Beginning construction for a link of the Marina Freeway (Route 90) access expressway into Marina del Rey is not expected to begin until 2011,

those attending a scoping meeting in the Marina last week were told.

The comment came from Bill Graham, a principal with EDAW — the consulting firm providing the environmental impact report/ statement oversight for the proposed project.

The proposed project is driven by the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Plan, said County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Program Development Division representative Dominic Osmena.

The public scoping meeting for the proposed project was held Thursday, March 9th, in the Burton Chace Park Community Building.

The timing sequence of the proposed project is the current start of the environmental process, which takes at least one year, if not longer, for the environmental impact report draft, Graham said.

The county and federal decision-making process could take up to two years, and at least another two years would be needed for the approved roadway configuration, said Graham.

A second public scoping meeting presenting the identical material is scheduled for Saturday, March 18th, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Burton Chace Park Community Building.

The presentation of the proposed project and the public meeting are designed to give the public an opportunity to comment on the project, and Osmena said there will be further public review meetings in the future, to be announced.

Approximately 95 people attended the meeting, with many speaking in opposition to the proposed project.

A physician from a nearby office building said there were too many “loose tongues” in the county and that one of the options for the Marina Freeway (Route 90) access expressway would cut through his building.

He cited two office suites that he alleged “were not being leased due to fear of committing to a lease without knowing when the project would begin, and if, or when, the building would be affected.”

Another tenant in the building, also a medical professional, said she was concerned about being able to provide treatment for her patients and asked if the county would compensate the tenants for their revenue losses.

“This project was roundly rejected before — and what’s changed to make this project acceptable now?” questioned Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council president DeDe Audet.

Audet said the community wants to know how much it’s going to cost and why the community is being put through the process again.

Audience members said that Lincoln Boulevard, Admiralty Way and Pacific Avenue were being turned into “Little Santa Monica Boulevards” with the advent of the new traffic being routed directly into the Marina with the realigned State Route 90 project.

One audience member said that Admiralty Park on Admiralty Way is “just a sliver of a park right now, so how can you take a sliver of land from an existing sliver” to widen Admiralty Way.

Some residents said that traffic is now cutting through residential areas near Washington Boulevard west of Lincoln Boulevard to get to Santa Monica, just to avoid taking Lincoln Boulevard.

Several audience members said the proposed realignment and improvement projects might improve conditions in the Marina area, to which some audience members took loud exception.

Resident boaters alleged that the project and the county entities such as the County Small Craft Harbor Commission and the County Marina del Rey Design Control Board completely disregarded the boaters’ needs, and showed no foresight regarding what the community wants.

“Piecemeal development is not allowed under the California Environmental Quality Act or the National Environmental Policy Act,” said one local resident.

A member of the Marina Homeowner’s Association said that the county has a big communication problem and is out of touch with residents.

We’re not here to shop, but to enjoy the water, the wetlands, the birds and nature, he said.

He alleged that the county is on a quest for more tax revenues and that it force-feeds ideas when it should be listening to the residents.

This speaker referred to an article in a Los Angeles newspaper that he said completely misinterpreted the demographics of the Marina.

“We’re not just a bunch of ’empty nesters’ or ‘swinging singles’,” he said.

SR 90 REALIGNMENT — The State Route 90 Realignment Project proposes connection of SR 90 across Lincoln Boulevard (also known as State Route 1 or SR 1) through to Admiralty Way.

Under this project, Route 90 would be realigned between Mindanao Way and Lincoln Boulevard, and the roadway would continue through to Admiralty Way, either via a new connector road or along an existing surface street.

The intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and SR 90 would remain at-grade.

Four alternatives are under consideration for the environmental impact report/statement, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works and EDAW documentation states:

n No Action Alternative — take no action, existing conditions remain. Analysis of this alternative is required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

This alternative would fail to meet the project objectives of providing traffic relief, and traffic would be anticipated to worsen over time.

The alternative would also fail to provide a direct entrance into Marina del Rey, one of the project’s key objectives, according to county and EDAW documentation.

n Northern Alternative — realign SR 90 within Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) right-of-way and con- struct a new connector road to intersect Admiralty Way opposite the Los Angeles County Lloyd W. Taber-Marina del Rey Library.

n Basin F Alternative — realign SR 90 within Caltrans right-of-way and construct a new connector road to intersect Admiralty Way approximately opposite Basin F.

This alternative would avoid direct impacts to Admiralty Park (adjacent to Admiralty Way in Marina del Rey) and the South Bay Bike Trail, a 22-mile paved path that extends from Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu to Torrance County Beach.

ADMIRALTY WAY IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT — The Admiralty Way Improvements Project would improve traffic flow along the length of Admiralty Way by improving intersection design, reconfiguring lanes, and/or increasing lane widths.

Improvements to Admiralty Way at Via Marina would also facilitate tie-ins with other components of the Admiralty Way improvements, with six alternatives under consideration, according to county documentation.

These alternatives are:

n No Action Alternative.

n Five-lane Re-striping Alternative — (this alternative represents the No Action Alternative under the California Environmental Quality Act) with no land acquisition or land use impacts, but would maintain substandard lane, median and sidewalk widths.

n Five/six lane Alternative — would widen Admiralty Way to five lanes from Via Marina to Bali Way and to six lanes from Bali Way to Fiji Way, without impact to businesses or parking lots on the south side of Admiralty Way.

It would require minor land acquisitions of parking lots and Admiralty Park.

n Triple Left-turn at Via Marina/Admiralty Way Intersection Alternative — reconfigure the existing “T” intersection of Admiralty Way and Via Marina to include three left-turn lanes from Admiralty Way to Via Marina.

n Continuous Flow at Via Marina/Admiralty Way Alternative — reconfigure existing “T” junction of Admiralty Way and Via Marina intersection to create a continuous loop around Marina del Rey.

This alternative would facilitate periphery access around the Marina, but would require the relocation of the monument near the existing intersection.

n TSM/TDM Alternative — formulate a Transportation System Management (TSM)/Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan in accordance with Federal Highway Administration/ Caltrans requirements.

This alternative would not require property acquisitions or construction, but would fail to meet the project objective of implementing required roadway improvements consistent with the Marina del Rey Land Use Plan, according to county documentation.

The public comment period for the Environmental Impact Report/Statement began Wednesday, February 22nd, and will end on Friday, April 7th.

Project-related documents can be viewed at these locations:

Lloyd W. Taber-Marina del Rey Library, 4533 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey;

Venice-Abbot Kinney Memorial Library, 501 S. Venice Blvd., Venice; and

County Department of Beaches and Harbors office, 13837 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey.

Comments can be provided verbally and in writing at the next scoping meeting, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18th, at 13650 Burton Chace Park, in the Community Building, Marina del Rey.

The public can submit letters to the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Program Development Division, 900 S. Fremont Avenue, Alhambra 91803-1331, Attn: Ed Dingman, Environmental Manager.

Comments can be also made on-line on the comments page at www.sr90admiraltyway.org

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