its draft Long Beach to East L.A. Corridor Mobility Investment Plan. The deadline for comments was recently extended to April 1. Find instructions for submitting comments on Metro’s 710 Corridor project page.

Metro will host two additional public meetings where attendees can learn about the project, ask questions, and make comments:

  • Wednesday 3/13 – In-person meeting from 6-8 p.m. at the Elk Lodge #1804, at 8108 Alondra Boulevard in Paramount
  • Wednesday 3/20 - Virtual meeting from 6-8 p.m. via Zoom

Find the full list of community meetings at Metro’s project meeting page.

Joe Linton
Joe Lintonhttps://la.streetsblog.org/author/joe-linton
Joe Linton is a longtime urban environmental activist. His main areas of interest have been restoring the Los Angeles River and fostering bicycling for everyday transportation. He’s worked for many Los Angeles livability non-profits, including Friends of the L.A. River, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, C.I.C.L.E., Livable Places, and CicLAvia. He also served as deputy to Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes.

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