Completion dates for Environmental Impact Report/Statements (EIRs) for three Marina del Rey traffic mitigation projects originally targeted for 2011 have been moved up to next year, James Chon of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Transportation Division told the Los Angeles County Small Craft Harbor Commission last week.
Chon announced the date changes in his quarterly report to the commission at the Burton Chace Park Community Building in Marina del Rey Wednesday, July 12th.
These three accelerated EIR/ EIS proposed transportation improvement projects include consideration of:
——Marina Freeway Expressway (State Route 90) Connector Road to Admiralty Way at grade level;
— either a five-lane alternative within an existing right-of-way or a five/six lane alternative on Admiralty Way; and
— realignment of Admiralty Way to form a continuous loop road with Via Marina.
Other proposed transportation projects that include intersection improvement projects are (dates in parentheses indicate EIR/EIS completion time):
— re-striping northbound Palawan Way to provide a separate right-turn lane to Admiralty Way and re-striping southbound Palawan Way to provide a second left-turn lane (2008);
— reconstruction of Palawan Way at Washington Boulevard to allow full access, and install a traffic signal at the intersection providing dual left-turn lanes instead of the existing right-turn only lane (2008);
— addition of an exclusive northbound right-turn lane from northbound Admiralty Way to eastbound Mindanao Way (future);
— addition of a second left-turn lane on westbound Fiji Way at Lincoln Boulevard (2011);
— Fiji Way gap closure of the South Bay Bicycle Trail, with relocation of the bicycle route from an on-road bikeway to an off-road bikeway south of and adjacent to Fiji Way in the right-of-way previously known as Area A of Playa Vista (2011);
— Centinela Avenue widening from Ballona Creek to Culver Boulevard by adding a third northbound lane (Playa Vista II 2010);
— Jefferson Boulevard widening from Beethoven Street to Centinela Avenue by adding a fourth eastbound travel lane (Playa Vista II 2007);
— Sepulveda Boulevard widening from Playa/Jefferson Boulevard to Green Valley Circle by adding a third southbound lane (Playa Vista 2007);
— addition of a third left-turn lane from westbound Slauson Avenue to the State Route 90 (Playa Vista 2007) pending City of Culver City approval;
— expansion of Playa Vista’s internal shuttle bus system on a demand/responsive basis to Marina del Rey, The Bridge at Howard Hughes Center, Fox Hills, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Playa del Rey (Playa Vista II 2010); and
— a study under way by the City of Los Angeles for an exclusive bus lane along Lincoln Boulevard (approved by the City of Santa Monica and recommended by the Lincoln Corridor Task Force in March 2004).
IMPROVEMENTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION — Chon’s quarterly report also reviewed improvements that are currently under construction in the Marina del Rey area as follows (tentative completion dates are in parentheses):
— Addition of a third through-lane in each direction on Lincoln Boulevard from Bali Way to 83rd Street (Caltrans, mid-2007);
— Addition of a fourth northbound lane on Lincoln Boulevard from La Tijera Boulevard to LMU Drive (Caltrans, 2007);
— A grade separation over SR-90 and Culver Boulevard interchange construction (Caltrans, spring 2007, with plant establishment taking another year);
— Widening of the Centinela Avenue ramps, modification of signals at the interchange of State Route 90 and construction of sound walls along the north side of the Marina Expressway between Centinela Avenue and Ballona Creek (Caltrans, winter 2006);
— San Diego Freeway (I-405) high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes from the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) to State Route 90, with construction of 3.6 miles of HOV lanes northbound and southbound on the I-405, including sound walls for noise mitigation (Caltrans, fall 2007); and
— San Diego (I-405) Freeway HOV lanes from State Route 90 to the Century Freeway (I-105), construction of HOV northbound and southbound lanes, including sound walls for noise mitigation (Caltrans, winter 2006).
PLAYA VISTA SHUTTLE — In other business at the Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting, Barry Kurtz, a traffic consultant for Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Har- bors, noted that he had negotiated an agreement with Playa Vista six months ago to “piggyback” the use of Playa Vista’s internal shuttle system to include stops at Marina del Rey locations and on Pacific Avenue.
As a result of these negotiations, Playa Vista now has a one-year contract with Los Angeles County to provide the shuttle bus service.
Los Angeles County will fund 25 percent of the costs with funds allocated to the Fourth Supervisorial District — which includes Marina del Rey and is represented by County Supervisor Don Knabe — from Proposition A (a one-half-cent sales tax), that will be distributed equally among all county supervisors for use in their districts.
If ridership is maintained at a specified level, the shuttle bus arrangement could become permanent.
PUBLIC COMMENT — During public comment, speakers requested a new traffic study model for the Marina area, asserting that the previous study, done in 1994, was obsolete, and that the California Coastal Commission — which has yet to schedule the new Marina del Rey Local Coastal Plan (LCP) on its agenda — would be requesting a new traffic study model.
Kurtz countered that the traffic study done by Playa Vista in 2004 was an updated one, and that it encompassed the entire Marina area, making it comprehensive enough to negate the need for another study.
County counsel Tom Faughnan said that while the draft report from the California Coastal Commission may have mentioned a necessity for a new study, the county has not yet received an official request for such a study from the coastal commission.
Another speaker said he owns a business on Lincoln Boulevard and can see the daily traffic gridlock. He pointed out that the new apartment developments in an industrial area on Glencoe Avenue (in the City of Los Angeles) were not included or anticipated in traffic studies, and the simple addition of these numerous buildings and associated traffic called for a new traffic study.
DREDGING AND CRIME UPDATE — The north entrance to the Marina harbor is 50 percent closed because dredging has not been done, and the county has requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge the harbor, which would require closing the entire north entrance to complete the work, and necessitating environmental protection for pelicans in the area, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Nelson.
Nelson also said that crime in the east and west side of the Marina was down in May and June, and the addition of bike patrols by the officers has assisted in this reduction in crime.