Two tunnels are proposed. They will be about 5 miles long, with no exits, filled with diesel trucks, 200 feet underground, 5 stories tall, through earthquake faults, watershed and methane fields. Their purpose is to route the heavy diesel trucks carrying cargo from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach underground. They will require a toll of about $10-$20 each trip, and are likely to cost $10-$20 billion to build. They will not be built by Los Angeles engineers and designers and workers, but by the people who have already built similar tunnels in China, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Why are we still, this far into the century, looking back at ancient technology to solve a modern-day problem? The technology to move cargo from our ports to the rest of the continent efficiently and swiftly without causing pollution--and for a fraction of the cost of the tunnels--exists right now.
If we choose, we can have heavy and light electric rail to move our goods through our ports, and out to the national networks faster and more efficiently. Rail solutions can be teamed with light rail for commuters and better engineering of our streets. If we choose, we can have local jobs, reduced congestion, reduced pollution, safer technology, faster and more efficient cargo movement--all with better financing without foreign partnerships causing onerous tolls.
On March 1st and 3rd, Metro and Caltrans will hold meetings on the Environmental Study conducted on proposed routes for the underground tunnel to connect the 710 with the 210. Thursday March 1, 6 to 8 p.m. at Ramona Hall 4580 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90065. Saturday, March 3, 10 am to noon at the East Los Angeles Public Library, 4837 E 3rd St, Los Angeles 90022.
You will hear many myths at these meetings:
The tunnels will be safe.
There are oceans of contradictory data on this. Know anybody in Boston?
Jobs will come to LA.
For whom? The machine big enough to dig this tunnel has not yet been built. The jobs will be for the people with experience in this kind of construction.
They will ease congestion on surface streets.
The financing will be with private consortiums, and will therefore carry a toll, likely to be $10-$20. Trucks hate to pay tolls, and no passenger cars will pay to be trapped in a 5-mile tunnel with trucks, and no escape. Surface street congestion will continue.
Pollution will be vented harmlessly.
Will they capture it and send it to outer space? The trapped concentrated diesel pollution, the worst kind of particulate, will be vented through the tunnel portals, and along the route into the surrounding neighborhoods. The medical data on the effects of this kind of pollution is indisputable. Ask the people living along Cancer Alley in Commerce, Bell Gardens, Montebello and East Los Angeles.
No taxpayer money will be spent on the $10 – 20 billion dollar cost.
Come to the meeting to hear this yourself, and come with questions:
- Why was the environmental study begun before any statement of the actual cost of the tunnels, and before the route was established?
- Where in the Measure R tax to fund transportation projects, often used to justify the expense, does it say build this kind of tunnel?
- Are you aware most freeways become congested and obsolete as soon as they are open?
- Why persist in promoting a dangerous, polluting, expensive, antique infrastructure project when there are today modern non-polluting efficient ways of moving the cargo out of the ports, costing a fraction of the price of the tunnel?
- Who will benefit financially from this massive overpriced out-dated project?
Here in beautiful Los Angeles, we specialize in technological innovation. In this 21st Century, we have the opportunity to offer greener, more forward-thinking concepts when modernizing our crucial ports and transportation systems. Here in the land where freeways first flowered, we can advance to the next step, leaving the century-old tired concepts behind in the dust.
Can we not imagine, and then build something better? It’s easy if you try.