Thursday, August 30, 2012

2 Freeway Terminus: Sound Walls

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 10, 2012. Unless homes are at or below eye level with the 2 Freeway, sound walls will do nothing to reduce noise, however we will lose a lot of trees on both sides of the freeway for almost a quarter mile.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Neighbors who are closest to and at eye level with the 2 Freeway do have legitimate need for sound walls. However, giving us walls in exchange for trees is not a good solution for the neighborhood as a whole. The problem stems from there not being enough room for both trees and sound walls (according to CalTrans and the MTA).
I was unable to attend last night's MTA sponsored community meeting regarding the 2 Freeway Terminus Redesign, so I'm relying on reports from neighbors.
One Lake View Ave neighbor sent the following:
"Just spent a few minutes talking to Benkin Jong, the project manager for Metro. He made it clear that objections from people who don't live right next to where the walls would go don't count for much.
He said that a petition from the homes closest to where the sound walls would go is the only way to stop them--but that such a petition, if weighted heavily against the walls, would probably kill them."  
This week, Jong called several neighbors from Lake View Ave who'd sent email opposing to the sound walls with a similar response.  Neighbors are particularly concerned about the blight and graffiti sound walls would bring the freeway impacted neighborhood.  Ivy is no substitute for trees.
So perhaps the biggest environmental impact (sound walls) of the current plan for the 2 Freeway Terminus was never considered in the Environmental Impact Report.  (Isn't there a lawsuit in there?)
We'll be conferring with community leaders and will follow the sound wall and tree issues closely.  
See also: The Eastsider