Saturday, February 9, 2013

2 Freeway Sound Walls: CalTrans Sets Tight Deadline For Adjacent Neighbors To Respond

Photo rendering (by a Red Car Property Neighbor) of a 12-14' high sound wall would look like on Allesandro Way as proposed by CalTrans. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
February 4, 2013: CalTrans mailed out letters about the proposed controversial sound walls according to Benkin Jong, current Metro project manager for the State Route 2 Freeway Terminus Redesign Project. Thursday afternoon, Jong emailed neighbors who've been spearheading the anti-sound wall campaign, in addition to the area's elected officials.
Sound walls are planned between Oak Glen & Lake View Ave on Allesandro Way, as well as between Oak Glen & Rosebud Ave on Allesandro Street. (If you live directly across the street from the 2 Freeway in one of the aforementioned areas and did not receive a letter this week, please send us an email with your name, address & email address:
According to Jong, the letter was mailed to about 20 neighbors and property owners on the Allesandro Way (Silver Lake side) and around 30 neighbors on Allesandro Street (Elysian Heights/Echo Park side). THE RESPONSE MUST BE RECEIVED BY CALTRANS BY FEBRUARY 20, 2013.
The letter gives no indication if a failure to respond is a de facto "yes" vote. (It usually is.)
Renters' votes are only worth 10% of 1 vote. Only tenants & homeowners directly across the street from the freeway were mailed to.  
Photo, left: Allesandro Way today is a tree lined street that makes living next to the freeway more tolerable. Right, another neighbor offers what a sound wall would devolve to in about a month's time. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2009. This retaining wall is below Allesandro Way (as seen from Allesandro Street). The trees will be cut down and a 12 to 14 foot tall sound wall will sit on top of the slope above the already 25 foot tall retaining wall. Views from and property values in Elysian Heights will be effected.
Unfortunately, CalTrans is considering the sound wall issue as if ours was a flat neighborhood. The 2 Freeway sits in the bottom of a steep canyon with hundreds of homes looking down onto the freeway
Neighbors are organizing to ensure those who receive the letters from CalTrans understand what is proposed and mail their response before the deadline.
We've written extensively about sound walls since we first discovered them hidden deep within the Environmental Impact Report for the 2 Freeway Terminus Project.