Final I-405 Improvement Meeting On Thursday
For those of you who missed the first three Open House/Public Hearing opportunities conducted by the Orange County Transportation Authority regarding the proposed widening of the I-405 from the 73 toll road to the I-605, the final meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2012. The meeting is scheduled for 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., with the formal program to start at 6:30. Following that 30 minute presentation there will be time to review the displays and ask questions of experts on this project. It will be held at the Fountain Valley Senior Center, 17967 Bushard St., Fountain Valley. I've provided a map below. (Click on map to enlarge)
I've written about this project several times before, the most recent of which was my summary of the first meeting at Orange Coast College on June 4th. You can read about it HERE. You can also visit the OCTA website for the project HERE and view two videos that will be helpful to understand what's happening HERE.
ALT. #3 IS A REAL PROBLEM
Of the three alternatives proposed, Alternative #3 seems to be the most problematic for Costa Mesa. There seems to be NO benefit to our city with this alternative, which adds an additional General Purpose lane AND a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane. It is that HOT lane that creates the problem, since it will require the demolition of the fairly new Fairview Street Overpass Bridge and will also require a significant change in one of the Harbor Blvd. ramps, too.
NO EASY ACCESS TO THE "HOT" LANE
In addition, folks using it will find it VERY difficult to access Costa Mesa from either direction because of the lack of access lanes too and from the HOT lane. Of course, the OCTA likes #3 because it will provide a revenue stream to offset the costs of the project. At the meeting I attended they seemed unmoved by the complaints by Costa Mesa residents, concerned about the tremendous impact of that choice on their lives. Heads of three homeowners associations located in close proximity to this proposed development have come out strongly against this project, and Alternative #3 specifically.
COSTA MESA OFFICIALS OPPOSE #3
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission has taken a very firm stand against Alternative #3, Mayor Eric Bever has apparently written a strongly-worded letter to the OCTA opposing that choice and the City Council will address it at the next council meeting on June 19th - apparently to approve some kind of resolution against this alternative. Here's what it would look like.
If the I-405 must be enhanced to handle the anticipated traffic, then Alternative #2 seems to be the most reasonable for Costa Mesans. That choice retains the existing carpool lane and adds two more General Purpose lanes.
Whether you plan to attend the meeting in Fountain Valley Thursday or not, input to the OCTA is due soon. The final determination of the preferred alternative will be made by the OCTA Board in July.
SEND COMMENTS TO:
The chart above shows the milestones for this project. The OCTA invited comments - at the meeting as dictated to a court reporter - and by mail to:
Branch Chief - Caltrans District 12
"Attn: 405 DEIR/DEIS Comment Period"
2201 Dupont Drive
Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92612
Or by email to Christina Byrne, Manager of Community Outreach, firstname.lastname@example.org or reach her by telephone at 714-560-5717. So, pick up the telephone, sit down at your computer or send a letter letting the folks at the OCTA how you feel. The clock is ticking...