Thursday, April 18, 2013

LAX Admits Asking LA City Council To Vote On Runway Expansion "Sight Unseen" In New Memo.

It's not surprising that after a week of bad publicity and nearly a thousand signatures from Angelenos calling on the LA City Council to oppose runway expansion, that the multi-billion dollar interests at LAX are pushing back against reports that runway expansion will cause long term closures at Lincoln and Sepulveda.

What is surprising, however, is what they've inadvertently admitted to in the process.

In a memo prepared for LAX Lobbyist Deigo Alvarez by the global consulting firm CDM Smith and released to the press, officials attempt to make the case that "there is no reasonable basis to believe this type of project would require the 'complete closure' of the existing roadway (Lincoln Blvd)"

What do they base this assessment on? 

Nothing. Literally nothing.

Calling realignment of Lincoln Blvd. "conceptual in nature", the memo admits CDM Smith makes their assertions on speculation alone, since "construction plans and a construction phasing program for the realignment of Lincoln Boulevard have not yet been prepared".

Let that sink in for a moment.......LAX officials just admitted they are asking the LA City Council to sign off on a $500 million dollar project quite literally sight unseen, without a single blue-print being drawn up.

CDM Smith then goes on to cite a number of best-case scenarios that paints realignment in the best possible light, concluding with this:
"Partial lane closures would be required to connect the new roadway with the existing lanes at the north and south endpoints, but northbound and southbound travel would continue to be provided on Lincoln Boulevard during this phase."

Pay attention to that language, because even when coming up with favorable arguments drawn from thin air, LAX officials still have to admit that moving the the north runways means lane closures.

But what LAX is hoping to do is argue that runway expansion won't result in any significant traffic impacts because it wouldn't result in "complete closure" (their words) of Lincoln Blvd.

Really? Let's take a look what even partial closures do to major roadways in this city.

This is what closing a single lane at Venice Blvd and Sepulveda does to traffic.

This is what closing two lanes at Venice Blvd. and Robertson Blvd. for Expo Line construction does to traffic.

This is what a stalled car blocking one lane on Melrose Ave. does to traffic.

This is what only putting up construction signs and threatening to close a lane does to traffic on the 405 at the 10.

Pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words. Even weasel words from LAX Lobbyists.

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